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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistThu, Apr 7, 2016 7 min read

Inbound Marketing Got Us Thinking: Would A Game Increase MOFU Leads?

Creative Inbound Marketing Tactics Increase Conversions By Almost 100%

Games Help Inbound Marketing Convert Visitors Into LeadsMiddle-of-the-funnel (Consideration Stage) offers are some of the most challenging. Content like whitepapers and e-books work great for top-of-the-funnel, research-based awareness campaigns, but when you start looking for people to give you more details and engage with consideration questions, the job gets tougher.

I’d argue that even bottom-of-the-funnel (Decision-Making Stage) offers are easier. Free consultations, assessments, website reviews, marketing evaluations and even lead goal reviews are all solid, proven-to-convert offers.

The middle of the funnel is challenging. Yes, you can offer webinars or grader tools, but we’ve seen these work sporadically and not consistently enough for us to feel comfortable in every scenario. So, that got us thinking: What if our conversion strategy included an ability to gamify the middle of the funnel?

Gamification is described by Wikipedia as the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Gamification commonly employs game design elements which are used in so-called non-game contexts in attempts to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow and learning.

Here are some creative ways to get prospects to engage, stay engaged and give you more information on their buyer journey by using gamification.

Send Them On A Hunt

If you’re doing contextual content mapping, you know what questions buyers in the Consideration Stage are asking and what information they are looking for. Typically, it’s comparison data between multiple options.

One way to gamify the collection of information is to send them on an information scavenger hunt. Give them a blank comparison guide with the types of features they should be looking for. This helps them ask the right questions from all the solutions they’re considering. Then set up a series of pages that walk them through your website, pointing out where the key information is. The landing pages can be used to have them check in and share a little more information about themselves and their buyer journey with you.

By the time they’re done, you’ll know a lot about them, and they’ll know what you want them to know about your solutions. You’re guiding them to ask your competitors for information that should position you as the obvious choice to select.

Let Them Earn Badges

People love collecting things, especially when they’re cool or related to their roles. Badges or little graphic icons are one of the easiest ways to reward your prospects for doing what you want them to do. You can use these badges to encourage prospects to work their way down the sales funnel.

First, consider that even though these badges are cute, they are certainly not going to get people to do something they don’t want to do, so you wouldn’t be artificially promoting interest. Perhaps you earn a badge when you download a piece of awareness content. You might earn a badge for attending a webinar. You might earn another badge for watching a video. Maybe there is one for filling out a more detailed form on your website. You’d be surprised to see what a creatively designed icon or badge can do to encourage a certain action. These are easy to deliver with the content, so they won’t break the bank and you can use them over and over again.

Consider Certifications

Your prospects are looking to be accomplished. HubSpot does a great job with certifications: You have to be Inbound Marketing Certified, Inbound Sales Certified, HubSpot Partner Certified and HubSpot Software Certified. Everyone goes along with it, reading the content, watching the videos and taking the certification tests.

You could do something similar. You could certify your visitors on general industry information. You could certify them on your methodology, which might apply across the entire industry. You could certify them on your products or services. Whether or not they pick you, hire you or buy your product, these certifications are great ways to share information with your prospects, obtain some details from them and work them through their buyer journey.

Track And Test

Ultimately, everything comes down to results. It comes down to data. Is this working or not? Almost every idea has validity. The key is picking the ones that require the least amount of work to implement and that offer the biggest upside potential.

The idea of gamifying your content isn’t new. It’s already been tested in a variety of industries. So, the question becomes: Will it work for you and your prospects in the format that you end up implementing? Create a small test, try it out for a limited time, set some performance expectations and then monitor it. In a very short time frame, you’ll know exactly whether the effort is going to work.

If it’s working, move forward with a more aggressive and comprehensive rollout. If not, create a new test. Don’t give up on the idea entirely; simply create a different test or experiment and keep working until you get it to work. There might be a time when you give up completely, but our experience has been that with hard work, almost every idea has merit worth pursuing.

learn-inbound-secret-recipe Start Today Tip – Your first task is to completely, and in a great degree of detail, understand your buyer’s journey. What questions are they asking? What information do they need? What are they concerned about? At each stage of their journey, these requirements are going to change. You need to know exactly how and when those transitions take place. You need this to create a comprehensive, conversion-based content strategy. Then you can start integrating any gamification ideas into that buyer journey support. Once you get intimate with that journey, the application of offers becomes easy, including any effort to gamify those offers. This is one way to double the leads from your existing website visitors.

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.