Pokémon Go is all the rage right now. In the first two days the Android app was live, 5% of all users installed Pokémon GO. 60% of users who download the app use it daily. This surpasses the number of Twitter daily users right now.
With so many users it is important to explain what Pokémon GO is, and how you can use it for your mobile marketing strategy.
What is Pokémon GO?
I know this is a valid question because most people who have not played video games since 1996 might not be familiar with the game. Essentially, the goal is to seek out and battle Pokémon on your mobile device.
The newest iteration on Pokémon GO is a mobile-friendly app that uses augmented reality to tap into users’ smartphones GPS and camera to turn the real world into a massive game board.
While augmented reality has been around for a few years, this is the first large scale implementation of augmented reality by a gaming company. The possibilities from this game are probably inspiring a whole new generation of games. That is because it finally allows true interaction between the real and digital world.
For example, in Pokémon GO users seek out Pokémon “Gyms” on the street. This is where users train their Pokémon to battle each other. Also, you have Poke stops where players add digital game accessories.
How can your business benefit from Pokémon GO?
1. Download the game
Pokémon GO is a free download on Apple and Android devices.
Niantic, the company that created the game, does not have a map of all Gyms. Therefore, the only way to know if your business is a Gym or located near one is to install the app on your phone to determine your proximity to a Gym and/or Poke stop. Talk to one of our mobile marketing strategists to see if this helps you.
2. Check your business listing
If your business is listed as a Pokémon Gym then you could receive extra foot traffic in the next few weeks.
Since the game physically requires users to wander up and down the street to get points and other rewards, the biggest benefit of the game is that it encourages people to leave their home.
See if your business is located at a specific Pokémon Gym. If it is, then you can purchase what is called a lure – a lure attracts Pokémon to the area.
This means you can drive foot traffic to your business for less than $1 per hour. That type of paid marketing is virtually impossible to find anywhere else.
How does it work? Take this recent Reddit thread from a pizzeria owner.
“I own a pizzeria that’s a Pokestop and I literally did this all day. I had a ton of kids and adults (mostly adults) come in for a slice of pizza and a drink until the lure ran out.”
What’s even more incredible is just how affordable luring is. Let’s do the math. With $100 netting you 14,500 Pokecoins and an eight-pack of Lures costing 680 Pokecoins:
14,500 Pokecoins / 680 = 21 eight-packs of lures | (21 * 8)/2 = 84 hours | $100/84 hours = $1.19 per hour
Even if your business is not listed as a Gym, you can still purchase lures if you are located near a Gym. Lures are like call to actions that drive people from the Gym to your location.
Finally, if your business is not listed as a Gym, you can go to the games maker’s website to submit your business. Right now there is a lot of demand, so be patient. It could take weeks for you to be approved and listed as a Gym if at all.
3. Be mobile
Another strategy if you are not near a Gym or Poke Stop is to take part of your business on the road to your nearest Poke Stop or Gym.
Put your products in a van with your latest items and purchase lures at that location. See what happens. If it works, repeat. If not, move locations.
Remember this is a mobile platform. Being mobile yourself can be of tremendous value.
4. Incorporate Social Media
Ask users to share screenshots of Pokémon or tag you in their Pokémon photos that they share on social media in exchange for Pokémon incentives.
What freebies would you offer is someone tagged you in their Pokémon adventures? How would you reward those who took screenshots of Pokémon in your store? Again this is similar to other forms of gamification on social media, it is just on a new platform.
Pokémon GO users are active social media users on sites like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. If you want to reach a younger audience than combining social media and Pokémon can be beneficial.
While they have not launched ads as of yet, this is a Google-Funded Startup. Therefore, it would not be surprising how at some point Pokémon GO has its own Google Ads like platform.
However, since it is not launched and the platform is still new this is all speculation at the moment.
The big challenge before they launch is the issue of encroachment. For example, if you rent a space from a landlord, and then the digital Pokémon Gym ads go to your competitor this could cause some retailers to renege upon leases or even sue Pokémon GO for illegally advertising on their location.
It is new territory, and possibly something that will need to be determined in the next few years as issues like this and others like Geo-Conquesting become more popular.
Pokémon GO is important because it delves into new territory in augmented reality and mobile marketing. It is testing the ground for a new series of games in the future.
While the game is the first, it will certainly not be the last game to have this effect on consumers. Even if Pokémon GO turns out to be a fad, virtual reality and augmented reality is here to stay.
Too many businesses are waking up to the potential, which means a flood of new games could be on the horizon. Use Pokémon Go as the basis for your augmented reality marketing education.
For the moment, if all of this Pokémon GO mobile digital marketing strategy still confuses you, then schedule a free session with a Shout marketing strategist.