The 1990s saw the launch of the Pokémon series, where trainers traveled to different places on a quest to catch all Pokémon by defeating the gym leaders.
Flash-forward to 2016. Pokémon Go has taken the gaming world by storm. Players can virtually launch their red and white Poké Ball to catch the pocket monsters.
Though the game has proven beneficial for brick-and-mortar businesses, it also teaches effective content strategies for online entrepreneurs and marketers, too. Seeing the craze of this game, some companies are even hiring Pokémon experts as part-time lure managers. Here are a few ways you can follow their example.
1. Engage your readers.
Using your smartphone’s GPS, the game creates an engaging road map for catching Pokémon. It may all look simple, but the setup involves the users' whereabouts. At the park, you’ll find grass types of Pokémon.
At night, chances of getting a nocturnal creature increase. And there's a greater possibility of finding a "water Pokémon" near water than near a fire, for instance.
So, consider how engaging content starts with a promising introduction; it has the potential to change the mindset of your readers. Ask these four questions to know the engagement level:
- Is your message too formal?
- Are you targeting different types of people in a single article?
- Do you put emphasis on third-person pronouns, like "they" or "them," in your content?
- Are you unable to connect with the conversation already going in your reader’s head?
If your answer to any of the above four questions is yes, re-strategize your content strategy.
- Have a conversational tone.
- Never try to convince everyone with a single topic.
- Include people in your content by using words like "you" and "your."
- Touch the pain points of your readers.
Summarize your agenda in the beginning. Engage readers by highlighting their issues. Make them feel that they are not alone in this struggle.
2. Build a story around your content.
What makes Pokémon Go such a huge success? Great storytelling.
Each character, boasting unique super powers, leaves a great impact on audience members. The story offers them something great to cheer for.
In the '90s, every kid dreamed of experiencing the characters. The game has made their fictitious stories come alive.
That doesn’t mean you have to build characters to present your content. Instead, create stories around your audience. Make them real by sharing actual case studies.
Understand the pain points of your target audience members, and tell stories from their perspective. This will help readers to connect with your content on an emotional level.
3. Never underestimate the power of upgrades.
The Pokémon Go app is free to download. As the engagement level increases, players don’t mind spending on in-app purchases.
Pokémon coins, for example, are required for inventory upgrades. These coins help in catching, storing and training the Pokémons.
You’ll notice how the game starts with curiosity and can be upgraded to generate monetary returns. In a similar manner, you can come up with a content upgrade for your brand after engaging your readers. This will be additional content readers can have after offering their email address.
This upgrade will give you access to readers' mailboxes. You can then can send valuable content along with occasional promotional offers directly to their inboxes.
The best way to do this is to create a content upgrade, related to the content which people are reading on your site. For example, say you came up the headline "9 Online Marketing Tools for Boosting Your Online Business Growth." Here are some possible content offers you could create.
- Create a cheat sheet of nine online marketing tools you used to accelerate your business growth.
- Create a case study about how company X grew sales by X percent using these tools.
- Create an industry report that explains the impact of these nine tools.
- Create a free webinar that teaches people how to kickstart their businesses with these tools.
4. Take action.
Pokémon Go is not for lazy gamers. It makes people actually go outside and search for the pocket monsters. Players not only play the game but experience it by taking actions. You have to physically walk to gyms and Pokéstops.
A good content strategy also urges people to take actions. What’s the use of content when readers don’t know what to do next?
- Have strong calls-to-action which urge the recipients of your content to perform some desired action.
- Provide real case studies, centered around readers' issues, to urge them to take actions.
- Clarify the message with a how-to video series. If you sell a software product, provide a glimpse of your tool in the video content.
A content strategy filled with instructions is useless until it provides practical information. Always offer actionable tips for your readers.
5. Make it timely.
You have built a great content. But the story doesn't stop here. The timing of your distribution sets you apart from the competition. Pokémon Go is a huge success because kids who grew up watching Pokémon can now shell out money on the game.
Moreover, the game was launched in the summer, allowing kids to go out and catch the characters (at least until school started again) without worrying about dreary schoolday mornings.
It takes time to craft a solid content strategy. Don’t waste your efforts by making a quick move. Before hitting the "publish" button and sharing on social media sites, ask yourself: Is my content mature enough to be share-worthy?
Here are some ideas to make the best use of timely content:
- Review Google Analytics, such as bounce rates and conversion rates from different countries, to determine the location of your best visitors. Next, figure out when the best consuming time is for them, before you publish your content.
- Connect your product's story with the latest trends.
- Review the best time to post on social media.
- Review your referral sources, and double-down on the channels that work.
Always remember: Before eyeing your target audience members' wallets, you must first catch their attention with valuable content.