Hi there, it’s Doug from Bluleadz Inbound Marketing. A while back, you might remember that I wrote a blog post about the challenges of inbound marketing. Among those challenges was managing your content creation.
For inbound marketing campaigns, content creation is the bedrock, the foundation for success. Failure to create engaging and meaningful content means failure to engage potential customers. So, how can you make engaging content for your campaigns more easily and improve lead generation?
Well, if you’ve been delegating content creation tasks to your employees (and you should start delegating tasks if you aren’t already), have you considered using elements of gamification on your team?
To put it briefly, gamification is the practice of using elements of game design to engage workers and boost their productivity.
Common elements of game design that are employed in a gamification strategy include:
- Thoughtful Design
- Recognition of Achievements
Using these elements of games can help make employees become engaged with their work, driving productivity and emotional investment.
How does Gamification Improve Content Creation?
When you delegate content creation duties to employees, it quickly becomes just like any other work assignment: part of the routine. The problem with routine is that it is dull and disengaging, which can make anyone disinterested in the work.
Gamification counters the tediousness of work tasks by getting workers to think about them in a different way, one that encourages creativity and fun. Rather than being indifferent to work tasks, workers actively enjoy the work and are more stimulated mentally, enhancing creativity and productivity alike.
Businesses such as Walmart have used gamification to great effect. In a post on Forbes.com, it was stated that for Walmart “gamification of safety training offers another important benefit: it is competitive and yes, addictive for associates, and before you know it, associates are talking not only about their rankings in the game but the importance of adhering to safety protocols.” After gamification of safety training began, there was “a 54% decrease in incidents” at the locations where the program was tested.
In other words, the program got employees to really think about and pay attention to the training. As a result, the quality and long-term results of the training improved. If used for content creation tasks, gamification could help improve employee focus, boosting productivity.
Applying Gamification to Content Creation
So, how can you apply the principles of game design to your content creation process so that your content creators increase their output and quality? Some companies purchase specialized software for this task.
However, before you go off to hire a firm to apply gamification for you, here are a few ideas you can use:
Create a Score Tracker
Bragging rights have long been a part of games. Back in the days of the arcade, people would spend hard cash trying to make it onto the “Top Ten” high score list to leave their initials there for their friends to see.
The same principle can be applied to content creation for the company. Create a scoreboard which tracks who has created what pieces of content, and the traffic/leads that each piece has generated.
Keeping score for how much content your employees can create helps to spur a little competitiveness amongst them. As individuals strive to earn that coveted number one spot at the top, you’ll see an increase in how much content gets made. Tracking the performance of the content encourages the creation of quality content.
Make Cooperative Goals
While instilling some competitive spirit amongst employees can boost productivity, it is important to maintain the mindset that everyone succeeds as a group. Over-emphasizing individual success may lead to a lack of collaboration, stifling the flow of creative ideas.
Assign group-level goals for specific rewards or recognition, and you’ll encourage more collaborative efforts. This translates into employees helping each other with content creation, providing feedback and assistance that spurs on the creation of better content from everyone involved.
For example, say you have two employees, Jack and John. Both employees are great workers, and highly productive with type-A personalities. Both want to be the best, and don’t have collaborative goals to meet. Instead of helping one another, these two start to actively sabotage each other to make sure the other person fails. The result is that they can’t get content finished on a regular schedule, and their rivalry begins to affect their other work.
Take the same situation from above and add a group-level goal that both of them are responsible for meeting. While they’ll still compete to see who’s better, the added incentive of the group goal will make them more likely to work together to get as many content creation tasks finished as possible.
One of the biggest hooks in modern games is the tracking of achievements by players. Achievements are milestones that certain games track that act as a badge of honor, a record of a specific feat of skill that was especially noteworthy.
You can create a list of these milestones to be tracked on your content creators’ individual portfolios. What kind of achievements should you set up? That’s up to you, but a few ideas might include:
- Writing 100 Blogs
- Getting 1,000 Views for a Blog
- Writing an eBook
- Getting 200 CTA Clicks on Created Content
Achievements such as writing a certain number of content pieces help to encourage productivity, but goals such as driving views and Call-to-Action clicks inspire content creators to work harder to create quality content that your customers will care about (not to mention publicize such content).
To really get the competitive spirit pumping among your content creators, try having some head to head competitions or open content creation challenges from time to time.
For example, you could have your team sit down and see who can write a blog post of a certain minimum length the fastest. Or, you could have your team all write a blog post and see which one gets the most traffic within a certain period of time.
The prizes, if there are any, should be clearly communicated to employees before the start of the competition.
With smartly-implemented gamification hacks set up for your content creation team, you might just see a significant increase in your return on investment from your inbound marketing efforts.