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3 useful facts about digital marketing in Japan in 2023

When doing digital marketing in Japan, it is essential that you tailor your marketing strategy to the needs of the local Japanese market. This is because the Japanese digital landscape looks rather different from what you are used to seeing elsewhere! By tailoring your strategy accordingly, you can reach your local target audience on the correct platforms where they are spending their time. The infographic below highlights three unique and useful facts about digital marketing in Japan in 2023.

1. Both Google and Yahoo Japan are important search engines

The Japanese search engine landscape looks rather different from most countries. Whilst Google is the most popular search engine, it does not totally dominate the market the way it does in many other countries, with just 77.6% of the market share. Second-place Yahoo Japan commands a respectable 14.6% of the market, with Bing making up another 7%.

Make sure to conduct local market research and consider all these search engines when developing your search marketing strategy. Most Japanese internet users use both Google and Yahoo Japan frequently. This is because whereas Google has grown in Japan as a search engine (big emphasis on “search”), Yahoo Japan is deeply ingrained in the daily life of internet users.

Describing it simply as a search engine would be reductive and the platform would agree, as it prefers to describe itself as a “portal”. Whilst Google may be the most popular search engine in Japan, Yahoo Japan is the most popular website. It is a portal where users can access a vast array of different services and sub-sites without ever leaving the platform.

2. The most popular social platform is Line

Line is the most popular social platform in Japan, with 83% of Japanese internet users saying they use the platform every month. Line started life as an app very similar to WhatsApp – i.e. an instant communication app. It is the main communication tool for many families, as it is popular across generations and genders.

It then expanded its ecosystem to include Line Pay (its mobile payments system), Line Manga (for reading manga on your mobile phone), Line Music (for music streaming), and Smart Channel (which provides content such as weather information and news).

Line allows businesses to open an official account to advertise on the platform.

3. Facebook is a professional social network

Another quirk of the Japanese social media space you should be aware of is that Facebook is used as a professional social network, akin to LinkedIn in other countries. You therefore need to ensure your Japanese Facebook strategy is adapted to account for this.

Want to learn more?

Did you realise just how unique the digital landscape is in Japan? It goes to show the importance of properly researching your target markets and creating a tailored marketing strategy that targets the right platforms for each country. To learn more fascinating facts and stats about how digital marketing works in 57 different countries, check out the Webcertain search and social report 2023 by clicking the button below!

Data sources

The statistics quoted in this blog post come from the Webcertain search and social report 2023, which quotes data from StatCounter and DataReportal.

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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

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