Gamification Marketing: Literally Everything You Need to Know!
Gamification marketing is on the rise.
And that’s great news for all businesses.
Implementing gamified content into your digital marketing strategy could be the game-changer you need.
While you may think that adding games to your marketing strategy sounds like child’s play, it will help your brand cut through the noise, stand out and avoid mediocrity.
You’ll drive engagement and promote your brand while creating an enjoyable experience for your site visitors.
Which will ultimately boost your conversion rates.
We’ll discuss what gamification marketing is, how it can benefit your business and best practices.
Let’s dive in.
What is Gamification?
Gamification infuses game mechanics such as competition, rankings, and scoring systems, into non-game contexts.
It’s all about taking fun, interactive and compelling elements from games and applying them to day-to-day activities.
Why would you do that?
Gamification aims to make a product, service or training less yawn-worthy, more engaging, and, ultimately, more attractive.
So, how does gamification apply to digital marketing?
What is Gamification in Digital Marketing?
By adding games to your digital marketing strategy, you’re gamifying an activity to encourage participation and digital engagement, which helps to promote a new product or service.
Simultaneously, you’re offering attainable rewards to your site visitors, such as points, leader boards, and trophies.
Gamifiying your content helps boost sales, create more active collaborations, improve ROI, strengthen customer loyalty, and drive customer satisfaction.
Some of the biggest brands in the world have yielded incredible success with gamification marketing.
For example, take a look at these gamification marketing statistics:
- The “Ford Escape Route” game resulted in over $8 million in vehicle sales for Ford Motors, a 600% increase in Facebook likes, and over 100 million Twitter impressions.
- Domino’s “Pizza Hero” increased sales by 30% simply by allowing customers to create their own pizza!
You can see the benefits experienced by Ford and Domino’s. But what benefits can you expect?
The Benefits of Gamification in Marketing
Why is gamification important in marketing?
Since its rise in popularity in 2010, gamification has proven to be a kick-butt marketing strategy that’s here to stay.
Over time, however, consumers have become savvier to the growing number of digital marketing strategies.
As a result, they know when they are being targeted and can end up feeling ambivalent toward sales tactics.
However, gamification taps into peoples’ intrinsic motivation while providing valuable extrinsic rewards—both tangible and intangible.
Plus, 89% of employees believe gamification in the workplace boosts productivity. This is why gamification in corporate training works so well for employee onboarding, compliance training, and skill training.
Let’s move on to 14 gamification marketing benefits and discuss why they’re so effective in digital marketing.
1. Increased User Engagement
We’re living in an age where people turn to a screen for entertainment in their downtime.
Visitors are more likely to become—and remain—faithful customers if a company incites fun and excitement.
Gamification works because people love to feel a sense of achievement.
And win stuff.
2. Increased Conversions
Users are more likely to respond to your call to action (CTA) than non-gamified marketing methods.
Attaching rewards to your gamification efforts will encourage your audience to take steps that will boost your conversion rates.
In fact, around 70% of marketers believe interactive content successfully converts visitors to customers.
3. Increased Brand Awareness and Loyalty
Gamification leads visitors to think more about your brand, which helps to influence buyer behavior.
Most users don’t associate games with marketing, so they become unconsciously receptive to strategically placed branding.
Gamification encourages shoppers to purchase a marketed brand when they’re shopping due to brand recall.
Take it from almost 90% of marketers who find interactive content helps their brand stand out from their competitors.
4. Multiplatform Functionality
It comes as no surprise that most people access the internet, social media, and apps via smartphones and tablets, as well as desktops and laptops.
Gamification can easily be adapted for all platforms, which helps you reach a wider audience.
5. Consumer Data Collection
Consumer data is a valuable asset for businesses.
But, gathering it isn’t always easy. Plus, you must ensure you collect it ethically.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) states how data should be handled by organizations collecting data.
But gamification has made the intentional capture of personal data possible and is an excellent way to gain consensual, GDPR compliant data.
If visitors see a chance to win a prize or reward, they’re more willing to hand over their personal information.
You can then use this data as part of your marketing strategy.
6. Easy on the Pocketbook
Gamification is an easy-to-implement and cost-effective strategy that can propel your business forward.
Some gamification elements may look fancy, but they’re not as expensive and time-consuming as they appear.
7. Gets Through AdBlockers
No one likes pesky pop-ups—whether you’re searching for information or browsing shopping sites. This is why 27% of people use ad blockers in the US.
But, ad blockers limit a company’s reach, wasting money in the process.
The good news is, ad blockers don’t apply to gamification. As a result, games easily bypass users who have the extension installed.
8. Entices Consumers
Often, consumer behavior is based on emotion rather than rationale.
For example, site visitors may ignore a clickable banner advertising 20% off. But they could feel drawn to a 20% discount offer after passing three levels in an interactive game.
Users want to feel that they have “earned” a discount, which leads them to value the reward more than a discount given for no reason.
9. Educates Consumers
Gamification is a fun way to inform users of the benefits of your products or services.
For example, Swiss milk company, Emmi AG, launched a digital campaign to promote their new low sugar range. Emmi created three games in the form of a jackpot machine.
Users learned loads of facts and answered market research style questions as they played, which allowed Emmi to educate consumers while gathering valuable consumer data.
10. Reaches a Wide Audience
As of 2020, mobile gaming accounted for 51% of the global gamification market—totaling $85 billion in revenue.
