(Author’s note: I should clarify since I predominantly write serious content and don’t write much in the way of comedy, this is meant to be a sarcastic article taking a jab at the flood of Pokémon Go articles that have flooded the Internet courtesy of talentless media companies and consultants desperately trying to ride the wave, the only exception being the end. That said, on with the show.)
Are you a consultant who really has no idea what they’re doing, but you saw on Reddit that some local businesses are using Pokémon Go to attract customers?
Are you a marketing agency looking to congratulate yourself in your blog that nobody reads, or preparing pointless and overpriced “business plans” for Pokémon Go?
Are you a media company looking to generate some fresh ad revenue based on Google Trends?
If you’ve answered (or otherwise privately admitted) yes to any of these, then Pokémon Go clickbait is for you. Pokémon Go has swept the world in a global phenomenon perhaps even bigger than the original Pokémon craze back in the 90s. What better way to take advantage of this than to latch onto it like a parasite and contribute to the flooding of the Internet with vapid, superfluous content about it?
It doesn’t matter if your only experience with Pokémon Go is catching a Pidgey that one time or if you don’t have any actual track record of making this work. The trend is here and it’s time to desperately chase after the wave! As long as you can convince people that you know what you’re talking about, Pokémon Go clickbait is the best way cajole business owners into contacting your marketing company for a sales pitch initial consultation, download your completely pointless Pokémon Go service list E-book or just convince them to subscribe to your mailing list.
The best part? It’s easy! Just follow this five step guide and soon you’ll be hawking more bait than a fishing store but with less dignity.
1. Start with a Wildly Sensationalist Headline
(Note: These are all real headlines)
How Pokemon Go Is Driving Insane Amounts of Sales at Small, Local Businesses: For $1.19 an hour, you can have more customers than you’ve ever seen in your life
What Is Pokemon Go and Why Your Small Business Can’t Afford to Miss This Trend?
Pokémon Go: How the Pokéconomy Is Changing Business, One Lure at a Time
What better way to get those initial clicks than to rope them in with a misleading headline? It may sound like a headline you’d expect to read on a shady banner ad, but Pokémon Go is new and fresh, so people will click on anything as long as it promises them the moon and the stars. Don’t hesitate to exploit the living hell out of this curiosity for the sake of convincing some local business that don’t know any better that your marketing company is the way to the stars.
Just remember to hype Pokémon Go like it’s the dawn of a new age and that if businesses don’t get involved they’re going to go bankrupt, or possibly that a meteorite will impact their storefront. Be shameless! Tell these businesses you’ll make billions playing Pokémon Go if you have to. Don’t forget to use obnoxious made up terms like Pokéconomy to stand out among the thousands of other posts! It doesn’t matter if they don’t mean anything; just don’t waste time trying to explain your fancy new word lest you bore people.
2. Don’t Qualify Anything
I recently wrote about how assertions that local businesses will benefit from Pokémon Go come with a small mountain of caveats. You have to be a very situational type of business, you have to count on the servers not going down, you have to have a reason to believe people will buy something, and you have to be in a fairly urban area with a considerable amount of foot traffic.
Screw that if you plan on writing Pokémon Go clickbait, though! In order to keep readers’ attention and convince them that they need to contact you in order to learn the mystical secrets of Pokémon Go marketing passed down to you by the ancient order of Niantic, do not discourage people from thinking about contacting you.
Don’t bring up the types of businesses that will or won’t benefit from Pokémon Go. Don’t discuss how businesses lacking foot traffic don’t stand to gain much from Pokémon Go or the fact the game is a dead zone in rural areas. The name of the game is to close those deals and sign those contracts, and you’re not going to do that by being honest! Just establish that Pokémon Go = money, let people fill in the blanks and watch those inquiries roll in.
3. Write Content Flimsily Tying Pokémon Go to Your Industry
I may have written about this done to death blogging topic before, but Pokémon Go opens up another barrel of possibilities! All you have to do is mine specific target demographics with flimsily relevant information that advertises your marketing firm! Write about what Pokémon Go teaches you about SEO, marketing, write what it teaches publishers, lawyers, PR people, the sky is the limit. Be sure to recycle as much as possible while marginally finding and replacing specific verbs so you don’t use up all of your creative juices at once.
4. Remind People Constantly That You Have THE ANSWERS
Pokémon Go may have only come out a month ago, it may have only ten percent of the features Niantic planned on implementing, most people haven’t even caught all of the Pokémon in the game yet, but remember: You have all the answers. You’re a Pokémon Go guru, savant, thought leader, keynote speaker, whatever it takes, shill those marketing qualifications for all they’re worth tie them to Pokémon Go however questionable the association is!
Be sure to publish extensive FAQs, guidelines, “beginner guides” and “how to use it” for local businesses that have just enough words flipped and changed to avoid accusations of plagarism from the hundreds of others of articles that are already out. That way you can bank on people believing you have the answers and that you’re not just one of the hundreds of other consultants and marketers selling snake oil.
5. Completely Miss the Point of the App
Pokémon Go is first and foremost a social experience designed around interaction by users. Beyond the undercurrent of nostalgia it makes people happy, gets people walking and generally results in a lot of good times. That’s what you should emphasize, right?
WRONG! You’re here to completely misunderstand what the app is all about. Talk up as much as possible how this is an app that benefits local businesses – as opposed to certain types of small businesses being able to benefit specifically from the kind of behavior that the app encourages in its user base. Remember to completely devalue the actual players and just turn them into numbers and projections for your marketing strategy. Find every possible excuse to wring as much data as possible from players and don’t think twice about adding them to your mailing list without permission. Opt-in marketing is for those ethically sound agencies anyway.
Also be sure to not worry about the sense of entitlement this fosters in your customers. You may think that being entitled to success through Pokémon Go is as bad as the types of businesses who think that Facebook is all about them and who subsequently lose it when Facebook tweaks its algorithm, but it shouldn’t be your problem or anything. It’s not like it’s your job to be concerned about market saturation or fostering the wrong attitudes.
There you have it: Follow these five steps and your dubiously necessary Pokémon Go clickbait is ready to join the mountain of it accruing on the Internet like mold. All that’s left is for you to find the file, drag it to the Recycle Bin, hit delete, and the empty the trash. You’re being an untalented pollutant contributing to the watering down of Internet content when you do this. Now go write something original and thoughtful instead.