Find out how to use Pokémon GO to increase your in-store marketing efforts with this blog from Smarter Searches.

Pokémon GO has captured people’s hearts and phone screens in an astounding way. With 21 million active users daily, and over 6 million mentions on Twitter in less than a week, the mobile game’s popularity is creating new opportunities for advertisers, marketers, and business owners everywhere. While trends come and go, this one just might be worth hopping on the advertising (or playing) bandwagon.

“Embrace that this is a hot thing right now,” said Matt Lovell of Table 211 Restaurant Consulting. “Don’t shy away from it. It’s not just kids playing the game. Millions of adults, who have real spending power, are wandering all over cities looking to catch Pokémon.”

So what even is this game all about? Pokémon GO is a mobile game that allows players to explore their cities while trying to capture the Pokémon characters. The GPS on a user’s smartphone directs the person to the where the character might be hiding. Along the way, players are prompted to drop by either a “Pokéstop” or a “Pokémon Gym” to find supplies or compete with other players. That’s where local business get a major boost. As players come to find Pokémon, they may also discover a new, favorite store. The game’s popularity has exploded, and there are even more ways business owners can use the popularity to serve their in-store business. Here are 3 ways:

1. Play: Lure Modules are elements within the game that attract Pokémon characters to Pokéstops for thirty minutes. This means that any player in the area, who can see the Pokéstop on their map, will be directed to come to your business in search of the characters. Business owners can buy Lures within the app, which are only $0.59 when they are bulk-purchased. Depending on who businesses are targeting, this can be a good way to drive some foot traffic to your store. Another tip is to advertise the time of the day you will be placing your Lure Module so players know when to come and catch their Pokémon.

2. Give Incentives for Social Shares: Reward players, not just for stopping in for Pokémon, but for sharing your business on their social platforms. One idea could be something like this: If a player catches a Pokémon at your store and shares it on Facebook with a location, you give them a 15% off discount on their next purchase. Your best Pokémon business strategy should not only leverage the game but the social networks the players use.

3. Reward Players: For a quicker incentive, offer Pokémon GO players a direct, immediate reward. For instance, you could advertise that players who reach level 5 will receive a free item if they visit your store. Your main objective is to “lure” the gamers to your store, share their excitement, and treat them well. In turn, you will likely convert them into a customers who spreads the word about you — and your business — to their friends.

Pokémon GO is definitely an interesting fad, phenomenon, and game of our time. However, like all fads it will surely fade or transition into something new. However, for right now, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the energy, steam, and movement it’s gaining. So, GO! Gain some new business out of the phenomenon.

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