This new marketing method is quickly growing. Does it make sense for your business?
As it pertains to growing a business, marketers are constantly racking their brain trying to think of ways they can increase their profits and boost leads. While most people use traditional marketing methods, there is a fairly new marketing method pushing its way into becoming one of the best ways to grow your business. This new method is called gamification, and it has a market value of 2.8 billion dollars a year.
What is gamification?
In short, gamification is when someone takes an existing business model and adds a game mechanic. These mechanics are designed to engage customers and get them invested in the product or service that you're offering.
We are going to look at some gamification models and see how they encourage your profits and overall leads to flourish. Mixed in with the methods, we will also show you some prime examples of gamification.
Let customers level up
Depending on your business model, you may be in a position to reward your customers and future leads with an in-house, leveling-up system. As the customers perform actions they get exp, or experience points, to help them progress through the levels.
You can set your system up to accept many different actions to hand out exp. For example, you could give people experience points for leaving forum comments, browsing the store, sharing your content on social media, liking your official social media pages, the possibilities are endless.
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One of the most inventive implementations of this system comes from game developer Ubisoft. The company sells a range of AAA games such as the Assassin's Creed series, Far Cry, WatchDogs and more. They created a website and app called Ubisoft Club.
Gamers can make a profile and link their account, regardless of what systems they are playing on, and they can complete achievements that Ubisoft hand-picked. Completing achievements gives the gamer experience points within Ubisoft Club for new avatars and a fleshed out profile and richer rewards in-game.
Offer meaningful rewards
A study from the Kelley School of Business sums up the importance of having a good reward when designing a gamification system for your website: "...gamification mechanics are key to ensuring players receive rewards that will motivate the desired behavior change and contribute to the dynamics and emotions of the players."
In other words, you have to know what kind of rewards are going to incentivize your customers and potential customers to participate in your gamification. Some common rewards include a discount after obtaining so many points, reading materials, such as an e-book, or provide access to exclusive content.
The reward type is going to depend on your niche and how you use your platform.
Let's go back and look at Ubisoft again. Besides experience points, you also get Ubisoft coins that are good for two years. You can use those coins and go to the Ubisoft games you own and buy in-game rewards with those coins. In other words, since Ubisoft consumers are all gamers, their rewards are all based on ways to improve their customer's gaming experience.
On that note, consider offering current and future leads incentives to participate in your gaming mechanics by making sure that they get rewards that improve their overall experience.
Keep them coming back for more
Most companies that implement gamification into their marketing plan end up bottoming out, and customers lose interest for one major reason: They hit the wall. Whether you're using achievements, leveling up, leaderboards or badges, there is going to come to a point where your most frequent visitors are going to rack up everything there is to get.
However, there's a way that you can keep them coming back for more. The best way to do this is by updating your system on a regular basis. You can even create "daily challenges" that will have people coming back every day to get their points.
For example, if you implement this system with your company's forum, you can offer rewards for people who post three comments a day or comment on posts every day for a week.
It's also advised that you create holiday and themed events. Every Christmas change the layout of your rewards page to snow, Christmas lights, etc. If you're putting in the effort to frequently update and add to your gamification system, you'll always keep your customers coming back for more.
There's no doubt that gamification methods are becoming more advanced as technology gets stronger. People are discovering new ways to entice audiences and build leads with advanced and interactive game systems embedded within the content of your website.