Gamification is an innovative way to interact with an audience and keep consumers invested in your brand. One Gartner report suggests that by 2015, 50% of businesses and organizations will have adopted gamification in some way. Before you plunge into adding health bars, point tallies, or trolls wearing biohazard suits into your videos, here are four things you should consider.
What is your incentive? How are you going to keep someone coming back to your video? The best gamification strategies have well-thought-out incentives that keep people playing, checking in, or purchasing. When designing your gamification video, think about what kind of incentive you want to offer players and how you can evolve the incentive over time to keep them engaged in the game. Are you going to reward people with points or badges for viewing videos, set up a leveling system, or create challenges that require viewers to respond with comments or personal videos? Points, Badges, Levels, Leaderboards, and Video Challenges are all great examples. Good incentives will encourage commitment while providing some sort of social proof for players. Remember, if the payout is too great too soon, or too hard to achieve, players may become discouraged and move on. Most importantly, a good incentive system will keep consumers coming back to view your videos.
Do the research
There is a lot of research behind gamification, so much so that it is a hot topic for dissertations and innovative thinktanks. This is an asset to you — there is a lot of great information out there for you to use. Game researchers are posting conferences videos, making webinars, and blogging about the most effective ways to gamify. Using their models as guidelines can be an easy way to plan out your gamification strategy. The Octalysis Framework is a good example. Using 8 core drives, including meaning, empowerment, accomplishment, scarcity, and unpredictability, the author categorizes game elements according to the drive they fulfill. The model is also an interesting way to see how and why people game, and what needs gaming fulfills.
Before you design your game elements, it might be good to consider what consumer behavior you are encouraging. The end result may influence your game design. Do you want to increase brand loyalty? Increase knowledge? Encourage people to donate to your cause? Meet new sales goals? Launch a new series of products? Although the question is simple, it is an important one.
Think about your target demographic. Candy Crush might have your grandmother, best friend, and child addicted, but not all games are created equally. Your demographic is going to shape the game elements that you add to your video. Targeting a general demographic will require you to think of elements that will be appealing to a large number of people with varying ages and interests. Narrowing down your demographic will help you create game elements that can make niche communities feel like they are part of your brand.
With the good comes the bad. While gamifying a video is an innovative way to reach out to your audience, games can have their downsides. If you have ever seen kids gloat over a win or spent any time playing World of Warcraft, you know that games can sometimes bring out the worst in people. We cannot control how people are going to react once they are participating in our game programs, but we can create game elements that will promote healthy competition and camaraderie. How do you do that? Plan ahead. Come up with ways to encourage cooperation and eliminate negativity or, at the least, address these problems when they come up. Make sure your incentives foster the right kind of competition and that you have a way to handle issues like cheating or personal attacks on other players.
Check back Wednesday for three more considerations to make when incorporating gamification into your online videos. Until then, shoot us your questions about using gamification in videos and tell us how it has worked for you in the past here, on Facebook, and on Twitter!