From arcade cabinets to iPhones and everything in between, society’s fascination with games continues to push the boundaries of technology and innovation. Savvy brands can use gamification too by applying the underlying principles of what makes playing games fun to their marketing strategies. At Pace Creative, we have our own history of developing gamified strategies, including partnering with Aggreko in 2016 to help them build Aggrekobucks. If you’re interested in learning what gamification is, if it’s worth investing in, and most importantly, if it will it work, read on!

 

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the process of transforming the way your audience engages with your brand, into some form of a game. By gamifying your marketing strategy, you are adding elements of competition between users, or actions that can redeem for rewards, creating an incentive for engagement.

If you are thinking of including a game as part of your marketing strategy, here are a couple of tips to make it a success:

  1. Use a score or point system to reward users for a specific action. These scores can then be ranked on a leaderboard, to allow users to compete with one another.
  2. Allow users to level up as they gain more points. Alternatively, you can use an achievement system that rewards them for completing specific goals as a way to encourage specific actions.
  3. Make sure that you are rewarding the user fairly for the effort required to complete the specific task. Nobody is going to want to follow a complex list of instructions if the reward is a single candy bar.

We built Aggreko’s gamified marketing strategy around a scoring system and a leaderboard that rewarded users points for completing specific tasks. Users with a high score appear on the microsite’s leaderboard, spurring friendly competition among members of the sales team and motivating them to create and share more relevant content for Aggreko. Additionally, the points earned can be redeemed for awesome prizes; such as gift cards, televisions, are more!

 

Is Gamification Worth It?

Gamification is a great option for sharing your company’s message or assets, in a novel and exciting manner that can help build awareness, share branded content, and help renew your audience’s interest in your brand. Gamification is based on actionable objectives, and this is essentially what makes it so effective. Adding simple incentives for completing tasks that your audience might not have initially be interested in, can help to seriously increase the levels of engagement your brand receives. Businesses like Starbucks have utilized this approach for creating their loyalty rewards program, which rewards users for visiting Starbucks locations, as well as purchasing their goods from other outlets.

Best of all, you can create a game that matches your budget. Maybe you’re a start-up that’s looking to build up an audience around the release of your new service, but don’t have a lot of capital to do so? M&M’s 2013 Facebook campaign is a great example of a simple, cost-effective campaign that built up a ton of buzz over a single photo. If you’re representing a larger brand, much like Aggreko’s, gamification can be utilized to motivate your internal team in developing unique yet relevant content to be repurposed on channels like social media.

 

How to Make Gamification Work for My Business?

Our tip for ensuring your first gamified marketing strategy works is to start with a strong concept. Start by thinking about the games you like to play and see if you can adapt their rules and rewards to your company. To roll out the game and get company buy-in, think about designing a game that can start small, and has the potential to grow as you prove the concept and adoption.

Beginning with a simple game is an easy investment that allows you to gage results and refine some of the rules to improve engagement over time. Besides, when was the last time you were interested in joining a game with a million different rules? If you find that your audience is overwhelmed with your new gamified strategy, consider dividing up the game you created into smaller, simpler stages. This ensures your gamified content strategy is accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

 

Interested in adding gamification to your business’ marketing strategy? The team at Pace Creative has helped design and develop successful, gamification strategies for brands across North America, so if you’re interested in learning more about what gamification can do for you, be sure to get in touch!

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