In terms of digital marketing and digital marketing strategies, gamification can be a collection of all dynamic and fun solutions and elements that you integrate into your website, app, or email campaigns to enhance the user experience with your services. Make it more attractive with a sense of competition, gamification creates excitement and motivates people to be eager to achieve prizes. And of course, people are more likely to use a website or app they’ve already enjoyed interacting with.

Have you ever played a game on your phone or computer? Was that game tied to your favorite brand? Gamification in digital marketing is a concept that many marketers integrate into their marketing strategy with goals such as enhancing audience interaction and brand awareness.

Gamification and digital marketing

We live in 2019. People’s relationship with traditional forms of online advertising is changing. Although traditional advertising and methods are still effective in some areas, including building brand awareness, marketers should always be looking for more effective ways to engage their audience.

Reports highlight the fact that large numbers of people are actively blocking traditional advertising by using ad blockers, especially young people. As people move away from traditional advertising and become increasingly desensitized to traditional advertising, as a result, brands need to find new ways to build relationships with their customers and create new values for them.

For this reason, the number of tactics and strategies in digital marketing has increased every day. People have become aware of the effect of advertising on themselves and understand when they are forced to buy because of advertising. So they feel ambivalent about any kind of sales and advertising communication. For marketers looking for new ways to reach their target audience, it’s no surprise that this is a worrying situation.

Gamification encourages the basic instinct of “play” in humans. It has been proven that gamification and entertaining customers with interesting games is a way for marketers to deliver real value to consumers, create a positive digital experience for them, and also build brand awareness. All of this ultimately leads to turning a potential customer into a loyal customer and making the business profitable.

3 psychological reasons for the effect of gamification on the audience

Okay, so what does gamification look like in the real world? And what makes it so powerful?

Quite simply, gamification creates a positive feeling that is linked to a positive user experience. For example, the:

1. Gives the user a sense of control

Psychology tells us very simply that people do not like to be forced to go to their desired destination. Directing the potential customer towards your desired goal should be done based on his persona (persona-based marketing) and indirectly. The customer should not understand that you are directing him to buy a specific product. You should let him think that he decided to buy without being influenced by advertisements.

2. Rewards the user (reinforces good behavior)

For example, when you reward your child for good behavior, you convey a good feeling to your child, which causes him to continue his good behavior to receive more rewards from you. The same thing happens with gamification. When you complete a level of the game, you get a reward.

Let me explain this to you with real examples. All social networks thrive on this idea of graphic competition and rewarding things that are shared. Who can get more followers, more pins, and more hearts? Who can get more likes? It’s all one big game. I think you can guess who is the best at this. Yes, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

So you do it again and in return, Instagram rewards you with likes and comments. The real winner is Instagram, which has been able to keep the number of interactions and users high with this trick.

3. Gives the user a sense of accomplishment

Achievement is one of the most powerful psychological driving factors in human behavior. Everything we do, we do to achieve something. If someone is on your website or using your app, they are trying to achieve something. For example learning to code, money management, or fitness. If you convey to your user the feeling that they have achieved something useful and useful, they will come back again.

Gaming websites and apps do the same thing. And the best app to do this is Instagram. This program is wonderful in its combination of subtle gamification. For example, when you post a status or image, you hope to get immediate likes and comments from your audience. It gives you a sense of accomplishment. Then you get a comment. Maybe they will praise you. All this makes you feel important and successful.

Gamification and its impact on the target audience

Gamification creates a way for brands to connect with their target audience and influence their decision-making process. Reports show how customers who have already been exposed to gamification made purchases. 60% of consumers said they were more likely to buy a game if they enjoyed it.

Data is the most important basis for digital marketing activities. The more information you have about your current customers and target audience, the better you can make decisions. Brands that implement gamification techniques can allow users to submit their information to have their name on the leaderboard and save game progress or unlock a different level. This information can be used to track users’ behavior, motivations, and demographics.

This technique was launched in 2012 by Nike NikePlus, which is a commercial brand in the field of fashion and clothing. An app that tracks your activities and provides interesting statistics such as speed, calories, and location. It allows users to track their progress, compete with their friends and share on social networks.

Not only was this a great use of gamification to expand brand awareness and encourage competition between friends, but it also provided Nike with valuable data about customers. This data can be used to optimize other marketing channels, help develop the product range and form more digital strategies and tactics.

