Gamification is becoming a significant trend that is destined to alter the way businesses interact with their customers. Are you ready to use games on your website to create breakthrough engagement with your readers? Read on, and we’ll explore what gamification is, and how to use it to amplify your online marketing efforts.
What is Gamification?
The marketing term “gamification” was coined in 2002 by Nick Pelling, but didn’t become popular until 2010. It describes marketing tactics which use game elements to drive user engagement with your website, application, or brand.
According to Gartner, more than 70% of the top 2,000 companies are expected to have at least one gamified application by the end of 2014. Research by M2 Research shows that the gamification application, tools, and services market is projected to hit $5.5 billion by 2018.
Gamification taps into the the human desire for rewards and competition. Users are motivated to compete against others to improve their status (ie, via a leaderboard) within a game. Gamification allows marketers to apply game mechanics to entice users to take action. These mechanics usually foster competition and reward users for reaching goals.
Benefits of Gamification:
Some of the benefits of gamification include:
Education: Gamification can be an effective way to introduce your readers to a new product you are about to launch. You can use the game to teach your readers how to use a product before it is launched. Educational games can be an efficient way of collecting information for your business while educating people about your product.
Engage with your customers: Gamification can help you engage with your customers and provide a frequent reason for them to return to your site. It will help your site to stay top of mind.
Compelling data collection: Gamification platforms typically require a visitor to login with either social media credentials or an email address. After this information is freely given out, it will allow your company to gather data on the visitor as well as track where they go on your website. Gamification achievements can generate plenty of data associated with that account. This data can supply powerful customer information.
Feedback can also be collected from games, which can help the company solve real business-related problems. If the feedback is utilized properly, it can also be used as a form of idea generation plucked from a massive number of users.
How Gamification Works
Most gamification uses certain tactics to get website visitors to participate:
- Competition can be used to incite website visitors to achieve status and rewards. The status achieved in the games can be used to inspire people to purchase more products and services over time. In some cases, people are willing to spend money to achieve a higher status or additional tokens for gameplay.
- Gaming elements can be used to make the marketing experience enjoyable to participants. This can provide better results than simply showing advertisements.
- Gamification allows visitors to participate in the marketing process and keeps them engaged for longer periods of time.
Gamification in the Real World
Participation is what gamification is all about. Whenever you need to collect information from your clients with a survey, you can use gamification to improve results. By offering rewards such as a discount, coupon, or an offer to win a prize, you can increase the likelihood of participation. Another option is to require a survey question to be answered before proceeding to the next level of the game.
Companies have used gamification to:
- Entice travelers to use frequent flyer miles on a specific airline
- Reward employees with the highest product knowledge
- Encourage children to learn more about a given topic
Adding Gamification to your Website
Whether the goal is to track clicks, test sales, or collect data on surveys, make sure your game is an actionable step in your marketing objectives. Make the primary purpose of the game to collect this information for your marketing needs. In order for gamification to provide long-term user engagement, it needs to help your business.
“Gamification is about better engagement with your audience and facilitating a more interactive experience with your company’s products and services,” said Ivo Lukas, CEO and founder of 24Notion.
The underlying marketing objective of the game should be something such as encouraging visitors to use a new sales channel, obtaining feedback through surveys, driving new product or service adoption, or increasing frequency of purchases.
Use gamification as a tactic to meet your measurable business goals. A good example of this would be increasing engagement with website visitors.
“Gamification is far more than simply putting a branded game on your Web site. Track your progress toward achieving business goals in real-time. Don’t create a game for a game’s sake. If gamification is not providing measurable ROI, then you shouldn’t be doing it,” said Ryan Elkins, CEO and co-founder of IActionable.
Crossing multiple marketing channels
The best gamification platforms cross multiple marketing channels to include social media, online, off-line, and mobile devices. Make sure that the outcomes of the gameplay are available whenever and wherever your visitors want to share them. Allowing your visitors to play the game anytime they want across multiple channels will greatly increase participation.
Test, test, and test some more
Like any other web content, you should split test your game to see which version of content, videos, graphics, etc. provide greater participation. Split testing can also be a great way to see which awards provide the best engagement.
Take every opportunity to talk about your new game on social media, your website, off-line, and more. Make sure that every visitor has the ability to play your incredible new game and is informed of the rewards that can be achieved.
Gamification can improve engagement on your website while allowing you to collect more valuable data from your visitors. Whether it’s helpful information from surveys, increased engagement, or more, gamification can be an effective way to improve your website.
Photo courtesy of rledda82