Marketing in Japan and Social Media
I sometimes write sentences about law, tax of Japan in Social Media (Facebook etc)
But Marketing is much more important. Comparing with Marketing, information on Law and Tax is trivial matters.
So I would like to write sentences about Social Media Marketing.
I wonder that you still think you can find customers or make business relation by Social Media Marketing ?
When the number of persons who dispatched information via Social Media was small, you might be able to find customers by Social Media Marketing.
But now the number of sender of information is large and the number of viewer may be as same as before.
And ordinary persons will not look at your timeline of face book at all.
How about you ? Do you look at timeline of other person seriously ?
I wrote many articles in Social Media relating to my job.
I started Social Media Marketing several years ago.
However many of my clients are introduced by existing clients nowadays.
There were persons called “influencer” in Social Media. But such person is exception. Most of Social Media users can not become Influencer. The possibility to become Influencer is very small.
Instead of Social Media Marketing in Japan
If you can show your website at 1st page on Google, it will be nice. But such customers will use internet to compare with other business operators (Your competitors).
And there will not be enough difference between you and your competitor in view of content of service, product.
So you will need to complete with them in price.
In that case, even if you work hard, amount of your profit will be small.
So solution should be to meeting with persons directly. You do not need to meet with many persons at the same time.
Even if you meet with one person, it will be more effective than Social Media Marketing (even if your post in Social Media is reached to 1000 persons).
Because such 1000 persons are not reading your post, article seriously.
I do not say you should close your Social Media account. You can use it to keep relation with persons you already met with directly.
You may hesitate to meet with new person. Because you do not know what to talk with someone you just met. But it is a real “blue ocean”.
Because other persons may also hesitate to engage in such activity and try to rely on Social Media Marketing.
If you hope to sell Computers from overseas to resident of Japan, you can rent an very small office space (even for one hour per a day) and show it to your prospective customers directly and it will be effective marketing.
Then you will think where you can meet with new persons. For example, some persons are holding meeting event in Linkedin (ex. Business in Japan) or Meetup.
If you hope to participate in such meeting event for business purpose, you do not need to meet with persons with beautifully dressed up.
Even if the event is held at Denny’s or in the neighboring park, it is fine as far as some of participants have same purpose.
Idea of Marketing in Japan
Assumed that you have been operating a hotel in Japan. It is located in ski area and many foreigners came to your hotel in Winter.
However due to covid-19, foreign tourist will not come to your hotel in winter.
So you need to think of marketing strategy.
You will try to find customers from Resident of Japan and most of them will be Japanese national and you can not understand Japanese language at all.
As mentioned above, in order to advertise your business, you need to meet with potential customers.
So you will hold English Language seminar at very low fee. You will act as English teacher via zoom etc.
Or you may come to Tokyo to hold language group lesson.
In this way, you will make personal connection in Spring, Summer, Autumn.
Then in winter some of them will come to your hotel to use English language while playing ski.
You will hold Language seminar every day.
And your students will come to your hotel all around year.
(Actually when you purchase a hotel in ski area, you should think of marketing strategy for Spring, Summer, Autumn.)
Idea Marketing in Japan 2
Assume that you are operating a bakery shop in Japan. The taste should be better than convenience store.
But price will be much higher than bread of convenience store.
And other person may start Bakery shop in your neighborhood. Her price may be cheaper than you and taste may be almost same.
In that case you will think of Marketing strategy.
You will start bakery school in a part of your shop or neighboring place. Your main job is not bakery school. So you do not need to make sufficient profit in bakery school. So children can come to your bakery school.
In this way, you can make persona connection with prospective customers.
And some of them will think that they hope to eat bread made by teacher.
Marketing in Japan and Face book
Assumed that you hope to advertise your service, product in Japan, you may think of using facebook ads.
However you may hesitate to pay money to facebook. Because you do not want to make mistake, failure in marketing in Japan.
You may hope to know whether your article can actually reach to potential customers or not and its engagement, result in advance.
So I will publish such result of my case.
I sometimes write articles that is relating to my job directly or indirectly.
My main job is to support non-Japanese speakers to start a business in Japan or buying a real estate in Japan.
However I know my job is too nitche and it is not interesting one for most of viewers.
Marketing in Japan and Result of facebook ads
I used facebook Ads 5 times and spent about 2600 yen (26 USD) in past 90 days and my post reached to 6800 persons.
Then I will show details of each advertisement. Below is one of content of my articles. It is information on Refund of pension premium.
In the case a foreign national leaves Japan, she can apply for refund of Pension tax.
I used only one day for facebook Ads for this article.
