Gamification is the essence of applying gaming techniques to non-gaming contexts such as education, job performance, health, lifestyle, research and many other things. Over the recent years, gamification has become a main concept that content publishers rely on to get more traffic to their website, to increase content consumption and to motivate user participation.
For publishers who have reams of content and user-friendly websites, gamification can be a great way to engage the readers with the content. Panelist Margaret Robertson said “Gamification can be of great value for brands” if done properly or else “it can turn off new users if this stuff doesn’t translate into meaning”.
But Gamification is not limited to marketing and web traffic alone but can also be implemented in education to enhance the way students process and use information. One good example of Gamification is the app FOLDIT designed by the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington which clearly explains the students about the complex structure of proteins inside the human body. The app includes over 200,000 players; many of them who lack the background of biochemistry.
Another interesting example is Trade Nation app where players attempt at transforming a village into a large nation through in-app purchases of virtual materials.
Let’s take several widely used Gamification techniques already seen in the web today. Remember that these ideas can be integrated into your brand – not only onto a website, but throughout an entire marketing campaign.
Airline companies have designed brand loyalty for years by offering their passengers certain points each time they fly. Once they’ve earned enough points they are allowed to fly for free in the future. This is a gamification technique and it works.
You can implement the same strategy and let your clients earn points each time they buy your product or use one of your services. Once they have accrued enough points, you can offer them badges and rewards like discount coupons or free shipping.
Progress bars inform your audience how close they are to claim an award. For instance, LinkedIn uses a progress bar to motivate its users to fill out their profiles. Once the process is 100% complete, they are eligible for having a premium LinkedIn account.
In the same manner, you can use progress bars to engage your audience. For instance, if you wish to retain your customers as members of your rewards club, you can add a progress bar on your online rewards club form to motivate clients to fill it out completely. Once they’re through with the process, you can offer them some free products or some kind of savings.
If you want your audience to take a challenge, you’ll love leaderboards. This technique encourages customers to compete for a position at the top of the leaderboard on your website. You can add a point system to evaluate who makes the cut on your leaderboard. Getting public attention in the form of a prominent spot on your leaderboard is definitely an incentive for your audience to make sales with you and earn more points.
The concept of gamification is to apply game design principles to educate publication audiences in a non-traditional way. Games are interesting because they engage audience with your content for extended duration. Adults that regularly engage in online games such as World of Warcraft or Tale in the Desert 5 are playing the game for more than 25 hours a week. And studies have reported that this group of people are over the age of 35, highly educated, are from reputed companies and earn a good income.
The group doesn’t include college students or unemployed young men. The statistics also indicate that females engage even longer than males. Considering that an average publication website visit might last from two to ten minutes, it would be a better opportunity.
Gamification generates revenue by offering yet another technique for advertisers and/or sponsors to communicate with your online audience. This type of advertising doesn’t cost much for the advertisers to encourage audience to participate in the competition. Your business can be successful within the competition or with advertising or sponsorship that runs along with it.
Gamification, a modern marketing tool, when integrated with an activity makes that particular activity more engaging, motivates people to perform tasks they would otherwise consider boring and makes their working experience much more fun and effective.
The greatest advantage that younger employees have is that, being familiar with games, they’re always ready to learn. So to reach the next level, an online gamer has to get equipped with new skills to proceed. The employer has to focus on different tasks and at the same time has to guess about what’s next. But it is difficult for those who lack generational experience of playing online games to plan a right strategy for their employees and thus keep up with the new challenges of today’s world.
Think about how you can use gamification to build and engage your audience and earn money by doing it. But be careful and use it tactically. Gaming technique is not child’s play and if you do it correctly, you will be gaining a lot more customers, while adding more value to your website.