Times Internet Limited, publishers of the Times of India, has launched a loyalty campaign with a difference – paying readers for clicking, reading, watching videos, commenting, and sharing.

The drive to increase overall reader engagement carries the social media hashtag #IDidntKnow, and rewards browsers by awarding TimesPoints that are stored in a digital wallet.

The brand says it has already seen a 1.5X rise in redeeming users, and a 10% rise in overall content engagement.

Rewarded points can be redeemed at partner websites, which range across a wide variety of sectors, including lifestyle, food, fashion and travel, among others. Brands include Paytm, Amazon, Myntra, Dineout, ixigo, Big Basket, Big Bazaar, and Bookmyshow.

The programme was launched using online influencers, each of whom took part in explaining how the loyalty scheme works and how users can benefit by redeeming points regularly.

“Active sharing and communication with media have also helped promote the campaign significantly," Nidhi Agarwal, TimesPoints’ business head, told afaqs!

“Leveraging the network of companies across Times Internet Limited, we accelerated the reward points up to 10x for users. And with in-depth integration with Colombia Ad Network (a smart targeting tool), we leveraged interest-based targeting.”

Raghu Bhat, co-founder and copywriter, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi, told afaqs! the campaign demonstrated the constant evolution of loyalty programmes. In this case, loyalty wasn’t about spending money and earning rewards, but consumers being rewarded for their time and participation, he said.

“It’s less transactional, creates more engagement and also increases reach as consumers are likely to share their actions,” Bhat explaine. This, he believes, helps the brand gain useful data and insights on usage, which can be used to tailor content and for personalisation.

“The next big opportunity with reward programmes is to go beyond the product and go into the ‘purpose’,” he added, citing the example of online shoe retailer TOMS, which offers reward points when customers support or contribute to a worthy cause.

“This kind of engagement can strike a chord with millennials,” Bhat said.

Sourced from afaqs!; additional content by WARC staff