Are you on the lookout for ways to reward the members of your site or forum and bring in more engagement at the same time? Well, go for gamification.
Game related features or gamification is the application of game design mechanics into non-gaming spaces or situations. It involves adding game elements to your present assests and materials. By including elements like levels, points and progress bars to contexts that are non-game such as membership sites, you can level up user engagement, and revive the gaming experience to boost brand identity, engagement, customer retention, and present your content in a delightful manner.
In this post, we will explore:
What gamification means
How gamification operates
Different types of gamification
Type of rewards that work
Things to consider while adding gamification to your site
Ways gamification can boomerang
Tools and plugins to get started right now
So, let’s get on the move.
What Gamification means?
Gamification is a process of using game-type elements and mechanics in non-game spaces for rewarding and engaging members so that they participate. The objective is to promote the active interest of members, raise user experience, and inspire them to initiate specific action.
These game type elements can be in the form of leaderboards, experience points, redeeming hidden treasures on a site in return for a reward if found by them. Beyond everything, gamification has been designed to motivate members to instill the habit of using your site and coming back to it to finish tasks.
How Gamification Operates
You require selecting a gamification process that aligns with your membership site, like if you are aiding people so that they clear an exam then you have to make use of award badges and quizzes for successful qualifiers. Likewise, if you are building a community membership then rewarding members who reply to your questions and awarding points is the best method. In case, you are providing a mastery membership style, then offer an achievement award after the completion of every course by your member.
An excellent gamification extends beyond badges, points and leaderboards. Your gamification should be convenient for your members to begin and know its working.
The best way to begin gamification is from your onboarding, so that you award a “new member” badge the minute any person logs in as a first timer, and make them receive another reward after completion of their profile or beginning their first course. You can incorporate the gamification instantly as the member makes use of the site.
Gamification also works the same way as a video game where you are acquainted with lots of game mechanics. Like for example, if you shoot bad guys in a first person game of shooting, you are rewarded with higher points, improved weaponry, and different assets. Gamification too brings rewards with more points and fuels motivation.
Gamification operates by motivating users to get involved in preferred behaviors, by displaying a route to mastery, and making the best use of human psychological tendencies towards gaming. Intelligent marketers apply gamification to raise consumer engagement and impact consumer preferences and behavior.
Different Types of Gamification
You can include gamification to your site the way LinkedIn does through a list of steps for you to complete in your profile. In fact, the more information an user puts into their profile, the higher their engagement with the site. LinkedIn places a progress bar and turns your profile completion process into a game. Many users feel triggered to finish the profile and fill the green and blue colored progress bar and to arrive at the star at the end of the progress bar. It is a simple strategy, but an effective one, when you are onboarding members and directing them towards completion of tasks.
You too, can implement this tactic with regard to the user profiles on your site or the various steps that you prefer your users to choose. Ranking members on the basis of percentage of data on their profile can be a form of gaming.
Points carry worth only when they bring rewards. Rewards can be tangible in the form of cash, rebates on the next purchase or free tickets as well as intangible or virtual like badges or levels. Based on what you provide on the membership site, it can be customized to adjust a reward program for members having the maximum points.
These points can be interchanged with discounts, gifts or various non-monetary rewards. There are multiple reasons for which you intend to award points to members for finishing a task on the site. These can be for members acquiring badges for their steady contributions, loyalty points for making recurring purchases, or presenting gift cards for constant shopping.
Treasures are things that are difficult to locate and carry a surprise reward. Gamification has been found in marketing and e-learning campaigns. For instance, M&M simply developed graphics with a hidden picture inside it. The graphic was created within less than half an hour, but the company got rewards with huge engagement. M&M introduced the Eye Spy Pretzel game where the pretzel had to be found which was hidden among hundreds of M&Ms. The concept was to make users take a view of images filled with M&M candy and locate the one single pretzel.
Making use of leaderboards in a gamified process is useful in generating competition between members. The concept is to showcase their ranking in comparison to their peers. In this manner, they are encouraged to take up more activity to earn adequate points to secure higher ranking and place themselves on the top of the leaderboard.
Like for example, in the gamification campaign of NikeFuel, the primary game mechanic was competition. Users were able to verify their stats against their rivals, and utilize their rankings on the leaderboard to spur them on.
Gamified quizzes serve better in an online course, as you can quiz your students to encourage them by displaying to them the level of their learning. You can also create checkpoints through quizzes to judge the performance of your students with regard to your course materials.
You can also mix a quiz with social sharing or unlocking badges that egg on a student to finish a challenge. Besides, quizzes can also be utilized as central to unlock the subsequent content piece in your course. This offers instant feedback to your learners about their comprehension of the contents of the course.
Running a contest within your membership site is a way to keep your subscribers guessing about the thing they may win if they continue on.
A typical example is the Facebook giveaways. You may give away a free course each month by picking a random name out of your followers. This activity can be made more engaging by integrating a game mechanic. To illustrate, for taking part in the gateway, your subscribers need to post a selfie and tag your business inside the description. In such a situation, you only select a winner from followers who adhered to the rules.
Types of Rewards That Work
Many firms conduct loyalty programs or use reward benefits for recurrent customers. Badges, various rewards and points drive motivation and make participants experience as if they are attaining something. So to speak, game mechanics either motivate or reward activity. They are the game changers in the campaign that impels participants to carry on their interactions with the game.
