Unless you have been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you know that Nintendo released the Pokémon GO app and it has taken the world for a spin. If you’re not playing it yourself, you’ve at least heard about it or have seen huge groups of kids on the side of the road staring at their phones collecting PokeBalls at Pokestops and gyms around your neighborhood.
Pokémon GO has had more downloads than popular apps such as Snapchat and Facebook and is now the most downloaded mobile gaming app in the United States. Why is this important to you? Because you can use this as a tool to draw more patients to your practice. Currently, most Pokémon players are between the ages of 12-30 so it’s a great age group to be marketing dental and orthodontic treatment to.
As a local business owner, there’s a very good chance your office could be one of these PokeStops or gyms which means you are luring patients and prospective patients to the door of your practice. If your location isn’t a PokeStop or Gym, it’s highly likely that there is one within blocks. Naintic CEO, John Hanke, has also confirmed that sponsored locations are coming to Pokémon GO, and you can fill out a request for that here.
In the meantime, here are some tips on how to draw people to your practice:
- Pay for a “Lure” to be placed near the practice.
Pokémon GO allows players & businesses to buy “Lures” which increases the number of Pokémon at a PokeStops for 30 minutes. Players go to places where there are lots of Pokémon, so this would draw crowds to your office. For an Orthodontic practice, try this right after school gets out around 3 pm and watch the kids and teens flock to your neighborhood. It only costs a couple of dollars so it’s worth the experiment!
- Organize a Pokémon Hunt that begins & ends at the office.
Choose an afternoon or evening to host a group hunt and offer refreshments and snacks. You can send the invite to the patients and parents via email blast (Sesame can help you with that), and ask them to bring their friends and family. Purchase a few lures around the neighborhood and let them know you have done so, and that will help draw the crowd as well. This would be a great time to have a new patient special such as discounted teeth whitening, Invisalign, Sonicare toothbrush, etc. The end goal would be to encourage participants in the hunt to make an appointment with you after the Pokémon Hunt.
- Purchase social media ads.
Whether you are paying for Lures to be places near the practice or if you already have one there, absolutely advertise that – send email blasts to your patients, post pictures on your social media pages of patients who found PokeBalls around the office, and talk about it with your patients. You can also purchase ads on social media outlets such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Major outlets such as Facebook allow you to target by age, zip code & other demographics so you can pinpoint the demographics of patients you are trying to draw to the practice.
This game is exploding and it’s only going to get bigger, so the best approach you can take is embracing the game and welcoming it into your world of dentistry. If anything, this will create more brand awareness and your practice will be top of mind if you choose to act on any or all of these suggestions.
—Jaime Couden, Senior Sales Manager, Sesame Communications