With the easing of border restrictions, the sales teams at GPlusMedia are seeing a spike in the number of clients asking how they can reach out to foreigners coming to Japan.
We produce Japan’s most used English-language news and information sites, including CareerEngine, GaijinPot, GaijinPot Jobs, Japan Today, Real Estate Japan and Savvy Tokyo, so excitement and traffic on the user side is also growing! Our users, who represent a significant cross section of foreigners coming to and currently in Japan, are primed to work, study, live and play.
If you are a company that sells products or services to inbound tourists, students and resident foreigners or if you are trying to hire foreign talent in Japan, the imminent border reopening is a great opportunity to grow your business. But what is the best way to reach your target audience?
We asked Yasuhiro Kitagawa, Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO) at GPlusMedia, for his insight on what companies can do now to prepare for the border reopening.
Q: With the easing of border restrictions in the last few months, what trends have you seen among companies interested in promoting their services through GPlusMedia’s channels?
We have seen renewed interest from both private companies and local governments to promote services for international tourists such as SIM cards, sightseeing like cycling in Ibaraki, Motorhome service, and various events.
One of the differences is that a lot of companies and local governments have now realized that promoting services for foreigners on Japan Today, Savvy Tokyo, GaijinPot, and Real Estate Japan can also help them reach out to foreigners living in Japan. This applies to things like credit cards, banking service, electricity and gas service in English, real estate, and so on.
On top of that, more Japanese schools and vocational schools want to promote their schools to foreigners who wish to move to Japan for study by using GaijinPot Study and webinars to get more international students, since the border is already open to them and there is no sign of it closing again.
For companies looking to hire, it is getting more competitive to hire talented people. Therefore, they use new ways to build up their brands such as this.
Q: What can companies do now to prepare in case the Japanese government announces it will fully open borders?
You should reach out to foreigners already living in Japan and use that audience as a base to build more followers who are currently overseas. It’s important to form a community that you can interact with on a regular basis.
Once the Japanese government announces that they will open the border fully for individual tourists, take action immediately to reach out to overseas foreigners through popular media they are already familiar with and engage with daily, like GaijinPot and JapanToday.
Also, don’t forget to stay in constant contact with your followers on SNS.
Q: What do you think makes GPlusMedia unique in terms of what we can offer to companies trying to reach the foreign market in Japan?
GPlusMedia has a unique ecosystem for both overseas foreigners and foreigners living in Japan, by offering them resources for visiting Japan, learning Japanese, looking for an apartment, hunting for a job, buying a home, and so on. By utilizing this ecosystem, companies can enrich foreigners’ (user/customer) journeys in Japan and become part of their lives to build up their own brands.
Yasuhiro Kitagawa, Chief Business Development Officer
Yasuhiro is in charge of business development within GPlusMedia and integrates GPlusMedia with Gakken Group to build up synergy and new services/products across different channels to make it global.