How to Engage Millennials, From Ruzzle to QuizUp

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Posted At: January 15, 2014 2:25 p.m.
by Jacquie McMahon

These days, it seems new phone applications appear and become popular in a matter of days. Anyone remember Ruzzle, the word game that essentially combined Boggle and Scrabble? Well, the newest craze is a game called QuizUp.

Frequent articles discuss millennials, and some attack the generation’s short attention span. Marketers and professionals in all industries strive for the best strategy to reach this large audience, but the app market has clearly figured out an effective method.

Here are a few tips from successful apps on how to capture attention — even if it’s only for a few seconds.

1. Be social.
Strictly social media apps like Facebook and Twitter occupy large amounts of time, but Ruzzle and QuizUp both incorporate these media with a fast-paced game. Users are given the options of playing current friends or making new ones from across the world. They can browse through discussion boards, or start direct chats of their own. The options for smack talk and rebuttal are endless. This community keeps the users engaged and active.

2. Inspire competition.
To play to the short attention span, several of the most popular games impose a time limit. The 10-second countdown keeps the players’ minds racing, pointer fingers on edge to select the right answer. QuizUp takes the timer to another level for increased competition: The faster you select an answer, the more points you receive. It only takes one game of losing by a single point before you get used to rapid-fire answering.

3. Offer personalization.
Whether the user connects with Facebook or not, he or she has the option for both a profile photo and cover photo. Everyone has a title, ranging from a “Novice” who just started the game to television connoisseur of “The OC” boasting a title that reads, “Happy Chrismukkah!” This personalization further enhances the sense of community, especially when playing a random match with Larry, the film expert from The United Kingdom.

4. Provide goals and incentives.
A game on its own becomes repetitive and boring. But if users keep at it, QuizUp allows them to increase in levels – and bragging rights. In fact, QuizUp users have a different level for each topic they’ve played, and the game has 265 topics. This number can continue to grow as users contribute content for their own quiz questions. With these incentives, the game drives players to continue their engagement. When friends earn a higher level, users feel the drive to play just a few more rounds — and then a few more, and a few more after that. (See Tip #2.)

Whether you’re creating an app or a public relations campaign, tailor the message to this audience of competitive, knowledge-hungry millennials. What will they fall in love with next?

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