Gotta catch ’em all – the customers, that is. Using Pokemon GO for business is a smart way to attract customers, considering the Pokemon GO craze is still going strong. According to a Manta survey, almost one in four (23%) small business owners said they would be willing to offer in-store promotions to Pokemon GO users to boost their businesses.
Of the small businesses surveyed by Manta, 17% said they would be interested in paying to become a sponsored Pokemon GO location. However, only 12% would consider paying for digital advertisements like pop-up ads. That’s probably wise, considering that pop-up ads could irritate players.
Pokemon GO for business requires participation
In the meantime, using Pokemon GO for business takes some familiarity with the game. According to the Manta survey, just 16% of small business owners play Pokemon GO themselves. Small business owners need to literally get in the game.
“Participation also serves another purpose,” said John Swanciger, CEO of Manta, in an email interview. “Players attract other players, which means more foot traffic into your business. … Additionally, learning the ins and outs of the game will help you decide if it’s worthwhile to purchase lures or sponsor your location.”
Lures are modules that can be plugged in to Pokestops, the places where players go to get more Pokeballs to catch Pokemon (or other game aids). The lures are good for 30 minutes, and anyone playing Pokemon GO benefits from a lure, not just the player who uses it at the Pokestop.
Combine Pokemon GO with social media
However, playing Pokemon GO is only the tip of the iceberg. Small business owners need to use social media along with Pokemon GO to show players that they’re a Poke-friendly business. For example, they can post pictures of customers playing Pokemon GO on-site on social media outlets, according to Swanciger. Taking that one step further, businesses can provide discounts or incentives for customers when they catch Pokemon on-site or check in via social media when they catch Pokemon. Small business owners can even offer promotions for players who reach certain levels or catch certain rare Pokemon to help create a relationship with players, he said.
Find the intersection between Pokemon GO and business
Finally, Pokemon GO may have nothing to do with a particular business model or what the business sells, and that’s okay. However, it can still be leveraged as a marketing technique, Swancinger said. He cited collision repair center Service King, which purchased outdoor billboards using the hashtag #DontCatchAndDrive. The billboards reminded players to keep their eyes on the road and provided a clever marketing hook.
Using Pokemon GO for business is possible for almost any small business. It takes some creativity and forethought, especially for businesses that don’t naturally intersect with gaming. But it’s possible, and it’s a great way to capitalize on the trend.