It’s time to market your business with Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go is redefining the very concept of gaming, and now, it’s time for businesses to jump on the Pokémon Bandwagon!

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Pokémon Go is currently the hottest thing in the world of gaming, and whether or not, its parent company Niantic will invite sponsorship and advertising, is a different question altogether. While it is still ‘red-hot’, many businesses can take advantage and capitalise on this trend right away, before it lessens or dies.

What is   Pokémon Go? And why are people going mad over it?

The game has been launched on 6th July 2016 in Australia, New Zealand, USA and the Europe and still, it is one of the most trending topics on social media worldwide. Pikachu has become the most talked-about character. This game of the 90s has become popular among 20 to 30-year-olds, and in fact, more than 5% of the Android users in the US are playing this game on a regular basis. It has in fact overtaken Twitter and Facebook in terms of daily users.

How is the game played out?

This free mobile game (for iOS and Android), allows you to make an avatar that can capture, trade, train as well as fight Pokémon characters of the game.

What makes this game even more appealing is the fact that it uses your mobile’s camera and GPS to help track a Pokémon centre and catch Pokémon in 'reality'. This will have gamers taking long walks or perhaps go for a long drive in their respective cities, just to find Pokémon. So when you spot a Pokémon, this augmented reality game displays it with your real life surroundings as background, which makes it all the more interesting!

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Marketing with   Pokémon Go

The demographic reach of this game makes it interesting for business marketers. Although there aren’t any advertising or sponsorship opportunities in Pokémon-Go at present, there are still many things which can be done.

If your business is situated close to any designated Pokéstop or a Pokémon centre, then you can offer free goodies. The FREE footfall at your restaurant is always a welcome sign. You may offer free charging points, as Pokémon-Go is a bit more demanding on the battery, since it continually needs internet, GPS and camera access.  Pokémon-Go gamers are human after all, and their bodies need re-charging too! To cater to their requirements, then you may need to switch to a Pokémon-Go food theme and ‘make hay while the sun shines’.

You can even have your staff wear Pokémon T-Shirts and accompany the gamers around the Pokémon stop while they search for ‘monsters’. You can give them a discount for screenshots of Pokémon spotted near your restaurant and shared on social media. You can also have Pokémon gamers in for a chat about their game, take a video and post it on social media, thus increasing the visibility of your brand. You can also tag them and encourage them to share it.

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Placing of Lures

A  Pokémon stop is usually located near landmarks, heritage buildings, gardens, malls and restaurants. As a restaurant, you may use this opportunity to lure ‘Pokémon Trainers’ into your property, by means of these gaming freebies, and make it a popular  Pokémon hub. Lures can be purchased through the App and placed in and around your restaurant.

Setting up your Lures

Start the App and catch the Pokemon. You get a red Pokeball; Click on it at the bottom of your monitor and select "Shop". You may now scroll down and purchase a Pokecoin pack (the currency of the Pokemon world). You may buy a Lure Module based on this.

Once you have purchased this Lure, you need to go near the Pokestop to access it. Now click the PokeStop and the white oval, select the lure module and deploy it. The PokeStop will rain pink coloured paper to indicate that the lure has been deployed.

The gamers thus stand to gain freebies, while the increased footfall at your restaurant can positively affect your brand image and sales. Meanwhile, you will need to create awareness by means of social media about your new “Pokémon Stop”.

Niantic and what the future holds?

With the entire ongoing buzz about Pokémon, it would be expected of Niantic, to allow businesses to sponsor PokéStops and Pokémon balls, and help gamers collect Pokémons. Because of the geographic nature of the game, it is evident that gamers will go around the city and visit business hub spots. So if one asks ‘What is the right time for Niantic to enter into lucrative partnerships with other business and make the most of this hot trend?’ we would simply say, “NOW IS THE TIME”!!!

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Re-Capturing your Online Visitors with Website Push Notifications

You may have noticed recently, how many websites have started displaying push notifications. This is a new trend which is enabling sites to capture visitors without asking them to sign up.