Comparison with other article, I have received some contact from viewers.
Because the number of persons who paid pension and left Japan is much rather than number of persons who hope to start a business in Japan.
So even if you hope to sell real estate of Philippines to Japanese persons, you may try to collect visitors to your website by writing information on travel in Philippines.
I wrote an article about how to purchase a vehicles via car auction.(Below)
Because some foreigners are interested in buying vehicles in Japan and export it to their home country.
Following article is relating to filing tax return by internet.
In the case a foreigner is salaries worker in Japan, she does not need to submit tax filing basically.
However when she manages her business, she needs to submit tax filing by herself or by her tax accountant.
So I thought this information was useful to some extent.
Then when I do not use paid facebook Ads, the result is as blow. As you can see, the number of viewer is very small.
So even if you wrote many articles in facebook, without using facebook Ads, it will not make good result.
As some of you already know, most of sales amount of aviation business is produced by customers who use First class, Business class (Premium seat users). Actually only with sales amount produced by Economy class is not sufficient to fly airplane.
So when I use airplane, I would like to shout “Thank you very much for Premium class customers !! Thanks to your payment, I can use airplane at reasonable fee.”
Then this “Thank you very much for Premium class customers !!” can be used in other business.
Assumed that you are operating restaurant.
In that case you can make difference between such seat and other seat.
Make your fun, Not fun of your product
Assumed that you are trying to sale a handmade clothing and sales price is 10,000 yen.
You spend several hours to make a clothing (Dress). Even if you find a customer, she will not purchase a dress from you several times. So you need to find new customers to sustain your business. It will be called Flow Business and it may not be good business. Because you always need to find new customer. So you will need to advertise and pay some money and spend hours or days.
So I would like to show one of solution.
You will make a clothing and use it as a flyer. Of course, you will not be able to distribute it among pedestrians.
You can show the hand made clothing and upload a video instructing how to make it. Unfortunately, most of persons will not find your post in SNS. So you will need to rent an pop up shop and display it.
And the handmade dress is front-end products. You can not make a profit by sale of the clothing. Because it is a flyer.
And even if you rent an such place, most of persons will not be interested in your shop. So you need to participate in local community and make personal connections. Of course, it will take days to make a such personal connections. And it will take time to use such personal connections for your business. When you meet with new person for the first time, you can not talk about your product, business.
But as you know, there is not an easy way to make a success. Everyday activity is important.
You will attract person by hand made dress and advertise your sawing class. Yes, you will change your business from sale of dress into Sawing class.
You will teach how to make a hand made clothing. Once you can find a customers, they will pay you monthly fee and it is “stock business”.
And when you teach sawing, you will provide opportunities where each students assist other students. In this way, your friend will become acquainted with each other.
Once your customers become friend each other, they will come to your school continuously to meet with their friend.
In this way, you can make your business sustainable.
Nowadays, it is difficult to make sufficient difference in quality of products. Person can purchase similar dress without purchasing it from you.
But in the case you and your student can make a good relation, your business will become steady.
If you want to sale a dress via internet and can win over Amazon, it is good. If you can compete at price, you may be able to win. But you will waste your a lot of time.
So you will make your fun.
Several years ago, when you made unique dress, you would be able to find customers. But now such information is already spread and meaningless.
You meet with your prospective customers one by one and need to increase the number of your fun.
Even if you are not familiar with Japanese language at all, it may be your strong point.
Some persons hope to learn sawing and English language at the same time. And if they know that you are fluent in Japanese language, they will hesitate to speak with you in English language (It applies to me, too).
Introduction of Japanese phrase “Online Salon”
A person who earns 70 million yen per month by Online Salon.
At first, I would like to explain what is “online salon” in Japan.
“online salon” is a alphabetical phrase made in Japan.
This is the most famous Online salon in Japan.
Online Salon is similar to a paid newsletter. In the case of https://salon.jp/nishino, host (Mr.Akihiro Nishino) made a private group in facebook and persons can join this group.
Monthly fee is 1000 yen. He publishes an article everyday. In order to sustain and acquire subscribers, the content is important. Nowadays, most of information can be found via internet. So he needs to publish very unique article.
If you are operating a language school and your business is going well, you will be able to write a articles relating to your business.
You will write how to find students and advertise your business and event in your school.
However you will soon encounter difficulties to find a source of article. You can not know what to write several months after you make a group.
In the case of https://salon.jp/nishino, he starts several kinds of activities at the same time. And some of them are very challenging business. But he also shares results of his failure in his Online salon.
He is a comedian and he is a writer of picture book and expert in marketing, crowdfunding.
