The topic of ‘gamification’ is undoubtedly trending over the last few years, buzzing around both the marketing and business world. Here’s something important: as innovative as it seems, gamification has been around for quite some time now.
Gamification is a familiar concept that often goes unnoticed, even though it creates a positive experience and usually leaves an impression. Businesses use gamified solutions to retain customers, activate online communities, and build brands. Companies also use gamification to train employees, with 92% enjoying game-inspired elements while 75% claim gamification makes them work harder. Hello, human resources? We want some games, please…
Now….what exactly is gamification?
Put simply; gamification happens whenever you apply gaming elements to other non-gaming environments.
Do you remember the Dinosaur Game that pops up on Google Chrome every time you lose internet connection? What about the Google Doodles and the yearly Halloween games? Yes, that’s gamification.
Gaming elements are also popular in education, making the learning experience more interactive and fun, generating positive rivalry, which leads to better learning results. Did you know that the Microsoft Minesweeper was released to help people acclimate to right and left-clicking? That makes gamification almost 30 years old!
Gamification in marketing
There are 2.7 billion gamers globally, which accounts for almost one-third of the world’s total population. That percentage might seem high; haven’t we all been hooked on Candy Crush, The Sims, or GTA at some point in our lives? Simply put, humans love the interactivity and love games!
And marketers happen to love gamification! Gamification has the power to engage users from a variety of different demographics. If used correctly, it can make your whole marketing strategy more efficient, let alone the ROI gains to be had! Games help jumpstart engagement, convert more social media users into paying customers, and even increase your reach. Why? Because interactions, new customers, and better outreach are much easier to obtain now, we can all afford to produce and deliver high-quality content. Games engage the user’s mind while indirectly creating that brand impression, which is the heart of content marketing.
Content marketing has been around for even longer than gamification. Useful how-to tips and product tutorials were used already by our grandmas, and they continue to attract audiences looking for valuable content and information. With the development of technology, content marketing has also undergone some changes – that’s how interactive content was born. And brands quickly realized that interactivity is something that not only attracts and engages customers but also retains them and keeps them coming back for more. Gamification in marketing is here to stay, and we believe it will continue to evolve marketing platforms and engagement.
Better attention span and information retention, increased engagement, and motivation to participate, the competitiveness that encourages repeat gameplays… Doesn’t it all just make you want to launch a branded mini-game?
Gamification is more accessible and affordable than ever before, and there are dozens of reasons for launching playable promotions. Here are five main reasons for gamifying your marketing strategy in 2021.
Entertain and engage your audience with a gamified marketing strategy
Brand engagement stands for an emotional commitment to a brand, and it’s not the same as brand awareness. It’s more than that, as it signifies loyalty and trust, so it’s easy to understand how vital it is for brands, no matter their size.
It’s no secret that marketers look for newer, more robust ways to engage their online audience and generate high-quality customer engagement. One way to do it is by launching promotional campaigns that deliver audiences something more than just information. This is where interactivity and dialogue come into play.
Product promotion is one of the most popular reasons for marketing campaigns. We are now way ahead of roadside billboards, leaflets, and TV commercials. To succeed, you need something that makes your brand stand out from the crowd and shine much brighter than all your competitors put together. Imagine a new product launch or an upselling campaign that’ll decide whether your brand will reach the yearly target. How can you be top of mind with your customers when it comes to a decision, making process?
Product positioning can be a tricky task, but nothing is stopping you from taking the creative route. The above example clearly illustrates how a cleaning products brand managed to position itself. As part of their Halloween campaign, they ran a Memory game where they challenged their followers to find matching images as quickly as possible. “Why would anyone play,” you wonder? The fastest player won a batch of cleaning products! Apart from being exposed to the brand and products, the users got a dosage of entertainment. They interacted with a brand that they would recognize the next time they were cleaning the products aisle efficiently. Can you imagine that much direct engagement with a traditional advertising campaign?
