So have you gotten caught up in all of the Pokémon Go hype yet? If you haven’t yourself, at the very least you probably know someone who has. Or perhaps you’ve seen it covered in the news or in your social media feeds. Or maybe you’ve gotten to enjoy the truly bizarre experience of watching people swarm in public places, using their phones to do battle with these little virtual creatures. Even Justin Bieber was caught playing the game in the middle of Central Park the other day.
If you happen to be one of the uninitiated, let us quickly explain. Released in early July, Pokémon Go is a free, location-based augmented reality game that you play on your mobile phone. It uses your phone’s camera and GPS to help you track down little creatures called Pokémon, which appear on your screen as if they were part of the real world. Part of the game’s appeal, particularly among millennials, is the nostalgia they feel playing a revamped version of a childhood favorite. The original Pokémon games were popular in the mid to late 1990s.
Pokémon Go has been a sensation that has not only exhilarated millions of fans, but also sent Nintendo’s stock price soaring.
What Does Finding a Pidgey Have to Do With Content Marketing?
If we take a step back from all of the excitement, there are some valuable lessons to be learned from Pokémon Go’s success. For content marketers, those lessons are:
- Don’t hesitate to resurrect an old favorite.
As we noted above, Pokémon Go isn’t exactly new. It’s a game that’s 20 years old and that’s simply been given new life. Let that be a reminder to all of you content marketers that you too can dust off your old, top-performing content (think old reports, white papers, and eBooks) and put them to work for you again. We’re not suggesting that you simply republish what you’ve got, however. Although Pokémon Go is a nod to an old classic, it offers a fresh new take on it, which is why it’s exciting. You’ve got to take a similar approach with your content. That means updating it with the latest information, putting it into context for the current environment, and even giving it a new design. If you do it well, you can get extra mileage out of an existing piece, which is often a lot easier than starting something new from scratch.
- Always strive to go viral.
To achieve the kind of widespread visibility and success with your content that Pokémon Go has is probably every content marketer’s dream. Of course, making that dream a reality is a lot easier said than done. For Pokémon Go, the secret has been tapping into the nostalgia factor, making a version of the game that’s far more engaging and interactive than most, and making it free to use and easy to get your hands on. While there’s no silver bullet to creating viral content, if you study examples such as this one, you may start to figure out how to create your own.
- Stay on the cutting edge.
Part of the appeal of Pokémon Go is that it leverages augmented reality (that’s the bit that allows those pesky Pokémon to appear on your screen as if they were right in front of you in real life). As content marketers, we can easily default to creating our standard eBooks, white papers, and (ahem) even blog posts, and distributing them on our websites and social channels. But the reality is that within a couple of years, the types of content that we need to produce and the way that we’ll distribute that content is set to change. As messaging apps continue to gain popularity, for example, they may very well become the dominant platform for content distribution.
What it all comes down to is that, if you haven’t played Pokémon Go yet you should. And while you are, let its creativity inspire you to find new ways to improve your content.