(He collected 46 million yen in crowdfunding within 3 weeks in October 2020. https://silkhat.yoshimoto.co.jp/projects/2037/preview?token=lgM5XfgHOLmEAKxW )
And his movie will be released in December 2020.
He used crowdfunding to make a picture book several years ago.
At that time, crowdfunding was not popular in Japan at all (even as of now, it is not popular. Crowdfunding is good method to avoid Inventory Risk, I think).
Then many persons called him “swindler”.
But recently some persons (about 70,000 subscribers) have understood his activities and found existence of crowdfunding.
I would like to introduce some of his activities (He also renounces copy right of his articles published more than one year ago).
He visited a rural village in Laos. Then he wrote a picutre book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WfE8PbtC3s
And he thought he could write a picture book thanks to Laos and made a elementary school in rural village in Laos by his own money.
In order to make a school, he needed to prepare some money.
So he wrote articles relating to how to sell the picture book.
He shared all stages of marketing strategy.
He published content of picture book via internet before he sold the book physically. Because he knew it was the best way to increase sales amount of the picture book.
Many persons do not want to make a mistake in buying a picture book.
So he published content of picture book in advance via internet and prospective customers can confirm if the content of picture book is good.
He shared many marketing strategies in facebook group and it acquired many subscribers.
Of course, you can find some book about Marketing. But many of them are just past worn-out method.
Actually he does not need to use sales amount of his picture book to build a school in Laos.
But by writing articles in facebook group, he can acquire money from his subscribers and established a school.
Because he is a comedian and he has a lot of sense of humor.
So his way of writing is very interesting.
Some persons write articles in SNS with a lot of technical words.
But they are not reader friendly at all.
Many NPO are trying to find persons who donate money in Japan. However unfortunately Donation is not so popular compared to other countries.
So he engages in entertainment activity and tries to save some persons.
In order to save some persons continuously, source of money is important.
Some NPO try to rely on donation to save persons.
However it is not easy to find donors continuously.
On the other hand, he can make some sales amount by facebook group and use most of the sales amount to save persons.
And he wrote the proceedings of such activity in facebook group and make sales amount via facebook group and save persons continuously.
Some persons may say that he utilizes troubled persons to advertise his business.
But actually he saved a lot of persons and his activity will be the feasible way to save troubled persons now.
But I know that you are not going to make a movie. So you will think of how to use this information.
Assumed there is a famous real estate investor (assumed “Mr.Robert”).
He will make a Online salon and write articles relating to Real Estate Investment and collect subscribers and receive money.
Then he will purchase rea estate every week and share his story (success and failure of real estate investment) in Online salon.
In this way, he may continue his real estate investment and sustain his online salon.
Before he starts online salon, he can not make a mistake in real estate investment. But after he makes Online salon, he can make a mistake. Because when he makes a mistake, he and his subscribers can collect information on failure on Real Estate Investment and can avoid future mistake. So there is a merit for him and subscribers.
Assumed there is a famous real estate investor (assumed “Mr.Robert).
He will make a Online salon and collect subscribers and and receive money.
Then he will purchase rea estate every week and share his story (success and failure of real estate investment) in Online salon.
In this way, he may continue his real estate investment and sustain his online salon.
Online Marketing and teamlab in Japan
Some persons try to advertise their product to Japanese nationals via internet. They write many useful articles every day to publicize their products, services in facebook, twitter, instagram.
Many years ago, such method was useful. Because the number of such persons was not huge. However now you can not use this kind of old-fashioned method. It is not effective no longer.
I received a flyer of “teamLab Planets Tokyo” to my mail box physically.
This is very famous sightseeing place, amusement place in Tokyo. This company often uses TV Commercial (It costs 40,000 yen to 800,000 yen per 15 seconds).
It will be effective to advertise their service when they conduct TV Commercial.
But it costs too much money.
So they distributed flyers among neighboring area in Tokyo. They distributed flyers to mail box of each neighboring persons.
Actually in Japan, most of persons do not find service of this teamlab via internet. They found it via TV Commercial or Flyer.
In the case of TV Commercial, they can not distribute discount coupon. Even if they show QR code on TV Commercial, 99% of viewers will not use it. They are not familiar with such technology.
So if you hope to advertise your service, you should not rely on Internet advertisement. You should distribute flyers to mail box of each resident of Japan.
Or you should stick a poster to a neighboring wall.
So you may want to know cost to distribute flyers to neighboring mail box.
In the case you hire this company to distribute flyers (A4 size, both sided color), it cost about 14 yen per a flyer.
This company can make flyer and distribute it on your behalf.
