Learn how your vertical’s top influencers can drive traffic
For most gamifiers, a social media presence is a must-have to promote gamification skills and your services in particular.
Whether offering a software as a service or consulting (check out the list of vendors in the GCo buyers guide), a blog is a must have.
We all know that getting people to read our blogs and keep coming back for more is a tricky behavior to encourage but as with many desired behaviors, gamification certainly can help.
I’ve been using a few simple gamification mechanics for nearly two years to drive repeat, valuable, VIP traffic to my personal blog (GOW). In this post I want to share the approach and learnings with other Gamification.Co readers.
My core business objective was simple, to drive traffic. Originally I wanted to come up with a gamification blog post that would get attention in a noisy online world. So I created the “Top 10 Gamification Gurus”. It was an instant hit, with hundreds of people hitting the blog.
Then, what started out as a single post, turned into a monthly competition. I had pitted the world’s top teachers on gamification against each other! Scores were derived from a series of metrics from number of Conference Talks, to Twitter activity and Klout scores. The Gamification Gurus leaderboard was created.
The list of gurus, in terms of my business objective to drive not only traffic but top influencers as well, was an unqualified success. Blog traffic always spiked on the day of the Gamification Gurus leaderboard release at 4x the usual traffic for a post (see snapshot below). Likes and Retweets were also up by similar margins.
Updating the list
When I first made the gurus list it took me a couple of days to collect scores and publish the results. Over the years, as I published the Gamification Gurus, I found I wanted to save myself time by automating that process. This was the beginning of the Leaderboarded.com software as a service application for gamifiers, which we now sell today.
The Leaderboarded software has embedded within its templates many of the key gamification design principles that made the gurus list work. New bloggers, wanting to follow in my footsteps and drive traffic to their blog, can get up and running in minutes rather than days, as this post explains.
Key gamification mechanics
To make the Gamification Gurus Leaderboard a success, I used the following key mechanics, all taken from the world of games and gamification:
Appointment Mechanic – instead of publishing the leaderboard as ‘real time’, I created a monthly appointment where players would take the time to check in and see where they stood and how their ranking had changed. This created the repeat visitor behavior I was looking for.
Event mechanic – the appointment mechanic had an intriguing side-effect – it created an online ‘event’ that was in itself sufficiently newsworthy on micro-content format networks like Twitter. This helped with viral spread.
Leaderboard Design – showing the list on a leaderboard with photos for each Guru and showing up and down arrows for change in rank made the list more appealing than a simple text list.
Feedback – giving each guru personalized stats on their performance allowed them to optimize their behaviour based on this feedback.
Anti-gaming mechanic – finally I used a multi-variable, relatively weighted ranking algorithm as my anti-gaming mechanic. This meant that players could not ‘game’ the leaderboard by simply tweeting a lot in one month.
There’s nothing quite like drinking your own champagne. With Leaderboarded and the Gamification Gurus, I put gamification techniques into practice and drove my business objectives in a sustainable way.
Gamification Gurus leaderboard is even starting to take on a life of its own with the ‘gurus’ meeting up at Gamfication events around the world such as this snap taken at the recent GSummit in San Francisco in April.
I’d love to see readers who run their own blogs create their own influencer lists for their niche and audience. How about an Enterprise Gamification Gurus leaderboard or Top 20 Australian Game Designers? The potential is limitless…
To try it, head over to Leaderboarded for a free trial of the PeerIndex Top Influencer leaderboard template.
Toby Beresford (@tobyberesford) is Founder and CEO of Leaderboarded.com an online tool to create engaging leaderboards. He is an active player in the worldwide community of gamification practioners. He runs the Gamification Gurus leaderboard, chairs the GamFed.com peer review and best practice trade association and runs the London Gamifiers meetup.