When Dropbox arrived there followed a crazy rush to tell friends to sign up as the incentive offered was that you received extra space for storage for every friend that had signed up. This was for Dropbox a great way to acquire more users to sign up to their platform and it became a virtual file sharing and synchronization service for people who had no corporate establishments. But, still strategy may not be ideal for your specific business niche.
Users are attracted to your gamified business site when they receive awards in the form of recognition for finishing a task, or goal attainment, or monetary rewards like discounts, redemptions, free shipping, sweepstakes or prizes.
Things to Consider While Adding Gamification to Your Site
Gamification provides the bursts of motivation that your members require on their journey to membership. But, you need to consider certain key things before applying gamification techniques like:
· It should be relevant vis-à-vis the context of the service or product you are offering. Like if your membership site is created for running lovers, a leaderboard will be ideal as you could motivate members to log the distance they have run every week and compete for badges and points.
· Make it simple for members to start off with your gamification. The perfect way to introduce your members to gamification is while onboarding. Suppose you are using badges you may award a “new member” badge after a member completes sign up and gets logged for the first time. This makes them aware of the badges to acquire and win as well as steps to conclude.
· Create a challenge as you require keeping a balance between easy for members to understand and use your gamification straight away, but also challenging so that members feel that they have accomplished something after achieving a badge.
· Make it purposeful as you require considering what encourages your member and what they prefer to attain by subscribing to your membership site.
Ways Gamification Can Boomerang
In the first place, gamification can boomerang if you apply it to prop up a content that is second-rate. Before, including any gamification to your website, generate a compelling content that engages the members. If it lacks appeal and is not compelling, hardly any gamification will attract the interest of users, rather it will wean them away.
So always keep your highly valuable content easily available for any site visitor. After all, your visitors anticipate a business website, in place of a gaudy game site. Grab their attention by keeping everything simple and presenting a high grade content.
Gamification should add a dollop of fun to your membership site. It requires to be understood that every interaction may not relate to the gaming aspect. For if every interaction only concerns itself with earning points, with users receiving a blitz of emails plus notifications of their status, ultimately it will turn them off.
So, do not overdo gamification as you are not developing a complete game, but only adding game mechanics to your comprehensive design. Try striking an ideal balance between stimulating, motivating and incentivizing for bringing more engagement.
Gamification also boomerangs if you clutter your site with futile content. There exists a fine thread on the utility of badges on the Discourse discussion group. You can know from it the way badges can spoil the user experience of others. For instance, certain people will prefer all posts on a thread or refer to a pack of other users to achieve a badge.
Such activities can lower the worth of your community and you need to see that you have an efficient team of moderators to halt this conduct.
Tools and Plugins to Get Started Right Now
To add gamification to your site there are an arsenal of tools and plugins that brings game type features to your membership site. Here are a few of the ways to include them to your WooCommerce site.
An extensible plugin for gamification, GamiPress integrates three awards systems into one flawless package where it handles ranks, points and achievement or rewards.
This plugin automatically offers awards to members for communicating with your membership site. Members are also awarded for their various achievements after finishing a set of tasks and also level up in their ranks by concluding all the rank criteria. GamiPress contains multiple features and can be incorporated into several plugins. In this manner it lets you add gamification to your site whatever the business model might be.
Also Read: Best WordPress Affiliate Plugins
WooCommerce Points and Rewards
This plugin permits members to acquire points that can be redeemed on your site for rebates on products or rewards. You can fix the optimum discount that can be offered to a user for a single purchase and also manually reward points for deserving members.
BadgeOS can convert your membership site into a badging and performance system. It permits you to develop badges, format the process, and achievements required by users to complete before they can earn their rewards or badges.
Ultimate Member performs more than a plugin that just adds game type features to your website. It is a complete membership solution that functions with WooCommerce. It offers integration with MyCred. You can utilize the extensions present for Ultimate Member such as Profile Completeness, to develop an awesome membership site that is stacked with game-like features.
An adaptive and also user-friendly point’s management structure, myCred helps you to develop and control digital rewards like badges, ranks, and points on your WordPress site. This third-party integration sets triggers plus events that enables real-time monitoring of the activity of your members. Following which, it also credits automatically the members with points.
One among the best gamification plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce, myCred also installs ranks with the leaderboards of your site and rewards particular members when they pass out certain requirements. With a system for badge reward, you can carry out customizations so as to award specific badges to members for their outstanding performance. This Word Press gamification plugin also contains multifarious tools and built-in Add Ons that are key to handling the gamification efforts of your site. Besides, it also works with BuddyPress, Affiliate WP and several others.
LearnPress is a plugin that not only adds game functions to your site, but is a wholesome Learning Management System (LMS) that contains game-like features and operates with bbPress and BuddyPress.
If you utilize the paid add-ons of LearnPress, then you can integrate it with WooCommerce and myCred. Their paid add-ons also enable you to award certificates for completing courses and create a commission arrangement for your learners.
Gamification offers a fun and effective brain-satiating process that keeps your members interactive and engaged. Not only does it provide recreation to members, but also make them experience achievement when they receive rewards and badges for performing specific tasks. Moreover, gamification also functions on the concept of habit formation that makes your members come back to your site frequently. After all, it is a perfect way to interact with your likely customers who otherwise would not have identified your digital products