It’s been a little over a week since Pokémon GO was first launched, yet already this augmented reality game (in which players search for imaginary creatures in the real world through their phones) has morphed into a major marketing tool for small businesses.
Business Insider reports that in the United States the game has been downloaded more than 7.5 million times across iOS and Android smartphones. According to Money, one Long Island City, NY, restaurant owner reported that his business spiked by 75 percent in a few days after he paid for Pokemon “lures”.
How does Pokemon GO work?
Once installed, the game uses your smartphone’s GPS and camera to turn the real world into a massive game board in which you must seek out Pokémon creatures. In this game of hide and seek, local landmarks and businesses are turned into Pokémon “gyms” (where players train their Pokémon for competition and also to battle other teams) and PokéStops (where player can visit physically to stock up on free game accessories, such as PokéBalls). (For a look at how the game works, check out this YouTube video from the game maker)
So how can this help your local business?
To start, download the game (it’s free) and determine whether your location has been named a gym or PokéStop. If your business is listed in the game (and there’s a good chance it is), then it’s time to get your marketing plan in gear for how you’re going to capitalize on the likely rise in foot traffic in the coming weeks.
The first thing to do is to complete an in-app purchase by investing in a lure. As Inc. explains, this increases the rate of Pokémon generation around your business for a set period of time. In other words, “for a little more than a dollar an hour, you can bring virtually guaranteed crowds to your business.”
If your business isn’t a stop but is located near a gym, that means there will be a lot of Pokémon GO foot traffic near you. You can get create and devise your own lures to attract those potential customers such as offering giveaways or specials for players. If your location is nowhere near a stop or gym, get creative and take your business on the road.
You can submit your business to be considered as a Pokémon gym or PokéStop on the game maker’s website–just understand that there’s a lot of demand and, if you’re accepted, the game still takes weeks to update. Forbes gives some details on all that.
And take a look how these local businesses are getting in on the game with Facebook promotion…
#Pokemon Trainers! we want to help you #CatchEmAll!Share with us where the closest #PokeStops and gyms are to our Taco…
We'll be dropping #lures like crazy this Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 11am-1pm & 3-5pm! Come #catchthemall at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. #Pokestop #PokemonGo
Not to brag or anything, but we're kind of a big deal… Our office is a #PokeStop! #PokemonGo #MakeItOrange
How do you lure Pokemon GO players to your business? Share with us in the comments below.