Online Marketing: Gamification — What, Why and How
Attempting to involve users in a humdrum program can ruin the prospect of developing them into customers. As a business, you have one good chance to make an impression. Though it might seem nearly impossible to engage customers for a long time, there is a more than interesting way to gain, retain and engage them over and over again.
The key to engaging customers is to develop touchpoints and make each of them experiences that your customers will love. It’s a truth that unless your customers get addicted to your business activities, they won’t return. Enrich their experiences with your business. This becomes a priority when you are aiming for repeat purchases or visits.
What Gamification Is
Gamification might sound like it’s purely online games but it’s not. It’s a serious online marketing activity that can spur traffic on your website. It’s not a new concept, either. It’s typically described as the “use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts.” However, there’s more to gamification than is described. Gamification is more about developing player behavior within customers through game-like, and not exactly gaming, activities.
What Is Used — It involves the use of game playing mechanics- points, leaderboards, tasks- in a non-game context.
What It’s Used For — Gamification is typically used to develop certain behavior, such as competition, increased participation, frequent visits and/or learning, from customers.
The goal of embedding gamification into your loyalty program, for instance, is to give your business a boost through increased customer engagement. Exciting activities may result in greater customer participation and give you plenty of opportunities to interact with your customers. Aren’t you looking forward to doing just that?
There’s no denying that gamifying your online marketing can bring in new customers and regularize visits, but there’s an even more interesting logic that defines why gamification has emerged as a successful online marketing practice.
1. Provides a Sense of Accomplishment: When the aim is to keep customers engaged and progressing, you want your customers to stay highly motivated. Through tasks and contests, customers’ instinctive abilities can be invoked. Completing tasks lends customers a sense of satisfaction.
2. Fosters Competition: Competition is good, especially when it breeds on your website. Contests and quizzes make your online program even more exciting when customers can compete with other participants.
3. Evaluate Own Performance: Customers have the need to participate and evaluate their own performances. When a program gives them the liberty to assess their own performances, they set higher goals and perform better.
4. Helps You Promote Specific Behavior Patterns: Gamification helps you identify and reward specific behavior patterns that create value for you.
5. Gets You Feedback: Without feedback, your program will, most probably, not be a success. Gamification reflects what your customers want. Feedback is analyzed in the form of the activities they indulge in. Because you now know what interests your customers the most, there’s a lot more you can do to generate revenue quicker.
How You Can Implement Gamification
The best thing about Gamification: It brings customers into a deeper level of interaction, and the customers do not need to be experts at playing games.
Gamifying your online marketing does not mean that those good at playing games will perform better. It is simple integration of game mechanics in non-game contexts. That makes the loyalty program more interesting and engaging for almost every customer.
- Contests and Quizzes: Contests awaken the desire within customers to perform. It is important to understand that no single contest will attract participation from all customers. Through diverse contests at different stages, you can engage your entire customer base. Variety keeps your online marketing alive and buzzing with energy.
- Badges and Levels: Giving badges indicate that your brand acknowledges customers’ efforts and lauds them with a special status when they have displayed certain expertise, which can be commenting or buying frequently, sharing or liking. The behavior gets repeated as you display higher-level badges and customers try to make the maximum effort to reach the top. This desire to acquire social badges may also emanate from customers’ social needs to acquire status higher than others.
- Levels as Rewards: Levels provide a boost to customer activity by displaying the next goal. Leveling-up reflects long-term achievement. Unlock access to more features, missions and a host of other rewards when customers level up.
- Reward Specific Behavior: Not every customer activity will result in an achievement, but that does not mean that it should go unacknowledged. Reward customers for the interactions they have. Give reward points on specific behavior. You may choose to surprise them the first time, but ensure that customers know what behavior will extract which reward.
- Leaderboards to Inspire and Foster Competition: Leaderboards motivate customers to compete with others and perform better. This improves their social standing.
- Develop a Community: Create a place where customers’ achievements can be shared and discussed. The place will act as a reservoir for creating energy within your community of customers.
Gamification makes interaction between businesses and their customers easier. When a program acknowledges customer interactions through rewards, it becomes personal. The rewards need not be big; they merely need to serve as motivators. Use gamification to leverage motivation to create loyalty that not only lasts long, but also creates value for your business.