How Marketers Can Get Involved with the Pokémon Go Craze

How Marketers Can Get Involved with the Pokémon Go Craze
August 2, 2016 Madeleine Helme

Children, teenagers and adults all over the globe are playing Pokémon Go. This new augmented reality game has given us the ability to catch and battle Pokémon out in the real world using our smartphones, more than 20 years after the franchise was created in 1995. The app, released by Niantic, gets you to walk around outside and find Pokémon in your surroundings, collect items from Pokéstops, hatch eggs by walking certain distances, and battle other Pokémon in gyms.

The app isn’t just good news for Pokéfans, but also for businesses looking for new ways to market themselves, especially local businesses. Here are a few ideas for taking advantage of the Pokémon Go craze for your business.

Special Offers

There are loads of ideas you could come up with to attract players of the game with special offers. You could simply offer your customers a discount or freebie if they play the game. To make it more exclusive, you could restrict these rewards based on their game activity. For example, you could only offer rewards to:

  • Players who have reached a certain level.
  • Players who are part of a certain team (Everyone chooses between one of three teams once they reach level five).
  • Anyone who takes a picture of the Pokémon they catch at your premises and shares it on social media. This way you get some additional promotion as well.

A board or poster outside of your premises advertising this offer will attract passers by playing the game. Promoting it on social media will help to get the word out too.

Lure Players In

Certain buildings, locations and landmarks act as Pokéstops within the game. These are places where players can collect items that they need in the game, so they are popular locations. If your business premises are a Pokéstop, then players of the game will be naturally attracted to you, but there are ways to boost this even further.

You can place items called lure modules on these Pokéstops to attract more Pokémon to them for a 30-minute period. This will attract even more players to it to take advantage of this. By downloading the app and purchasing Pokécoins, you can buy a stock of lure modules to use on your Pokéstop. You could keep this going all day long to keep a steady flow of customers coming in, or decide on a particular time to do it and advertise this time online and in store. For example, advertising that your café will be lured every weekday from 12-1pm will see your customers and sales soar.

Promote Yourself

Leverage the hype of the game by using it to promote yourself on social media and elsewhere. If your business is a Pokéstop, or even if it is just near one, promote this on social media. Gyms are another kind of notable location within the game, so get the word out if you are close to one of these. Use Pokémon-related hashtags to grab the attention of fans of the game. For example, Jimmy’s Seafood tweeted to let everyone know they are the best Pokéstop in Maryland.

Another sure way to lure people in is to take pictures of rare Pokémon sightings outside your premises and share these online. Or, you could keep a list of Pokémon that commonly appear around your business for everyone to see. If it’s a Pokémon that people need to catch, they might be willing to visit and stick around until they find it.

So, if you haven’t already, download the Pokémon Go app to find out where the closest Pokéstop and Gym to your business is. Start thinking about some of the ways you can use the game to promote your business.

After working in marketing for two years I decided to become a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy watching films and television and keeping fit through going to the gym and practising taekwondo.