The recent years have been a thriving period for using game-design for non-game platforms to make them more engaging. Online companies, big and small, are spending a big slice of their budget on gamifying their products and services. The current trend of using gaming platforms is an important internet marketing strategy.
In order to understand gamification, you need to learn its founding principles. These are: status and recognition, feedback and rewards, motivation and risk avoidance, and discovery and surprise. More often than not, these principles are discussed in developing web content or increasing lead conversion, but today these principles are also evaluated for gamification. Each of these principles is crucial to build active audience.
Make Your Members Work Harder to Gain Status and Recognition in the Community
The idea of winning is always enticing for many people, especially online users. People often play games not only for entertainment but also to win and achieve a certain status; they want to be the champion, the number 1, the winner, and other affirmatives. Most people would work hard to achieve that.
This principle is evident in FourSquare, which is a social networking site that allows you to check varied locations, and provides recognition on the frequency of your visits by giving you the status as Mayor. Getting the title as Mayor is considered an honor among members of FourSquare, and so the competition is quite intense.
Highlight Recognition with Feedback and Rewards
Just like in any other game, positive feedback and community recognition can provide great motivation. Humans naturally thrive in praises and always want to be recognized for skills or talents. This is an integral part of gamification.
For example, members of Nerd Fitness can earn points by doing activities, and gain the admiration of the whole community as they try to level up their lives. The website provides a unique platform for people with similar interests to support each other.
Get Your Members Going With Motivation and Risk Avoidance
You can only make your members play a game of you motivate them enough to appreciate the purpose of the game. You must motivate them to try and keep on motivating them until they go with the flow. Many people believe that placing great prizes at stake is the greatest motivational factor in a game. However, another great motivational factor is the risk avoidance, or the fear of losing something that a person already has.
An online company that has mastered this principle is Zynga – the company that has fanned the flames of gamification through the phenomenal Farmville. At the start of the game, embers are provided with a specific amount of digital currency, and in order to avoid losing money, you must regularly play the game. Members are also enticed to come back regularly and play the game to avoid their harvests to be withered and put to waste.
Stir their Minds with Discovery and Surprises
Everyone loves surprises, because of the thrill of now anticipating that something will happen. A good example of this is Social Point’s Dragon City. Players can create new species of dragons by crossbreeding their dragons, usually trying several attempts to produce surprise species. The game is highly addictive, and a good way to build an audience for social media and internet marketing.