If you haven't yet heard of the Pokémon Go craze, all you have to do is crawl out from under your rock and take an evening stroll in your closest populated area. Immediately, you should witness groups of 20-somethings walking around, heads down, staring at their phones. In fact, Pokémon Go already has as many Daily Active Users as Twitter—and the number is still increasing!
As of July 8, the app was being used for an average of 43 minutes, 23 seconds per day, which is higher than Instagram, Snapchat and Messenger. Businesses everywhere are quick to capitalize on potential game players who will be in the area, and destinations are also jumping at the opportunity.
What is Pokémon Go? In a nutshell, it's an app that tracks players using GPS and places catchable Pokémon characters in real-world places. Pokémon Go isn't a game played sitting in one place. It requires players to walk around areas to "hunt" Pokémon. Pokémon Go is the closest we've come to virtual reality, and it feeds players' desire to connect with their community in a unique—and, yes, addictive—way.
A big part of the game is the "Pokéstops," which motivate players to visit real-world places such as restaurants, landmarks, historical sites, zoos, et cetera. The more Pokéstops a player visits, the more Pokécoins he or she can gather to continue playing the game for free.
Here are some tips on how the tourism industry could maximize the app's opportunities. After all, we're all about getting people to "Go!"
Advertise via social media, signage, et cetera:
- Average number of Pokémon that players catch per visit.
- Unique Pokémon or Pokémon with a high CP (combat power) in the area.
- Free Wi-Fi (if possible)—Pokémon Go uses a lot of data, so players are looking to save their data as much as possible.
- Phone chargers—the app drains batteries quickly.
If your business is lucky enough to have a Pokéstop nearby, take full advantage of the opportunity by:
- Advertising that it's a Pokéstop, which means free items for the players with the app.
- Downloading Pokémon Go and investing in Lure Modules. Lure Modules will attract Pokémon (including unique Pokémon) to the area and can be used by everyone in the area for 30 minutes. This means your Pokéstop is better than any ordinary Pokéstop! Be sure to alert customers as to when you'll be putting the Lure Modules on, because they are time-sensitive!
Most important—embrace the app and have fun!
Download Pokémon Go so you can connect with customers having Pokémon-related conversations. Not only is playing Pokémon Go good for business, but you may just enjoy yourself along the way.
Written by Ashley Micallef, Media Sales and Service Coordinator for Groups Today magazine and eDaily (RealAsh91).