How to use Pokémon Go to promote your business

What do you do when the virtual world collides with the real world? You catch ‘em all. At least that’s what the 21 million daily active users of Pokémon Go do. Pokémon Go is an app that uses the GPS on your device to create a first of its kind, virtual reality game. However, it is much more than just a game. If used correctly, it has the power to make the success you desire a reality.

In case the 21 million people playing the game worldwide aren’t enough to convince you that this game is popular, here are some statistics from Touchstone Research, a tech driven market research group. The app launched early July 2016 and became the top grossing app in the U.S. within 13 hours. Nintendo’s market value went up $9 billion within five days. Yes, you read that right. Nine Billion. Pokémon Go is the biggest mobile game in US history and still receives 4-5 million downloads a day.

So what does this mean for your business? This means that the popularity of Pokémon Go provides an unprecedented opportunity to reach millions of people. The app’s popularity is only increasing, now is the time to join the movement and draw more people to your business.

Here are three simple ways to do that:

  1. Download the game and find out if your business is a PokeStop. PokeStops are places users physically go to in order to receive items they need for the game. Most landmarks and businesses are a PokeStop. If your business is not, you have the ability to reach out to Niantic (the company behind Pokémon Go) and request that your business become one.
  1. Lure people to your business. After you ensure that your business is a PokeStop, set lures at your business. A lure does what the name implies: it lures Pokémon to where you are and thereby, lures real life humans there as well. You can purchase lures on the app. One lure costs $.99 or if you prefer buying everything in bulk, 8 lures cost $6.80.

Many businesses have already reaped the rewards of using lures. Maxwell’s Bar and Grill in London has experienced, “a 26 percent increase in revenue since they started trading as a PokeStop. Having made it the sole responsibility of an employee to place lures around the restaurant, customers are flocking in the hope of catching a Pikachu or Snorlax” (londonist.com).

This story is not unique. Businesses all across the U.S. are experiencing success as well. Jackson Mann, a BYU student and active Pokémon Go player, travels around Provo catching Pokémon and visiting PokeStops. A few weeks ago, Mann and a group of friends were searching for a place to eat. Chick-fil-A had a lure at their PokeStop so the group decided to go there.

“Pokémon Go was the deciding factor as to where we chose to eat. I’ve gone back numerous times, sometimes just through the drive-thru, so I could grab a bite to eat and catch Pokémon at the same time,” Mann said.

    1. Embrace it. Use your creativity to turn all of this traffic into paying customers. If you’re a restaurant or coffee shop, you could, “create a Pokémon-inspired drink or dish and offer customers who show you the game on their phone a discount” (forbes.com).
Get creative with the way you use Pokémon Go to promote your business. (Source: creativeagencysecrets.com)

Get creative with the way you use Pokémon Go to promote your business. (Source: creativeagencysecrets.com)

The Denver Zoo realized they had multiple PokeStops and Gyms (places people can battle their Pokémon) and decided to turn the game into an event. They offered a $5 discount on admission for one weekend to guests who showed the Pokémon Go app. According to the Denver Post, the zoo bought $380 worth of lures and created a social media hashtag, #PokemonGoDZ, for players to use. The event brought in $58,000 in revenue and 5,000 more people showed up that weekend than the same weekend the year before. This is a prime example of a business creatively using Pokémon Go to increase sales.

What are you waiting for? Launch the free app and enter a new world that will boost your business in ways you didn’t think were possible. Traffic to your business will increase, sales will go up, and you might just have some extra fun along the way. Your business is the next real life success story just waiting to happen. Ready. Set. Pokémon Go!

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