Gamification, by definition, is when standard elements of gameplay, such as scoring points, winning rewards, and following a rule set, are applied to everyday situations, usually as a marketing strategy to create enjoyment from less interesting tasks. Gamification motivates people to engage with products or companies, or temporarily escape to an alternate reality. The list below outlines 10 suggestions for incorporating gamification into your marketing strategy.
1. Give badges
Badges have somewhat diminished in value recently as they are so popular and used by many websites and companies. An excellent reward system, which includes earning badges, can still create badges with value and have them stand out above the rest. It’s important to make it difficult to earn badges, to increase a user’s pride in gaining one and have them connected to the reward system.
2. Use a reward points system
There are two ways of giving reward points. If your product or website has a pre-existing solid community spirit, the reward points each user has accumulated can be directly linked to how valued they are in the community. “This can be done with a system such as voting on posts or contributing to the website. A second way to use reward points can be by giving them as awards for succeeding certain tasks, and can potentially be exchanged later for real rewards” says Candi Sherman, a technical writer at Write my Australia and Subjecto.
3. Offer tangible rewards
Badges and reward points aside, nothing beats actual, physical rewards. This can be an extra step that users can reach after they’ve reached a certain amount of reward points or badges or can be received after spending amount certain amount of money or contributing to the community over a period of time. These rewards can be anything from small items like pens, notebooks and magnets to clothing, hats, or tickets to events by partners.
4. Host a spin-to-win
Gamification strategies can include actual games like Spin-To-Win wheels, which allow you to reward your clients with discounts or points. Many websites have luck-based games like these that draw customers to consider buying a product they may not have thought about purchasing before.
For example, an airline company offering Spin-To-Win discounts on flights with rewards such anything from 5, 10, or even 15 percent off a flight may find that a customer who wins a 15 percent reward will buy a flight with that company, when they may not have purchased a flight otherwise or may have gone with a different airline.
5. Throw regular contests
In the same way as the Spin-To-Win method, contests are also another popular gamification strategy, mainly in social media. Contests can be entered in a variety of ways, either by liking or sharing a page, checking in at a specific store or venue, or tagging a company or product. The company can then use a random generator to pick the lucky winner. A contest can also be vote-based, whereby the most liked uploaded image wins the contest, or it can be outside of social media entirely and a subscription on a website is all that’s needed to enter.
6. Have a tier-based loyalty program
Another good tactic is to create a loyalty program with multiple levels or tiers. These are successful because like levelling up in a game scenario, tiered loyalty programs create healthy competition, and make customers feel like their loyalty, time, and money spent is appreciated and welcomed. It feeds into the sense of community mentioned previously.
Customers can move up in the loyalty program by spending money, earning reward points, or finishing certain tasks. The different stages have different benefits and this is where your company can stand out from others.
7. Organize a quiz or trivia game
Quizzes can be a different way to stand out and make sure customers enjoy their experience. Everyone enjoys trivia and in this case, it can be related to your product. “Depending on how well your customers do on the quiz, they could get a reward. Quizzes can also be related to a seasonal event like a national holiday or year-end quiz on topics relevant for the past year” says Mary Slone, a business writer at Australian reviewer and Dissertation services.
8. Consider a public leaderboard
To fuel the competitive spirit associated with gamification, consider adding leaderboards to your strategy. Have a public leaderboard displaying points and challenge or quiz results. This ensures people have concrete targets to aim for and can challenge their friends. Try to make rewards available for more than just first place so they are attainable for all. This is a great way to engage the community and create a good discussion point.
The important thing with leaderboards is to also celebrate all participants. If the majority of your participants are loyal customers, they should still feel like a member of the team and could receive participation rewards to make sure they stay engaged.
9. Create different challenges
As mentioned before, challenges are useful if you’re adopting some type of reward system and a leaderboard. Like quizzes, they give you a reason to give points, badges, and other rewards. Challenges have to be made specifically for each product or business and depend entirely on the audience and the overall context. Because of that, there is no generalized challenge that can be applied across the board to all businesses.
10. Simplify your onboarding process for new customers
Introducing a new member to your gamification system should be easy. If it’s too complex, they won’t want to sign up and will be confused by the different options. Use gamification for your onboarding itself either with a quiz, or character creation. When doing this, it’s important to know your goals as well as your audience. Keep the long term goals in mind to avoid getting wrapped up in the daily process.
These 10 methods should be a good start for anyone thinking about adopting a gamification strategy for their business. While games, rewards and challenges can be very exciting, don’t forget to be balanced in your approach and reward all loyal customers regardless of rankings.
About the author
Technical Writer and Project Coordinator Sara Sparrow, Rated writing and Top writing services, spends most of her time attending tech and marketing conferences as well as providing consultations to businesses on these topics. When she has a minute, she also contributes to magazines and blogs, including Academ advisor.