Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the beginning of July, you’ve likely heard at least a thing or two about Pokémon GO, the infectious augmented reality mobile game that people just can’t get enough of. While catching Squirtle, Pikachu and Charmander may seem to benefit brick-and-mortar stores more than a website, there are still several valuable lessons to be learned from the game that can strengthen your online marketing strategy, including:
Stay on top of the latest trends
Clearly, Pokémon GO is a game changer. Never before has a game been able to connect with the nostalgia of the past and actually bring it back to life in the world in which we now live on such a massive scale. The reason why the game is so successful is it was one of the first to catch hold of a new trend and take it mainstream. The same is happening now with virtual reality (Samsung Galaxy VR) and live video (Facebook Live and Periscope). For your website, you’ll need to stay on top of the latest trends your audience is interested in and beat the competition by capitalizing on that trend first.
Understand that localization has its limits
Since the early 1990s, Pokémon changed the names of its characters in other countries. This has created new challenges with the new Pokémon GO game due to its massive reach. People trying to catch Pokémon all over the world may not be familiar with their names for each language. Any business can face similar struggles with a product or service in other countries. It’s important to note for your online marketing strategy that localization has its limits, especially if what you’re launching will have a significant global impact.
Keep leveraging SEO
It’s hard to tell how long the hype will continue for Pokémon GO, but based on other games like Candy Crush, Heads Up and others, it will likely follow their same trend of having major success and then tapering off over time while still maintaining many loyal players. It could also become a fad and soon other augmented reality or even more innovative games may take its place. This is similar to how your products and services will perform on your website. While they may have an initial period of major success, customers over time may lose interest and eventually move onto other things. Fads will come and go so that’s why your site needs to always leverage SEO. If people can still find you via search and your content is engaging, they’ll keep coming back to your website regardless whether what you sell is a fad or not.
Prepare for times of low engagement
Pokémon GO is already preparing for certain times of the year when the game will experience periods of low engagement. For example, areas that experience harsh winter storms will be less likely to have legions of people willing to brave freezing cold temperatures to find and catch Pokémon. Likewise, your website will need to prepare for times of the year when people won’t be as engaged. Based on your business model, you may need to create marketing campaigns to keep people coming back or plan to sell big on the days your audience tends to be most engaged.
Offer a worldwide experience in unique ways
Pokémon GO has been successful in providing a fun game in a new innovative way. Other games in the future will push the envelope even more and open gaming to new possibilities. To continue being successful, Niantic, Inc., the company behind Pokémon GO, will need to adapt and make the game more innovative or even create new games. Your website will also need to adapt to the interests of your customers as well in order to reach a global audience. If you keep doing the same things, you could risk losing your audience to the competition. Continue to change things up whether it’s the design, new promotions or even new content.
There is a lot that every website can learn from Pokémon GO. Keeping these lessons in mind will help you to become a smarter business that will attract more customers wherever they are online.