Unless you've spent the last couple of weeks hiding, you must have noticed the new game sweeping the globe. Pokemon Go is as much as a phenomenon as the original series was, way back in the 90s.
The augmented reality, mobile exploration game is a veritable hit, destroying Twitter in terms of active users and doubling the engagement of Snapchat. Indeed, it's hard to scroll through any social media or news related website without seeing a story about Pokemon Go.
For those not in the know, the video game uses GPS to allow users to find Pokemon, which are digitally placed around the globe. This means that users are walking around seeking out new creatures to catch, and that's very good news for small businesses.
Augmented reality is on the rise everywhere, and getting on top of it is a great way to drive up revenue. The best advice we can give you is to research all new trends and stay ahead of the crowd.
As far as Pokemon Go goes, here's our top tips for turning the game into a commercial success for your business.
1. Is your business a gym or Pokestop?
The first thing you need to work out is whether or not your business is a Gym or a PokeStop. As users walk around their virtual world, they can interact with Pokemon, they can collect rewards from PokeStops and they can "battle" users at the Gym.
Because these two locations naturally attract users, if your business is one of these, you need to make the most of it:
Okay, so you really do need to get into this game to make the most of it. But believe us when we tell you it will be worth it.
If your business happens to be a PokeStop, "lures" are your best bet.
"Lures" are a kind of in-app purchase. For a half an hour period they make Pokemon spawn at a higher rate around the PokeStop.
So by simply placing a "lure", you should see an increase in the number of people entering your business looking for these new Pokemon.
It's half an hour, and it's not free, but it's definitely worthwhile. Just by browsing some of the online testimonials from businesses you'll see just how lucrative this strategy can be.
To purchase lures, simple enter the shop from within the game, scroll down until you see the lure. Once you've purchased it it will appear in "items" until you're ready to play.
Don't worry if your business isn't a PokeStop either, even if it's just near one, it's worth it.
You can't put lures down at gyms, but that really doesn't matter. Users will constantly turn up at Gyms to battle for control regardless.
There isn't necessarily anything you can do "in game" to make the most of your proximity to a gym, but there's more than a few things you can do in real life.
Run a marketing campaign based around the Pokemon Go game; offer free goodies to anyone sharing pictures of themselves playing the game inside your business; offer discounts to members of the team currently "controlling" the gym; or simply offer discounts to those who can prove they're playing the game - getting more people inside your cafe, store or business.
Make sure you use the relevant hashtags for whatever you decide: #pokemon #pokemongo
4. Social Media
Maybe your business isn't remotely close to a PokeStop or a Gym, don't worry! Pokemon will still spawn near you, and the best thing you can do to make the most of it is seize the opportunity.
Get active on social media, show off rare Pokemon popping up near you, tweet photos of people playing the game inside your business and just really promote, promote, promote.
By just being part of the phenomenon, you can drive sales.
You could even run competitions, offering customers great deals if they manage to catch a rare Pokemon on your premises, or even nearby!
If you're not sure what counts as rare, check out this chart.
5. Ignore the killjoys
People love to mock what's popular, but ignore them.
The people calling this game a fad are missing the point. Augmented reality is real and it's happening, with the success of this game, the technology is only going to become more prevalent. Get on top of this trend now, and you'll be ready to seize on whatever comes next!