For some people, the term “gamification” is nothing but a trendy buzzword, yet another fleeting fad taking the business world by storm and destined to fade into obscurity the moment a shinier new trend appears on the scene. But the truth is, gamification has not only been around for ages (think frequent flyer rewards programmes), but has proved to be hands-down one of the most successful ways for a business to engage with its users.
Game on! Gamification demystified
So what exactly is gamification? While you might be thinking it simply has to do with creating games, gamification is much more than that. It’s a powerful technique that uses game mechanics and game design to deliver snack-sized bits of gaming in otherwise non-gaming contexts. By tapping into the basic human desire to succeed, master, and progress, gamification becomes a means of creating and maintaining engagement with users. And these days, it’s more relevant than ever. The proliferation of casual games in society has introduced a new type of interaction that people of all ages have come to expect in the services that they know and love. Whether it’s earning points, levelling up, completing a mission, or unlocking an achievement, people simply love that warm feeling of satisfaction that comes from progression.
Naturally, happy users mean a happy business. Not only does gamification keep users entertained and pleased with their personal progress, but it provides a means for organisations to offer more. More competition, more innovation, and more ways to give users what they want — and these days, users want gamification.
Ready to level up your business? The benefits of gamification in business are plentiful, so read on to discover five simple ways that show how gamification can and will boost your business.
1. Motivate Actions
Sometimes your users need a little motivation to complete small but beneficial tasks such as providing feedback, completing a questionnaire, adding personal details, or watching a video. Gamification is one of the best ways to coax them into participating, gaining powerful user data that can bring valuable insights to your business.
2. Drive Retention
As a business, you want your users to stick around. Adding perceived value to a user account is a simple way to drive retention. After a user has invested time and effort to achieve something and can relate their efforts against their progression within a structure, there is a greater threshold to leave the service for fear of losing what they have earned.
3. Create Loyalty
Give users a reason to come back more frequently and, when they do, spend more time on your service. Competition is king! Humans have an innate desire to compete and better themselves and will come back time and time again to do this.
4. Educate Users
Using gamification, you can motivate your users to try a wider variety of features within your service than normally or educate them when new features are introduced. For example, this works wonderfully when used in a tutorial-type experience. The users learn the ropes in a fun and interesting way that introduces them to your service while also helping them to retain information more efficiently.
5. Create Brand Advocates
There is no recommendation better than one from a friend. Gamification often lets you increase the visibility of your business within the social networks of your users in non-intrusive ways that draw in more users. Social acceptance as a psychological driver is truly a powerful thing.
It’s no wonder that businesses around the world are adapting to include gamification into their plans. It works, and in many cases, it’s a win-win situation for both the business and user. Achievement unlocked!
Steven Judge is the Founder and CPO of GameLayer, a gamification platform provider based in Helsinki, Finland, whose new generation of engagement tools are driving a step-change in loyalty and lifetime value by building deeper relationships with digital service users. Its cloud-based game mechanics are used, for example, to power the gamified loyalty programme of the Finnish National Lottery, Veikkaus Points (site in Finnish).
Be sure to check out Steven on Twitter for more updates.