It is hard these days to walk around without seeing a person staring down at their phone. Now, it is even more of an occurrence with the release of Pokémon Go. You won't be getting any annoying invites to play the game on Facebook, you have to actually go out in to the real world to play and enjoy it.
Pokémon Go combines the game world of Pokémon with the real world through GPS locations and augmented reality (AR).
What does that mean?
It means that players actually have to actually get up off the couch and venture outside to play. If you want to catch a water type Pokémon, you have to go near a body of water. Real life locations are transformed into Pokémon Gyms and PokéStops, which become the hotspots for in-game items and Pokémon battles as players walk by. At the time of writing this, I've walked almost 10km to hatch a Pokémon egg and I have no idea what it will turn in to.
The game is currently available on Android and iOS devices. On both platforms, it is the #1 app edging out Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other social platforms. It has also been getting more swipes than Tinder, according to SimilarWeb. Players aren't just downloading it and forgetting to play either. Players are spending an average of 43 minutes a day playing, which is more than the time spent on Instagram per day. If it hasn't already, Pokémon will overtake Twitter in daily active users.
What does that mean for your business?
If your business or shop happens to be a Pokémon Gym or PokéStop, you could be seeing some increased foot traffic and you should be embracing it! All you have to do is download the app and check the map once you've set up an account.
Remember, players don't have to physically stand on top of the locations to interact with them, there is a radius to each interaction area. You'll want to entice those players to physically come in to your store or business through social media or posting sign. Turn those Pokémon players into customers!
- Use Pokémon to attract customers. Post photos to your social networks if a Pokémon has been spotted in or near your location.
- Announce on your social networks that you've placed or will be placing a Pokémon Lure. These lures can be found in-game by playing or you can purchase them through the in-game store. It costs 100 Pokécoins for a lure, which costs $.99. That will give you 30 minutes of potential customer attraction.
- If you don't want to spend money in-game, take it offline. Try a simple sign outside the store or in your window encouraging Pokémon Go players to stop by your business. You can even offer special Poké-discounts or freebies. This is a great way to interact with your customers and generate more foot traffic for your business, as well.
Just remember to have fun with it! The people playing are having fun and your brand should, too. Remember, however, just because this is today's hot trend doesn't mean you have to shoehorn your brand in to take advantage of it.
Pokémon Go has only been available for a short time and while a lot of players are playing, no one can predict it's staying power. The app is free with no ads, so it won't make any money, however, it does have in-game purchases. According to SensorTower, the game is making around $1.6 million per day and that revenue estimate is limited to iOS only. There is always a possibility for charging for new content (new items, player customizable items, new Pokémon, etc.), but will people be playing it a year from now? Time will tell.