How to use Pokemon GO for business, foot traffic, and local business marketing

Sharing is caring!

Five tactics to use Pokemon GO for Business

Pokemon GO is the first interactive mobile app to hit the mainstream and you can use Pokemon Go for business. The game is linked with Google maps and requires the user to go to different locations in order to find mystical creatures called Pokemon.; the game effectively turns your phone into a family- friendly treasure hunt and is physically moving people out of their houses and into the public space where your business exists in real life.

Millennials and younger have been seen face-to-phone,  roaming parks, national monuments, and other physical locations playing the game. I’m not a gamer by any means but Pokemon GO has me grinning from ear-to-ear as my boys and I clamor around the phone to trap a Pokemon.

Pokemon GO users playing the park

Image from the Wall Street Journal

Using Pokemon GO for business is a good idea because engagement on the app is through the roof, beating out Twitter with more daily active users, and more engagement than Facebook with users spending an average of 43 minutes on the app vs Facebook’s 20. The interactive nature of the business is a HOME RUN for local brick and mortar businesses, real estate agents, and retail businesses. Obviously this trend won’t last forever but the very nature of the app places brik and mortar business in a unique place to capitalize.

Learning the key features listed below, you’ll be able to drive real foot traffic into your location and capture new customers

1. Submit your business to become a Pokestop.

A Pokestop is a special location where users can get special bonuses and power-ups. They recharge every 5 minutes so once a user accesses the bonuses they can return after five minutes to access them again. Pokestops can been seen from the main app interface. All these people we’re seeing in parks and at national or historical monuments are following Pokestops.

To use Pokemon GO for business, submit your business to become a Pokestop and therefore drive foot traffic into your location.

A Pokestop at the Spaghetti Factory in San Marcos, CA
  • Have Pokemon GO specific flyers and signage on your doors, at your counter, and in the restrooms. Offer special discounts to the user based on their current score or player level. You can even have a “Player of the Week” board to encourage repeat visits and encourage your new customers to post pics and tag your business while they are there.
  • Currently only select businesses and locations are Pokestops and these locations have been pre-determined by the games makers. You might be interested to know that the game’s founder John Hanke once lead the development teams at Google maps and pioneered much of that technology. In leaving Google, Hanke developed a mobile game similar to Pokemon GO called Ingress. That game had users setting up portals and other actions in various locations across the globe. It’s very likely that today’s Pokestop’s are based on the locations of Ingress portals.

2. Create a Lure at your business location

A lure will attract Pokemon. As Pokemon gather near your lure, users in your area will get alerts that Pokemon are close by. Those users will then walk into your location to find Pokemon! This is a key part of using Pokemon GO for business.

Lures only last for 30 minutes and they are made available to users through gameplay but also as upsells in the app. Lures were designed for lazy (or location- restrained) players to find Pokemon without having to traverse locations. Lures are super effective for your business because they benefit all the players- not just the person who sets the lures.

Lure's placed in your store will attract users to your store.


  • Set up a series of lure’s every hour on the half-hour during your peak hours (IE: 1:30, 2:30, 3:30). Remember they will run for 30 minutes and then expire. Have a “selfie area” in your store for users to take a picture and encourage them to snap and share on social media. To thrust your efforts into hyper-drive, promote a contest for Pokemon GO users who come into your store and take pictures. For example:

“Whoever’s pic get the most likes wins a $100 gift card to my store.”

  • Email your list to let them know about the contest. This way, they’re encouraged to come into your store outside of their regular visits. As you take more pics and host on your Facebook page, the more those users will like and share the pics to win the $100 prize.  Doing so exposes your fan page to hundreds if not thousands of local potential customers and a Pokemon GO for business “gold star” strategy.

3. Scale your Lure strategy

Remember that this Pokemon GO phase won’t last forever. The American marketplace is fickle so you really have to leverage your efforts NOW while the game is hot. If you’ve already created a lure strategy, now you’ll want to run it every day of the week and record the results on a whiteboard or excel doc.

Here’s an example: 

  • 8 Lures cost 680 coins.
  • If you run a lure every hour during an 8-hour day for 7 days then you’ll need 4,760 coins.
  • You can buy this amount of coins in the app for $11 (1200 coins for $9.99 + (2) 100 coins for $0.99 each).
  • In total that’s $11 per day for 7 days or $77.
Pay for coins to purchase lures that drive foot traffic.
  • Measure your results in people per hour and record which hours brings in the most people.
  • From there, focus your investment on only the days and times that get your most desirable results. If Monday and Tuesday are duds but Wednesday brings in 10 new people then cut Monday and Tuesday from your lure-schedule and add a second lure per hour on Wednesday. You’ll save money (as if these tiny amounts really qualify as “money”) but also increase the effectiveness of your campaign.

4. Promote your efforts on social media!

Video ads on Facebook are incredibly affordable for local retailers and brick-and-mortar stores. For many Videospot clients, we’ve achieved costs as low as $0.01 per view. Use my scripting template to create a short video using your mobile device and let people know when the lures will be running.

Pokemon GO for business purposes might take a small ad-spend but that’s the current nature of the social media landscape. With small amounts like these, even the tiniest marketing budget can do well.


  • Post the video to your Facebook page and BOOST THE POST all week to local residents within 10 miles. In a best case scenario, you could be get 2,000 views on your video and drive lots of new feet into your business.

5. Add new visitors on Snapchat

The Pokemon GO audience is largely the same audience that’s on Snapchat. Pokemon may be gone tomorrow but Snapchat will be around for a while. Get connected to this future audience now by adding them to your Snapchat. Doing so will force you to use Snapchat (if you’re not already) while also showing your new potential customers that you are socially relevant to them. See my video on how to get started on Snapchat.

Snapchat: owenhemsath

Snapchat: owenhemsath

  • On your Pokemon GO signage or flyers, include your Snapcode and actually ask all users to add you on Snapchat (if they don’t have it – no worries!). When permanently connecting with users by adding them on Snapchat makes your effort more permanent.
  • You can even offer a secret tip or a coupon as an added incentive to add you. Though we don’t know if these people are directly qualified to buy from you right now but as a brick and mortar it’s likely that they or their parents would use your service in the next 30 days.

Above all remember this…

You need to move on this now. You waited on Twitter. You waited on YouTube. And now here you are with a huge opportunity to capitalize on Pokemon GO for business. Follow the steps in this blog today.

Start with #1, then #2. After that, skip right to #4. Come back to #3 and #5 after your first week.

I’ve mentioned several times that this trend won’t last forever so the time to take action is right now. Get the new customers into your store and connected to you on social media where you can put them into your funnel.

RELATED: How to build a marketing funnel in your website (video)

If you’re using Pokemon GO for your business and would like to talk about your results on my Facebook Live Show – please reach out to me on Messenger. If you’ve run into snags on any of the tips above please reach me at the same link.

Thanks for reading! Please considering sharing this article on social.

Owen Video

Owen Video is the CEO of Owen Video where we teach service-based business owners how to get more customers FASTER with online video marketing. Owen is a pioneer in the industry and a regular contributor to Tubebuddy, Agorapulse, GetResponse Email Marketing, and BeLive.TV and he's also the host of The Business of Video Podcast.

Leave a Comment