colorful line illustration game and contest themed - gamification marketing

6 Smart Ways Gamification Marketing Can Power Your Influencer Strategy

Looking for a new way to engage your audience and get people talking about your personal brand? Gamification is a fun, creative and effective way to build your brand organically. Let’s talk about what gamification marketing is, how to use it, and why it’s so useful for building an online community.

What is gamification?

The basic idea behind gamification is very simple:

Pinterest Pin - 6 Smart Ways Gamification Can Power Your Influencer Strategy_pin

What if we took game dynamics – like competition, leveling up, or rewards – and applied them to non-game situations?

Or, to put it another way: What if you could turn your social media profiles into an interactive experience, where people “play” by engaging with you and earn rewards?

We’re all a little bit competitive. Everyone loves to see their name on a leaderboard or get the dopamine rush from successfully completing a game level. As online games and video games become even more popular, your followers are primed for gamification on social media. And it’s easier than ever to add quizzes, games, and contests to your online posts.

So far, so fun. But what does gamification marketing do for you? Sure, it’ll entertain your followers,  but what do you actually get out of it?

How Gamification Marketing Helps to Grow Social Engagement

Gamification is great for social media engagement because it fulfills several goals at once. And what could be better than that, right?

Gamification can:

  • Encourage people to spend more time on your profile
  • Increase brand exposure and brand awareness
  • Keep people coming back for more
  • Create a sense of community and competition for your followers
  • Give you a simple, fair way to choose winners for giveaways
  • Tap into your follower’s hobbies, interests, or nostalgia

That’s a lot of benefits. Let’s break them down, one by one:

#1 ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO SPEND MORE TIME ON YOUR PROFILE

You can add gamification to your social media profile by posting simple challenges, using in-app tools (like Story quizzes), or linking to more sophisticated games. All of those strategies encourage people to spend longer interacting with your posts. Result: social media algorithms will show that people love your work.

#2 INCREASE BRAND EXPOSURE AND BRAND AWARENESS

Gamification marketing is helpful for branding because you can customize your content with extra branding. Whether you’re growing a personal brand or boosting a sponsor, this is a great way to increase brand exposure and awareness.

For example, this hotel group made a quick Halloween card game for their followers. They only added one branded detail: the name and logo of the group, printed on the back of each card in the game. 

screenshot of Halloween game created by Lopesan Hotel Group for their followers

It was subtle, but it meant that players saw the hotel group’s name again and again. That’s brand exposure and pretty genius!

#3 KEEP PEOPLE COMING BACK FOR MORE

Imagine you’re playing a quick jigsaw online. You just miss out on completing the puzzle – by five seconds!

Do you quit, or do you play again?

Most people will choose to play again. And that’s one of the reasons that gamification is so powerful. Followers will come back to interactive, gamified content again and again.

And if you can set up a series of games, or pick a weekly winner… even better!

Screenshot of Easy Mall's Black Friday Multi-Game - marketing with gamification

#4 CREATE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND COMPETITION

A lot of people don’t follow influencers just for the influencer themselves. They’re also there for the community. And if you’ve spent time building your personal brand, you’ll know that an online community is one of the most rewarding things about being an influencer.

Gamification can help you strengthen that community. For example, you could run a weekly leaderboard where the highest-ranking “players” get featured.

Screenshot of Snack Yum! ongoing leaderboard game

Over time, your followers will get to recognize each other, swap gameplay tips, and share a healthy sense of competition. You could even bring followers together from different social networks, uniting them all with the game.

#5 A SIMPLE, FAIR WAY TO CHOOSE GIVEAWAY WINNERS

Let’s talk about admin. It’s boring, I know… but it’s important.

Chances are, you’ve already run a giveaway or two. They’re popular for a reason: they work! Giveaways are a very powerful way to reach new followers, increase engagement, and build your brand.

But choosing a winner is the tricky part. Do you use a random number generator? Just scroll down and pick the first person you see? 

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen people demanding more transparency from influencer giveaways. They want to know how you picked a winner and whether it was fair. 

Gamification makes that whole process simpler. Instead of trying to pick a random person, you can let the game do the work for you. Give prizes to the first person to complete a game or the highest scorer over time. If you still want to pick a random winner, game apps can help you filter out duplicate entries and previous winners.

#6 TAP INTO YOUR FOLLOWER’S HOBBIES, INTERESTS, OR NOSTALGIA

Do your followers love quizzes? Then challenge them to a battle of wits.

Do they love games of chance? Then set up a prize wheel and invite them to spin.

Do they remember the good ol’ days of Snake and Minesweeper? Then build a classic game with your own branding.

Branded minesweeper type of game

You can connect with your followers by sharing their hobbies, interests, and even their nostalgia. And when you add gamification into the mix, that connection is even more powerful. 

In 2020, we’ve seen nostalgia trending – for old fashions, games, and designs. Look out for influencers and brands running old-school promotions and contests.

How to Use Gamification Marketing on Social Media

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of social media. But by now, you’re probably wondering:

How do I make all of this work? Don’t I need a web developer, a designer, or even my own game studio to make this happen?

Well… actually, no. Gamification is more accessible than it’s ever been before.

To start with, there are built-in tools on many social networks. We’re talking quizzes, hashtag challenges, and polls. That’s gamification for beginners.

But you can do more. There’s a whole world of apps out there, which will help you build smart quizzes, spin-the-wheel games, puzzles, word searches, minesweeper, and more. All you have to do is pick a game dynamic, add your branding, and share the game on your social profiles.

The key is to choose a game that appeals to your followers and is easy to play. Once your followers are hooked on having fun, you’ll reap the rewards of increased engagement, interaction, and brand awareness.


Corinna Keefe guest contributor for The Shelf

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Corinna Keefe is a freelance writer. She specializes in topics around digital marketing, social media, and organic engagement.

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