Few software developers, particularly those who launched the computer gaming industry, ever imagined there would be a ‘useful’ side to their cultural contribution. Whether puzzle, swordplay, laser blast, or leaping hedgehogs, the elements of gaming were mere digital diversions, and nothing more. Or so went the conventional and often short-sighted wisdom. But the game, so to speak, has changed dramatically in the past few years. And one of the major game-changers is the field of brand marketing. Electronic games have been entering the marketing realm in a big way. No, advertising pros aren’t ditching their duties to sneak in a few sessions of the legendary Zelda. What these savvy innovators have been up to is applying gaming features to marketing efforts — all in the name of improving impact. From puzzle interfaces to role-playing scenarios, the elements of gaming are becoming increasingly prevalent in this space. And it’s working like the proverbial charm.
Witness, for example, the value of gamification in the realm of content marketing. Game-like elements that invite participation and involvement, first and foremost, build brand engagement. Over time, users thus involved get to know, appreciate, and even value the represented brand. This ongoing experience sets the stage for long-term brand loyalty. Once involved, these visitors often find it hard to break away. And why would they? – They’re loving every second of the experience. As with any game, the more users stay interested, the longer they keep playing – and the longer a brand remains top of mind.
Aside from the promotional layer, the fundamental elements of content marketing gamification resemble those of conventional game-play. Key among these elements is a goal structure. Customers must have a goal (i.e. reach the end of the tunnel). Likewise, brands must set forth internal objectives to be reached through gameplay (educate users about a select product, familiarize them with brand culture, etc.).
Other game components effectively integrated with game interfaces include scores, rewards, designated winners and losers, prizes and rewards, and time limitations. It’s all part of a very effective experience known to build solid connections with customers and prospects. Yes, the game has been changed for good.
If you have any questions or comments about gamification in content marketing, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.