As I’ve written in the last two #MartechMonday posts, influencer marketing is important to businesses for a variety of reasons:
- It builds relationships with industry experts.
- It helps create the ever valuable “user generated content.”
- It promotes your brand and products through trusted word of mouth.
Of those that have tried influencer marketing, 94 percent of them have found it to be effective, making it one of the most accurate techniques in a marketers toolkit.
Two weeks ago we gave you a simple guide to influencer marketing technology, and last week we provided you with a comparison of three excellent influencer marketing community platforms: Lithium, Influitive, and Higher Logic.
This week I’m diving into how gamification can be used in influencer marketing, with a focus on how you can use Promoto’s powerful gamification to better leverage influencers in your marketing efforts.
What Is Promoto?
As I’ve been running marketing efforts at small businesses over the last few years, one of my greatest frustrations has been getting customer testimonials and case studies. This isn’t because my employers didn’t have good products. On the contrary, the products were excellent, but it was difficult to identify which customers belonged to our love group: those that are true product advocates.
Promoto is a powerful platform that enables marketers to increase the frequency of engagement they have with customers, and turn those engagements into entertaining opportunities for the customer to become strong brand advocates/influencers. Promoto does this through offering a platform for your customers to log into and engage in activities (Dare I say games?) that they can do to earn points, which they then can redeem for rewards.
While the gamification element of Promoto is what I’ve found to be the most powerful and effective, they also have several other features that are worth mentioning here.
Top 3 Features of Promoto?
Gamification is by far my favorite feature of Promoto, but as I’ll be addressing that by itself, below, let’s take a look at three of my other favorites.
Marketers that have integrated new technology know that it normally isn’t worth wasting your time to save a slight amount of money. However, with Promoto you can have 50 participants in your influencer audience that can access their platform for free. Above the free 50 tier, pricing starts at $10/user/month, which can add up quickly but is comparable to other solutions.
What I like about their free tier is that you can easily create a small “customer advisory board” of 50 or fewer customers. Invite them into the community and try it out. Their free tier includes all the features you need to get a good functioning platform. It even includes the ability to white label their product, so that instead of having their logo on it you’re showing just your logo. This is a big feature that most freemium products don’t include in their free base package.
Their product is also in “beta” right now, so if you get in now, with their lower beta pricing, you can continue with grandfathered pricing after the product has left beta. According to Promoto, “Price will continue unchanged even beyond beta for early adopters who purchase during beta.”
2. Build a full promoter journey
As I’ve mentioned above, finding the right people that should become your advocates is tough. Individuals in your love group normally don’t just email you to tell you they love what you’re doing. Instead, you need to find them. This is one element that Promoto does very well.
Promoto understands that converting a customer into an advocate and influencer is not a single action, but a journey of actions. As such, they’ve created a robust system that allows you to track points for different actions (games participated in, activities completed, friends referred, etc) that your customers are taking. As those points accumulate, the customer moves along the journey and the experience changes for them. They start to receive activities that are more likely to get them spreading word about your brand, and in turn, can earn rewards from you. The system intelligently moves them along the advocate journey.
3. Easily capture referrals
While the primary goal of Promoto is to create customer advocates that are going to promote your brand in a variety of methods, nobody is going to turn down referrals. Promoto’s platform makes it especially easy for your customers to provide referrals, with numerous opportunities throughout the platform to do so.
Engaging Promoters With Gamification
Your customers are so inundated with continual pings as they go about their day, that they’ve learned to tune out the many distractions their phones, tablets, and computers bring them. That is why it is more important than ever to learn new ways to work with your customers and encourage them to advocate for your brand.
One of Promoto’s most effective features is gamification. Through gamification, your customers will take certain actions (play games if you will), earn points and then redeem those points for rewards. Thus, the three components of gamification that you need to be aware of are:
In exchange for sharing a blog post on Twitter, participating in a survey, referring a friend, or many other activities, your customers can earn points.
Setting up these points is very easy. When you create an activity, you simply say how many points it is worth. Some activities, such as referring a friend, can be automated to give points after the action is taken (in this case a referral form is completed). For other activities, though, you may want to check their submission before you award the points… This is possible with Promoto’s point moderation.
As goofy as it might sound, earning a little badge that sits on your digital profile is actually quite addicting. For this reason, Promoto has created a simple yet graceful way for you, as a community admin, to create badges that can be earned based on one of two thresholds:
- Badges can be awarded based on point thresholds. When you create the badge, you specify “points” as the rule and then set the number of points that must be earned for the user to be awarded that badge.
- Badges also can be awarded based on certain activity thresholds. For example, you can set up a badge so that it is a
G2Crowd, one of the main providers of software reviews, was a latecomer to the game of reviews. I was one of their earliest members, and I recall logging on to their platform when they had few users and even fewer product reviews. The way they overcame their late entry was by incentivizing their reviewers with rewards. They created their own custom gamification platform, where users received points for certain actions, such as leaving a review, referring a friend, commenting on a review, etc. At the end of the month, the top 20 or so individuals (based on the points they had accumulated in that month) would receive a prize. The top five spots had considerable prizes, such as iPad Minis. I earned one of those tablets — and along the way to earning it brought a dozen or so friends onto their platform to review products.
By offering rewards for the first few months, G2Crowd grew in prominence and today is one of the top sites for professional software reviews.
While G2Crowd had to custom-build their own proprietary points and rewards system, you have an easier route: Promoto. Promoto allows you to enter in rewards, which can be digital (like online training) or tangible (like branded swag or tickets to events). You can feature certain rewards to ensure your customer advocates are aware of them and are getting excited. Your customers can also go in and wish-list rewards, putting them into a queue of rewards they are aiming for.
Next time you’re sitting in a meeting and discussing ways that you can better engage your customers, and better leverage them for influencer marketing, you can be the smart one in the room that pipes up “I know of a great solution, and it’s free for us to try out, that will allow us to build a gamified influencer marketing portal!”