Customers just want to have fun. That’s why gamification is so popular and steadily on the rise. The purpose of gamification is to make things more fun and to encourage user engagement. Just about any business can figure out ways to incorporate gamification into their marketing strategies – all it takes is a little creativity, and a little understanding of what makes it such a successful approach. Here are some tips to help your business gamify your Internet marketing:
Clearly Define Your Goals
What do you hope to gain from gamification? You need to know before you begin. Gamifying your content should work in tandem with your overall business goals, and should produce specific results. For example, do you want to boost traffic of repeat users to your website or social media? Do you want to use gamification as a tool to assert your image and foster brand recognition? Knowing exactly what you want will help you implement the right gaming elements.
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Know Your Audience
- What is your target audience?
- What demographic is the majority of your audience made up of?
- Who visits your website?
- Who are your friends and follower?
- Most importantly, what do they like?
Create gaming elements that will appeal to your audience in particular.
Offer Rewards and Incentives
People don’t play games if there’s nothing for them to win by doing so. While rewards can be things like real-life prizes, they don’t have to be. Badges and pins for achievements, for example, are very popular (think Foursquare). You can also offer some type of virtual currency, which could be used to purchase anything from real-life merchandise to items within the game. Rewards and incentives give people something to strive toward. Offer them generously enough to keep their interest, but make sure they’re still challenging – a game isn’t fun if there’s no challenge to it. Consider including recognition as a reward, too, such as with a public leader board.
As with any marketing strategy, you should be paying close attention to the results. Look for ways that you can quantify the results of your gamification. Find out the numbers: How many people are playing?, How often do they play?; How quickly do they earn achievements? Are you earning more fans and followers? Are you getting more clicks? Use the numbers to figure out what works and what doesn’t….
Ask for Feedback
Another way to analyze your strategy is to simply ask your audience and participants what they think. Make it easy for them to do so, such as by including optional feedback boxes at certain checkpoints. Use their feedback to improve your gaming elements to make them more user-friendly and enticing. Consider a user survey in the beginning stages of your gamification. Listen closely. The trick to gamification isn’t just getting people to play – it’s getting them hooked so they keep playing.
About the Author: Russell Martin is a marketing pro and small business entrepreneur who often gives advice to other businesses about ways to improve customer engagement.