Pokemon Go can deliver new customers to your business, if you play the game right.
You may have noticed more people walking around, staring at their phones than ever before.
Chances are, they’re not listening to music or texting their friends—they’re playing Pokemon Go, a game recently released by Niantic, a spin-off of Google, that combines the geographic capabilities of Google with an animated phenomenon and cartoon series. In the Pokemon GO game, users essentially wander around to try to capture wild Pokemon—animated creatures with silly names and abilities.
It indeed sounds silly, but it’s big business. It’s made Niantic worth more than $3.5 billion and it has brought the company about $1.6 million in revenue every day since the game was launched in early July. That’s a lot of business—and a lot of potential foot traffic for you.
There are several ways to make this game work for your small business. Some companies are requesting “Pokéstops” or “gyms” be placed in or near their storefrotns to attract customers, and others are paying for “lures” within the app to increase the rate of Pokémon traveling to nearby Pokestops, and benefiting from the additional traffic. Large stores like Sam’s Club are offering special deals for customers who have the app installed—and attracting new customers by offering free daily memberships.
So how can the game work for you? First of all, you’ll have to download the app, which is free, from the android or apple store. Then:
You can request a PokeGym.Gyms are similar to Pokestops except you cannot use lures to bring additional Pokemon there. If there isn’t a PokeGym near your business, you can request one by clicking on this link.
Or, you can pay for lures to be placed at PokeStops near your business. Pokémon Go allows players (or businesses) to buy “Lures,” which increase the number of Pokémon around a PokéStop for 30 minutes. The more Pokémon around, the more players and potential customers you’ll have. It only costs a few dollars to start with, so it’s worth experimenting with if you think it’ll help get more traffic near your shop.
Here’s how to do it:
- Log in to Pokemon Go, and tap the red and white Pokemon ball.
- Tap on ‘shop”
- Purchase some Pokecoins—they’re about $1 each, and you’ll exchange them for lures. You’ll then re-direct to your app store’s payment system.
- Go back to the app, tap the red Pokeball again, then tap “items.”
- Find a PokéStop located near your business. Tap on the blue circle that appears once you’re in range of the Stop.
- Tap on the small white button with the icon of a Lure, located above the image of the PokéStop.
- Tap on the image of the Lure module.
- You’ll now see flowing hearts emerging from the PokéStop. Your Lure is on and will last for 30 minutes.
You can also work it into your Facebook advertising. Currently, the Pokémon GO Facebook page has more than one million likes. That’s a huge audience that you can tap into with advanced ad targeting. In your Facebook Ads Manager, target the age range of users you’re trying to reach, the way you normally would—don’t worry if your target audience is adults. You’d be surprised how many older people are playing. Select the region you want to advertise to and then add interest level targeting, which can reach people who like the Pokemon Go page, or any similar Facebook page.
Pokemon Go may seem like a silly game and it may indeed be a passing fad. But if you capitalize on its popularity you may attract some additional customers—and let your existing customers see your fun side, too. Have you played it? Let us know in the comments!