No matter whether you’re trying to get your kids to eat their vegetables or motivate your company’s website visitors to opt into your email newsletter – I can guarantee you’ll achieve more by making it fun. How do you do that? In “fancy schmancy” marketing terms – gamify it. With regard to website engagement, gamification is a process by which you can attract more visitors and keep them there by making the experience more fun – for example, by motivating them to achieve some goal or participate in an activity.
In a Huffington Post piece, gaming expert Gabe Zichermann tells why gaming should be used as a tactic to drive engagement, attract and convert leads, and grow your business. In the article, he notes that a multitude of b2b and b2c companies have launched a significant number of gamification projects from 2010 through 2013. He states:
o “These organizations, and the hundreds that didn't make the list, have been attracted by gamification's ability to raise engagement and loyalty – measured in time on site, repeat visits and viral distribution – by an average of 30 percent.”
o “And it's not just engagement – gamification's revenue effects are equally astounding. Autodesk raised its trial usage by 40 percent and conversion rates by 15 percent while Extraco Bank raised their customer acquisitions by 700 percent, and IBM's gamified Innov8 platform has become the company's biggest lead generator.”
Games don’t always have to be high-end investments involving outsourced gaming solutions providers. Gaming for your company can mean just literally creating a game – or a fun and interesting activity – to be part of your web visitors’ experience. Engaging them in this way will be a welcome change – as it turns the near-comatose experience of surfing through text-heavy websites into something interactive and fun. In this way, you’ll interest them in your content, expertise and yes, the solution you’re selling.
For me, gamifying the web experience is plainly and simply about making it fun. So here are a few low-cost, high-impact ideas you’re welcome to test on your website:
1. ONLINE TOOL: Offer an online tool for your web visitors. One simple example is an ROI calculator that computes how much time or money visitors would save with your solution.
2. POP QUIZ WITH A TWIST: Create a brief series of questions that, when answered, reward the visitor with related tips for overcoming common challenges in their everyday work. For extra credit, offer quiz takers the option to have a no-pressure consultation with your company’s experts, or to view a video.
3. DO THIS, WIN THIS: Offer a FUN or VALUABLE prize in exchange for achieving a goal, completing a mission or simply doing an assigned activity. It may sound like something from The Price is Right, but when a well-respected analyst at Forrester Research executes his own gamification strategy using the headline “Read This Blog – Win a Prize” – you may want to consider also giving it a try. Using a point-building system, the ultimate prize could be a highly coveted item – like a new tablet or gadget, or could even be complimentary access to a service your company provides.
In doing research for this blog post, I reviewed over 25 articles on gamification for b2b and b2c companies. Of those, below are links to the top three I recommend if you’re considering waking up your web visitors with activities and interactive content: