As every news outlet from Inc. Magazine, to Rolling Stone, to Fox News has been reporting, PokémonGo is the hottest new digital phenomenon on the planet. The mobile app has already eclipsed Tinder installs on Android and has more daily users than Twitter.
So, LOTS of people are using it. What does that mean for your local business?
First of all, you need to know exactly what this mobile augmented reality game is to understand how it’s already impacting your business for either good or bad.
Basically, the game encourages players to take their phone out for a walk. As the “Pokémon trainer” walks around their neighborhoods, parks, shopping areas, etc, the game’s GPS feature tracks the trainer’s location and presents all manner of creatures for the trainer to catch and train for battle with other creatures. The trainer can also collect eggs to incubate and hatch according to how far a trainer has walked.
Geographically speaking the game also designates stops and gyms for the trainers to collect useful items and meet other trainers.
Here’s what you need to know about PokémonGo. – The game is capable of driving tons of new foot traffic to your business without you doing or spending anything. Your best bet is to take on PokémonGo and use this opportunity to capitalize on the traffic it’s driving to your local business.
How To Use Pokemon Go in Your Marketing
Get The PokémonGo App for Your Business
If you don’t already have a Gmail account for your business that is separate from your personal email, we highly recommend creating one. It’s free and only takes a couple of minutes to set up. Download the FREE app to your mobile phone and log in with the business Gmail. Now you can check to see if your business is a stop or a gym or if there are any of either nearby. You don’t have to spend time playing.
If Your Business Shows Up As a “PokéStop” or a Gym
Consider what you can do to encourage players to do business with you while playing the game. Here in Austin we have found that tons of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and even grocery stores are stops that can be very busy with creatures to catch and fellow players to battle. Take advantage of the fact that players are encouraged to linger and meet up with other players.
Let People Know You’re On The Map
Update your Google Maps, Facebook business page, and Yelp descriptions to include information and pictures about your gym or PokéStop. Currently the app only shows the options that are nearest the player. There’s no way to search the game for stops and gyms, so add the information to places people do search.Share information and pictures on your social media accounts.
Offer Pokémon Related Specials
- Half price milkshakes for trainers that level up while at your stop.
- Extended happy hour for Pokémon players
- Buy two entrées, get the third free when you gather with your Pokémon team.
Consider Placing a “Lure Module” on Your PokéStop During Off Peak Hours.
A Lure Module is a PokémonGo tool that can be attached to a PokéStop in the game to attract more creatures to that stop. It lasts for 30 minutes and benefits any player near the stop with extra creatures to catch.
- Announce via Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or whatever communication works best for your customers that at a certain time of day (2:30 on Thursdays for example) that there will be a lure on the stop and during that 30 minutes customers can enjoy a special of some sort (2 for 1 cold beverages if you’re a coffee shop for example).
- Encourage PokémonGo players to share pictures of the creatures they’ve caught and people they’ve met tagged with your location on their social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all allow users to include your business’s geographic location.
Here is another great example of a business that has leveraged PokémonGo in their marketing. In just 2 days, this Guide to Pokémon Go Spots in Austin has generated over 10,000 views and hundreds of social shares.
If You Don’t Have a PokéStop or Gym Nearby
Take advantage of the egg hatching aspect of the game and give customers a reason to walk around. This is a brilliant example from the folks at the Muncie Animal Shelter.
Currently there is no option for businesses to reach out to Nintendo and request that they become a PokéStop or Gym. However, we are reasonably certain that the designations are due to some form of public art associated with the business represented on Google Maps. There’s certainly no harm in adding pictures of murals, sculptures, or special displays to your business listing in Google Places, and it might be just the information the game is looking for to include your business the next time the app is updated.
Now it’s up to you to unleash your business creativity and find ways to catch all the potential customers roaming in the wild. If you have any questions or need some guidance about how to integrate PokémonGo into your mobile, search, or social marketing, feel free to reach out. We are here to help.