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Gamification and its role in marketing

Go out there and play

Gamification is a new trend that has blossomed into the content marketing environment. You may be wondering what this is and if it will be a fad. And if not, how can you apply it to your marketing strategy? So let’s begin.

What is gamification?

Humans have been competing since the beginning of time. We have competed for resources and we have competed for mates. Therefore, it is in the very nature of people to compete. With this valuable gem of information, we can look at what gamifiction is. It is the process of applying the principals of gaming to your marketing plan. For example: if you buy six coffees, you will get the seventh coffee free with a muffin, or if you do not hurry to make your purchase in the next hour the price could go up. These are all methods used by brands to increase engagement with customers.

How does one use gamification?

Now that we have the gist of gamification, let’s see how we can apply it to our content marketing plan. There are four basic methods of using gamification to increase customer engagement with your brand.

1. Rewarding social sharing with prizes or perks

Many brands reward social sharing with prizes or perks. The brand taps into the customer’s competitive nature by giving the customer a bonus prize for sharing their product or service on the customer’s various social media networks. This method helps to expand the audience of the brand too. A brand which has utilised this method effectively is Uber. They give a free ride to the user of the app if they share it on their social networks. So, think of a reward and inspire your current customers to spread the word. 

2. Timing urgency

With this method, there is a countdown bar which encourages the potential buyer to make a quick purchase or decision, because if they don’t they may lose out. Some brands use this bar to show how many of the items are left in stock and by showing the customer that there is limited stock it encourages them to take action.

3. Leaderboards

This is another way to capitalise on the competitive nature of customers, especially those who enjoy getting acknowledged in public. One brand uses this method and rewards the customer with points which can then be converted into discount ratings on their purchases. Discovery Health uses a similar method with their Vitality programme, in that should you take certain health measures you get points which are converted to discounts for various affiliated services providers.

4. Open to engagement

One way this method is effective is with educational products. The user is encouraged to use the product and gets rewards for their progress but they need to register with the company to keep their progress. This is effective because it hooks the customer without any initial buy-in and they also get a first hand experience of the product which you have on offer.

As highlighted above these are only four methods, but there are many ways that gamification can be used to help increase your call to action, customer engagement and audience growth. So, go out there and play!

Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).

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