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Transforming The Customer Experience

Gamification Marketing: How to Make Your Ads and Branded Content Fun

Posted May 3, 2018 8:00:00 AM

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Your customers are exposed to dozens of brand messages every day. Not only are you up against competitors in your industry, but you’re also vying for customer attention against every pizza company, dentist office, and car dealership in your area.

Marketers and business owners need to create content that stands out if they want to hold the interest of potential customers.

One way brands are driving engagement and cutting through the noise is with gamification marketing. This option helps you promote your brand while creating a fun experience for customers.

What Is Gamification Marketing?

Gamification is the process of adding game elements to traditional marketing techniques. When McDonald’s launches its Monopoly contests, it taps into the power of gamification by adding competitive elements to the food-buying experience. Online, brands use games in the form of quizzes, contests, and challenges to get audiences involved.

Gamification taps into competitive human nature. Winning makes people feel good, and they’re more likely to engage with a brand if they have a chance of winning something.

From spinning a wheel outside of a store for a chance to win a keychain to submitting a witty comment on social media in hopes of winning a free meal, the potential rewards of winning outweigh any inconvenience and effort of participating.

Plus, gamification is also entertaining. For example, Spectrio customers tap into gamification with trivia on their digital signage. Guessing answers and participating in games makes time fly by faster as people focus on the activity in front of them instead of how long they have been waiting.  

The team at Convince and Convert reports that 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies have deployed at least one gamified application. Furthermore, gamification strategies can lead to a 100-150% increase in engagement metrics.

This proves that gamification can grow your business by keeping your customers engaged and entertained when interacting with your brand.

How to Add Gamification to Your Marketing Efforts

If you have yet to embrace gamification marketing in your organization, then it’s time you started testing this promotional option. Before you can walk, you have to crawl. Follow these steps to set your brand up for gamification success, regardless of your company size and industry.

1. Set Goals Beforehand

There are multiple ways your brand can take advantage of gamification marketing, but you don’t want to move forward without a strategy.

Determine why you want to try gamification and what you hope to get out of it.

For example, some brands tap into gamification because they want to increase engagement. Instead of generating a smattering of Facebook likes on each of their posts, they want to increase the number of shares and comments people leave to grow participation. Additionally, other brands test gamification because they want to drive traffic to their websites or increase sales.

If you start with a goal in mind, you can work backward and create games, quizzes, and contests that work toward that goal instead of creating a game and hope it benefits your organization.

2. Use Gamification to Help Long-Term Sales Efforts

You might be tempted to throw out a social media contest in the name of engagement, but you need to make sure this process helps your sales goals as well. For example, your social media contest could be used to grow your email list and collect customer data.

Your email or website gamification contest should move customers closer to buying your products.

While engagement is an essential part of the marketing process, it means nothing if it doesn’t lead to increased sales and revenue for your brand.

3. Keep It Simple

Look for easy ways to add gamification to your content and slowly roll out small prizes. This might mean running simple contests on your Facebook page or creating an in-store promotion that customers take advantage of.

Customers run mental risk-reward comparisons when faced with challenges. If your contest or game requires too much thought to figure out or work to submit an entry, then most people will move on, leaving your contest untouched and engagement levels low.

This is particularly important for retailers just starting out with gamification marketing. You will be learning the ropes along with your customers. The harder you make it for them, the harder you make it for you.

4. Promote Different Games on Different Mediums

Gamification marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. What works to drive engagement on social media channels might stall on your website or in-store efforts. As you launch your gamification efforts, monitor where gamification works and where it doesn’t. You can also test different styles of contests or games to see if customers are more responsive on different channels.

In the same way that you tailor gamification to your goals, you can tailor different options to your target audiences.

5. Offer In-Store Gamification

Not all of your marketing efforts should target customers before they reach your brick-and-mortar location. Location-based marketing promotes your brand to customers while they are in your building and actively engaging with your brand. You can either create a positive customer experience or drive them away with long wait times and a lack of customer care.

Challenge your customers with games when they’re at your business using interactive touchscreens, digital signage, and free customer Wi-Fi. You can offer loyalty programs with drawings for customers who return throughout the month. You can also host in-store contests where people guess answers to questions in hopes of winning prizes.

These small steps can upsell customers and encourage them to engage with your brand through fun games and the potential to win.

Use Gamification In Your In-Store Marketing

Gamification is a fun way to get customers to engage with your business, pass the time, and form deeper brand loyalty. It comes with the added bonus of allowing you to collect valuable customer data that helps you learn about and connect with shoppers and clients.

If you want to find out how to use in-store communication tools to promote your gamification marketing at your location, contact Spectrio. We offer free consultations to help brands come up with effective strategies that drive engagement and sales.

For other tips on how to provide a special experience for your in-store customers, grab our free ebook “How to Provide Exceptional Customer Experiences Using Audio and Video.”

Exceptional Customer Experiences for Retail Store