Gone are the days of one-sided advertising. Today, consumers are willing to give you feedback on their preferences and feelings toward your brand. But they won’t give it up too easily. To start building the open exchange of information between brand and consumer, you’re going to have to play a little game.
It used to be a matter of tricking your audience into not knowing the difference between native advertising and their normal content. But with the popularity of websites like Buzzfeed, consumers have come to not only recognize native ads, but expect them.
In its infancy, the list-and-quiz style site practically created a new strategy for monetizing content – no banner ads, strictly native advertising. The concept made it possible for Buzzfeed to have more control over how ads made an impact on the site’s look and feel. The strategy proved fruitful – a leak released by Gawker revealed that Buzzfeed’s revenue skyrocketed from $4 million in 2011 to $64 million in 2013, and $46 million just in the first six months of 2015.
$4 million in 2011 to $64 million in 2013, and $46 million in the first six months of 2015
As advertisers continued to look for flashy new ways to engage consumers on their favorite sites, something new was born – gamified content.
Bringing Games into Branded Content
Gamified content combines your usual branded materials with interactive opt-in tools, like games, giveaways, and freebies to pull the viewer in. These “games” are designed to build a two-way relationship with the consumer and advertiser – by opting in, consumers are giving the brand information on their preferences and online habits.
The greatest native ads employ these gaming concepts, and the evergreen popularity of Buzzfeed’s quiz section is living proof. Today, most quizzes from “Pick a Breed of Dog and We’ll Tell You Which Spice Girl You Are” to “What Your Dunkin Donuts Order Says About You” are taking it a step beyond branded content, and the proof is hidden within each quiz.
In one quiz titled “Go Shopping and We’ll Tell You If You’re an Introvert or Extravert,” quiz questions that match the style of the original content help gather information for Google Play about player preferences.
Without giving it a second thought (because most Buzzfeed quizzes are taken in a content-induced blur as a means of passing time on the Internet), consumers are taking their pick and exchanging information with advertisers. 48% prefer single player games, and here are some you can download in the Google Play marketplace.
At the most simplified level, gamified content is just this – a simple quiz question or poll. But there is a great opportunity here to take it a step or two further.
Interactive games with multiple levels, competitions, and compounding rewards allow brands to gather leads, build social media relationships and gain brand loyalty.
The concept in itself sounds simple enough, but just how hard is it to create content that both advertises your product and gathers information without the consumer batting an eyelash?
What Makes These Games So Engaging?
Gamified content is a truly unique marketing tool, mostly because consumers don’t see it as marketing at all. Brands of all sizes are using games in their native content to gather leads, but some people remain unconvinced. Why would you invest in creating gamified content?
It’s perfectly mobile optimized. 32% of mobile activity involves playing games, followed by Facebook at 18%. By combining social, gaming, and a branding message, you’ve turned the mobile device into your ultimate lead-generating tool.
Games also virtually guarantee engagement. Why? Browsing the Internet is all about having fun and passing time – the digital equivalent of kicking the can. When your content requires the first step to be taken by the consumer, you eliminate the gap between impressions and engagement, and the player has fun. It’s a win-win.
They also deliver incredible conversion rates. And there are seemingly endless ways to increase conversion. Leaderboards and competitions increase the likelihood that players will continue to exchange information for a second chance at cracking the high score. Each level can require different information from the consumers, and high levels can reap bigger rewards.
How Gamify is Putting Games to Work
For Wendy’s, the idea was to engage clients and make connections on social media. The Ghost Pepper Blow Out set out to do just that with a simple swipe-to-match game using real menu items. The game could be played on mobile or desktop in a minute’s time.
But most users played for more than a minute. By scoring over 20,000 points, which could take a couple rounds of practice, players were able to enter a daily drawing for Wendy’s vouchers and see the leaderboard to know where they stand. After each game, players were prompted to challenge their friends, sending a shared invite on social media.
- Gamified ads see 181% higher click-through rates than traditional digital advertising
- Consumers are more than two times as likely to enter key details at the end of the game
- Games make your consumer seven times more likely to value and use their brand rewards
For a game that could easily be played on a short elevator ride, the results were remarkable. Wendy’s new gamified content garnered a 70-second average engagement, which is especially impressive considering dwindling video results. The average Facebook video watch time is a mere ten seconds, or only 4% of the video. It comes as no surprise that the game was 181% more effective than their previous video campaign.
At Gamify, our goal is to drive traffic, guarantee brand engagement, support social sharing and help customers find new value in brand rewards. Over 9,000 clients have used our award winning services and software. Small business owners and Fortune 500 companies alike have seen the benefits