Content marketing is constantly increasing the number of tools to increase the reach of the target audience. One of them is gamification, which allows you to increase company / brand engagement, increase customer loyalty and allow you to personalize them. Moreover, all this happens not through advertising or complex strategy schemes, but in a playful way.
According to research , the volume of the global gamification market is growing by 27.8% per year and will amount to $ 22.9 billion by 2022.
Let’s take a look at what gamification is, why it works, and how to incorporate it into your own marketing strategy.
What is gamification?
Gamification is a tool based on the application of a game element in the structure of a non-gaming business niche. It is closely related to the intrinsic ability of consumers to compete and love of rewards, which becomes a trigger for certain actions that are predetermined by content marketing.
A great example, people use the Apple Watch and the Nike app to challenge and exercise. At the same time, both companies constantly broadcast the names of the leaders in the program to motivate users more. But there is one main difference between them – Apple Watch uses gamification for the main operation of the device, and Nike, as part of its marketing strategy.
Why is gamification needed?
Gamification is a great tool for attracting a huge flow of users in a non-standard way. It works not only as an object of personal benefit for users, but also leads to their moral satisfaction.
Using the tool in conjunction with a reward line will give the person a pleasant experience, and they will come back to you again and again. For example, after achieving some result, you can offer the user a 10% discount coupon for making purchases, or even give him a valuable item for free.
Gamification is an effective part of a marketing strategy because the user receives material benefits in exchange for his activity. Some will accurately assess banking gamification as a strategy for attracting new customers.
What are the advantages of gamification?
First of all, gamification motivates users. It can serve three purposes at once:
- user training;
- monitoring the progress of the marketing strategy;
- entertainment for the audience.
This is what will help attract loyal customers and increase brand awareness. At the same time, even for complex and at first glance impossible tasks that the user does not dare to solve in an ordinary environment, gamification will be able to provide an incentive to find a solution and create many opportunities for this.
The 3 basic rules of usage
We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the three main rules for using gamification.
1. Do not rush off the bat!
Gamification is a fairly large project that requires clear planning and gradual introduction. You don’t need to create an entire application right away, as Nike did. To begin with, it is enough to offer a small reward for the fact that the client shares a link or answers a couple of questions.
2. Marketing Goals Above All
When working with gamification, keep your original marketing goals in mind. The delight of the constant growth of the audience can lead you astray and instill an imaginary confidence that everything is fine. Perhaps the increase was artificial – people turn to your website or application only for entertainment and leave immediately after the game. If the goal is to increase the click-through rate, then everything is fine, but if the goal is to increase the profit and brand awareness, then you will lose.
It is important to regularly evaluate the correctness of actions, bring users to different pages of the site and focus on the product itself, and not on the game.
3. Find out who your audience is
Assess your audience before putting the tool into operation. there are 4 types of players:
- the killers;
- secular people..
Each species will pursue its own goals in the game, and therefore the rewards should be different.
Also rate the audience by age and gender. The better you get to know your audience, the more effective the introduction of gamification will be.
4. Make gamification promotable and scalable
As with any content marketing initiative, its odds of succeeding are very low if promotion is not easy and built in the strategy itself. If you’ll reward people for sharing something, think about how you’ll track that and what workload it will add to the team. If you’re launching a challenge, think about the social media plan and process before making a final decision. It will help you model the initiative to sustain a scalable promotion plan.
What are the risks?
When creating any gamification model, marketers need to be mindful of the risks.
If the game is performed poorly or simply not ready to cope with a large-scale audience, this will cause significant damage to the company’s reputation. Also, if an incorrect audience assessment is made, marketers can make a mistake with the theme of the game and again gamification will become a loss.
Quality game criteria
The game must be of high quality, fully modified and tested before launch. Main criteria:
- a well-designed topic that will not hurt the feelings of the players;
- clearly formulated rules, painted point by point;
- there must be real-time feedback;
- all results must be correctly redirected to the rating immediately after the end of the game;
- the ability to play on mobile devices;
- uninterrupted operation of the game;
- transparent display of all the achievements of players with the ability to track them.
It is important to inspire players to accomplishments and increase their excitement, and not bring them to a nervous breakdown due to constant interruptions in the game.
How to integrate gamification into your marketing strategy?
You don’t need to be part of a big company to implement gamification. It does not require huge budgets and resources. It is enough to have a small brand or personal blog and adapt the tool to fit your budget.
Here are 5 tips for integrating gamification into your marketing strategy.
1. Follow the example of successful competitors
As with the beginning of building any marketing strategy, you should start by analyzing your competitors’ market. What works for others will probably work for your company as well.
But don’t rely on the success of big brands with a small budget or a small product. This will only lead to an overestimation of your capabilities and to the collapse of even the small one that you have.
Rely on competitors that are in your niche and have a roughly identical look and feel to your brand.
Study competitors, see what works and, based on their experience, create your own personal tool. You can also take someone else’s idea and completely embrace it, but that may not be to the liking of both the person you borrowed the game from and your customers.
2. Keep it simple
Users will not play a game that has very complex rules or an incomprehensible reward system. This gamification will only turn your audience away from you. If you yourself find it difficult to understand the rules, then what should a player do?
It is better, for example, to make a step-by-step game with separate groups of actions, by performing which a person will be able to learn about a new stage gradually.
Provide players only with information that is useful to them in clear language.
3. Ask a professional
Gamification is difficult to implement. Many companies fail during the launch phase due to incorrect tactics and lack of full elaboration. Do not be afraid to ask for advice, contact the relevant professionals, use the collected courses and other open information on the topic.
Sometimes it is worth giving this task to specialized specialists completely so as not to come to a negative result.
4. Everything must have a purpose
When creating a game, you need to understand why it is needed and what result should be from its implementation. It also needs tools to measure the success of the campaign and ongoing analysis.
Without the set goals, it is not clear why change your marketing strategy in the long term.
Install analytical tools and keep track of how many people and when they entered the games, how many left and where they went next. If the goal is not achieved, it may be necessary to change the strategy or wait for a while.
5. New technologies = new opportunities
In the age of high technologies, you should not bypass them. The introduction of AR, VR and artificial intelligence (AI) into gamification will allow better interaction with the audience.
If you are part of a large project and there is a sufficient budget, the introduction of technology will greatly facilitate the work. AI can become a great analytical tool, and AR and VR will make the game truly addictive. They will add even more personalization, attractiveness and will more incentivize players.
Gamification is an ideal tool for building a target audience, encouraging users to take various actions on the site / in social networks, as well as an opportunity to significantly increase company / brand awareness and engagement.
It is used everywhere in our daily life, and we often received candy or other material rewards for good grades in school or for helping us clean our apartment. Therefore, this tool is so close to us that we quickly respond to it in adulthood. Marketers should also move closer to gamification and embed it in a strategy to make it the primary weapon in the pursuit of human recognition.