Gamify Your Digital MarketingThere are multiple game consoles hitting the market for the holiday season. And as we continually talk about getting creative with content, this is a great time to take a step back and look at how the increase in the number of platforms and games has changed the way brands interact with consumers.
Companies big and small are jumping on the bandwagon of creating games and downloads that allow consumers to see their brands in a different light. This trend is called gamification. These games aim to market products and services in a different way, many times unknowingly to the customer. Done well, they can create a bold yet effective alternative to traditional marketing efforts.
How to Gamify Your Marketing Effectively
There are a few imperative questions to ask before, during and after creating a game for your company.
- Who? - Who will be playing your game or participating in your online experience? It is imperative during this step to know who your target audience is and what they want to see.
- What? – What is the goal of your game? What happens when someone starts and what happens when it ends? There should be some type of incentive for completing a game or uploading photos, anything from discount on a product or some type of social media badge.
- Where? – What platform is your download available on? Will it be mobile, tablet or desktop only? The places your consumers are looking for information about your products may not be the same place they are looking to be entertained.
Impact on Other Marketing Tactics
Creating a game or download cannot be a standalone effort. The goal is to create an experience that will allow customers to see your company as more than just a company. But integrating a game into your existing digital marketing strategy can be difficult.
Consider featuring the game in social posts, PPC ads or blog posts. And once users regularly log-in to your app and download badges for using products or take and upload photos to your product board, there is a connection being made.
Gamification will no doubt boost your social media and paid marketing efforts. Having something interactive to tweet, post and pin increases the likelihood that someone will take notice.
Who Has Done it Right
There have been some major brands doing gamificaiton in the past few years. While some have fallen flat, others have created successful, interactive games and experiences for their consumers:
- Nike – Fitness tends to lend itself to interaction, and Nike has always found a way to take advantage. Most recently, the brand released mobile apps allowing users to track workouts, running paths and workout statistics. This technology integration allows for Nike to separate itself from competitors and increase the likelihood of brand loyalty.
- Chipotle – In a much different style, Chipotle released a game that not only increases its brand awareness, but also its message about providing quality food to customers. If customers complete all the levels of the game, they get a free burrito. This incentive will entice customers to come back, redeem their free food voucher and probably buy additional products.
- Movies – It is hard to decide on just one movie franchise that has done a good job turning itself into a game. They do have a leg up, though, since it is a seamless transition from a movie screen to computer and TV screens. However, films have recently started releasing application games for smartphones, available for download before the movie even hits the big screen. This allows users to play a game, identify with a character and then, of course, get excited to see the movie.
In all the examples of successful gamification, we see that each brand has a reason for creating the game, app or experience. Users have incentive to download and interact beyond just a few minutes. They are being exposed to content with a purpose, and there is a path for customers to learn more about products and services.
What is your favorite branded game? Let us know in the comment section below.
photo credit: EricHolsinger
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