Games appeal to both kids and the young at heart. As a result, they’re the best way to reach a broad demographic for any business looking to attract consumers of all ages.
11. Creates Positive Emotions
The psychology behind gamified marketing is quite simple.
Users play a game and earn a reward.
The accomplishment helps them feel a sense of achievement, which leads to a positive association with your brand.
12. Great for Social Media
Social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are the best platforms for cultivating a social buzz around your digital marketing campaign.
Adding human-centric design elements, such as an option for social media shares, is a fantastic way to drive user engagement and fosters a community of competition and play.
13. Keeps Them Coming Back for More
Did you know that retaining your current customers costs one-fifth the cost of acquiring new customers?
That’s how valuable your loyal customers are.
Gamification’s replay value prompts consumers to return and beat their own score, other high scores, or win bigger and better rewards.
14. It’s Fun!
We, humans, are social creatures and crave adventure, amusement, and achievement.
Whether we play games as a form of escapism or just to pass the time, entertainment speaks to the very foundation of humanity.
And quite simply, they’re fun, enjoyable, and best of all—marketable.
So, what is a gamification strategy that works?
Best Practices for Gamification Implementation
To reap the rewards, you’ve got to get it right.
1. KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly)
Games should be fun.
So you don’t want to turn people away by complicating a fun experience.
Keep your gamification simple so that your audience can easily understand how to play—and win.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Your target audience must always be your priority.
What do your customers like?
What will attract them to your site?
Consider these questions, and don’t just rush off to implement the latest and greatest gamification techniques.
It is essential you first ensure your audience can relate to your gamified content.
That’s where research will help you decide the best gamification technique to target the right audience that’s receptive and ready to interact with your brand.
3. Reward Your Players
Would you turn down the chance to win rewards just by playing a simple game?
Well, neither would your visitors!
Begin by rolling out small prizes. Then, if you want to get your users addicted to your game—and we know you do—pique their curiosity and get ‘em hooked!
For example, if you have a spin-to-win game on your site, give users three spins of the wheel for a chance to win.
After each spin, they can either redeem their reward or try again. But, players will lose any bonus won if they choose to spin again.
4. Encourage Friend Challenges
Encourage the innate human need to compete, win, and be social.
Allow your audience to invite friends to play by adding Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram share buttons to your gamified content.
This will not only make it more competitive and interactive, but you’re also expanding your reach!
5. Promote the Heck Out of It
Promotion is key to any successful marketing endeavor.
You want to reach a broad audience with your gamified content, so you must promote it.
Where are you most likely to reach your target audience?
With 1.9 billion daily users, Facebook should be at the top of your list.
Select other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin based on your audience’s behavior and preferences.
Email marketing is a great way to invite your subscribers to participate in your new game.
What types of games can you include in your gamification marketing campaign?
Awesome Marketing Gamification Examples
Here are some gamification examples to show you how you can apply gamified marketing to your business.
1. ”Spin-to-Win” Wheels
Spin-to-win discount wheels give visitors a chance to earn coupons for your store simply by handing over their contact information.
Spin-to-win stands out, and you can include elements such as discounts, special offers, or free shipping.
Let’s say a visitor spins the wheel and wins a 25% discount. As a result, they may feel inclined to complete their purchasing journey in your store.
This gamification style can also significantly reduce the rate of cart abandonment while generating new leads for your business.
2. Loyalty Reward Programs
A loyalty program incentivizes purchases by allowing customers to accumulate a specified number of points before converting them into an offer. The incentive may be freebies or discounts on future purchases.
One of the most successful gamification examples is Starbucks.
Gone are the old punch cards. Today, Starbucks encourages regular purchases using the “Starbucks Dash.”
Members are rewarded for visiting a store multiple times over a specific timeframe. They then receive loyalty program points the more often they call into a store.
A mobile app keeps track of visits, encouraging members to move the progress bar towards earning a special reward.
3. Digital Badges
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Grab—Climb the tiers to get more points, benefits, and privileges.[/caption]
Digital badges entice users to come back for more to unlock new levels and earn trophies.
Creating badges isn’t as hard as you might think. You can use the WordPress plugin BadgeOS to build an achievement program in minutes.
Verizon Wireless successfully gamified their website and offered visitors digital badges, boosting browsing time by 30%.
If you decide to go for digital badges, make sure their design is attractive and appeals to your audience.
4. The Completeness Meter
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Memrise—language learning progress[/caption]
The completeness meter’s goal is to encourage the user to complete all steps on a particular journey.
One of many social media gamification examples is LinkedIn. You complete the meter when you add a profile picture, location, work history, and education. Then, you receive a digital trophy.
The possibilities are limitless.
Ready to Get Your Hands Dirty?
Gamification is a powerful marketing tool that helps to disarm users from their aversion to marketing.
But it’s more than points, leaderboards, and rewards.
Gamification marketing is a strategy, which means you first need to define your goals.
Whatever gamification marketing strategy you adopt, keep in mind that your priority should be your audience’s enjoyment. And the rest will fall into place.
It’s time to level up.
Engage. Hook. Convert.
Kirsty Wilson is a certified content marketer and experienced margarita drinker. She specialises in Digital Marketing, Landing Page Copy, and adding a touch of Aussie humour to lifestyle and travel blogs. Currently creating a whirlwind of chaos in Mexico, she documents her solo travels to inspire other Gen-X women to have a go! View her other epic publications here.