What does gamification mean? The word is actually not new although what it implies these days is a lot different from what it once used to mean. If you have ever been on Facebook, playing a game, you have been part of a gamification strategy. If you’ve used sources like Dropbox, and have been rewarded extra space, (in fact, Gmail used this tactic too), you have been part of a gamification module.
What gamifification means, is to use game thinking and game designs to augment and improve non-game environments. This is to encourage more people to use a particular product, and works basically on the incentive approach. Done in a manner where current users create new users, this is meant to be a rewarding experience for both the marketer and the user.
How it works is a marketer uses a kind of fictitious currency, in the form of badges, or pins or awards which are virtually awarded to a user who does a specified job a specified number of times. These specified tasks are not directly promoting a particular product, but by means of sharing, they create a buzz around the product thus making it more visible. This could be by sharing photographs, commenting on the service, liking it, or using it and sharing that information with friends. Because it is a fun experience for the users, they don’t mind doing it, and your popularity rises as well!
Here are a few tips for you to gamify your marketing experience:
- Go slow: It is very easy to get carried away by this opportunity, but you should go slow to check how you want to use gamification. Figure out if your audience are looking for an active game experience or something that is more subtle and deep, and in which they don’t know they are really part of the gamification process. You can do this by starting an actual game page and give away badges.
- Go small: You don’t have to create a Tomb Raider experience. Go slow and give badges or pins by breaking up your gaming strategy into small parts which lead to one another, like a bread crumb trail. This way the interest is always up.
- Create a Tribe: Seth Godin talks often about a tribe, which any marketing plan needs. Something which people can like and share over Facebook or follow on Twitter is most likely to have better results. Make it worthwhile for them as well.
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