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As soon as users visit some popular websites, an opt-in dialogue box pops up. They are given the choice of allowing or blocking push notifications of that particular website. Many websites like FaceBook, Pinterest, News portals and even many local sites now use website push notifications, which resemble dialogue boxes, asking for permission to install software updates. The only difference is that they will be used, to re-target the customers. This is a new way of capturing and tracking visitors without formally asking them to sign up for your services. It is a new addition to a list of online marketing tactics that have already utilised Newsletter signups, Ad Retargeting and Exit popup boxes.

 What exactly is Push Notification Service?

Push notifications pop-up on the desktop or mobile of the subscribers of a particular website. The visitors who opt for it, start getting these notifications. When they are clicked, they lead to special offers, product pages, online polls, or valuable content.

Applications of Push Notifications

Push Notification Service is in its heyday, and marketers want to make the most of it. There are many ways in which website push notifications may be applied. They can also be applied on Android mobiles, for the subscribers who have already downloaded your App.

1. Send limited period offers.

Push-notifications instil a sense of urgency in web visitors, as they appear in real-time and prompt them to act faster than they do on any other media. These can be used to display limited-time discount offers to visitors, and get a fast response.

 2. User specific offers, depending on the time spent on your website.

Selling products based on website behaviour is a sure-fire way to gain back lost customers.

When users visit a shopping site and show interest in a particular product, they are immediately ‘captured’. Within a span of 15 minutes, they are targeted using specific offers depending on their web-interests. This is done while the buying intent still remains in the user and there is good chance of a sale.

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3. Automated push notifications upon publishing a new blog.

One may be familiar with the RSS to email notifications, where a subscriber gets an email when a new blog is published. Similarly, with RSS to push notifications; your subscribers immediately get push notifications when a new blog post is out. Studies have revealed that a push-notification has 3 times more click through rate when compared to an email notification.

4. Instant Communication with your Audience

If your audience is notified about your new blog post via popular social media, they may feel it is ‘old wine being packaged in a new bottle’. However, if you notify them via web push notifications, they will get the impression that it is ‘fresh off the oven’, and most probably will click through it, ‘to grab a bite’ and check it out.

 5. Push notifications to verify abandoned shopping carts

If visitors are on your website, suddenly abandon the shopping cart, then you may send a push notification after a few minutes, with an appropriate message reminding them like for e.g., “You have 4 items in your cart” or something similar. Thus, if the users had really forgotten about it while navigating away from your site, they can be made to come back and complete the order.

6. Re-targeting and Upselling.

As discussed earlier, users will be targeted with ads based on their interests. Thus, we will be categorising our visitors into different segments, and send them offers according to their behavioural data. Thus you may target those using notifications along the lines of, “People who purchased <product name> also purchased this”. Thus you will be curating content for your visitors, who will feel that they don’t have to keep browsing the web for similar products as they can trust you to provide them with curated content tailored to their requirements.

7. Getting Feedback

Studies have revealed that push notification subscribers have an opt-in rate of 40% when compared to your email subscribers. You may have noticed in the recent times, that you get push notifications when you exit certain sites, with a message along the lines of, “Are you sure you want to leave this website?” This can also be used to gather true feedback from visitors exiting your site so that they can rectify issues in the best interests of the users.

Writing Push Notification Text (with a 40 - 120 chars limit) and best practices

The only limitation with push notifications is the text size, which varies from 40-120 characters on various platforms. It is imperative that the services of a good copywriter are sought to make the best use of the limited space and convey your message in an effective way.

However, the visitors may still be bombarded by several similar website push notifications. So how do you stand out? You may choose to stand above the crowd by giving out a limited time offer or 24-hour discount notification. However, make sure that the notification contains brief and enticing text, which will prompt users to click on it.

