Gamification in Content Marketing

If there’s one thing that’s true for all content marketers, it is that we’re always looking for new ways to engage audiences. Ways that are easy to apply and easy to track their efficiency. Yes, unicorns are less rare than these, but strategies like that do exist. One of them is gamification. This so-called gamifying of a brand’s strategy has challenged traditional digital marketing and content writing services.

So, how can this odd concept revolutionize your engagement rates and sales? Let’s dive right in!

Table of contents

First Things First: What Is Gamification in Marketing

It’s a concept that uses game-like mechanisms and applies them to non-gaming activities (such as content marketing campaigns). The premise of a gamification strategy is simple: create a game-like activity and reward participants (“players”) for taking part in it, or winning it, depending on the rules.

Gamifying your interaction with prospects and customers taps into the competitive side of human nature, and it leads to positive brand sentiment and higher brand engagement.

The Example

A great example of a brand using a gamification strategy is Heineken’s ‘Crack the US Open’ scavenger hunt from 2013. The beer brand created a special Instagram account that included more than 200 photos, all forming a mosaic scene at a stadium. Users had to flip their mobile device to get a panoramic view of the stadium, where each photo was captioned with a clue for them to solve. The winners got tickets to the Men’s finals (boy, did I envy them). As a result, Heineken saw a 20% increase in followers and brand engagement. Not bad, eh?

Tips for Setting Up a Gamification Strategy

1. Look at Successful Examples (like Heineken)

I find that reviewing what has already proven efficient for others is a great starting point. Look at different case studies and try to outline the common points. If you can find a brand that’s close to yours or whose audience resembles yours, that’s perfect. Keep in mind, however, that there’s no guarantee the same approach will work for your brand as well.

2. Start Small

Test the waters, so to speak. Start with something simple and small to see how the theory works and how your followers will respond. You can organize a giveaway on Instagram or a quiz contest that will reward the winners with discounts, coupons, and even freebies.

3. Know Your Target Audience

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Begin your gamification strategy with a clear profile in your head. Who is your ideal customer, and are they following your brand? If they are not, then who is? Make the contest about the people who already follow you, and then build from there.

4. Don’t Just Celebrate the Top Performer

Of course, you should reward the top performer/s, but don’t forget about the others who participated.

Gamification in marketing is about the team. It’s about rewarding activity and participation as well, and not just about rewarding achievement.

If 90% of your “game” participants are fully engaged in your contest (whatever it is), that’s a huge win. It doesn’t matter that you’re crowning only one champion. If you neglect to acknowledge people’s input, you’ll likely see a drop in engagement in your next campaigns.

5. Have Clear Incentives and Goals

Remember, you need to give to receive. Incentivize people to join by offering a new product sample, a free trial, promotional coupons, or awesome discounts. If you’ve done something similar in the past, use what proved to be the most successful. Before you launch, be sure to set goals for this campaign. Do you want to boost sales, increase the number of followers, get more email subscribers, etc.? Answer these questions, and then you’re ready to go.

What Does It Mean for Content Creation?

You’ll have to evolve

As an old-school gal myself, the word “evolve” is always a bit scary at first. But, the reality of our increasingly competitive content marketing landscape is that the sooner you adopt change, the bigger piece of the pie you’re likely to get. Whether it is for social media campaigns, Facebook ads, or website copy, our content writing services also had to evolve. It was tough, but it was worth the effort.

The takeaway for you? Evolve with technology, use the rise of video content, AR, VR, and artificial intelligence to gather more information about your followers and understand how to customize your offer, so it becomes irresistible to them.

Game on and till next time,