Content marketing and gamification are both in the limelight. But do their similarities run further – could marketers harness the power of gamification as part of an innovative, effective content strategy?
What is gamification?
Gartner predicted that gamified strategies would become the mainstay for cultivating brand engagement and customer loyalty by 2016. Now estimated to be worth over $10 billion by 2020 (ten times its market value in 2015), gamification shows no signs of slowing down.
Gamification is defined as‘the application of typical elements of game playing (such as point scoring, competition, rules of play) to other areas of activity – typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.’
What’s really in it for marketers?
By appealing to our inherently competitive and playful nature through things like leader boards, missions, points and badges, marketers can foster deeper, longer relationships with customers who ‘experience’ their brand. Through simply driving motivation, gamification motivates customers to perform specific behaviors and creates new opportunities to interact with a brand and its products.
Then there are the risks. Gamified content must be immersive and perform well to be of real benefit to customers. This requires obvious specialist expertise and investment to create content which plays by the rules, meets or exceeds expectations, and provides feedback and recognition in real-time.
How to get it right
- You don’t have to be a large multinational to used gamified strategies in your content marketing. The principles can be applied to any audience and use any sized budget. A first step could be running simple social media polls and competitions to boost engagement.
- To go further, you’ll need to come up with a concept of value to your customers, and give it rules and a structure that will make sense. Keep it simple: only give your customers the information they need to progress through each stage.
- Tie gamification back to your marketing objectives at every turn. At the end of the day, if it doesn’t boost customer engagement or lead to more sales and brand awareness, it isn’t pulling its weight.
- See what’s already out there. We created Simulcation Datacenter to connect IT providers, sales teams and their customers – all in an addictive environment that users will want to return to over and over again.
Equally at home in marketing and training, gamification is set to occupy a growing place in content marketing strategies. We’re proud to be at the leading edge. Developed in partnership with IBM, Simulcation Datacenter enables anyone to experience real-world IT infrastructure in a compelling virtual environment. Users compete against each other to optimize their mix of products and services, satisfy customers and the c-suite, and steal virtual global market share.