The Pokémon Go craze isn’t only good news for gamers, it also offers thousands of small businesses the chance to create a wide variety of advertising opportunities and innovative ways to drive profit.
Here are some ways to tap into the potential spending power of the millions of players enjoying Pokémon Go.
PokéStops and Pokemon Gyms
PokéStops are landmarks for gamers to collect items that will help them in the game, and Gyms are specific locations where teams battle each other.
Small businesses, shops and cafes lucky enough to have been assigned as a PokéStop or Gym are likely to have already enjoyed an increase in footfall. However, to make the most of the potential for increased spend, business owners should be looking for ways to engage players.
Ways to attract players to an existing PokéStop or Pokemon Gym
- Create special deals and discounts for Pokémon players
- Advertise your special status on your social media sites
- Start a competition for the best Pokémon screenshot in your premises
- Create themed products – anything from drinks named after popular characters to cakes in the shape of Pokémon
- Offer free Wi-Fi and charging stations
- If your location has been assigned as a gym, announce that you’re hosting tournaments and offer extra deals and incentives for the winners
Hooking up with local PokéStops and Pokemon Gyms
If your business hasn’t been chosen as a PokéStop or Gym, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways you can still make the craze work for you.
For a start, you might consider getting in touch with the local businesses that has been assigned a PokéStop. See if you can work out a partnership that’s advantageous to you both.
For example, you could ask your fellow business owner if you could leave samples of your products for visitors to enjoy while they catch Pokémon at your partner’s premises.
Reciprocate by taking flyers or samples back to your own property, or by creating special offers that advertise the business you’re partnering with.
You can also let the game makers know that you’d like your business to be registered as a PokéStop.
Making the most of local spots
Rather than waiting for players to come to you, go to them! If you know there’s a PokéStop or Gym in a nearby park or public place, head along there with some advertising and giveaways.
If you have a portable product, you could even make sales on the go by taking advantage of technology like QuickBooks Online and Square Reader, which allows you to easily carry out transactions on a smartphone or tablet.
Alternatively, you could host your own Pokémon search party. Invite players to meet at your store or business, then take them on a short tour of the neighbourhood, being sure to stop at plenty of places you know Pokémon are likely to be found.
End the search party at your premises and make sure you have plenty of snacks, samples and vouchers on hand to reward participants with.
Using lures to attract Pokemon – and Pokemon players
Businesses can get in on the action by becoming players themselves. Once you’ve signed up with a Pokémon Go account, you will have the ability to place Lures at PokéStops. These are in-game items that attract Pokémon and, by extension, Pokémon Go players.
Each Lure lasts for 30 minutes, and it’s even possible to give your Lure a unique name. All you have to do is title yours with the name of your business and you’ll be advertising to every single person who comes along to try and snag a Pokémon using your Lure.
By placing a new Lure each time one runs out, you can also create what’s known as a Lure party and build up a reputation as a popular Pokémon spot. This will entice keen players into the area, giving you the chance to offer them other deals or advertisements.
While Lures do cost money, it’s only a couple of dollars for a module, and if you’re successful in attracting rare Pokémon, you might be able to increase footfall substantially with only a few Lures.
The future of marketing for Pokémon Go
Currently, sponsorship isn’t an option for small businesses hoping to get on board with the Pokémon trend, but there’s a good chance it will be in the future.
McDonald’s restaurants in Japan became the first paid, sponsored locations and it’s likely that eventually, other businesses will have similar opportunities. You can register your interest now by emailing game developers Niantic, but be patient while waiting for a response – the makers are inundated with requests.
In the meantime, create Pokémon-themed products, make good use of Lures and tap into the spending power of the millions of players out there.
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