Local SEO | July 15, 2016
Gotta Catch ‘Em All: The World’s Penchant for Pokémon Go
Have you noticed the increasing number of people walking around in a daze talking about virtual monsters, attacking gyms, hatching eggs and using incense? Don’t panic! The apocalypse hasn’t arrived … but Pokémon Go has!
Children and adults alike have spent the past week with their eyes firmly fixed on their smartphone screens, travelling across the land, as they hunt wild Rattatas, Jigglypuffs and Zubats.
And unless you’ve been locked away in a cave, you must have witnessed the hordes of people gathering at the local PokéStops or you must have at least read about the weird and wonderful things people have been doing to be the very best Pokémon Trainer around.
The Liberty team haven’t been immune from the fad either; we’ve enjoyed snatching Squirtles around the office and finding Drowzees on our desks! And naturally we’re all trying to outdo one another by levelling up faster or evolving the coolest monsters we find … there’s nothing quite like a bit of inter-team rivalry!
But I digress: this is a marketing blog –and we’ve definitely geeked out at the phenomenal impact that Pokémon Go has had online – so let’s take a look at just how much the game has dominated the web.
Pokémon Go is More Popular than David Cameron and Theresa May
This week, the UK has been waiting with bated breath for our new PM to be appointed, so naturally you’d expect David Cameron and Theresa May to be some of the most highly searched for terms … but this hasn’t been the case.
Searches for Pokémon Go vs. political terms. Credit: Google
As you can see from the Google Trends graph, there has been quite some interest in new Prime Minister, Theresa May, but this is by no means comparable to the average UK searches for Pokémon Go over the last 7 days.
We played around with a few terms – pitching Pokémon Go against various political terms, but each one failed to compete.
And It’s Not Just the UK
As reported by The Telegraph on Wednesday, average worldwide searches for the new augmented reality game jumped ahead of searches for *ahem* porn by 33 per cent.
And moving swiftly on, Sensor Tower also revealed that on Monday, the average user spent around 33 minutes playing Pokémon Go, surpassing the time spent on Slither.io, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and even Facebook.
Even Tinder has experienced a swipe left of its own as Similar Web reveal that installs of Pokémon Go are exceeding those of the popular dating app on US Android phones.
And finally, Survey Monkey announced that Pokémon Go is officially the biggest mobile game in the history of the U.S – beating the likes of Candy Crush and Clash Royale – which is a pretty darn impressive feat!
Local Businesses Can Benefit from Pokémon Go’s Popularity
Pokémon Trainers hitting the streets in force has provided the perfect opportunity for local businesses to capitalise on the fandom.
Lure in Those Budding Trainers
If you’re lucky enough to have your business positioned in an area of heavy footfall then you’re likely to notice more Trainers passing by as Pokémon pop up far more frequently in busy locations.
And if you have a PokéStop nearby (or if your building has been marked as a PokéStop) then you’ve really hit the jackpot!
Drop a lure (which aims to draw Pokémon in for 30mins) and watch the Trainers flood to your area; this is particularly beneficial if you run a restaurant or café as fans will happily wait around while the lure is active.
Choose a Team to Support
Another cool way to encourage users of the app to visit your establishment is to align yourself with a particular team.
When users reach level 5, they choose to join one of three teams: Mystic (blue), Valor (red), and Instinct (yellow); by pledging your business’ allegiance to one particular team, and advertising this on a display board outside, you could enjoy an influx of Trainers from the team in question.
*Please note: You should definitely align yourself with Team Mystic (blue) as this is obviously the best team!
*Please also note: I am in no way biased by being a valued and proud member of Mystic!!
Can Online Businesses Join in With the Hype?
Well, why the hell not? If you’ve already got an audience primed to listen to you on your social channels, then take advantage of this. Chances are, a percentage of your followers will already be playing, so use this as an opportunity to engage them.
You could, for example, ask followers to upload screenshots of their strongest Pokémon and the one with the highest CP gets a prize or a discount to use on your online shop; or you could ask users to send in photos of the craziest spot they’ve caught a Pokémon (as long as they’re not putting themselves in danger!!)
If you’re just looking to engage your followers in conversation then make sure you play the game as a business, and share your progress on social channels; sharing hints and tips with your audience and asking them to share their progress with you is a great way to build a community and show your customers that you’re not just there to sell to them!
Sponsored Locations for Businesses
Niantic, the developers of Pokémon Go, have announced that they will be introducing “sponsored locations” allowing businesses to enjoy a slice of the Pokémon pie.
As reported by The Financial Times, John Hanke, Niantic’s Chief Exec, commented that companies will: “pay us to be locations within the virtual game board — the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic”.
So watch this space for an update on your advertising opportunities!
Now please do excuse me … a Raticate is running loose on my desk, so I must capture the little critter!