Pokémon Go has turned out to be more than a simple augmented reality app. Combining all the brand power of one of the world’s most popular video games with unique game play options, it’s become something of a phenomenon. It was always expected that the game would attract a solid following, but few could predict just how many people would be willing to step into the virtual reality of the application. As players around the world take to the streets to catch ’em all, it’s time for businesses to take advantage of this craze. With a little maneuvering, you can make Pokémon Go a part of your marketing strategy.
PokeStops, Gyms, and Lures
While the bulk of Pokémon Go requires players to walk in search of new monsters, there are two important types of static locations in the game’s world – PokeStops and Gyms. PokeStops are placed at random places of interest and generate the items used to play the game. Gyms tend to be placed at larger landmarks and encourage players to battle in order to take over the location for their teams. If you’re near either one of these locations, you can bring in customers with a simple, easy-to-use trick.
Lures are an object that can be found at Pokestops or purchased in-game for under a dollar. When a lure is active, Pokémon flock to the lure’s location. If you are near a Pokestop or Gym – areas where players already congregate – you can encourage more through-traffic by activating a lure. This will attract more players to your business and give them a reason to keep returning – especially if they know when you’re going to place the lures. This is an incredibly small investment (lures last about half an hour, so you can keep lures all day for no more than twenty dollars a day) that can dramatically increase foot traffic.
Pokémon Spotting and Digital Advertising
If you’ve got social media accounts for your business – and you should – you can easily keep your customers aware of when rare Pokémon have been spotted in your area. All it takes is a quick tweet to get new customers running to your place of business, and even those who don’t manage to catch their ideal Pokémon will become aware of the fact that your business is a great place to play their favorite game.
Even if you don’t plan on playing the game yourself, you can still use Pokémon Go as a digital marketing tool. If you’re planning on a sale or special, why not advertise that it will go on only during the time when your lures are up? Likewise, you can offer customers a discount who have Pokémon of a certain level, or offer discounts on different days for members of specific teams. If you add this information to your social media output, you can increase your number of followers and reach a wider audience. Simply embracing the community aspects of the game can lead new customers to your business.
While Pokémon Go is very much a game about cooperation and good feelings, there are definite competitive aspects that go with the game. If you can tap into the feelings of competition, you can bring in customers who might otherwise feel more confident in playing on their own.
One spectacular way to drum up business is to make your location an unofficial gym. While you likely won’t have much luck getting on the map for the official release, you can hold a competition at your place of work. You can, for example, hold a contest where the team with the overall highest level Pokémon will ‘win’ your location with a small discount for a short period of time. You can even create a daily tournament where the individual who catches the best monster will receive a small prize. This will encourage more customers to swing by your location in order to play and win.
If you want to uncouple yourself from the official mechanics of the game, start your own contests. Offer players a discount for coming up with the best name, for having the most of a specific type of Pokémon, or even for having the most eggs in their inventory. Anything that gets players to compete and can drive them through your doors will increase your profits.
Fads come and go, so make sure you jump on the Pokémon Go train while it’s still in motion. Be sure to position it as part of your social media marketing efforts and always pay attention to how it’s perceived by the public. You may only have a short window of opportunity with the game, so don’t miss your chance. Embrace Pokémon Go, as you might not see another opportunity like this for quite some time.