5 Ways You Can Improve Your Marketing Campaign with Gamification

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Are you a keen observer of marketing trends? You may have noticed that good marketing content has evolved to become more engaging. It's almost like we're no longer looking at content but experiencing it.

Truth is, there's been a rise in gamification marketing strategy. And the global gamification market is growing at a rate of 27.4%, expected to hit a value of 30.7 billion by 2025.

Strangely, games and marketing are a perfect marriage. Games create fun for visitors as they interact with their favorite brands, making them browse longer and increasing companies' customer engagement rates. A win for everybody!

Today, we'll examine why gamification works and how you can convert customers using this hot UGC marketing strategy.

What is Gamification?

In digital marketing, gamification is using game-like elements to market products or services

Ways You Can Improve Your Marketing Campaign with Gamification

Put simply, using games on your website attracts, engages, and retains customers. You drive your consumers to perform an action that offers some bits of competition or rewards.

Marketing gamification is intended to encourage customer interaction and motivate them to make certain decisions. Games stimulate the customer's brain and prompt them to purchase.

Gamification also promotes user engagement and helps you establish an emotional connection with your customers.

When done right, marketing gamification can be a goldmine for user-generated content (UGC) and word-of-mouth marketing

With a simple hashtag, you can encourage users to share their best times on your branded game and enter a contest.

The gaming elements can run from "spin to win" to slightly complex video games. Simple game elements may include:

  • Points- You encourage users to play a game or purchase something. The user can exchange the points for a discount or freebies.
  • Levels- You may appeal to the customer's sense of achievement by giving them more significant rewards.
  • Virtual currency- Your own money that the customer can use at your store
  • Countdown- Users are challenged to complete a timed task.
  • Progress bars- Indicates the customers' progress before the next milestone.
  • Leaderboards- shows the names of the game's best players on your website.
  • Badges- Give the customer a badge for accomplishing something.                     E.g, Grammarly "Goal Crusher" badges.

Why should i use Gamification strategy in digital marketing?

Today, people have grown to love video games. In fact, 80% of American households have at least one gaming device.

We have become more approaching and adaptive to gaming technology, and we all have some pre-grown gaming skills and knowledge.

Gamifying your website can increase browsing time by up to 30%. That's a significant increase, considering that the average user spends less than a minute on a site.

A successful case of a gamification marketing strategy is the partnership of KFC Japan with Gamify. To build excitement, create awareness and generate sales for a new product (Ebi shrimp), they partnered to develop a Shrimp Attack video game.

The campaign was incredibly successful, generating 854,454 total plays and 91% completion rate total plays and increasing store sales by 106%.

Let's look at the benefits of marketing gamification.

Builds brand awareness

People are intrigued by games. Gamification enables you to easily create fun content your followers can engage with. As they play the games, they discover your products in a fun interactive way and make your marketing efforts efficient.

Happy audiences will likely spread the word about your brand through social media mentions, online reviews, and even word of mouth. All these instances result in increased brand awareness compared to a traditional marketing campaign.

Gigya conducted a study on gamification by analyzing the marketing strategies of brands like Dell, Nike, and Pepsi.

The results show that gamifying your website can boost your comments by 13%, increase social media shares by 22% and grow your content discovery by 68%.

Improves user engagement

Have you ever wondered why people-adults and kids alike- enjoy playing games? Games provide a very interactive form of entertainment.

That's why gamifying content on your website improves the engagement of your audiences. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a game pop up on a website? It's hard to ignore. Right?

Gamification makes it possible to run an engaging and interactive marketing campaign. When your website visitors see gamified content, curiosity gets the better of them, and they'll click on it. This is the first step to getting lots of engagement.

Skyrockets conversions rates

Does an increase in user engagement should automatically increase conversion rates? Not every time!

Gamification keeps your audiences engaged longer. When done correctly, gamification will skyrocket your conversion rates.

This is because customers hardly notice that playing your games is marketing, and with a clear call to action, they'll respond better than in the case of traditional marketing.

Gamified promotions deliver incentives, increasing conversions up to 4X.

For example, if you're giving a 10% discount from a spin-to-win game, the user will most likely proceed to purchase once they win.

Gamification increases brand loyalty

Getting new customers is good. Retaining them is usually better. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining and satisfying an existing customer.

The good news is that gamification helps you increase brand loyalty. You don't want to spend so many resources to keep attracting new customers while you can retain the already acquired ones.

FarmVille portrays a successful instance of gamified content integration. It remains on the top ten most played games on Facebook and has managed to attract loyal players who subscribe to play.

Gamification Increases Brand Loyalty

The more your customers interact with your exciting games, the more likely they are to patronize your brand.

With time, they'll keep returning just to maintain their winning streak consistently. As you keep rewarding them, your brand loyalty increases.

Additionally, gamification is an opportunity to reward your existing customers. They may just become stronger brand advocates. As we've seen, you may use points, badges, and even virtual currency as rewards for your games. This is no accident, game developers will often decide to work with a mobile user acquisition consultant to develop strategies that will increase revenue through in-game purchases.

Helps you collect useful customer data

Today, data is perhaps the most valuable asset for marketing. Data combined with machine learning, complex AI and IoT, marketers can now target customers with exceptional accuracy. But, gathering useful data may be a challenge.

Users will be more willing to give you essential data because they stand a chance of winning a prize. With gamification, you're able to collect the information you need, such as emails and age. This data gives you significant insights into your audience.

Besides these benefits, gamification is adaptable to multiple platforms, allowing you to reach wider audiences. You can be assured that it won't reduce the mobile-friendliness of your website.

