Pokémon Go has quickly become the most used app of all-time, with over 100 million new downloads in a little more than a month. Users spend an average of 26 minutes a day in-app. To put that in perspective, that's more time than users spend daily on Facebook. All of this means marketing with Pokémon Go is a great tool for nonprofits aiming to reach millennials.
Millennials grew up with Pokémon in the 80's and 90's and now, as adults, are more committed than previous generations to donating to local nonprofits and charities to which they feel a personal connection. It's the perfect confluence of interests for your nonprofit client to take advantage of.
Currently, "Pokéstops" and "Gymnasiums" are assigned to pre-selected areas within cities, determined by the game maker Niantic. Most Pokéstops are in public places such as parks, popular landmarks and statues, but Niantic has been promising Sponsored Pokéstops since they rolled the game out. With users, or Pokémon “trainers”, spending over $160 million dollars in the first month, the opportunity to grab a sliver of that money will only dramatically increase once Sponsored Pokéstops are available.
With a little bit of creativity, your nonprofit clients can easily cash-in on the craze that's getting people off their couches and out into the streets.
Lo-Fi Pokémon Go Marketing
The Tried and True Way
Press flesh, folks. It's that simple. Just like Grandma and the church deacons, the easiest way to increase exposure for your client is to set up shop at a public location already attracting Pokémon Go trainers by the hordes.
All it takes is one person within the organization to download the Pokémon Go app in order to find out where the nearest Pokéstop or Gym is located. Pokéstops are locations where players can acquire anything a Pokémon trainer could ever need, from Revives and Potions, to Pokémon eggs and Pokéballs. Gyms are battlegrounds where level five players and above choose from one of three teams, Instinct, Valor and Mystic, then battle it out with their Pokémon for control of the gym.
Getting the word out, and adding to your contact list, could be as simple and low-cost as having a greeter from your organization at one of these locations to spread the word about your local charity or nonprofit client.
Pokémon Go Revive Station
Help the Trainers themselves revive with a Revive Station sponsored by the nonprofit. Consider setting up a table stocked with free bottles of water, snacks, and candy. Of course, you'll want to have signage prominently displaying your nonprofit client's name, and quick and easy reading material at the ready to hand out. Water and snacks could be given in exchange for contact info. Either way, putting a face and a smile with the nonprofit's name will go a long way.
If possible, a free charging station to juice the batteries on their phones would make your nonprofit client the most popular kid at the playground. Remember, the more brief and to the point your message is, the better when it comes to dealing with Millennials. They have Pokémon to catch, after all.
Catch Potential Donors at the Malls, too
Shopping malls have been using Lures and Pokéstops as a way to increase foot traffic. With the promise of free wifi, usually requiring an email to connect, malls are able to gather data that may be available to your client with a simple partnership. Local malls are filling up with Pokémon enthusiasts who might be interested in your client's cause.
Plan Events near Pokéstops
Plan your clients' next event in the same public space as a Pokéstop. Does the nonprofit work with rescue dogs? Hold their next fundraiser at a park that's popular with dog lovers, and also happens to be a Pokéstop or near a Poké Gym. Coupled with the suggestions above, hiring an on-site Pokémon Go Expert is an added step that could greatly increase the likelihood of potential donors interacting with your clients' Pokémon Go Revive Station at their next fundraiser.
Hi-Fi Marketing with Pokémon Go
Lure them Directly to the Organization's Location
Dropping a Pokémon “Lure module”, which lasts 30 minutes, attracts wild Pokémon right to your doorstep. And with an influx of Pokémon, trainers and potential donors will soon follow. For only $1.19 per hour you can drop lures all day, pulling new people in with the promise of wild Pokémon running rampant.
Social Media Opportunities
When the lure is set and the Pokémon trainers start showing up, exchange access to the Pokémon for a quick and easy picture taken with your organization's sign and a catchy, Pokémon related hashtag. Not only is it free marketing, but you can just as easily find and follow those who post to their various social media accounts. Just like that, you've started a relationship with a potential donor.
Partner with Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants and bars were among the first to jump on the Pokémon Go marketing bandwagon. Pokémon specific happy hours, discounts, and specials have been wildly successful for some restaurants. Often they are next to a Pokéstop, or purchase a lure to bring in customers.
Partnering with a restaurant or bar is an easy tax-break for the owners of the establishment, and a great Pokémon marketing strategy. Common partnership deals include a percent of food sales, or a percent of a particular dish or drink's profits being donated to the charity. It's a win-win for both the nonprofit and the restaurant. They pay for the lure, provide the goods and the service, and the nonprofit helps them save on taxes while reaping the benefits financially. You can even have fun with different discounts for higher levels of players, or pit teams against each other to see who can raise the most money within an hour.
As an added bonus, expanding your contact list will be easier than ever, when email and contact info in exchange for discounted food and drinks are at stake.
Lastly, remember to keep an eye out for Sponsored Locations. Once Niantic enables companies to purchase sponsored Pokéstop locations, your client can turn their office into a Pokémon hotbed.
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