The reason why commercial brands use gamification

When you gamify your brand, you not only increase brand awareness but also experience increased customer engagement. Gamification in digital marketing attracts new customers. In addition, gamification creates customer loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. Users who enjoy playing your brand’s game are more likely to share the game through social networks.

Every time someone shares your game through social media, it creates more movement for you. As a result, you will attract more attention to your company’s brand. According to sales data from a large company, loyal customers spend 23% more than other customers on their favorite brands.

Why would you get more sales with your brand through gamification?

Brands that use games to increase engagement have found that games also increase customer satisfaction. So the audience attraction factor along with gamification will ultimately generate income. Keeping consumers engaged is a surefire way to inform them about products, services, and special offers. As a result, they will spend more money with you.

But you should be careful that the designed game must-have features attract the user and turn him into a customer. Gamification indeed has many advantages, but these advantages are obtained with a game that is made with principles. The 5 principles of gamification in digital marketing are:

  • Achievable task

Racing, spinning the wheel, puzzles, matching, etc. may all be simple things that the user has to do in the game. The task that the user has to do and solve the game should not be so complicated that no one can solve it.

  • Specific goal

Rules and regulations should be simple and understandable for everyone. If the challenge is complex and takes a long time, people will give up without completing it.

  • Attractive design

Every gamification element you use should have a distinctive design. Also, be different from similar solutions of competitors. For example, when using a website contest, you can use images from related fields. Users interact more with dynamic elements and understand short texts better.

  • Fun process

Nobody likes boring games. Of course, people usually spend their time playing with the motivation of reaching the end of the game. But the game itself should be fun and interesting.

  • Reward

Do not specify the exact prize for the audience. It takes away the excitement. However, people need to know that there is something for them in the end.

  • Competition

Contests are another element of gamification that helps you invite users and potential customers to call and give you their information. Digital marketers may also benefit from the information of these potential customers in retargeting.

Gamification and social networks

Gamification in digital marketing creates a sense of competitiveness and a desire for the user to win. When users earn points and become achievements, they are excited to share their victories with their friends and family. For this reason, you were able to increase your interaction through gamification by encouraging your users to share the game experience on social networks. Also, when users share these wins, there is more interest in your brand.

It’s great to make a game with a lot of appeals. But make sure it fits the users you deal with the most. Study popular games that are popular among the younger generation and popular on social networks and consider a similar strategy to your own.

Gamification on the site

Gamification on the site can be a pop-up. Or appear on special landing pages. Or placed at the top of the website homepage to encourage visitors to interact with the business brand more dynamically. Visitor who enjoys browsing your website is more likely to recommend it to their friends. Especially if the user is going to do something on your site that is going to wait for a while, games are the best way to entertain him.

Gamification via email

Compared to other digital marketing tools, email gamification does not require complex solutions or algorithms. A simple quiz or a challenge to find the hidden link can be implemented in a basic email template. A user who had fun reading your previous email is more likely to open the next email. Don’t forget to collect information from the customer in gamification via email.

Gamification strategy to increase interaction with users

Gamification in digital marketing is a fun and memorable way to engage your existing audience, attract new followers and engage them long-term with your brand. To boost engagement, include a game in your digital marketing strategy that has the following features:

  1. Create achievements, awards, certificates, points, leaderboards, or rewards that users can unlock.
  2. Encourage users to share their winnings, especially sharing the game with their friends and family.
  3. Design your users’ favorite games to promote new products and services.

Ultimately, gamification is meant to help you increase brand awareness and drive more sales. As with any marketing strategy, be consistent with your message centers and encourage users to play with each other. When the news about your game spreads and attracts the attention of more users, you are likely to have extensive interaction and sales in the market.

Ways to communicate more with the user through gamification

Creating relationships with the target audience can be done using gamification techniques in various ways, including the following:

  • Loyalty programs, for example, rewards, badges, and points,
  • Friendly competitions, for example, McDonald’s exclusive games,
  • Personalized content eg personalized games based on customer data.

Starbucks has become a true leader in terms of loyalty programs, offering interactive features and rewards that are easy to use. The secret of success lies in the fact that this program provides a unique and useful experience to customers. Customers earn their stars, and with more stars and more rewards, gamification is at its best. As a result, it has created more interaction with the user and better awareness of the company’s brand.

Brands are always looking for ways to connect with their existing audience, new audience, or reconnect with the old audience. Graphical experiences provide consumers with the opportunity to engage with a brand in a fun environment; without them feeling this brand says: choose me, choose.

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