How to Boost App Engagement Like Pokemon
Over the past weekend, you might have seen it in your Facebook home feed. Along the sidewalks in your neighborhood. The train stations. Parking lots. Or on the way to work. People (including myself) are sticking out their phones and playing one of the most engrossing and engaging apps of all time. An app that has so far “surpassed the daily amount of users (DAU) on Twitter and Tinder, (Business Insider UK) ” or has people spending “more time on it than Instagram or Whatsapp.” (TechCrunch)
Pokémon GO is that app and it’s taking over the world. Although it hasn’t yet reached other markets like Europe, the lineup for this app is so high that they even delayed its launch date. In fact, massive download rates and app usage in the US has caused Pokemon servers to crashes overall.
It’s been nearly 2 decades since Pokemon had explosive hype like this. In the meantime as gamers are chasing and catching as many Pokemons as they can, there are reasons why this app is exploding so fast. Justifying how powerful gamification, mobile engagement, mobile location technologies and the mobile revolution really is stems from Pokemon. Here’s what we learned so far from Pokemon’s success. And here’s my 2 cents on how you can boost engagement in your app like Pokemon.
1. Use geo-locations to enhance the app
Based on where you live, certain Pokemon will be hiding in street corners, behind bushes, to literally sitting in your lap. The app depends on the native locations and environment. For example in the San Francisco’s waterfront there are many water pokemons. Pokemon Go’s location spots are called “poke-stops” where players can gather items. These poke-stops are based on the same geo-fenced coordinates and location data set that was used in another successful AR app, called Ingress. The players of Ingress contributed photos and tags to that certain location. Therefore, Pokemon is using the same geo-skeleton as Ingress. These poke-stops could be metro stations, playgrounds, landmarks, statues, etc. In addition, there are gyms where you capture the pokemon sometimes with other players by tact base, not turn based, and hence, capture the gym. In addition, players can contribute pokemon once the gym has been claimed.
My Tip: Integrating geo-fencing in your app is a clever way to reach users based on their location. You can do so with GPS-enabled capabilities. Imagine tapping into this opportunity by mapping out, for example, H&M stores in the greater Boston area. Then segmenting females who pass through that geo-range with personalized offers or to come into the HM stores in that geo-location.
2. Make it social – both locally and globally
The power of a community works, especially on mobile apps. Although it’s still in the works, players can join a team (red, blue or yellow) and group up with as many (or few) people as they like. As players walk around to poke-stops and discover gyms, they run into other players. As a result, the explosion of Pokemon players over the weekend has caused an uproar on social media like Reddit to Facebook with friendly strangers meeting each other during the game and posting pictures. The phenomenon of gamification apps like Pokemon can literally unite players, engage and share stories in real-life locally and eventually globally. Source: Reddit “Gamers meet in real-life” Source: Reddit “Gamers meet in real-life”
My tip: When you plot out your user journeys, make sure you tap into a social aspect your users. Depending on your app’s value proposition, encourage users to share, play and engage with each other. As a result, you will witness a boost engagement overall and accomplish goals. You have conversion goals that your brand needs to fulfill. For example, drive a sale, drive more footfall traffic into stores or boost time spent in app. So whatever your conversion goal may be, make sure you entice your users to stay social. Enable sharing through an in-app community for better results.
3. Make the mobile experience addicting and rewarding with gamification
The goal is simple: Catch as many pokemon as you can. Thus, the game is based on some physical activity, so walking around and searching for these hidden pokemons. It can be a challenge for some players who aren’t used to getting out and exploring. Players must travel a certain distance in order to see a pokemon egg hatch and grow. But once it’s accomplished, players find it rewarding. Additionally, players are reinforced with progress elements like points, prestige, and levels throughout the game, which is a “must” for a good gamified app. Eventually, the app plans to roll out a global leadership board where the best players are showcased.
My tip: Gamify your app and create a rewards-based system. One way you can measure your user’s behavior inside the app is by awarding a number of loyalty points to users. Also, reward users with relevant offers based on the contextual data you have about them. If you’re worried about the “big brother” data complex, fear not. Pokemon GO proves that users will share their info if they want/need something in return from you as a brand. Give them a sense of urgency so they ‘have to’ pick up their mobile devices when you notify them about a reward available on a limited basis. To sum up, there is much to learn about Pokemon GO as it has already proven its worth in a matter of a few days. This app truly capitalizes the mobile revolution. In fact, Pokemon is already driving players into local shops, cafes, etc.
To learn how you can stay ahead of the mobile revolution like Pokemon, I would encourage you to read our guide to learn more.
“What You Need to Know About Mobile Engagement” Guide HereGet Guide
Until next time, go catch em’ all.