Want to take your marketing strategy to the next level? Try adding gamification elements – read more about it in our guide.
If you are an eCommerce brand – or a digital brand operating in any other space – you are seriously missing out if you’re not using gamification in your marketing strategy. Gamification in marketing has proven time and again to be a winning (no pun intended!) tool to achieve better brand exposure, engage with your customers, and close more sales.
Are you interested in finding out more about this hot topic? Then, our guide right here is an essential read. Let’s jump right in!
While you might have heard about using gamification strategies to up employee productivity, commitment, and satisfaction (especially in the context of an online web conference), you might be brand-new to the concept of gamification in marketing.
However, the idea is very similar: applying gamification to your marketing strategies simply means adding elements from games to your campaigns, in order to achieve a range of benefits.
When we talk about “gamification elements”, we refer to anything from competitions, scavenger hunts, prizes, rewards, chances, and more.
When it comes to marketing, you can gamify lots of different areas, including advertising, referrals, and affiliate programs. In the sports betting world, gamifying online betting sites is another great way to make betting more dynamic and engaging for users. Learn about gamification of sports betting here.
Gamification in email marketing is possible, too, as well as adding gamification elements to the shopping and customer experience.
Whichever type of gamification you incorporate into your marketing strategy, one thing is for sure: you are going to want to include great prizes at the end, as well as make the interaction itself as fun, compelling, and memorable as possible (creating a great landing page can help immensely, by the way).
Only by doing so, in fact, will more and more people choose to join in your “games”, thus enabling you to reap the amazing benefits that gamification in marketing can bring.
Speaking of benefits, let’s now take a look at some of the best things you can expect to achieve through gamification in marketing.
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Marketing Gamification: Benefits to Expect
There can be dozens of advantages to marketing gamification that can help your business achieve great results. Here, we are going to look at five of the big ones.
First and foremost, a well-thought-out gamification campaign can help you get to know your customers better by collecting important data about them, their preferences, their needs, and their expectations.
Games, in fact, are a wonderful way to explore human behavior in a fun, safe, and playful space, which will prove invaluable if you are looking to nurture your existing customers as well as expand your customer base.
Another important benefit that gamification can generate is an enhancement in your brand awareness. Concepts like trivia, quizzes, competitions, scavenger hunts, and more are, in fact, effective ways to encourage people to get to know your brand and the products or services it offers.
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Following up on the previous benefit, it’s also important to mention that gamification in marketing is great at attracting your customers’ attention. The fun, interactive element that you add to your marketing communications through gamification can be decisive in making your brand stand out to customers.
Because gamification is based upon interactive elements working together to spur an individual to take a specific action, a solid gamification campaign has the potential to boost customer engagement and, as a result, increase conversion rates.
You can still, of course, use a CSAT or NPS score to determine your customers’ satisfaction and engagement rates, but adding that extra interactive element can truly elevate the entire experience.
Last but not least, gamification is fantastic at helping you turn user-generated content (UGC) into a valuable, compelling, money-making asset for your brand. Through gamification, you can use content such as customer photos, blogs, videos, social media, and more to inspire others, generate momentum, and increase sales.
At the simplest level, encouraging users to submit content is a great way to generate unique marketing assets, specific to your brand, that you won't have to pay for. Marketing campaigns that UGC also have the added benefit of encouraging customers to promote, and endorse, your brand themselves. You can also then use these products to promote your brand in other ways such as through influencer brand placements.
Now, let’s find out what the most popular and successful marketing gamification ideas are, regardless of whether you sell skincare products, VoIP for enterprises, clothing apparel, healthy food, or anything else.
Is there anything more classic in the world of gaming than the good, old prize wheel? This is such a much-loved and effective option that more and more brands are incorporating a digital version of it into their gamification marketing strategies.
The idea and execution are both extremely simple. You create a multi-colored wheel featuring different segments, and assign a specific prize to each segment. Then, either through your website, landing page, social media, or email, you encourage your customers to spin the wheel and reveal a prize.
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One of a number of virtual event gamification options, a scavenger hunt is a fabulous way to gamify your marketing and engage your customers in a fun, simple, and playful way.
Also known as a “treasure hunt” or “Easter egg hunt”, a scavenger hunt consists of searching for hidden clues or items that reveal a gift or prize. Not only is this very easy to implement, but it also enables you to show your customers some parts of your website that are usually overlooked, thus boosting brand awareness, customer engagement, and even sales.
Photo contests are the prime example of the “gamification-meet-UGC” strategy that we mentioned earlier. Launching a photo competition involves inviting your customers or followers to take and share snaps relating to a specific topic (and, in the case of social media, accompanied by specific hashtags).
These competitions usually have a firm end date, by which all the submissions should be received and examined by you in order to proclaim the winner. Not only is this an incredibly simple and popular option when it comes to marketing gamification, but it’s also one of the most affordable ones thanks to its use of UGC.
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash
If you want to take your gamification game to the next level, then you should seriously consider designing and developing an actual video game. It’s not always as complicated as it sounds, although it does require a bit more coding skills and might benefit from the input and support of an expert (check out this web development proposal example).
Through the games that you develop, you can encourage customers to take specific actions, or even to consider an important career path. For example, did you know that the US Army created a war simulator game that applicants could play on the online gaming platform Steam?
This helped attract more people to join the army in a way that felt more informal and approachable. The aim of the game, quite literally, was to showcase what life in the Army was all about and, if the players like what they see, to encourage them to visit the US Army’s website to learn more about how to apply.
Does something like this feel a bit too out of reach for your small business and limited budget? No worries, you could still add actual games to your marketing without breaking the bank in the form of simple digital scratch cards, quizzes, and trivia.
Whatever game you choose to develop, remember that digital and manual testing tools are essential, in order for your gamification experience to be safe, smooth, and successful.
In many cases competition is what makes a game that bit juicier and more enticing which, in turn, leads more people to want to play. So, why not add this element to your marketing gamification, too?
Take a look at what Nike did, for example. The world-famous sportswear brand teamed up with the Run Club app to encourage people to get active and healthy. Through the app, users were able to personalize their own training program based on their individual features, fitness level, and more.
Users were then able to take part in specific fitness challenges and competitions with the aim of winning badges and trophies to showcase to their peers within the running community.
Other apps in the health and wellness space have done and are doing similar, such as Fitbit and WW (the new brand name for what used to be called Weight Watchers). This type of gamification idea is fantastic at keeping your customers active, engaged, and motivated to follow your brand and, ultimately, buy your products or services.
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Gamification can be a great addition to your marketing strategy for a variety of reasons, including its ability to boost brand awareness, increase customer engagement and conversion rates, and lift your profits.
There are a lot of different ideas when it comes to implementing a gamification strategy that resonates with your brand and its customers, and our guide has hopefully offered you some good inspiration!
Bio: Grace Lau - Director of Growth Content, Dialpad