Companies invest a lot of money and efforts into developing an app, but what’s the point of building one if users don’t really engage with it? Nowadays, optimizing and marketing your app the right way is absolutely crucial for understanding user behavior and boosting engagement in the long run. For this reason, today we will see the best ways to increase app engagement and make sure that your app users are here to stay.
Types of Apps
One key aspect to consider before implementing the right strategies to increase app engagement is the type of app that you are working with. Currently, there are 3 main types of apps according to the technologies used to build them, and the way they are distributed and consumed:
- Native mobile apps – native apps are currently the most well-known type of apps among mobile device users, and definitely the most popular one – although not necessarily for long! They are software applications most commonly found in different app stores such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, and so on. Native mobile apps are typically developed for a specific store and operating system in mind, and the user should visit the corresponding app store and download them to be able to use them.
- Web apps – web apps are applications that behave and look like native ones. However, they are not standalone apps, meaning that you will not have to install actual code into your smartphone or tablet. Which, on another hand, means that they can be accessed from every electronical device with just a single URL – without the user having to download the app on their phone. This also means that some strategies to increase app engagement on native apps will differ from web app ones.
- Hybrid apps – as you have probably already guessed by the name, hybrid apps aim to combine functionalities and elements from both native and web apps. They can be distributed through an app store just like native ones, but there is no need for separate development for each store in particular as a single base code works for all of them. Hybrid apps use a combination of multiple web technologies and native APIs, such as Objective C, Swift, Ionic, HTML5, and others.
Despite the differences between the types of apps, there are strategies to increase app engagement that are perfectly applicable to all of them. After all, no matter the type of technology implemented into app development, there are things that users will always value – such as user experience, great onboarding, high quality content, and neat design, among others.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the some of the strategies that companies can use to increase app engagement:
1. Know your audience
If you really want to increase app engagement, the first and most important step that you need to take is to get a good understanding of your audience. Who are your app users? What are they looking for within your app? If you manage to identify the most common patterns of their behavior, you will be able to adapt your product to their goals, needs, and expectations of it.
Usually, a good Analytics tool is great for getting the data that you need to make this possible. You can also connect your app to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool for deeper segmentation. If you create your app with Beezer´s Drag & Drop builder for progressive web apps, it will also come with with built-in analytics so you can easily track its performance and understand user behavior.
2. React on time
Analyzing user behavior is one thing, but this particular strategy doesn´t end there if you really want to increase user engagement. Another great way to better understand your visitors is to track your key metrics in real time, and act according to the data received.
By using tools for mobile engagement such as surveys, questionnaires, banners and messages, you can get more information on why people prefer to use your app, how it benefits them, and what makes them stay.
3. Optimize user experience
Undoubtedly, one of the most important aspects when it comes to retaining visitors and keeping them engaged with your content is to constantly improve and optimize user experience. Although it’s important to keep in mind that it could be a bit more challenging for native mobile apps as you will have to invest in upgrades for each particular app store.
Whether your app is still an MVP (minimum viable product) or is already mature, it doesn’t mean that it should stop evolving. On the contrary; regular UX and UI upgrades are absolutely crucial for making sure that user experience is as smooth and nice as possible.
By gathering valuable user feedback and analytics data, you will be able to optimize user experience and consequently, increase app engagement.
4. Perform A/B testing
A/B testing is absolutely essential when it comes to having a great app that people love. By testing different elements such as app designs, colours, patterns and content, you actually give users the chance to “vote” for what they like the best.
Of course, they do not vote literally – however, by looking at metrics such as engagement rate, bounce rate and time spent on page, you will be able to understand what elements perform better than others. And use this data to boost the well-performing aspects of your app while improving (or removing) the non-performing ones.
5. Create high-quality content
As Bill Gates once said, “Content is King” – and this statement, which was said almost 25 years ago, still holds true to this day. Nowadays, “more high quality content” is almost always the answer if you want to increase app engagement and just improve the overall health of your digital platforms and channels.
You should not only update your content regularly, but also to make sure that you always maintain its high quality. In today’s digital era, everything on the Internet is about content, and this is what people want to consume – whether it is in the form of articles, videos, images, or other sorts of rich media.
