Gamification marketing: gaming meets storytelling
With gamification and an original and creative narrative, you can use interactive content to increase user engagement. Do you already know how?
Let’s start from the basics: what is gamification?
A possible definition of gamification is the use of elements, terms and emotional experiences typical of gaming environments in radically different contexts.
Gamification plays on a fairly common emotional mechanism: that of reward, triggered by events such as winning a prize, achieving a goal, completing a collection or winning a medal. Gamification stimulates people’s sense of competition and the satisfaction caused by the feeling that one is making progress.
Everybody likes having such feelings and, as a result, everybody loves gamification. For users, it’s a fun way to nurture their relationship with a brand in an unconventional way. For marketers, it is a formidable tool to make their content more interactive and exciting. For brands, introducing gamified strategies to their content marketing programs is a way to drive brand engagement and foster consumer loyalty.
The reason is simple: users who are more actively involved are also the most likely to:
- remain loyal to the brand,
- respond positively to the communications received,
- continue to make purchases, or interact with the brand, because they are satisfied with their experience.
Gamification: some examples of its enormous potential
The possible uses of this type of approach are potentially endless and, with the spread of apps and smartphones, opportunities for marketing have multiplied rapidly. Fitness, productivity, concentration techniques or geolocation services are the areas where it has been possible to exploit the advantages of gamification more thoroughly; however, success cases go beyond these areas.
How do we incorporate gamification into our marketing strategy?
The answer depends on the specific goals of the campaign or program you want to build. What is clear is that a particular strategy must correspond to specific needs and audiences.
Attract new customers with rewards, prizes and contests
An example that would be easy to put into practice could be to offer promotional rates for first-time buyers or to offer exclusive tickets for a big event such as a prize for a creativity contest. Here’s a good example: Qwertee is a t-shirt shop whose business strategy is based on an original sales technique. You can buy your favourite t-shirt for a limited period of time, usually 24 hours. Suppliers can instead send their designs and make them compete with the work of other designers: after a “war” of votes, those who receive the highest appreciation will see their t-shirt on sale on the platform.
Educate your customers
Gamification can also be used to build and maintain a learning path. Classic examples can be apps designed to learn foreign languages, which focus on reaching a fair balance between personal satisfaction and stimulating the curiosity for learning. Duolingo is one of the most popular apps for learning languages. With a straightforward and captivating design, Duolingo is an excellent example of how to put the user’s experience at the core of the learning experience through a carefully crafted combination of levels, involvement and fulfilment from the results obtained.
Promote a new product with a game
NikeFuel is the best example of this strategy. With a mix of wearables and apps, Nike offers a comprehensive program for customers to monitor their progress in their favourite sporting activities. And not only that: it also allows them to compete with their friends, get rewards related to their progress and share successes with other members of the community.
Reward your customers’ loyalty with exclusive content and prizes
One of the most popular and appreciated loyalty programs is Starbucks Rewards. In addition to the My Starbucks Rewards program, there is also a Starbucks’ app available for download where users can place orders, pay or access streaming music. With a score measured in stars, you can accumulate points to redeem rewards for free snacks and drinks or enjoy various benefits at points of sale. In this case, Starbucks wanted to strengthen its brand positioning linked to a particular lifestyle.
▶ Make sure you can make progress quickly in your game.
▶ Make progress tracking transparent.
▶ Set clear rules and expectations.
▶ Don’t forget to make your program social-media friendly.
▶ Think mobile and use a responsive design.
▶ Take advantage of all the data you have to analyse your audience and build the most personalised experiences possible.