How to Use In-App Stories to Clarify and Educate Users About App Features

How to Use In-App Stories to Clarify and Educate Users About App Features

One of the components of any successful app is engaging features, including new features that apps integrate overtime to keep existing users engaged. While you may be excited about developing and rolling out a new feature or an entirely new app rich with features from the start, you need to ensure your users are aware of them. Otherwise, key mobile app features may go unnoticed, which could potentially lead to users dropping off if their experience appears more limited than it actually is.

Additionally, you need to make sure users understand how to access and use new and existing features. Even if you have a feature that’s an invaluable asset, it won’t be any good if people don’t understand it or the way it operates.

Thankfully, there are increasingly innovative ways to introduce and educate users to your app’s features. One of these innovations is in-app stories, which offer an intuitive means of engaging and teaching new and existing users alike. Depending on your app’s features and audiences, in-app stories can effectively connect with users to ensure they get the most from your app and see all it has to offer.

What Are In-App Stories?

Mobile app stories offer a unique and exciting way to deliver content to app users, specifically through the use of storytelling. Stories essentially craft a narrative to connect with users, promoting the app’s features in addition to products or services offered within the app. You can use different types of story content to achieve different results. Some of the many types of content you can use to engage users include images, messages, videos, animated GIFs, polls, quizzes, and emojis, all of which can help maximize user retention and loyalty.

Through the use of stories, you can keep users invested in your app by educating them about both core and extraneous features. As your app updates over time and you want users to become aware of new features, you can also use stories to assist with the rollout and get new and existing users on board. You can also personalize stories for each user, which makes it feel as though you’re speaking directly to them with each visual and message.

Ultimately, in-app stories go a long way in maximizing the overall success of your app by establishing and maintaining a strong connection with audiences.


5 Mobile App Features Your Customers Want

Before getting into the role that in-app stories can play when educating users about app features, you might be curious to know more about certain common app features that users want. This can give you some ideas about directions to go in as you continue to optimize the in-app experience.

Some of the key features of a successful mobile app include:

User-Friendly and Navigable Interfaces

One of the most important features that an app should have is an intuitive and user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate. It’s ideal to offer a completely seamless experience and make sure that users understand how to access different parts of the app. Over time, this interface may include various additions and changes that could continually improve it, which you may want to let users know about.

Chat Support and Feedback Options

Many apps offer chat support functions that supplement website chat and other customer support features. If users can easily contact you, this will facilitate good communication between app owners and users. Users should also be able to provide feedback through a feedback system, which can help you determine how to further optimize the user experience. This will also enable users to suggest new features or provide criticism of existing features, which could help determine how to approach feature integration and adoption.

Different Versions for Different Devices

Devices such as the iPhone and Android offer different experiences because of their respective operating systems, which can make the experience different for these users. Be sure your app includes different versions depending on the device, which will create the most intuitive experience for everyone.

Search Function

Many apps also benefit from the integration of a search function that enables people to find the content they want within the app. This is particularly critical for apps that include large quantities of content.

Mobile Screen Touching

Keep in mind that people will be using your app with their fingers and a single screen, as opposed to a mouse and keyboard combo that desktop users can use. This is why you need to make sure that apps minimize the need for a keyboard or eliminate it altogether with a streamlined interface using strategically placed buttons and options.

All of these and other features may be initially included in your app, or you may add them later. In any case, you need to make sure your users understand that these mobile app features are available and how to access and use them.


Ways to Drive Feature Adoption With In-App Stories

Whether introducing new users to existing app features or publishing new ones for users to try, you can use in-app stories to clarify what these features are and detail how to use them. The following are some specific ways to do so with the help of Storyly.

Help New Users With the Onboarding Process

One way to use stories is to bring new users onboard by engagingly educating them about your app’s features. Many new users may be unfamiliar with the features you offer, especially if they’re new to your app category. For example, if you offer a finance app, people new to these apps may not know about all of the potential functions that your app offers, including spending monitoring and budgeting capabilities.

In-app stories could use introductory screens that display various icons for features and include a sentence or two about what each feature does. These screens could appear when users first load the app to orient them, or you could teach users about features as they access them on their own. This can help with the onboarding process as people learn about your app more intuitively. These brief stories are also more likely to keep users engaged than long-winded tutorials.

Use CTAs to Encourage People to Try New App Features

If you offer a new feature, you can also use call-to-action buttons to encourage people to try it. For instance, when people first load your app after you’ve rolled out a new feature, a full-screen story could detail what this feature is and its functionality. You can then include a CTA button at the bottom of the screen, which users can tap on to access the feature. This is a great way to increase feature adoption and ensure that users know about your update.

