Major app development companies commit thousands of hours to app research, development, and testing. When the time comes to finally launch your mobile application, there's nothing worse than when your user base doesn't interact or engage. It's discouraging even for the most seasoned app developer.
Forbes’ Peggy Anne Salz writes, “From time spent in mobile apps to revenues generated by in-app purchases and subscriptions, metrics for mobile apps broke the records in 2020. Downloads reached 130 billion as consumers flocked to apps to improve their physical, mental and financial well-being in self-isolation [during the COVID-19 pandemic], and consumer spending across the two major app stores grew to $112 billion by year end.”
So the question must be asked: What is the best way to increase app engagement to grow your overall user base and create raving fans?
In this post, we’ll show you how to increase app usage and engagement instantly in five easy steps.
How to Increase App Engagement in 5 Easy Steps
To start, let’s talk about why app engagement matters so much. App engagement measures not only your monthly active users (MAU), but the intensity of their usage, e.g., how often do they use the app and for what duration of usage? You also should look at the ratio of daily active users (DAU) versus MAU.
Simply put: App engagement directly impacts your revenue. Regardless of how your mobile app makes money, engagement is central to your product. Research shows there is a strong correlation between higher engagement and profits. This is true for all mobile apps with monetization features like advertising and in-app purchases, not just mobile games.
So if your mobile app is struggling to gain traction, what should you do?
1. Create a Seamless Onboarding Plan
The best way to increase engagement is to create a masterful onboarding plan. In most cases, the best onboarding experiences are ones that are both simple and effective. We recommend committing to the following:
- Reduce the number of steps required to get started — only ask for what you need
- Offer plenty of educational experiences along the way, i.e. resource library, but allow users to “skip” too
- Offer concierge onboarding to top users
- Create an open dialog between users and onboarding teams
2. Personalize Push Notifications
Basic user information derived from inputs can help create tailored push notifications such as: “Here are some ideas for your shopping list, [first name]…” when the person hasn’t completed checking out while purchasing groceries online, for example.
One company that does this is Bring! — they use this method to help users stay organized while grocery shopping online. The tool leverages a unique "session model" that learns the typical behavior of the user, and then uses this information to create the personalized push notifications. Studies have shown that post push notification engagement increases eightfold when the notification is tailored to the user.
It is crucial to align the user experience with the user’s needs and preferences. And don’t forget — quality is better than quantity. Notification-fatigue could drive users to turn notifications off completely, which could tank engagement or drive users away. However, when implemented correctly, they can increase retention anywhere from 125-180 percent.
3. Reward and Incentivize
What's the best way to keep users coming back? Reward them for their engagement. One excellent way is to offer time-sensitive incentives. By encouraging them to engage with your app in order to achieve a related reward, you also help increase your users’ understanding of your app. Win-win!
Here’s an example: Starbucks allows users to make payments and redeem rewards via an easy-to-use mobile application. Additionally, Starbucks offers members a free drink on their birthday. It's a simple way to show customers that you value their participation and increased engagement.
Just make sure that the reward is actually valuable, and that the user can clearly understand the benefits. Keep it effortless and relevant to users’ interests.
4. Invest in Spatial Audio
If voice communication is relevant to your app, another simple and effective method to increase app engagement is to integrate high quality, real-time spatial audio technology. High Fidelity's Spatial Audio API is flexible and straightforward to implement — something even a small team is able to implement quickly!
What is spatial audio? It just means that sounds are processed to make them appear to come from different locations in space — similar to sounds in real life.
And why is it so important? Think about the way we communicate via video conferencing solutions (Zoom, Hangouts, Teams) and even recent social audio apps like Clubhouse, or other virtual events platforms. Video conferencing usage has skyrocketed in the last year for all of these applications. When any two people talk at the same time, it’s nearly impossible to understand them — that’s because your brain needs separation of people’s voices in space to understand multiple voices at once. In fact, here’s a video comparing mono audio with Zoom to High Fidelity’s Spatial Audio. You’ll want to put on headphones to hear the difference.
It’s important as well that the audio is of high quality — there are even studies showing that when the audio quality is lower, people judge the content more harshly and consider it less important. They even judge the speaker to be less intelligent, competent, and likable. In an experiment, people rated a physicist’s talk at a scientific conference as 19.3 percent better when they listened to it in high-quality audio vs. low-quality audio that was slightly distorted and echo prone.
5. Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC)
UGC is the key to customer engagement, brand loyalty, and brand awareness. After all, about 50 percent of the entire population uses some form of social media — that’s almost four billion people.
By encouraging UGC, including in-app reviews, mentions on forums, images, links, and more, prospects are more likely to download and engage with your app. This imparts the element of authenticity: People are more likely to trust other users more than the word of the company. Research found 60 percent of consumers believe UGC is the most authentic marketing content, and that UGC is 9.8x more impactful than influencer content.
You might consider deploying/enrolling your most engaged users into an automated email sequence, encouraging recipients to leave reviews, or comment on new app developments.
For example, Buffer was able to boost its Instagram following by 400 percent using a UGC strategy.
Ready to Add Spatial Audio to Your App to Increase Engagement?
There’s no time to waste. Simply put: Mobile apps are an integral part of daily life, and consumers can't imagine doing without them. When you consider the harrowing statistics shared above, as well as the general increase in mobile usage brought on by COVID-19, finding ways to increase mobile app engagement now is paramount to the success of your growing app development company.
Forbes’ Peggy Anne Salz writes, “Data indicates marketers will need to invest more than money to sustain current growth and engagement levels.”
There are several ways to get started quickly with High Fidelity’s Spatial Audio API. The first thing that you will need to do is create a free account below, and then a great place to begin is our resources and guides section.