Create an audience
Recently, at an informal gathering with friends, we found ourselves discussing the distinction between mission and vision. Don’t ask me why any group ends up discussing such affairs — you don’t want to know.
Besides the fact that none of us knew anything about what we were talking about, which is kind of embarrassing, at some point it became my turn. I was asked about my stakes on the matter — and how we were positioning Gamestry in this regard. Back then, my answer was rather sparse. Which on one hand concerned me, but on the other, both inspired and challenged me to meditate on it and come up with a better one.
In short, this article is the answer I should have given.
At Gamestry our mission is to help creators build an audience. Hence all of our resources and efforts must be directed towards their empowering — so they can focus on what matters, their audience.
Long story short, our North Star has inevitably become to create an audience for our creators.
Two sides of the same coin
When it comes to the creation of an audience, there are two key, interconnected components we need to consider:
- (1) The creation of content: that’s because the content is the prima materia through which creators will ultimately monetize.
An important consideration that can’t be overstated is that to boost this loop, creators must be also incentivized to become consumers themselves. Product-wise, these can be achieved through engagement tokens or similar reward mechanisms that encourage the consumption of content on the creator side, and vice-versa.
- (2) The consumption of such content: to catalyze the consumption side, consumers must derive, pleasure, and status from it.
Doubling down on the aforementioned consideration, consumers must be able to acknowledge how their commitment translates into value. Product-wise, the value looks something like engagement tokens or similar reward mechanisms that can be later used within the platform to, for example, purchase exclusive items or showcase their status.
The behavioral fuel that makes it happen
The nurturing of this tight loop between content creation and consumption is not something we expect to happen out of the blue. On the contrary, it has deep roots at Gamestry and they are backed by both quantitative data and qualitative user research.
Over time we’ve learned two key insights that most of our users share across the board.
- Farmer behavior: an obsessive drive towards the achievement and pursue of the desired goal or given outcome.
- Online reputation: a ceaseless seek of status beyond rationality that serves as a “badge of honor” within a community they care about.
The subtle acumen of this reasoning is that they use the farmer’s behavior to boost their reputation. Hence the process itself can be hacked and catalyzed through gamification.
If done properly, embedded gamification within the platform will leverage the farmer’s behavior to deliver attuned rewards that will drive online reputation. Ultimately incentivizing more farmer behavior, and so forth.
Tying all up
Up until here, on one hand, we’ve got the two necessary ingredients required to build an audience: the creation and consumption of content. On the other, the fuel that stirs the platform: the farmer behavior and online reputation — properly magnified through gamification.
Putting it all together, to create an audience, we shall put our fuel to work so it can turn the content loop into an unstoppable flywheel. To do that, we align both user’s and creator’s incentives and surface the mechanisms that will show that there are other ways to acquire status:
- The creation of content will also drive status, the moment others engage.
- The consumption of content will also drive status, through the reward system embedded in the platform.
As a final remark, it is important to note that this fuel — applied here to the loop — can also be used to help drive other behaviors across the platform.