Posts Taged pokemon-go

Round Up: How Businesses are Using Pokemon Go

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Earlier this summer, Pokémon Go hysteria swept the globe. Fueled by nostalgia and one of the first widespread iterations of augmented reality, the app became the most downloaded app in a first week ever. Groups of Pokémon trainers traversing the streets, phone in hand, became a common sight in many cities, and many families found a fun activity together that involved exercise and heading outdoors.

Businesses quickly took notice of amazing marketing opportunity. While the app as taken a downturn in usage due to some botched updates, there’s still a great chance for businesses to capitalize at little to no cost, and have some fun in the process. In the future, Pokémon Go will likely have opportunities for businesses to pay to become a PokeStop or a Gym location, making it even easier to draw in players. Until then, here are some examples of businesses using the app in unique ways to boost sales and their reputation that you can steal ideas from.

A new way to explore the Denver Zoo

Soon after the app’s release, the Denver Zoo jumped at the chance to use it to boost attendance during their typically slow July weekends. Armed with $380 of in-game lures (a tool in the app that draws Pokémon to the area it’s dropped in for a set period of time), the zoo’s marketing team offered a $5 admission to guests who showed the app at the ticket window, and then spread the lures throughout their grounds. During the July 22-24 weekend, the zoo brought in $58,000 in revenue from Pokémon Go players and beat attendance projections by 5,000 people. Guests enjoyed catching the virtual creatures while also learning about the real life animals that live at the zoo and the organization’s conservation efforts.

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Board the Pokémon Express in Cheyenne, Wyoming

After a staff member of Visit Cheyenne noticed that there were around 40 PokeStops along the city’s historic trolley route, the tourism organization knew they’d hit a goldmine. They created a Pokémon Express Tour for two days in July. Participants paid $10 to take a slightly altered version of the trolley’s route, which included extended stops at particularly active PokeStops. The tours sold out quickly, and the organization offered four more in August and one in September, citing the great marketing opportunity for local businesses along the route.

A Michigan bank offers a social media contest and gift cards

Monroe Bank and Trust in Michigan put together a Facebook contest that nearly any business with a store front could copy. The bank announced in a post that they’d be dropping lures at select ATM and bank locations. When participants found the location and caught a Pokémon there, they could take a picture and share it on the bank’s page for a chance to win a variety of gift cards.

Doing good while catching Pokémon

There have been several great stories about Pokémon Go players finding ways to use their hobby to do good while they level up. An animal shelter in Muncie, Indiana teamed up with local players to walk their adoptable dogs while they played the game. A local news crew filmed a segment on the story which was then featured nationwide and provided a huge boost to the shelter’s Facebook page. Players have also organized groups to pick up trash in their cities while playing and simultaneously used other apps while on the hunt for Pokémon that donate to a selected charity based on how many steps you walk. Nonprofits have a unique chance to connect with local players by offering them the ability to play the game while volunteering.

T-Mobile offers free data for Pokemon Go trainers

T-Mobile jumped on the Pokémon Go bandwagon early with offers for their customers that included free, unlimited data for the app for a year and free Lyft rides to popular PokeStops. While the unlimited data portion of this plan is controversial due to how it may or may not set a good net neutrality precedent, T-Mobile is an example of how nearly any type of business can participate and connect with Pokémon Trainers.

What’s Next

For cities heading into winter, it’s possible that the app will see another down turn in usage thanks to players staying inside out of the weather for a few months. Still, since participating is relatively low cost for businesses, it’s still worthwhile to consider how your organization can use the app in your marketing. Inc. has a handy guide for jumping in – take advantage of the opportunity to connect with your customers authentically and try something new!

3 Takeaways from Digital Summit Portland 2016

digital summit portland content marketing

This past week, I was able to attend the inaugural Digital Summit Portland at the Portland Art Museum. A meeting of the minds among social media, SEO, content marketing, and UX experts, the conference provided a wealth of information and networking opportunities. Speakers from companies like Pinterest, Microsoft, Facebook, and Uber gave me some inspiration for our clients’ programs. The conference provided a guide on where the digital realm is going in the next few years. For the first year, the conference was very successful, and I’m looking forward to what next year’s event will bring.

Three key takeaways I found during the Summit:

Jump on the Pokemon GO Bandwagon Now

Pokemon GO hasn’t been live even a month yet, and it’s already taking over the digital world. Every single talk I went to mentioned the augmented reality (AR) game. Plenty of conference goers were catching the creatures on their cell phones in between sessions. By day 2 of the conference, the app had surpassed Twitter in daily active users on Android.

Virtual reality and AR are tools we already know will affect communications in the next decade, and Pokemon GO is one of the first wide-spread iterations of this technology. Because the game encourages players to visit real life locations that have been marked as “PokeStops” to collect in game items, savvy businesses have already taken advantage of PokeStops located at or near their stores. Users of any kind can purchase “lures” in the game to drop at PokeStops that will attract Pokemon to the site for a set period of time. If a PokeStop is near a business, the store can purchase lures and drop them during business hours to attract people hoping to catch the Pokemon drawn to the lure. This is a great idea for places like coffee shops and cafes. They come for the Pokemon, they stay for a coffee break.

Businesses will also soon be able to pay to be a Sponsored PokeStop if there’s not one near their location.

Content Marketing is just Marketing

Content marketing sounds like a “buzzy” phrase, but according to the experts at Digital Summit Portland, it’s really just marketing. Content marketing has been around for quite some time, and simply focuses on creating personalized experiences for the individuals in your customer base. Based on the discussions at the conference, content marketing is here to stay and will likely be considered a foundational piece of any marketing program in the next few years.

Influencers aren’t defined by follower number

Influencer marketing is a trendy communications topic right now. Social media lifestyle gurus constantly promoting the latest detox tea, work out gear, and makeup. Brands of all kinds want to see their products on the biggest influencers’ pages. However, according to a few panels I sat in on at Digital Summit, the largest, difficult to land influencers aren’t necessarily the best. Follower number doesn’t make you an expert. The key is to know what influencers exist in your arena, and how you can leverage them to talk to your audience. Whether they have 12,000 followers or 1,200 doesn’t matter. Those 1,200 might be key members of your audience you want to reach, and there may be only 500 members of your target audience in that 12,000.

Were you at Digital Summit last week? I’d love to chat with you about what your highlights were!