Gartner says that ‘Gamification’ will be one of the buzz words of the year in the web and technology industry, and the Oxford Dictionary nearly added it as a new word for 2012, but instead went for ‘squeezed middle’.  But what does ‘Gamification’ mean for you?

Gamification is about involving your audience by engaging them in a challenge, competition, test or some other competitive activity either with themselves or others. We all understand that making your website content as ‘sticky’ as possible is key in attracting and keeping site visitors, and gamificaiton is a tactic that might work in increasing your site stickiness. The challenges don’t have to be physical or competitive, they just need to reward the visitor for staying engaged. Here are some examples of large companies who employ gamification:

LinkedIn Profile Completeness

When you sign up for LinkedIn you are continuously ‘challenged’ to complete your profile. The site shows profile percentage completeness and gives suggestions of what you should do next to complete it. This encourages the users to do more and become more involved, but the reward is simply having a complete profile.

Generic Coffee Chain Reward Cards

When you first buy a cup of coffee, you get a card that gets stamped for each further coffee that you buy. If you complete the card, you get a coffee for free. The idea is to drive loyalty, where the coffee stamps are an incentive to keep using the same chain over another. The game is the challenge to complete a card.

Ideas for your website

Competitions – ask your visitors to enter a competition to win something desirable in exchange for their email and contact details.

Multiple purchase incentive – if your into e-commerce, offer incentives for the more products that people buy. Incentives should be based on the number of purchases made and should get better as the number of purchases increase.

Forum websites – allow your contributors to progress in user type based on the level of their contribution – for example someone who posts 1-10 entries might be called a ‘newbie’, and someone who posts 50+ times may be a ‘master’ or something similar.

Social media challenges – ask people to send picture via social media or them with your product or using your service. Re-post the best ones or put them on your website for comment. For some people, just being involved is enough of a reward or incentive.

Reward for feedback – ask your website visitors to feedback on your products or services, or even just on your website. Offer some kind of incentive for their participation, like a free consultation or post their example as a case study giving them web coverage.

Elite customers – invite your customers to be come part of an elite group that you involve in product/service decisions and deliver news to first. It might in fact be open to everyone, but being ‘special’ in some way and be a great reward.

Why use gamification?

Gamification makes people stay longer and gets them to come back time and time again. The more that people are exposed to your brand, the more they will remember you. The more they remember your brand, the more likely they are to work with you/buy from you!

Oyster build sticky websites that use gamification (amongst other techniques) to increase your return on investment in web. We don’t just build a website and hand it over – we are involved in the whole process helping you to identify opportunities and present your content in a way that is most like to deliver enquiries online. To talk to Oyster about web, please call us on 01243 589713 or email hello@oysterdesign.co.uk.