Gamification Content Marketing: How To Improve ROI

/ 16 May 2023

You may have heard about gamification in marketing. Essentially, it’s when marketers include game elements like mini-games, interactive games, and memory games that tap into consumers’ competitive nature and encourage campaign interaction. 

And the results speak for themselves: According to Marketo, gamification can increase engagement rates by up to 50%* 🚀

If, like other retailers, you’re suffering from dwindling engagement rates, you can expect up to 4x higher CTR than campaigns that don’t use it.

Sounds interesting?

Of course! All retailers want to boost their engagement and ROI.

With that in mind, let’s delve into exactly how marketers can use gamification as part of their content marketing strategy to generate greater revenue.

The benefits of gamification in content marketing

Before we begin with how to use gamification in content marketing, let’s look at why more and more retailers are turning to game mechanics to level-up content and motivate their target audience.

In a nutshell, through interactive infographics, quizzes, and videos, marketers encourage consumers to subscribe to a newsletter, share content on social media, or make a purchase.

Struggling with the difference between marketing and content marketing? 🤔
Marketing: General marketing leverages lots of different tactics like paid advertising, sales promo, PR and more. It tends to promote products and services directly.
Content marketing: Focuses on sharing value-adding content (like tips and best practices) to help your audience solve their biggest pain points. It’s educational, not hard-selling, and therefore appeals to more people.
With gamification in your content marketing strategy, your aim is to include the “fun” game elements alongside your helpful and value-adding content.

Case study 🔎

For example, Matalan used a ‘wheel of fortune’ gaming element to encourage consumers to visit its holiday range and incentivised them to refer friends.

The result?

  • The click-through rate increased from 1.5% to 7%
  • 17,000 people shared the game on social media
  • 80% of consumers said the prizes encouraged them to visit Matalan online or in-store

Essentially, it’s a mutually beneficial value exchange: The consumer gets a reward for taking an action (like gated content or getting discounts), and the retailer benefits too. We’ve talked about the benefits of gamification in marketing in more detail in previous blogs, like this one.

But let’s recap on the benefits:

  • Boost customer engagement and interaction: Consumers have a much better reason to engage with your content and spend more time on site – which boosts SEO and generates more traffic.
  • Boost sales: Through coupons, special offers and more, you provide an incentive for consumers to buy from you and keep buying from you. Look at the McDonald’s Monopoly game as an example.
  • Generate more leads: We know that people are more likely to engage with gamification campaigns than static content. So, you can expect to attract a wider and more engaged audience – and capture key information on the way. 
  • Capture otherwise ‘uncapturable’ customer data: This data allows you to deliver personalised experiences that consumers expect (based on their individual preferences right now, not segments or using historical data on previous purchases). This more intimate experience boosts user engagement and helps improve Long-Term Value with a loyal customer base.

And combined, this all boosts sales revenue.

With this information in mind, it’s easy to see why gamification content marketing is so popular.

Top tips for using gamification in content marketing

Now, let’s just share a few best practice tips to help ensure your approach to gamification content marketing actually delivers on the numbers.

Tip #1: Keep it simple

It might be tempting to go super complex and intricate to deliver results. But that’s not how it works. Actually, the more simple the rules and how-to’s, the easier it is for people to engage. 

And it’s better for you to start small, so rather than setting up a big competition, maybe offer a reward to those that share a status update.

Tip #2: Know your gamer

What rewards and incentives would they actually be interested in? What channels are they likely to use? How difficult do the games need to be to balance motivation towards effort and reward? 

If they don’t add value, you won’t get the engagements and ROI. And if you don’t build the campaign for the right channel, it just won’t get used by your audience.

Tip #3: Focus on your goals

If your aim is to improve newsletter sign-ups or product awareness, you’ll want to direct consumers towards a form-fill or a landing page.

So, think about the kind of game that lends itself to them taking out this action and not just playing the game and leaving. 

Tip #4: Create your ROI-boosting KPIs

You’ll want to track engagement rates and conversion rates to see how gamification content marketing campaigns compare to other types of marketing. Ultimately, revenue-generation will be the definitive KPI so you can then calculate the return of the cost of creating and promoting the game. 

Tip #5: Test and optimise

If you’re starting small, it will be easier to see how impactful gamification content marketing is and how it compares to previous campaigns. Testing is a great way to review whether you’re using the right channels, games and offers for your target demographic.

The best bit? Gamification elements can provide real-time data so you can see how consumers are engaging – something that’s less easy to track with other marketing activities.

Tip #6: Look at successful gamified content marketing campaigns

If you want to save gambling with your marketing spend, look at examples of campaigns that have gone well so you can learn from them and take inspiration for your campaigns.

👉Take a look at these examples.

Those that encourage social sharing and user-generated content are the best, as they’ll naturally be more inclined to promote your new campaign for you.  

Tip #7: Think about how you’ll promote your campaign

While your gamified content needs to align with your goals and brand values, like with any campaign, you want to consider the various marketing channels for promoting it. Consider social media, email marketing, and website marketing – to maximise reach, likely engagement and ROI. 

🔎 Case study: Penhaligon’s personalised perfume experience

Perfume specialists, Pehaligon’s, cleverly uses an interactive web-based experience to provide personalised scent recommendations to consumers.

Instead of relying on out-of-date third-party data, Penhaligon’s is able to capture current preferences and then provide fresh and personalised suggestions – even sharing tailored perfume samples… Something consumers would be expected to pay handsomely for with another perfume specialist.

The key takeaway? It’s about creating a fun and interactive experience and a value exchange (data for individually tailored recommendations). 

Now, let’s bring this all together…

Key takeaways: How gamification content marketing improves ROI

Through gaming elements in marketing campaigns, you can boost engagement and deliver better ROI simply by providing consumers with enjoyable user experiences and relevant offers. 

In exchange, their engagement supports you in achieving your content marketing goals, like:

  • social share increase (to boost brand awareness/reach)
  • capturing additional preferences (to individually, not segment level, personalise campaigns and offers)
  • re-engagement with customer loyalty programs (to stop you from losing huge databases).

If, like hundreds of brands, your marketing campaign engagements have hit a bit of a lull, gamification content marketing has likely piqued your interest.

To be honest, given the heightened costs of other marketing tactics like ad space, we’re seeing a major shift towards alternatives like using gamified content marketing to stand out against the competition.

We’d go as far as saying that gamification content marketing will become a go-to marketing strategy. Just make sure you follow the best practices and tips we’ve covered to help you generate revenue and ROI.

Ready to get started? Remember, we talked about starting with a basic gamification example to kick things off. If you need a hand with this, you can talk to our gamification specialists today.

Looking for more? 

Check out our resources and expand your knowledge and skills:

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