When “Pokémon GO” initially launched, some friends and I began excitedly catching the digital creatures and comparing what we claimed. One Sunday afternoon in particular, we noticed an elusive Squirtle and tried hunting it down a few blocks away. He escaped us, but we continued in our quest to catch ‘em all. We eventually strolled through a park then settled in at a local eatery 1.5 miles away. There we ate and caught more.
Considering how many others we encountered doing the same thing, our story seems hardly unique. In fact, the “Pokémon GO” app saw about 25 million daily active players in the US in July 2016. Just see in the video below how many people were recently on the hunt in New York’s Central Park.
The good news here is the game is getting potential customers outdoors. But once they’re wandering neighborhoods, the next step is getting them inside your business. Here we outlined ways businesses can take advantage of the “Pokémon GO” craze.
What is Pokémon GO?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about “Pokémon GO.” In the least, you know it’s the game causing hordes of people to wander the streets. More specifically, it’s an augmented-reality smartphone game that has players exploring the real world to collect Pokémon and items and battle each other.
Days after its launch, it became the most viral mobile application of all time. Various tracking firms reported it having more daily users than Twitter and more engagement than Facebook. However, it has seen a decline in active users since its peak on July 14—losing about 3 million users. But with 20 and 30 year olds playing, its users are made up of a key consumer demographic.
Despite the dip, businesses can get in on the fun and cash in on the momentum.
How to lure in customers
Activate a Lure Module
If in luck, a business will be at the site of a PokéStop—a location players physically visit to obtain useful items. These are also locations where a user can use a Lure Module to make Pokémon appear there.
Players will often stay at a lure to let the creatures come to them. Businesses can active a Lure Module themselves to attract traffic their way.
Lures last 30 minutes and can be purchased in the app. For about $20, businesses can attract potential customers all day. If a business is a hotbed for PokéStops don’t be afraid to flaunt it on social media.
Of course, some establishments aren’t terribly keen about the disruptions the game is causing. For those not wanting to have a nearby PokéStop, it’s reported you can simply fill out this form specifying its exact location for removal.
Take your business mobile
Just like the mobile app, hit the road taking your goods to a known PokéStop hot spot. The basic premise here is to go where your potential customers already are. It’s just like companies following consumers to the latest social media platforms – just look at Snapchat.
A retailer might load up a van with merchandise and head over. Or a restaurant might throw a barbecue.
Per the above, drop some lures at a cluster of well-traveled PokéStops to drive demand. Next thing you know you might have a sizable crowd on your hands.
Feature nearby Pokémon
There are ways businesses can get in on the action, even if they’re not located near a PokéStop.
In the game, Pidgeys and Zubats tend to be everywhere. If more interesting Pokémon pop up nearby, though, you should let it be known. Potential customers will be interested to know if types like Pikachus are in particular areas.
Let players know about these valuable or rare Pokémon on social media. Even consider highlighting them in promoted posts. With Facebook for instance, you can specify highly targeted geographies so you know you’re reaching the right audience.
Give Pokémon trainers discounts
Offering discounts can provide more incentive for players to visit a location. This can be a simple discount of having them show you the app for a reduced-price item, or providing offers to members controlling a nearby “Pokémon GO” Gym.
Once players are engaged and visiting a location, you can take it a step further.
For example, get more involvement by incentivizing them to take a screenshot of a Pokémon and posting it on social media tagging your store location. This will get the word out to their friends and followers. Retailers can even retweet and reshare these posts.
Become a sponsored location
If a location is not yet on the map, don’t worry. “Pokémon GO” will someday soon offer sponsored locations. Details are sparse so far, but Fortune reported that, “Pokemon Go will offer retailers and other companies the option to sponsor locations, and advertisers would pay Niantic based on the number of visits they receive as a result of the game.”
Now start your own quest to be the very best—the best there ever was—and catch ‘em all! Customers, that is.