If you really want to engage your audience and increase brand awareness, gamification is a great tool to add to your marketing efforts. Now, just to clarify, gamification doesn’t mean turning your website into an online version of Go Fish or Monopoly. Rather, it is adding the interactivity of a game to something that is not.
If you’re hesitant about adding gamification, consider these statistics from the 2011 Los Angeles Games Conference: 50 percent of gamers are female, 30 percent are over 45, in the U.S. there are 40 million active social gamers who play at least 1 hour a week, and there are over 200 million gamers on Facebook.
You’ll want to work with a Web developer or gamification company like Bunchball, BigDoor Media, Badgeville or Gigya to do this correctly, but you don’t have to make it super complicated. Here are 5 elements to include in your own gamification strategy:
1. Offer badges
Thanks to Foursquare, people love gathering badges and showing off what they’ve achieved. Consider offering your customers badges for a set amount of purchases or usage.
2. Challenges need to be targeted
To keep users interested in the game, the challenge has to be customized to your company and target market, and you should offer several challenges so people will come back and try again.
3. Motivate with virtual gifts…
If you play a video game, you often collect some kind of gift – points, badges, rewards, or something that will help you as you progress to the next level. To keep users motivated, offer up your own virtual gifts.
4. … and leaderboards
A lot of people have a competitive streak, and a leaderboard can really motivate users to play often. This public display that announces users’ performance to the world really fuels deep engagement.
5. Add a progress bar
You know that LinkedIn progress bar that shows how much of your profile is complete? That is actually a gamification element. By seeing how much of a game is completed, users are more likely to finish, especially if there’s a reward at the end. In the case of LinkedIn, you have access to some premium services.
Don’t forget: Measure the effectiveness of your gamification efforts. To see if gamification is working for your company, track user participation, daily activities, and user achievement and levels. You’ll also want to track click-through rates and measure if users are buying or using your product or service.
Have you added any gamification elements to your marketing plan? Let us know in the comments below!
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