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If you follow the news, chances are you’ve heard about the release of Nintendo’s first mobile app, Pokemon GO. The game made its debut in the US on July 6th, and is already the biggest mobile game in US History. It surpassed twitter in daily active users after a mere 5 days of being available. If you see swarms of millennials walking down the street, glued to their smartphones, they’re probably playing.

Pokemon GO combines the real world with virtual reality, getting players up off their couch and out exploring their neighborhoods. This is a huge opportunity for small local businesses to boost their foot traffic for a relatively small investment.

The Data Behind Pokemon GO

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How to drive local business with Pokemon Go

I recently read an article featured on Inc.com about how to use Pokemon GO to drive foot traffic. It is a must read for small businesses. Click here to read the full article, or to summarize:

  • Find out if your business is a gym or PokeStop – What makes Pokemon Go different from many other games is that it doesn’t keep people shut up in their rooms. The game runs off an augmented reality HUD, or heads-up display, of the real world. Players’ avatars explore with them as they catch Pokemon, collect rewards from PokeStops, battle other users at Gyms, and team up to defend their territory.

    Figuring out whether your business is a PokeStop or Gym is the first thing you should do. PokeStops and Gyms attract foot traffic without any effort. Players flock to them for rewards and to battle other players. They can be leveraged for massive sales if you know how.
  • Throw down a lure and wait for users to flock – Lures last for 30 minutes and increase the rate of Pokemon visiting a PokeStop. Luring is a powerful tool that small businesses can use to boost traffic. For a little more than a dollar an hour, you can bring virtually guaranteed crowds to your business. The ROI here is ridiculous, so if your business is anywhere near a PokeStop, this is something you absolutely have to try.

Someone in my household caught the Pokemon bug, and earlier this week we decided to go grab dinner in town. We actually chose the restaurant specifically because a lure was activated at that location. While we browsed the menu we caught over 10 Pokemon. I also noticed several other customers who were playing Pokemon too. They ranged in age from two young boys with their parents, to a group of 30 something year old women.

  • Take your Business on the Road – One way to make your business a part of the Pokemon Go phenomenon is to get mobile and find a spot from which to orchestrate the Lure or Gym strategies. Go where the Pokemon Roam. Since Pokemon are everywhere, you want to go where you have the best chance of finding success. Take advantage of places where you have clusters of PokeStops.
  • Promote Your Pokemon activity on social media – One way to get people excited about visiting your business is to get on social media and show off the valuable or rare Pokemon popping up in your area.

Using Pokemon GO as part of your marketing strategy is a no brainer if you’re a B2C company. If your audience skews younger, even better. Get on trend and start marketing your local business now. Though this may be “just a fad”, seize the moment and take advantage of it now. You have a chance to create a strong emotional bond with customers and show how “cool” your business can be.

Let us know in the comments section if you tried promoting your business with Pokemon GO and what the outcome was.

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