Fostering customer engagement encompasses all the specific actions and behaviors performed by users on your gamification’s web and mobile offerings. Fostering engagement is objective numero uno for many businesses. Not surprisingly, it’s also one of the most difficult objectives to meet.
In many respects, the behaviors that pertain to engagement depend on what type of site you run. For example, on a content site, content is key; so the gameplay behaviors that drive engagement — and therefore the behaviors you will want to reward — relate to the generation of content and, to a lesser extent, the consumption of content. These behaviors include the following:
Posting a comment
Writing a blog post
Reading existing content
Voting on content
Continuing with the content-site example, consider that roughly 90 percent of users on this type of site are lurkers, who consume but don’t contribute. Typically, 9 percent of users are casually involved, and the remaining 1 percent are your power users. To keep all these users involved, you want to reward all these different types of behavior. And to do that, you first have to measure them.
The key performance indicators (KPIs) associated with those behaviors might include the following:
Number of comments
Number of blog posts
Number of page views
Number of votes
Number of ratings entered
“Gee,” you’re thinking. “That’s all really interesting. But the site isn’t a content-related site. What gameplay behaviors do you need to focus on in order to drive engagement?” Glad you asked — although you may not be thrilled with the answer, which is, “It depends,” and further, “You’ll kind of have to figure that out yourself.”
Start by examining the common valued gameplay behaviors on your site — the behaviors in which your users naturally engage — and work from there. Recognizing them for things they’re already doing is a great way to motivate them to do more.
Ask: “How do users spend time on your site, and how can you measure this in a meaningful way?”
One way to identify this is through behavior tracking. That is, before you add a gamified element to your site, measure what behaviors your top users already perform. Once you have that baseline in place, you might be able to glean some idea about what behaviors you want to track more of. For example, on a health website, a key behavior might be logging workout minutes.
If you think of engagement as measurable activity, and if you want to increase measurable activity, one answer is to recognize as many different useful gameplay behaviors as you can.