By now, you’ve probably heard of the hottest fad this summer, Pokémon Go. It’s the hot new cell phone game that’s been sweeping the country lately.

However, have you ever considered it as a way to attract people to your business?

In this post, I will answer your questions about what Pokémon Go is and how to use it as part of your overall marketing strategy.

How To Use Pokemon Go To Promote Your Business

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is an Augmented reality mobile phone game. It works as an overlay over your phone’s camera and GPS system where you capture characters.

Here is a quick video from Cnet that explains it a little further.

Who created Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go was originally conceived as an April Fools prank by Google in 2014. The prank got so much buzz that Google sent it to a subsidiary called Niantic to create a full game out of it. Niantic was later spun off as an independent company.

Is Pokémon Go just a fad?

Most likely yes. However, it’s also a new revolution in gaming. The strategies outlined in this post could be used for future Augmented reality games as well.

What are Pokestops and Gyms?

Pokestops and Gyms are designated physical locations for extra gameplay. This is what brings the in person mobility into the game.

Where are Pokestops and Gyms located?

The Pokestops and Gyms are located in public places, typically parks, points of interest, churches or businesses. For the most part, the players have been welcomed by the location owners and managers. There have been a few incidents, like at the Auschwitz museum where there was some frustration with players at their location.

Many small businesses were delighted to find out that they were selected to be a Pokestop or a gym, causing a sudden uptick in business.

If I’m not at a Pokestop or Gym, can I still play the game?

Yes, but it’s a very limited experience.

How were the Pokestops and Gyms chosen?

These were chosen by Niantic, the creator of the game.

My business wasn’t chosen to be a Pokestop or Gym. Can I pay Niantic to create one at my location?

At this time, that’s not an option. I would imagine that in the future, Niantic will add this. I’m getting lots of traffic to this blog with questions like “how can i install a Pokestop at my business.” This to me is an indication that Niantic will add this as an option at some point in the future since there is a huge demand for this.

What are Lure Modules?

This is where is gets interesting. The Lure Modules are a way for extra gameplay without being at a Pokestop or Gym. The players can earn lures or simply buy them through the app for $1 for 30 minutes of play.

Or….the business can buy them to “lure” in customers!

This is where it gets fun.

In this story from Bloomberg, a pizzeria in New York increased their sales by 30% for only $10 by using Lure Modules.

Here’s an example of a church using Pokémon to attract people to visit them.

Here’s a video of Pokémon players in New York’s Central Park. Getting crazy with all the players there!

What types of businesses are great for using Pokémon Lure Modules to get more customers?

If your business can use some extra foot traffic, Pokémon is a great way to do it cost effectively. Some examples of businesses that are ideal for a Pokémon promotion include: restaurants, bars, festivals, churches, shopping areas, bowling alleys.

Your business should be targeting the same demographic as the Pokémon game, or their parents. Currently, most Pokémon players are between age 12 to 30.

What should a business consider before doing a Pokémon promotion?

There are a number of things to consider before doing a Pokémon promotion. Some of these include:

  • How are you going to convert the players into customers?
  • What will be your policy of having players under age 18? What about the parents?
  • How will you keep the players safe?
  • Will having players at your business disrupt your other customers?
  • Do you have enough space and staffing to accommodate the influx of people to your business?

Should a Pokémon Lure promotion be advertised?

Yes, absolutely. You will get some foot traffic from inside the game, but for best results, you should also market your Pokémon promotion.

If you have an email list, and absolutely, you should have one, the first and simplest thing you can do is send an email out to your list.

Next, put something out on your social media channels. For best results, consider making it an event and limiting the time of the event.

For even more players, buy a social media ad. All the major networks like Facebook and Twitter allow you to target by zip code, age and other demographics. A well placed ad can bring in a lot of traffic for a small budget. Since the Pokémon players are a younger demographic, also consider buying advertising on some of the newer social networks like Instagram and Snapchat.

As you can tell, having a Pokémon promotion can be a great way to bring in customers to your business. But, you need to plan it out and do it right.

This is a limited opportunity for local business owners who were lucky enough to be chosen for a Pokestop or Gym. Unfortunately, if you aren’t one of those business owners, you are out of luck. From the demand that I’m seeing to this post, I would imagine that Niantic will open this up to more businesses as time goes on.

Were you one of the lucky ones and need help getting started with a Pokémon promotion? Contact me today for a free consultation.