"Pokemon Go" is without a doubt one of the strangest and most impressive gaming trends in the past decade. In the first week of its release, "Pokemon Go" already began to reshape the nation: Everyone from kids to 20-somethings to middle-agers have downloaded the free game and begun to take part in the frenzy of catching Pokemon.
For those of you who haven't gotten sucked into the madness yet, here is how it works:
You download the app on your mobile device and create a profile. Then you start capturing Pokemon wherever you go. You use Pokeballs that you can toss at the Pokemon in order to capture and collect them. The app uses GPS tracking to make a map that shows you where nearby Pokemon are hanging out, and you can also stop into Pokemon Gyms and PokeStops to see who else is gathered to play the game. The app already has over 20 million active users
daily -- that's more active users than Twitter has right now -- and doesn't show any signs of letting up.
Putting "Pokemon Go" to Work
Any kind of craze that takes off like this can present a great opportunity for small businesses. If you can find a way to cash in on the gigantic audience and convert it into traffic for your business, you're going to be in great shape for the coming year. Because "Pokemon Go" requires users to be walking around areas where they can catch Pokemon, it's a great way to lure them into your retail space. In fact, businesses can create actual lures that live in their business and draw new people in to catch them. You just have to set up a Pokemon Trainer Club account
to get started.
You can purchase lures with Pokecoins that you get access to in your app. Lures increase the amount of Pokemon in your general vicinity for 30 minutes at various PokeStops near you. That means lures help to boost foot traffic all around your business or even inside your business. Once you get people into your store, it's easier to turn them into customers. Plenty of small businesses are taking advantage of this phenomenon already and purchasing lures left and right to increase the amount of business they are getting. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing your business through "Pokemon Go."
Creative Ways to Market Your Small Business With Pokemon Go
Taking advantage of the "Pokemon Go" trend early on will boost your chances of getting more traffic in your door. In addition to buying more lures, here are some great ideas for how you can use the new app to your advantage by incorporating it into your local marketing strategy.
Understand How Lures Work
Buying lures is just the first step. You also really have to understand how they work to best put them to use. Lures exist to lure Pokemon to specific locations but they actually lure in the gamers
who are after the Pokemon, too. If you purchase a lure, sit back and watch how quickly people show up to play. Chances are they sit and hang out for a little while, too, in order to take advantage of the increased number of Pokemon. If your business is close to a PokeStop, you have a wonderful ability to attract more users.
Arrange Your Offerings
Now that you have people lured to your area, make sure you know what you are planning to offer them. Consider what people waiting in the area might enjoy having from you. Do you sell beverages? Maybe a dollar off a cold drink on a hot day will appeal to users. Consider the time of year, current events, holidays and so on when you're building out this strategy.
Help Local Users
Participating in the game yourself can also be a great strategy. You can get on social media to let users know about local "Pokemon Go" news near or at your location -- like catching a rare Pokemon or groups with high scores. Find out what the popular hashtags are in your area and offer up info whenever you can.
Supply Charging Stations
"Pokemon Go" can drain a phone's battery quickly, so users are always looking for a place to recharge. Supplying phone charging stations and notifying players that they can come into your business to hang out and power up is a great way to entice them inside.
Customize Offerings to Teams
The app lets people group off into teams, and users tend to be very loyal toward their team members: Valor, Instinct, and Mystic
(red, yellow, and blue respectively) . You can cash in on this trend by offering different specials to different teams in your area -- it will help turn up the competition and also win you points for being in the know about specific local teams.
Now is the time to take full advantage of the "Pokemon Go" trend to draw more foot traffic into your small business! Put some of these tips to work in order to leverage the power of this new craze. It looks like it's only going to continue to grow into an even bigger community that you can tap into!
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