Gamifying the customer experience via ads means adding value. It’s not enough to simply shoehorn in gaming elements; these elements must make sense in context and provide positive feedback for users. Examples include:
Browser- or app-based games offer users a small-scale gaming experience while showcasing your brand. The key to these ad-driven games? Keep it simple. This offers two benefits: customer engagement and cost of acquisition.
Here’s why. When it comes to ad-based games, customer engagement is measured in minutes, not hours or days. By creating a simple jump-and-avoid or puzzle-type game, businesses can maximize this engagement window — users enjoy a few minutes of fun and get a reward for their time, such as a discount or coupon code. From a budget perspective, meanwhile, smaller games help keep the cost of development down. Simple games cost less to create, meaning companies are spending less on each customer acquisition.
Interactive ads are another option. Users might solve a small puzzle, or click on parts of the ad to reveal clues, which in turn lead to a small prize. These ads can also include the rare chance to win a larger prize, such as a steep discount on a single item or a prize.
For interactive ads to succeed, they need to grab consumer attention and make it clear exactly how the game works. If it’s not obvious how the game functions, users won’t wait around.
Businesses can also use social media platforms as the basis for gamified ads. For example, companies might ask customers to help them name a new product or add captions to an image by commenting on social media posts, and offer a prize for the winner. Winners can be decided by social platform polls or chosen randomly.
Best Practices for Marketing Gamification Success
When it comes to marketing gamification, best practices can help put teams on the right track to ensure ads deliver the intended impact.
Know Your Players
The more you know about your target market, the easier it is to make a game they’ll play. Here, demographic data such as age, income, location and purchasing habits can help determine if browser-based games or interactive ads will yield better results.
Define Your Goals
What are you trying to achieve with your ads? While increased customer engagement is a worthwhile goal, this isn’t an endpoint. For gamified ads to be effective, engagement should lead to action. This could include clicking through to your website, signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. By defining the end goal, businesses can work backward to create gamified ads that naturally lead to this outcome.
Pinpoint Your Incentives
If customers don’t derive value from your games, they won’t play. As a result, it’s important to define your incentives. These could be points collected and redeemed for discounts, reward tiers that provide early access to products, or even prizes awarded to a select few customers who engaged with your ad.
Time to Level Up
Gamification of the product promotion cycle can help businesses connect with their target audience, improve user engagement and drive increased sales — but simply adding game elements isn’t enough. To level up marketing efforts, companies need gamification strategies that capture user attention and keep them coming back for more. For more information on gamification strategies and technologies, check out Surge Creates.