You may have heard some buzz around the notion of gamification. The term has been characterized by some as the next frontier in web and mobile, one predicted to become as central to marketing as social media has become.
So what is it? Gamification refers to the use of game mechanics and tactics in non-gaming environments, and it relies on rewards, incentives and challenges to stimulate action and motivate behaviour. The explosion of social gaming in recent years (Foursquare are Zynga are two prime examples) has brought with it a wave of game mechanics increasingly woven into the fabric of our daily lives. A recent Gartner report predicts that by 2015, more than 50% of organizations that manage "innovation processes" will gamify those processes.
Marketers have recently tapped into the power of game mechanics, applying similar principles to their website design and functionality, under the premise that successful websites encourage participation via many of the tactics more traditionally reserved for the gaming space.
Check out some of our quick tips and resources below on "gamifying" your website. Does your organization currently use any of these tactics?
User- Generated Content
The aim here is to provide incentives for visitors to generate their own content on your site. Not only will it increase engagement, it will make your site richer and more SEO-friendly. UGC can be encouraged through feedback mechanisms such as ratings, reviews and comments. How can you reward people for this type of user-generated content? One way is to consider providing “badges” to those users who comment or participate frequently.
You’ve heard of the Facebook “like” button and Google’s “+1”. Both of these are tools for people to share content while also providing their feedback on it. One way to encourage this is to reward users for “liking” or taking some kind of action on your site. Often this is done through an activity feed, which shows popular articles or pages on your site, along with top users' activities (i.e those with “badges”).
Keeping with the social nature of today's web consumer, it follows that many visitors will participate in game-like scenarios if the benefits of doing so extend beyond the game itself (i.e users are more likely to become involved in activities that those in their social circle are engaged in).
These tactics really are just the tip of the iceberg - check out these resources for more in-depth info on gamification and examples of successful gamification-in-action.
Originally posted on Marqui's Web Marketing Blog
Marqui's Web Marketing Blog is brought to you by their marketing and consulting team to share ideas, best practices and trends from the world of web marketing. The blog aims to cover a broad array of topics relating to web marketing including content management, conversion optimization, SEO, email marketing and lead nurturing.
Posted by Sue Ansell at October 3, 2011 6:15 AM
Categories: Sales and marketing Trends