Take advantage of gamification and maximize lead generation
Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing techniques. Personalized offers and customized messages do their magic across many different industries. However, obtaining qualified leads is sometimes much more complicated than it seems, as online users are more protective of their personal information than before. They’re not likely to share their contact details just because you ask them to. Here’s when gamification and incentives will help you do the job.
Launch a branded mini-game and raffle attractive prizes or discounts among all participating users or those that scored the highest points. For a chance to win, they must leave their full name and email address. Results show users go for it as incentives happen to motivate them to participate in online promotions and games.
Simply organize a playable campaign that you can customize with your corporate image, precisely how the body care brand did. They distributed discount codes to all users who played their Puzzle game. Apart from exposing the audience to their brand, they also collected leads and incentivized purchasing.
Now, think for a second about all the anonymous users that visit your website and social media profiles. How much do you know about them? Well, quite likely not much because they leave no trace of their identity behind. Wouldn’t it be great to contact them with personalized offers and discounts?
Converting website visitors into paying customers becomes much easier if you gamify your marketing strategy. Embed a gamified promotion on your website or eCommerce site or add a promotional banner that will help you turn high-quality web traffic into sales leads. Online prize wheels have proven to be successful tools for distributing multiple prizes and discounts and strengthening brand awareness and visibility online.
You can use the same promotion to convert your social media followers into qualified leads. Simply share a direct link on your channels and wait for the marketing magic to happen!
Gamify your marketing strategy to reinforce brand and product awareness
Global attention span is narrowing due to the amount of information that we’re exposed to daily. We scroll through hundreds if not thousands of posts and messages every day. How can you get your target audience to notice your message if there’s so much content to put their eyes on? If you’re looking to grab your audience’s attention for a minute longer than your competitors, ensure you offer high-quality content and engaging content. Here’s your chance to stand out and make a difference.
Indeed you can name at least five different brands from the fashion, beauty, home decor, and automotive industries. Is your target audience able to name your brand from the top of their head?
Gamification triggers real emotions, like excitement and rivalry. Emotions lead to higher engagement, which creates loyal customers who are likely to promote your brand through word of mouth marketing. Gamification connects with the user on a more emotional level than just an image or information post. Promoting your brand and products with gamified solutions helps activate potential customers through the sales funnel and encourage their loyalty. In the above example, you can see how easily a home decor brand promotes its new collection.
Boost sales with branded mini-games
We’ve mentioned the engagement, the leads, the brand awareness… But your business can’t succeed without profit. Generating sales is always in the strategy and a top priority. One engaging way to trigger the sales funnel is raffling big prizes. It is a great way to reward your customers and keep them coming back for more. But how can gamification help you boost sales?
93% of shoppers use discount coupons throughout the year, looking for bargains and special offers. Coupon distribution is a way to go! But, don’t just hand it out… Take an opportunity to work on all the goals we’ve already mentioned while also looking to increase sales.
Offer a unique discount code to all users that share their contact information. You will attract more customers to your store or eCommerce site and collect high-quality leads, genuinely interested in your product and brand.
Retain customers and foster loyalty with long-term campaigns
Many brands struggle to come up with ways to keep their customers coming back. Repeat purchases are something every brand craves, but how do you keep your clients hooked on your brand? How do you keep your customers in your brand community until the next purchase?
Have you ever thought about launching daily, weekly, or monthly gamified challenges and rewarding the most active users?
Imagine organizing long-term campaigns with multiple games, puzzles, and challenges to which customers come back willingly – something that doesn’t happen with TV or radio commercials, as we’re all too often ready to hit that ‘Skip’ button. Positive experiences create positive outlooks towards the organizing brand that comes across as trustworthy and reliable – two aspects that can positively differentiate you from your competitors.
Are you ready to launch a gamified campaign in 2021? Many marketing specialists predict that 2021 will be the year of branding, and gamification is essential in taking your brand into the spotlight. There’s simply no better way to reinforce your brand and your online presence than with gamified solutions and interactive games!
This blog was originally published on December 30th, 2020 at 11:48 am