[Guest Post] When online brands meet social engagement – a match made in heaven

Engaged User

How behavioral economics has turned online brands into emotionally rewarding user experiences – offering a whole new engaging ecosystem within their online assets.

(Below is a guest post by the Gamification and Engagement Platform Captain Up. They are a tool that easily allows any website to implement game design elements to motivate behavior. If you notice, the little widget on the right side of my side is from Captain Up.)

Behavioral economics is a fascinating scientific field. It revolves around the way in which we make decisions and what drives us to do what we do. This is a new bonanza for prominent online brands – a better understanding of their followers and clients, more accurate compliance to their needs. There is no doubt that viewing user engagement as a revenue enhancer is an innovative concept for online brands and a noteworthy trend.

What was once only part of hugely popular social games like “Candy Crush” and “Clash of Clans” is now driving new and exciting engagement features for leading online brands.

Turning motivations into actions

It’s no secret that user acquisition and online marketing are an endless challenge, and that’s even before we get started on user loyalty. It is a Sisyphic struggle, constantly seeking to get new clients on board while also preserving the existing ones. However, the modern online marketer’s arsenal hasn’t really evolved over the past couple of years. User acquisition tools have mainly focused on more-of-the-same marketing methodologies generating more-of-the-same results. But there’s a wind of change blowing.

“Total immersion” – the essence of successful brands

In this day and age, maintaining a great brand is much more than advertising or marketing. It is not all about the quality of your product or service but about the adrenaline rush created by a flawless and exciting user experience, driving users in and getting them to come back for more.

This user experience is driven by what is called “total immersion”. The whole brand scenery surrounds the user, creating a unique atmosphere and a special vibe people get hooked on.

But what creates this atmosphere? Well… everything. From the big picture to the smallest details, every aspect of the user’s journey is pre-calculated and designed to support their decision making process.

Spot the right motivations and provide solutions

The basic assumptions for boosting user involvement and loyalty through engagement are:

  • People are looking for a sense of belonging – belonging to a community is a valid and powerful incentive to act upon. (Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness in the Octalysis Framework)
  • The right reward for the right action – customizing and offering the right rewards for preferred actions drives excellent engagement from users.
  • Good design has super-powers – getting a message through to users and driving them to action is a form of art combined with psychology. Great and carefully planned design can do magic to online user engagement.
  • People want to be engaged – they are just looking for a good enough reason to engage with your particular experience.
  • Content is king – it won’t do you any good trying to motivate and incentivize your users if your basic offering – your content, service, or product – isn’t good enough. Offer great content and start from there.

Captain Up – The new generation of user engagement solutions for super brands

Today’s brands realize that in order to attain a new level of brand loyalty and engagement with their fans they have to act differently and enhance the user experience dramatically. To do so, the startup Captain Up has developed a platform that aims directly to the heart of these needs.

Captain Up has developed a SaaS platform to provide a new generation of retention and loyalty, based on insights from behavioral economics. The user engagement platform enables online businesses and brands to add social and gaming mechanics, turning visitors into active loyal users.

The outcome is an immediate impact on user loyalty and behavioral patterns once exposed to the exciting features. Most users are drawn to the the new sensation of belonging and involvement, turning a lot of them into brand ambassadors.

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