Have you ever played a game on your phone or computer? Was that game tied to a brand you love? Gamification in digital marketing is a concept many brands are integrating into their marketing strategy to boost audience engagement and brand awareness.
Games, apps, and interactive content keep your audience engaged with your brand and “playing” along. Using gamification to enhance your marketing strategy will keep your users interacting with your brand and coming back for more.
So how can you go about boosting audience engagement with gamification in your digital marketing strategy? First, let’s define gamification, then we’ll look at how you can leverage it.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the process of incorporating a branded game into your marketing strategy. In order to gamify your brand, your game will need to have fun tasks, clear goals, a simple user interface that’s easy to learn and play, and tangible rewards. Additionally, rewards should encourage group participation and be highly shareable.
Popular games that are often incorporated into a brand experience include:
- Mobile apps
- Augmented reality games
- Interactive content (quizzes, polls, surveys, etc.)
When you gamify your brand, you not only boost brand awareness. As result, you also experience increased engagement. According to data from Gallup, engaged customers spend 23% more with their favorite brands than the average customer. And, gamification in digital marketing tends to draw in new customers. In fact, 60% of customers say they’re more likely to purchase from a brand if they’re engaged with a game.
Additionally, gamification promotes customer loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. Users who enjoy playing your branded game will be more likely to share the game via social media. Each time someone shares your game via social media, you’ll build more momentum and get more eyes on your brand.
Brands use gamification in digital marketing to increase engagement, boost customer satisfaction, and ultimately, drive more sales. Let’s look at how that works.
Use Gamification in Digital Marketing to Increase Engagement and Boost Customer Satisfaction
When you incorporate a game into your brand, you create a framework for continual engagement and sharing. As a result, you also encourage user-generated content (UGC). In addition to your internal marketing strategy, you’ll boost brand awareness across all platforms due to your audience’s word-of-mouth.
Some brands, such as Domino’s and Teleflora, have seen tremendous ROI after incorporating games into their brands. Domino’s boosted its earnings by 30% after incorporating a create-your-own pizza game app. Additionally, Teleflora users earn points for engaging with the brand via social media. The company experienced a 92% conversion rate and a 105% increase in traffic from Facebook.
Brands that gamify to raise engagement find that games also tend to boost customer satisfaction. The audience engagement that comes with gamification ultimately drives revenue. Keeping consumers engaged is a surefire way to keep them informed about products, services, and special offers. As a result, they’ll spend more money with you.
Increase your engagement through gamification by encouraging your users to share their gaming experience with their social networks.
Use Your Branded Game to Help Users Stand Out From the Crowd
Gamification in digital marketing tends to inspire the user’s sense of competitiveness and desire to win. When users earn points and unlock achievements, they’re excited to share their wins with their friends and family. And when they share those wins, they’ll generate more interest in your brand.
Achievements also create a sense of competition between players. Even better, users who invite their friends to play will be motivated to stick with the game–and keep winning. Apps like Pokemon Go encourage competition among peers to see who can catch the most Pokemon. Additionally, apps like Zombies, Run! help runners gamify and track their daily exercise in an interesting, fun way.
To motivate users to continue playing and earning higher achievements, incorporate tangible ranking systems, such as a leaderboard. Additionally, consider offering certificates or points that allow users to “cash in” their winnings in exchange for prizes.
Target Users Demographics Who Respond Well to Gamification in Digital Marketing
While gamification for digital marketing works well across all ages and demographics. Games perform particularly well with Millennial and Gen Z users in the 18-34 age range. Users in this demographic account for between $29 billion and $143 billion in U.S. consumer spending.
Although Gen X and older Millennials grew up with a semblance of early technology, younger Millennials and Gen Z are the first to grow up with high-speed technology. They’re accustomed to the digital world. Games are inherently part of that.
Going a step further, many young Millennials and Gen Z-ers say that tech is inherently part of who they are. Sixty-eight percent of males in Gen Z report that they consider gaming to be part of their identity. Gaming is an essential part of social life, and the games users love tend to heavily influence the brands they buy and the media they consume.
Making a game with wide appeal is great, but make sure it’s tailored to the users who will engage with it most. Study branded games that are popular among younger generations, and consider emulating a similar strategy with your own.
Gamification in digital marketing is a fun and memorable way to engage your existing audience, attract new followers, and keep them interacting with your brand long-term. To boost engagement, incorporate a game into your marketing strategy and:
- Create achievements, rewards, certificates, points, leaderboards, or prizes your users can unlock
- Encourage users to share their wins and share the game with friends and family
- Incorporate UGC into your marketing by asking users to submit their own game-related content
- Target Millennial and Gen Z users with a game experience similar to other popular games they enjoy
- Leverage the game to promote new products and services of interest to your users
Ultimately, gamification is meant to help you raise brand awareness and drive more sales. As with any marketing strategy, be consistent with your outreach and encourage users to play along. When the word spreads about your game and more users catch on, you’re likely to see a bump in interaction and sales across the board. Want to test it out yourself? Consider experimenting with one of these WordPress gamification plugins.
Is gamification part of your digital marketing strategy? How are you utilizing it? Share the details with us in the comments section.
Featured image via Inspiring / shutterstock.com