How to incorporate Gamification into your marketing strategy

Implement a loyalty program

Loyalty programs are a great way to incentivize repeat customers and sell to them over and over again.

You can design your loyalty programs so that a customer earns some points with every purchase. The points should then be redeemable for rewards or discounts.

Loyalty programs encourage your users to spend more and qualify for rewards. Customers will also get a sense of achievement from your rewards and incentives.

A great example of a successful loyalty program is Starbucks' program, known as "My Starbucks Rewards." Customers earn redeemable points with every purchase.

Implement a Loyalty Program

oVertone also has a gamified reward program. Customers use simplified icons on their content pages through their Color Club Rewards page

Run a contest

Contests are fun and exciting and can help you increase your brand awareness. Successful contests are known to improve brand visibility and drive customer interactions.

A great way to run a contest is to subdivide the game and create smaller activities. This allows the customers to learn gradually and lengthen user interaction.

Ensure your games are tested to identify the optimal difficulty level to ensure the players remain interested.

McDonald's has been successfully running its McDonald's Monopoly campaign. Each year, the contest generates massive brand awareness and revenue. The game creates an illusion for customers that they can actually win the big prize tickets.

Run a Contest

Introduce a "Spin-to-Win" wheel

The spin-to-win discount wheel is a great way to generate leads in a fun way. Your visitors get a chance to earn rewards by sharing with you their contact information.

A spin-to-win wheel stands out, with fun and unique features that your visitors will find hard to ignore. That's great for meeting your conversion goals.

You can control the setup of your wheel. You can add prizes, discounts, and even free shipping on the different wheel slices. You encourage visitors to complete their purchase journey or convert them into customers.

Here is a potential application to cope with abandoned carts from online shoppers.

By sending them an automated email as part of your abandoned cart email campaign, you may trigger their interest and potentially motivate them to complete their purchase with an incentive that they will have won as part of the spinning wheel game.

Introduce a Spin-to-Win Wheel

The completeness meter

The completeness bar is another excellent gamification element that's straightforward and effective. LinkedIn, Google, and Dropbox use completeness meters in their marketing campaigns.

The completeness meter prompts the visitor to complete all the laid-out steps on a particular journey

For instance, LinkedIn shows you a completeness meter as you create a profile, location, work history, etc., and only gives you a trophy once all your details are captured.

You can use a completeness meter to:

  • Get visitors to complete questionnaires.
  • Show the customers their progress in the purchasing journey.
  • Have your web visitors complete an opt-in to your mailing list or subscription.

With a completeness bar, gamification possibilities are endless.

The Completeness Meter

Digital badges

Badges have become most of the popular elements of gamification. You can see them everywhere, Ebay's star rating, Facebook's top fan trophies, etc.

Badges are great when you're building brand loyalty. They are a recognition sign for the customers who have used your product for a while. Badges basically say, "Have this cool trophy for your support."

Additionally, customers view badges as accomplishments. Digital badges have been used as motivation tools for:

The Khan Academy added a wide range of digital badges for their students. The students can earn a badge after completing a task or earning several points. 

The gamification element worked like a charm, motivating students to do more than just assignments. They were inspired to collect more badges to show to their peers.

BadgeOS is a WordPress plugin you can use to create badges in minutes. You don't have to invest lots of resources and energy like the Khan Academy.

You can use your badges to recognize customers who:

  • Support and share your content on social media.
  • Brand customers who refer new clients or onboard their peers and family.
  •  Repeat customers who are loyal to your brand.

In other words, you can reward any customer who goes above and beyond the expected with a badge.

Digital Badges

The best way to add Gamification into your marketing strategy

Gamification in marketing is highly effective. But, you've got to do it right. Let’s look at the best practices when implementing a gamification marketing campaign.

#1. Keep it simple

People play games that are fun and easy. Avoid complicating the games unnecessarily. You may end up spoiling the fun experience they're looking for.

The goal is to keep your audiences engaged in the game up to the end. Just like game developers, who release a basic version of the game before introducing complexities, you can try out different game levels.

Once your audience gives you enough attention, you can raise the complexity levels.

#2. Understand your target audience

What do your customers like? Understanding your target audience is a priority. These are the who will be converted into customers.

It would be best to find out how the customers will interpret your messaging. You can research your audience and analyze factors like gender, location, and age.

This way, you'll create gamification elements that your audience will be receptive to and drive conversions.

#3. Add challenges and rewards

Encourage your customers to challenge themselves to complete an activity within a specified time and reward them once they meet the goals.

Get your customers to anticipate a reward. This will trigger dopamine release, and they'll likely play the games if they stand a chance to win a prize.

#4. Incorporate social media interactions

Gamification can help you tap into the need for humans to compete, win and socialize. Add an option that allows your users to invite their friends to the game.

#4. Incorporate social media interactions

Sharing your gamification elements on social media also grows your social media campaigns. Naturally, people love sharing their wins with their peers.

#5. Promote your Gamified marketing campaign

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to gamification marketing. You need to identify which medium works best for your brand and campaign. You can choose social media, mobile, website, or even email marketing.

To reach a wider audience, you also need to analyze which social media platform works best for your brand and promote your gamified content. Remember to choose a platform based on audience behavior

For instance, your clients in Japan may prefer Twitter, while those in the United States dominate Instagram.

Wrap up

New gamification trends are emerging every day. We have all ranges from playable ads to Virtual reality and videos.

The underlying result is that gamified marketing strategies can create an immersive marketing experience that captivates users and drive conversions.

Whatever strategy you adopt, don't forget that your audience should enjoy interacting with your gamified content even more than winning. Rewards are good, but the fun experience that comes with playing games is equally important.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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