You’ve probably already heard about gamification, since it’s been a hot topic in the business sector for a while now. Although you may be very familiar to the concept, it can be a good idea to freshen up your memory with a few core aspects like what gamification is, what it can do for your business and how you can implement it.
What exactly is gamification?
As it can be easily deducted from its name, gamification is related to gaming (seems logical, right?), although it’s not one and the same thing. To be more specific, the term refers to the “use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems”, as it is described on Wikipedia.
It basically means to make use of concepts, strategies, tactics and mechanisms from the gaming arena, and implement them into (in our case) a business context, where they can drive specific reactions from the audience exposed to them. It has become widely used in the marketing strategies of big brands like, for example, Samsung or Coca Cola.
The working principle of this cool technique is to stimulate users by asking them to perform tasks, to engage in different competitions or to pass specific challenges. By completing those, the users achieve virtual gratifications like badges, points, progress bar and level completion, or real-life prizes like discount coupons or free products.
Why should you try out gamification strategies in your business?
The use of gamification is intended to make a customer’s experience more engaging, more interactive and more stimulating. Not to mention that we all have a more or less developed competition spirit. Yes, it lies in our human nature to be competitive and to try to win challenges, so this can be a strong argument for trying to trigger the characteristic we were all born with.
Just think about it: what drives a better customer engagement? Is it a.) a marketing strategy where you are impersonal and don’t speak directly to them, or b.) an approach where you involve your customers in your marketing strategy? Supposing you chose the second answer, I’ll tell you it’s the right one. (Of course, I’m sure we all knew the answer already).
Thus, why not choose to integrate a tactic where you merge customer experience with the human competition spirit? If you do, you should be expecting an increase in customer loyalty towards your brand, in sales volume of your products and services, a better ROI and, not to forget, brand awareness and shareability of your initiative.
How can you implement gamification in your business?
Like already said, gamification is still a hot topic in the marketing world. As always when something gets very popular, we find many alternative ways of making use of it.
Let’s have a look at a few ideas for ways in which you can create a gamification scheme:
- Develop a Facebook app on your brand page, shaped as a game, where your customers have to pass a challenge in order to win something. We are all familiar with those apps where we have to accept the app accessing our data and maybe even posting on our behalf. Still, Facebook apps are very popular and their advantage is social sharing which increases app popularity and game participation.
- Design a special landing page on your website, where you post your gamification object. This will also help you get a higher traffic volume on your site and chances are that visitors will also access other pages where they could find interesting things.
- Create a mobile app. It’s known that mobile conquers more and more of our browsing habits, so focusing on being present there is a good path to follow.
- Organize an offline contest, where your customers have to send you their participation evidence. This could consist of, for example, hand crafted objects. Choosing this option may be a little tricky, as many people are not very fond of snail mail, hence prefer the online medium.
- Set up an outdoor action. This can be anything like a sports competition, an event, a huge interactive billboard and so on. One thing to keep in mind is that this action involves a higher logistic effort.
- Run an online contest conceived as an online quiz. Perhaps one of the most easy actions to implement, as you can design, build, publish and distribute the quiz yourself, even if you have zero coding skills. As easy as it is to manage, an online quiz can drive great results in terms of participation, speed of data gathering, ease of managing and of centralizing the results.
What are your ideas on gamification? Have you ever tried out a certain technique in your business? Feel free to share in the comments below.
Images: ”Green road sign with a blue sky gradient background. / Shutterstock.com“
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