Day 7 of the bigmouthmedia SEO Advent Calendar. You can read day 6 here.
Making Gamification Work for You
This year has seen a new buzz-word kid swagger into town. 2011 has seen the rise in popularity of “gamification” – the process of adding game mechanics and dynamics to sites and services.
Gamification isn’t necessarily about adding the latest “World-of-Witchcraft-Fifa” game to your website. This tactic is more about making websites more enjoyable and engaging for users, thus incentivising and encouraging them to follow a particular path through your site.
Sure, it’s not a relevant tactic for some businesses, but what about the world of online retail? Let’s take a minute to see how this might work in practise.
There are a plethora of uses for gamification within fashion retail, some examples of which are mentioned below.
But before starting any gamification “game plan” you should think about how it will tie in with your online business objectives. This will help you choose a tactic that not only offers SEO benefits for your site, but is also relevant to your wider digital marketing goals.
Men’s fashion website whose demographic is technologically savvy young males
- Business Objective 1: Increase number of online product reviews
- Tactic: Award points to users for completing online product reviews
- Business Objective 2: Increase online account registrations prior to purchase
- Tactic: Award points for creating an online account (they could also consider awarding points for successful purchases as well)
Women’s fashion website whose demographic is young, fashion-forward females
- Business Objective 1: Improve visibility and authority of the company blog
- Tactic: Award badges to users who leave comments on the company blog. These badges could be awarded with labels such as “Style Guru” or “Trend Spotter”
- Business Objective 2: Create useful user generated content
- Tactic: Award badges for creating wish lists that can be shared with family / friends and via the company’s social channels.
Points are a great way to reward users for doing something on your site that is of value to you. The beauty with points is that they can be redeemable or non-redeemable. Redeemable points could lead to rewards such as discount codes, access to special deals or free delivery. Non-redeemable points could provide rewards such as early access to new product collections or VIP invites to shopping / launch events.
Badges are also a great means of improving brand visibility online. For example, awarding badges to users who also write their own blog means they can add the branded badge to their site, thus promoting the brand to all their readers.
When used tactically, gamification can be a powerful strategy for influencing and motivating your users; helping build brand interaction and promotion; and increasing your authority and performance online.
If you are looking for inspiration on how to use gamification on your site there are plenty of companies out there who have embraced social gaming already. So take a look around and find a tactic that will suit your business objectives best. I would be interested to hear of social gaming tactics you come across that have been executed particularly well.