Measuring Push Notification Performance

The last, but most significant step is to analyse the push notifications’ performance. You need to ascertain the below:

  • The number of clicks for the push notification
  • Forms filled by visitors
  • Trial downloads
  • Product Purchases

Once you check out the analytics report for all the above activities, you can have an idea as to whether or not, push notifications are paying dividends. Accordingly, you may plan to continue or discontinue push notification services.

5 Surefire ways to chase away your Web-Customers

A website helps in marketing our product or services, to the world. However, if we do it wrong, then it may serve to drive away prospective customers.

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Website landing pages are the best means of attracting customers to do business with you. They must be appealing to the users. Sometimes the opposite may be true, and a website may start driving away prospective customers. So, how do we figure it out in order to rectify the situation?

Problem with Content

The content must be easy to understand. It should not be so technical, that a layman can make nothing out of it. All Caps must be avoided at all costs. The practice of having huge blocks of text must also be avoided, as nobody has the time to go through an encyclopedia of information; so let it be brief. Let not the landing or index page content speak only about your company. Allow subject to be centered on what the customer wants.

In fact, the content must be planned much in advance, rather than 'filling in the blanks', after the web design has been completed. Great content is a means of establishing your credibility in your given field by providing value to your online audience. It is also the means of establishing a social media presence and extending your superiority over competition across these channels. It must therefore be well planned.

Bad Navigation and unpredictable Structure

Let your web page design have an intuitive structure. When visitors come to your site, they must not feel like they are stranded on a lonely island. They must be directed, either to click on the query form, search, and shop for your product, check out tutorials, or do any other task which they planned to do on the site. A search box is definitely necessary; it can help the visitor get what they want.

Non usage of Common Terms

The page titles, menu items, and product names must adhere to common terminology. For example, if you are selling home products and a visitor is searching for pillows, then do not name it as ‘Bolster’. Let it not look like “Buy 2 Bolsters and get a Bed Sheet FREE”. The visitor must not start opening the dictionary to check out the meaning of bolster. Instead, you can just use the word ‘Pillow’ to make things easier for the user. The menu items, page titles and other content must also follow the same principle and use simple terms.

Slow Loading Pages

A slow loading page is a great turn-off. Howsoever attractive and responsive your web page design maybe, if it loads slowly, then the whole effort goes in vain. It is important to optimize your text, images and videos to meet the above demand. A page must follow the 5-second rule, i.e., it should load within five seconds. If optimisation is not done and the site loads slowly, then it will obviously be ignored by visitors who will obviously switch over to another site, thanks to the bad website design.

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No Mobile Optimisation

Ever since the advent of smartphones, more than half of the global users browse the internet with their mobiles. If your site is not mobile optimized, then it will be penalized by Google with respect to its ranking. A website which is not optimized for mobile performs poorly when accessed by using smartphones. This is a perfect example of bad website design. As a result, nobody will bother to return to your site again.

These are a few pointers to help businesses stop turning off their customers, due to slow loading websites.

10 Steps to improve your Profile and Business-presence on LinkedIn

When clients want to do business with you, they not only visit your website, but also check your LinkedIn business page and professional profile.

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Your potential clients and employees would like to know more about you, before they think about working or doing business with you. Therefore, after they visit your company website, they will most certainly look for your LinkedIn profile as well as your business page. It is therefore very important to have a great professional profile apart from a professional-looking LinkedIn company page. So here is how you do it.

(I) Enhance your profile

Your profile is one of the most important features on LinkedIn. It must be filled up in a professional way. Make sure you have the details of at least two or three previous positions written down in the “Summary and experience”, section. Make use of different keywords, upload relevant images and SlideShare presentations.

Have a good quality photograph of the dimensions 400 x 400 pixels uploaded as your LinkedIn profile picture. Make sure it’s not the one taken at your college graduation, birthday party, or marriage; it must be a head shot, you should preferably be wearing formal business attire. Also give a good title to your profile, which reflects your field of work. Think of it as your punch-line.

You may also have a great cover theme, which throws more light on your professional background. For e.g. if you are an art director or graphic designer, then the LinkedIn cover must reflect your design samples arranged in an aesthetic way, so that it adds more value to your profile.

