The Pokemon Go app has quickly become not only one of the most popular smartphone apps in the world, but also a go-to marketing channel for small local business. My company Free Logo Services jumped at the opportunity to research this new app and how it can help businesses grow.  My team explored and tested the platform from every angle to determine exactly how small businesses can use it as an effective marketing tool.

Many businesses have taken advantage of the fact that they are near a PokeStop or Gym to market themselves. These businesses can use Lures, or take advantage of the guaranteed increase in foot traffic because of the game.

However, there are also many businesses that are not located directly next to either, which makes it a bit more difficult.

We ran into this issue while researching this article. After purchasing Lures and planning to run a test for a local independent coffee shop, Boston Brewin, we found out that because there was not a PokeStop at their business, we were not able to use the Lures.

Many small businesses will run into this issue, but this doesn't mean you can't use the app for marketing. You just need to get a bit more creative!

Here are other effective ways to use the app to market your business:

Use other PokeStops near your business

While there might not be a PokeStop specifically for your business, this doesn't mean there are none nearby. You can use Lures at nearby PokeStops to increase foot traffic near your business.  Remember,  the best PokeStop is not always the closest.


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Draw in the foot traffic using physical marketing campaigns

Get the attention of the players you've lured nearby by handing out flyers and business cards, signs, hanging banners, and creating special offers. Make sure you put your logo, the offer, and Pokemon Go on all marketing materials.

Purchasing & Setting Lures to Attract Customers

To Purchase Lures:

  • Open the Pokemon Go app
  • Catch your first Pokemon and you'll get a red Pokeball
  • Tap the red Pokeball at the bottom of the screen and hit "Shop"
  • Scroll down and buy a pack of Pokecoins (the apps currency)
  • Once you have Pokecoins use them to buy a Lure Module

Setting a Lure:

Get close enough to your target PokeStop to access it. Inaccessible PokeStops will be square blue blocks; accessible stops will resemble targets.

Deploy a Lure:

To deploy a lure click the PokeStop, then click the white oval, and select the lure module on the next screen. Once the lure is deployed, the PokeStop will rain pink confetti to attract Pokemon.  


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Social Media Marketing

Don't forget to use Facebook and Twitter to compliment your offline marketing campaigns.

Post about the best PokeStops near you, any Pokemon you've found in the area, and most importantly, any special deals you're offering to players.

Give discounts to players who post screenshots of any Pokemon they find at or near your store.

Marketing With Sponsored Locations 

While this isn't available yet, this will be a great opportunity for businesses that aren't at a pre-existing PokeStop to pay to get one for their business.

Niantic (the game's developer) has announced that they will soon offer the opportunity for sponsored locations by advertisers. This will run on a "cost per visit" basis, which means you will only have to pay for the people you are actually able to draw in.