Target Different Audience Segments to Market Specific Features to Them

Your app might include different types of features that appeal to specific audience segments. As an example, an eCommerce app might have a segment that spends more on cheaper items within the app. In this case, in-app stories could inform these users about a new app feature allowing users to search based on price limitations and budget restrictions. Meanwhile, users who prefer to shop based on specific custom features could benefit from a feature that enables them to shop according to feature restrictions.

Develop Introductory "How-tos"

Some features might not be entirely clear to users after a basic introduction. In these cases, you could use certain “how-to” screens that detail the benefits of a particular feature, along with more details about how to use it. These stories could include a combination of concise text and effective visuals that make sure there’s no confusion about what each feature does.


Case Studies Showing the Effectiveness of Stories When Introducing Features

If you’re not sure specifically how stories can help your app connect with users, Storyly has compiled a few key case studies that prove their effectiveness. Each of these apps faced a unique challenge that in-app stories helped them overcome when it came to introducing new mobile app features.

Case Study #1: The Pumpkin App

Peer-to-peer money transfer app Pumpkin makes it easy for users to instantly send or receive cash. It’s particularly popular in France for its functionality as a finance app that allows for quick reimbursements among users. Pumpkin faced a few different challenges that in-app stories helped overcome, one of which involved promoting new or hidden features to users.

Pumpkin needed to set itself apart from other apps in the fintech category, which entailed continually launching new features to stay ahead of competitors and streamline the user experience. However, Pumpkin needed to make sure its users could uncover and adopt them, which is where stories came into play.

Through full-screen and visually compelling stories, Pumpkin could promote both new and existing app features that might otherwise be hidden. These stories show the benefits of these features and detail how to seamlessly adopt them. As a result, 50% of Pumpkin users exposed to these stories have immediately jumped into their corresponding features.

Case Study #2: The Kapital Bank App

Kapital Bank, one of the largest banks in Azerbaijan, enables users to easily manage their bank accounts, organize payments, and perform many other tasks. With over 3 million users, Kapital Bank wanted to make sure all of them took full advantage of the features their app has to offer.

Apps like Kapital Bank in the finance and banking category frequently update with new and often complex features. Kapital Bank found that many of its features can easily remain hidden, which is why the bank wanted to find a way to introduce each feature.

Using onboarding stories, Kapital Bank was able to communicate its latest updates with ease. Whenever they launched a new feature or service, they used “how-to” stories to introduce its advantages and show how to use it. In turn, this brand benefitted from dramatically increased engagement with every new and existing feature.

Case Study #3: The ImeceMobil App

In addition to finance and banking apps, another app category that’s found Storyly stories to be helpful is agritech. Specifically, Turkish agritech platform ImeceMobil relies on stories to help introduce various app features. In Turkey, agriculture is one of the most productive fields, but it’s also among the least digitized. ImeceMobil has aimed to help facilitate a digital transformation among farmers. In the process, farmers benefit from guidance regarding best practices, learn about new tools that can help them, and receive answers to questions they may have.

Considering that the agritech app category is likely new to many farmers, ImeceMobil wanted to find out how to introduce these users to new and current features. If farmers knew more about the myriad features available to them, they would be able to take full advantage of the app and all it has to offer. Unfortunately, conventional push notifications and in-app messages didn’t yield the results that the app owners wanted.

ImeceMobil includes a variety of features, such as income and expense calculators, a stock market tracker, and a weather tracker. To introduce users to these app features, ImeceMobil used stories featuring editable CTA buttons that significantly increased engagement and event rates. As a result of this story integration, ImeceMobil saw a 45% increase in the event rate for income-expense calculation. CTAs also achieved a 38% click-through rate.

Establish a Strong Connection and Maximize Retention With In-App Stories

As the above case studies reveal, in-app stories are among the best means of driving engagement among new and existing users when introducing mobile app features. Whether you’re releasing new and exciting features or want to bring attention to existing ones, in-app stories can be the key to connecting with users at all levels. With the help of these engaging stories, you’ll be able to attract and hold users’ attention while making sure they get the most from your app experience. The more users understand about your app and all it has to offer them, the more you’ll be able to retain them as long-term users. In the end, these stories will prove the kind of value you claim to bring to your users, making them loyal to your app and brand.


Deniz Tasyürek

Content & Brand Marketing Strategist at Storyly. Writes about mobile user behavior, user engagement, and retention. A genuine Potterhead. She also loves succulents, cats, and aerial yoga.

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