So if you distribute 1000 flyers, it costs 30,000 yen.
You do not want to spend 30,000 yen to distribute flyers ? Because you will not be able to know if such expenses is useful for your business ?
In that case, you can just be employee of other company. You will not be able to start your business….
By the way, defect of business of Teamlab.
This company can make sales amount only by admission fee. So they need to find new customers every time. Same persons will not come to this place several times.
So admission fee should be expensive to sustain their business. So they will need to find other source of income at the same time.
For example, they will teach persons about graphic design and receive monthly fee.
How to sell your bag in Japan ?
Assumed that you try to make a bag with yarn and sell it at 10 USD to resident of Japan.
Even if you advertise your product in social media, you will not be able to find customers.
Because most of Japanese do not use social media to purchase a bag. You can not win over Amazon.
So you will distribute flyers to mail box of each persons physically.
It should be more effective.
However most of persons are not interesting in bag made by you. Because there are too many similar bag in market already.
On the other hand, some persons hope to have a chance to connect with other persons.
So you can teach persons how to make a bag directly at local space (it will cost 2000 yen per hour to rent it).
If customers can make their bag by themselves, they can say that “I have made this bag by myself.”. It is a good topic to talk with other person.
And amazon does not sell a bag made by customer. And each customer can communicate with other customer in your school.
So customers will come to your school not only to learn crafting, but also to meet with their friend. So your business will be stable.
And when students can teach each other, you can teach many students at the same time. So total amount of your fee will increase.
Idol Group and Marketing in Japan
When you sell your commodities (assumed that is not best in the world), proper marketing is very important.
I would like to explain it with taking up an example.
In Japan there is a very famous Idol Group named AKB48.
This group was produced by Yasushi Akimoto.
Reportedly, his amount of taxable income was about 5,000,000,000 yen in 2014.
(as of now, he has very high income)
He produced several idol Groups and they released many CD (audio material).
However persons who purchase CD have decreased compared to year of 1990.
Many persons download music from internet instead of buying CD at physical shop.
And even if some persons purchase CD, one persons will purchase one CD (of course).
Then he is so clever that he found a solution.
He attached a ticket with CD.
If a person purchases CD, he can acquire a ticket at the same time.
And he can participate in an event where he can shakehand with a member of AKB48.
In this way, AKB48 sold many CD though other musicians were suffering from decrease of sales amount.
Some fans purchased several CDs to shakehand with members of AKB48.
I know that you are not producer of idol group. However you may utilize this way of marketing.
Yasushi Akimoto did not sell CD as solely audio material, but as a ticket to participate in an event.
Assumed that you hope to sell an English language text book. You will make an account in Amazon and try to find customers.
However there are many similar books there.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to find customers.
In that case, you will not sell the English language text book. You will gift it to persons.
You will start online English lesson. You will write articles relating to useful information for English language learners every day for several weeks or months.
In this way, you will be able to acquire trust from prospective customers.
After that you start your business of English language school.
And you will gift your book to students.
Success Example of Marketing of Food Shop in Japan
In the case you are going to start a business in Japan, advertisement is very important.
So I would like to introduce a success example of such marketing activity.
There is a pack meal (Bento=弁当) shop named “Kitchen DIVE”. Selling price is very affordable and it operates for 24 hours.
Generally, in the case of food shop, restaurant, percent of profit is not high compared to IT business etc.
So such business operators can not spend manifold money for SEO or webmarketing.
They will not be able to hire IT professionals.
In the case of this shop, a business operator manages web marketing by himself.
This shop is popular not only because of its reasonable price, but also its marketing method.
This shop broadcasts live vide of inside shop via youtube live.
It is like Live Commerce and prospective customers can have experience in buying Bento in advance.
Additionally, it can avoid theft and annoying customers.
And persons can see product lineup via youtube and also avoid crowded time.
The number of monthly viewer of its youtube channel is 1 million and it receives advertisement fee of 200,000 yen per month.
This shop uses Twitter, too. The number of follower is 83,000.
Monthly sales amount is about 15 million yen.
(as of October 2020)
Though this shop sales 200 yen cheap Packed Meal (Bento), most of customers purchase 500 yen or 1000 yen Packed Meal.
(There is a Bento of 1 kilogram, too. And purchaser publicizes picture of the Bento in twitter. It collects more customers.)
Amount of monthly rental fee of shop space is 300,000 yen.
The cost of food material is about 50% of sales price of packed meal.
Labor cost is about 1 million yen.
If you operate restaurant business, you may broadcast live video of your kitchen always.
To learn about Marketing with a lot of fun, you can join https://salon.jp/nishino