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Gamification: How to Level Up Your Marketing Campaign

By: Mitch Canter

I’ve never shied away from the fact that I’m a huge fan of gaming. Most nights, once the rest of the family has gone to bed, you’ll see me traversing the lands of Eorzea as my alter ego Lucina. Beating bosses, collecting loot, and enjoying the company of the other players I work with – there’s more than a few reasons why I keep coming back night after night.

Games have the potential to be addicting.  The constant feeling of “just one more level” is always nagging at the back of your mind. The best games have been engineered to hook players, give them just enough success to keep them hooked, and reward them based on actions and feedback.

And it goes beyond that. Video games spur culture, if you can believe it. Art, music, and all manner of film and cinema can trace their roots and stories back to gaming.Even sites where you can buy views also use games to sell more and reward customers for their purchases

What is Gamification?

But, the popularity of games can be traced back to an underlying formula: Get them hooked, keep them hooked, and keep the rewards flowing (but not TOO fast). And there are certain best practices that you can keep in mind to make people raving fans of your product, too!  But before we get any further, let’s lay the groundwork and ensure we’re all talking about the same thing.

Gamification is the act of taking gaming principles and applying them to real world situations in order to modify behavior.  This goes beyond enacting rewards challenges, as you have to ensure that your “quests” and rewards are appropriate for your audience, the subject matter, and many other variables.

We’re going to go over these more in depth as we progress in this series, but there’s a few main things you need to know:

  • There is more than one kind of “player” – certain players are motivated by certain end-goals, and your job is to ensure that all of them have something they can get out of it.
  • People _love_ to check their progress, and some even want to see how they stack up with other people. Just realize that not everyone will, and that’s ok too!
  • There’s a special “curve” you need to lead players along. You can’t give too much too soon, and you can’t hold out on the rewards until too late.
  • There are many types of ways to engage players – and chances are you will have multiple types even in one single campaign – don’t try to single something out, because it may not make sense alone.

Over the next few posts, we’ll determine what kind of players there are and how some of the various campaign types work to “scratch the itch” of that player. We’ll also go into the various types of gamification and see some real-world successes – and failures – of the various kinds.

So, whether you’re like me and see the value in video game principles, or are checking in for the first time, it’s time to Level Up your marketing and get to gamifying!