The point is, whether you have a native mobile app, a hybrid app, or a web app, your content should always be top-notch and provide value for your users. And, if you have a progressive web app (or want to create one), you can even optimize your content for search engines. Because PWAs are web applications with the look and feel of mobile ones, they are actually indexable by search engines. Which is a great way to boost your traffic and increase app engagement!
6. Pay particular attention to your app design
As we already mentioned briefly, user experience and user interface are key for having a well-performing app that people love and use regularly in the long run. This means that you will have to pay a particular attention to your app design to ensure high engagement and mobile conversion rates. After all, we tend to perceive the world in a primarily visual manner.
For native mobile apps, you can also use your app rating as a guidance to whether people are enjoying your app – if your rating is below 4 out of 5, you should definitely consider a revision of your app design and the current user experience that you provide to visitors.
7. Use deep linking
One upgrade that you should definitely consider, in case you haven’t done it yet, is deep linking. Deep linking is an emerging marketing tactic that allows users to access specific sections of your app upon clicking on another link within your app that would otherwise take them to an HTTP webpage.
To embed mobile deep linking into native apps, you would need the help of your developers – however, it is usually not difficult to do as it requires minumum efforts. For progressive web apps, this would be even quicker and easier as you can do it yourself by simply placing the relevant links within your content.
Deep linking is a great way to deliver a smoother and significantly less complicated experience – which, as a consequence, will increase app engagement, and provide more value for your users.
8. Push notifications
Push notifications are another great way to increase app engagement, no matter if your app is native, hybrid, or web.
Push notifications are a Marketing tactic that you are probably already familiar with, even if you don’t know it by this particular term. These are the pop up messages that show up on the users’ mobile phone screen, which serve a specific Marketing purpose – whether it is a promotion announcement, a call to action, or simply a reminder for users to return to the app. Previously only available to native mobile apps, push notifications are now available for progressive web apps as well.
Some of the benefits of push notifications include:
- Improved customer engagement;
- Increased conversion rates;
- Generation of brand awareness;
- Faster communication with users;
- Reaching the right target audience;
- Collecting of valuable data;
And so on! You can use them to send an announcement for a new feature, alert users about existing offers and promotions, share relevant insights and content, or simply share the latest news about your product or app.
9. Incentivize your visitors
Another awesome way to increase app engagement for your business is to offer incentives for your users, such as:
- Free trials for your main platform or service;
- Demos for new products/features;
- Promotions and discounts;
- Loyalty programs for using the app;
- Free gifts or exclusive app products;
- Invitations for exclusive events;
And so on! The point is, people love opportunities to conclude a good deal – and what better way to do that than using your very own app? This marketing tactic will inevitably increase app engagement, incentivizing people to come back to it and stay for longer.
10. Use social sharing
Social networks have undoubtedly changed the way people consume and share content on the Internet – and apps make no exception, independently from their type. Encouraging social sharing is a great way to increase app engagement by getting people to spread the word around.
If done right, this tactic can go a long way. Engaged users will talk about your app on social media, share their positie opinion and experiences, and help your digital word of mouth. In fact, social sharing is especially important for media apps, which rely on user interaction with content, reach & subscriptions. For this reason, it is important to note that social is not only a marketing channel – it is also a part of your engagement process.
Some tips and strategies to encourage social sharing include:
- Implementing social buttons into your app so users can easily connect with their accounts, and promote your pages and content;
- Prompt your users to follow you on social media with push notifications and in-app messages; this way, you will be able to build a better social presence and increase your following with users that already know your business.
- Developing your social media marketing strategy by targeting friends of followers, which will consequently drive new visitors and expand your organic reach.
With progressive web apps, you can also increase app engagement by implementing a two-way strategy. Because PWAs are easily shareable with a single URL or a QR code, you can post your app link to your social channels to send more traffic and visitors to your app. And vice versa – from your web app, you could send people to your social channels so they can follow you there as well. This way, you can implement a cross-channel strategy and take full advantage of your resources.
And that was all from us for today! We hope you enjoyed our article on the best ways to increase app engagement, and we are looking forward to seeing you in the next blog post! In the meantime, why not try our intuitive Drag & Drop platform for building progressive web apps? Click here to start your 30 day free trial, and create your first PWA with Beezer!