You may also choose to have a LinkedIn vanity URL to your profile. This gives your profile, a sleeker looking custom name and a higher Google ranking.

(2) Make essential connections

Building contacts are essential for any professional or business. Start with your close connections like school and college mates, as well as your former colleagues. You may also introduce yourself to relevant people in your industry and send them contact requests. The quality of connections can definitely cast a positive effect on your whole profile. You may in fact, set aside some free time for sending polite and personalised contact requests for building your connections. “I read your blog on marketing tactics, and liked the content”. The person will most probably accept your contact request. However, for some strange reason, you will discover that not everyone on the planet happens to be a blogger. So you may tweak your contact requests, depending on the person you are dealing with.

(3) Broadcast great content

Establish your credibility by posting regular content. People seek useful content related to their field. Your blog should be in-depth and original. Once that is done, you may publish it on LinkedIn. You may even join related LinkedIn groups and post the content for the world to see. You will notice that there is a substantial increase in your profile views as well. By becoming a source of useful information, you catch the world’s attention and open up the possibility of making important professional connections, and even get some business leads.

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(4) Follow industry leaders and bloggers of relevant fields

Your news feed, can provide you with the latest updates and events of your relevant field. You may follow industry leaders and bloggers relevant to you. That way, you will get to know the latest trends, events, tips and tricks in your field of work. Following your feed religiously, will upgrade your knowledge and understanding of your field of work and give you new insights.

To clean up your news feed, you need to follow the below steps:

  • Check out your newsfeed.
  • Run a LinkedIn search and seek out the influencers in your respected field.
  • Click on “Follow”
  • Scan the other news updates from the people you are already following.
  • On top of an individual newsfeed, you find three dots on the right side.
  • Click on the three dots and choose “Un-follow <profile-name>” to clean up your news feed.

(5) Start a SlideShare Account

Once you register for a LinkedIn SlideShare account, you can post your latest blogs in the form of slide-share presentations. SlideShare has a large and targeted viewership, and you can get a lot of exposure on this platform as well. Your SlideShare presentations can also be linked to your LinkedIn profile as it carries more weight.

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6) Create your Business Page

Once you are done “Turbo Charging” your LinkedIn profile, you can move on to the next step i.e., to create a great looking LinkedIn company page. So here is how you do it.

  • Login to your profile on
  • On the menu bar, click on “Interests” and choose “Companies”, from the sub-menu.
  • Stay on the same page and click on the “Create” button, which is visible on the right.
  • Follow the next steps to create your company page, by entering the company name, email address, uploading the logo, adding a banner image and typing the company message, when prompted to do so, by the website.

(7) Regular Postings

Once your company page is setup, you can start off with your company updates and postings. However, make sure that you don’t use this as an advertising space for your company. Use this space to post industry updates, events, and useful - industry knowledge. Keep your postings on LinkedIn limited to one per day; this is because, you do not want to bombard the professional timelines of LinkedIn.

You may do the postings at a proper time in order to generate maximum impact. You may either do it in the morning (7:30 am to 8:30am) or evenings (5:00pm to 6:30pm).

(8) Get your Followers

Once your company page is all set, it is time to get followers. You may as well add your LinkedIn page

URL to your email signature. Also, ask your employees to follow your company page and update their profiles with the new page link.

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(9) LinkedIn Showcase Pages

You may have individual products advertised on LinkedIn Showcase pages. These are an extension of your company page and contain specific brands or products. Your customers can, in turn, follow these pages as they are more specific to the product they are interested in. You may this tailor your updates to brand or product specific community, thus resulting in more engagement.

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You can also use LinkedIn Sponsored Content, in order to get your message in front of the world’s business community, by comprehensive targeting of the precise audience.

These are the 10 steps to prep-up your LinkedIn company page and profile, in order to showcase them to the relevant audience and open up the possibility of getting more business leads.