By Sadie Hernandez [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
If you’re looking to catch ‘em all — customers, that is — you should hop on the latest gaming phenomenon: Pokémon Go.
Now we’re not just talking about promoting the fact that your store, restaurant or headquarters are a PokéStop or Pokémon Gym. Businesses have a great opportunity to capture consumers’ attention by incorporating the game and their favorite Pokémon into marketing campaigns, emails, social posts and even in-location events.
Let’s consider the general public’s response to Pokémon Go since its release about a month ago. Download rates and worldwide revenue results have been staggering: Since its release, in-app sales have totaled more than $200 million in revenue, according to Sensor Tower. Pokémon trainers are also spending more time in the app each day than they are on Facebook, which is undeniably the largest, most active social network out there.
There’s no way Pokémon Go is going to disappear anytime soon. In fact, John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, the company behind the hit game, has confirmed to the New York Times that they will be unveiling sponsored locations in the near future. So all marketers and brands should think of ways they can capitalize on the buzz.
Need some inspiration? Here are some examples from leading brands and some best practices you can capitalize on:
1. Catch Pokémon in the Act
Rebecca Minkoff is a clothing, shoes and accessories retailer with a diverse product assortment and price range that appeals to women and girls of all ages. Because its primary audience is millennials, the Rebecca Minkoff social team decided to show that Pokémon were roaming in the brand’s SoHo store and that employees would be luring critters in during the weekend. The post not only showed that the brand was in tune with the Pokémon craze but that the team was excited to bring people and Pokémon together in the store — making it a vibrant Pokémon Go hub.
Although brands can also promote their in-location activities using actual signage, social media is an effective way to connect with a larger, more diverse audience. You also have the opportunity to snap an image, add a filter and caption, which makes the experience more compelling and eye-catching.
2. Make a Connection To Your Products
All types of businesses have the opportunity to tie their products to Pokémon Go. We found a few great examples from three different types of companies to show you what we mean.
Benefit Cosmetics always posts photos of their collections on Instagram. For this image, the brand paired a Jigglypuff with its line of brow products, which includes new tones. The main message? “Gotta catch ‘em all!” Benefit Cosmetics was able to apply the fun tagline (and even a recognizable character) with its latest product release. The image garnered more than 50,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
Amazon used the Pokemon Go craze to help sell electronics like this wireless phone charger. Why? As Amazon says… “because #PokemonGO.”
— Amazon (@amazon) July 11, 2016
Optimum also saw the Pokémon Go phenomenon as an opportunity to promote its Optimum hotspots. The tweet is simple yet effective, showing Pokémon’s main character, Ash, throwing a Pokéball and telling followers to find a wifi hotspot to play the game, so they don’t use up all their data.
— Optimum (@optimum) July 11, 2016
3. Create a Community For Pokémon-Loving Customers
You can boost foot traffic and engagement in your stores or hotels by promoting that you have Pokémon roaming around, but what happens once consumers get to your location? Are you adding anything else to the experience to make it compelling? Are you offering special deals or coupons for Pokémon players? If you’re using Pokémon Go to drive people to your locations, you need to follow through by offering a great experience.
Hotel giant Marriott partnered with Hyp3r, which provides an engagement platform for venues, to create M Live, a real-time command center, that collects on-location social activity and engages with guests in real time. Instead of just sending tweets divulging that Pokémon were roaming the halls, social managers are able to track social feedback and location activity, and then respond to guests and share updates in real time.
“Sometimes all you have to do is sit back, relax, and let your guests become your photographers/marketers/evangelists,” Hyp3r noted in a blog post, “creating authentic content you can feature in your official social channels.”
Marriott even decided to sponsor Nick Johnson, a Brooklyn-based Pokemon player who is on his way to catching all 150 Pokémon. He has already caught all 142 monsters available in the United States. The hotel chain will help him travel the world and reach his goal. How cool is that? Your business may not have the same budget, but you can do something similar on a smaller scale. Host Pokémon walks or parties. Roam your area in a large group and give out refreshments in your locations.
You could even take cues from Best Buy and create a digital hub for Pokémon trainers. On the dedicated site, trainers can sift through a variety of products that align with their Pokémon-hunting needs, from portable chargers to smartphone cases and even fitness trackers so they can see how far they’ve traveled. The electronics retailer promoted the online shop through social to capture attention.
— Best Buy (@BestBuy) July 22, 2016
Pokémon Go is sweeping the world and it will only continue to evolve and grow over time. To capitalize on the trend, test some or all of the tactics above and see how your fans, followers and customers respond.
Want to learn more about how you can captivate customers and engage them during their unique journeys? Download our latest guide.