Recently, Storyly co-hosted a webinar with Future Mind on how to use Stories for faster mobile growth through increased engagement.
In the session moderated by Future Mind's Partner Manager, Adam Rakowski, three panelists came together to discuss the specific ways in which Stories can boost engagement. While Zabka's Digital Innovation Manager, Barbara Kucharczyk, and Super-Pharm's Lead Product Manager, Maciej Mackowlak were sharing their challenges and experiences in user engagement, Storyly's Head of Marketing, Irem Isik, contributed to the discussion from a broader perspective with industrial insights.
Here we'll review some of the key takeaways from this webinar to help you drive more engagement using App Stories.
Capturing people's consideration span in the digital era
Over the years, people's attention span has continued to decrease, making it harder for brands to grab and hold it. However, simply seeking to capture people's attention isn't enough. Once you've gotten people's attention, it's critical to grab their consideration. As Irem mentions in the webinar, we're bombarded by everything from text messages to emails, but few of those will truly capture our consideration.
If you want to stand out and truly get people's attention and consideration with your mobile app, you must take advantage of the small screen and display eye-catching and highly engaging messages. You also need to learn what your audience wants and expects and try to address those needs the right way.
In attracting users and keeping them on board with your app, you ultimately must use the right strategies and solutions to get the results you want.
Quick wins to increase user engagement and fuel long-term growth
If you're not sure where to start with engagement and want to take the right approach without spending too much time or effort, there are certain quick wins that can help. As Adam asks, imagine a magic wand that you can use to improve engagement with a particular metric. Maciej and Barbara agreed that one of the most important to boost is monthly active users, which indicates the kind of traffic your app gets.
When it comes to increasing user engagement, Maciej also describes the perfect quick win as "minimum effort, maximum result." If you can find ways to boost metrics like monthly active users based on your goals with little effort, you've found a quick win that can help you grow exponentially.
During the webinar, Maciej also talks about competition. "We have to know who we're competing against," he states. "We like to think we're competing against other retailers in eCommerce. That isn't true—I'm competing against TikTok. I'm competing against Instagram." Platforms like these drive real engagement, making it necessary for you to hold your own against them and other attention-grabbers.
The following are some of the more specific quick wins discussed in our webinar that can give your app the lift it needs:
1. Use short-form video content that resonates
Video content continues to be more effective than text and other types of content, but in keeping people's attention and driving engagement, short-form videos are particularly useful.
"[People] don't want to read the content anymore," Maciej mentions. "I mean the kind of text content is great for Google SEO, but for users, that's not a way to go forward." In short, video and other visual content is the way to go.
Today, many social media and video streaming platforms from Facebook and Instagram to YouTube are making the transition to shorter video formats. These videos are likely to keep people engaged more consistently, with recent stats finding that people watch 81% of the way through nearly one-third of short-form videos.
In your app and beyond, you can use short-form videos to connect with users at various points. Videos could include product demos, behind-the-scenes footage of your teams, influencer promotions, and more. As Barbara discussed, Storyly makes it easy to create and publish engaging short-form videos that take up the viewer's entire screen.
2. Create an intuitive onboarding experience
Another quick win that can get results is to optimize the onboarding experience in your app. The key here is to give users plenty of control and freedom within the app. "Think about how much power you're giving to the user over your digital products," Maciej advises. "If you need to explain to people how to use your product, then the product is poorly designed. Think about if the product is simple enough."
What you don't want to do is bombard users with too many messages and tutorials that make onboarding tedious and frustrating.
If you can make your onboarding experience more intuitive and free-flowing, users won't need to encounter too many messages and slides that bog down the process. You can improve onboarding by using accessible interfaces and simple interactions, with simple login and registration processes.
Through the use of Storyly, you can use helpful in-app messages and optional guides that highlight specific features. You can also ask users about their specific wants and needs when introducing them to the app, which could help you personalize the onboarding experience.
3. Develop a solid customer experience
The customer experience is critical for engagement. "You have to understand who you are as a brand and as an app," Barbara mentions. "And you have to understand your users and how they see you." By doing so, you can create a compelling customer experience that connects with users.
In building a customer experience that people consistently love, you should emphasize rewards. People want to feel rewarded whenever they use an app, which will keep them returning. For instance, you could introduce a loyalty program in your app that allows users to gain loyalty points. Over time, as those loyalty points accumulate, users can spend them on various in-app rewards or products.
Barbara talks about how Zabka approaches a rewards-centric customer experience: "We are always asking [users] what they like to have in our rewards catalog, and we are adding new products there. And, of course, we know our users would like to use a search engine to find specific coupons." Zabka is currently working on a redesign that will likely include that search engine.
You can use Storyly to develop a winning customer experience by showing users in different bumpers what kinds of rewards they can get. Barbara discusses how Zabka's users could swipe through different rewards in a catalog until they find something that excites them. A user might see a reward that entices them, giving them a specific goal to work toward by engaging with your app.
You can also use polls in your app to learn more about the kinds of rewards people want to see and use this data to optimize your loyalty or rewards program.
4. Maintain flexibility
Flexibility is a crucial element of any successful mobile growth strategy, something that Maciej is passionate about. This involves thinking carefully about what solutions you want to integrate based on the results you want to achieve. You'll also want to test solutions quickly before rolling them out and committing to them.
Also, consider what tools you currently have and how you can adapt them to changing needs, trends, and behaviors. For example, you may find that you simply need to tweak a promotion to add more value through a higher discount to drive better results. Conversely, if you think your efforts will benefit from something entirely new and fresh, begin developing and rigorously testing it.
Maciej recommends you feel free to experiment with the tools in your kit. "What's the worst that can happen?" he asks. "Really, you have the tools in your hand. Just play with it and see what happens, you know? We've seen cases in the Polish market when a big bank sends a push notification that was supposed to go to test, but it went to production to a couple million people. They actually turned it around in like twelve hours into a brilliant marketing campaign."
"Sometimes the simplest idea, the easiest one, is the best that you have in your hand," Irem adds. "And you can just give it a try, and that's what I love at Storyly."
Put simply, be bold and don't shy from new strategies. Storyly makes it easy to try new campaigns using in-app messages, videos, and other content. You'll be able to easily tweak and perfect your campaigns over time.
5. Gamify the user experience
One of the best potential quick wins you can use to connect with users is gamification. This involves adding game-like elements to an otherwise non-gaming experience.
There are plenty of ways to introduce gamification into your app and maximize engagement.
One example from a Storyly client that Irem discusses had to do with a coupon scenario: Find the surprise coupon. "So, they revealed a letter of a coupon of five digits every day at a certain hour for five consecutive days," Irem explains, "which obviously made their users come back to the app every day at a certain time to collect those letters."
Not only did this reward give people a reason to regularly access the app, but it also helped familiarize them with the app as the users explored beyond the reward. Over the course of those five days, users could learn more about the app and its individual features. This would establish a better connection with them and ensure that they continually engage with the app over competitors', stealing attention from them more effectively. Eventually, it is great to increase app stickiness.
6. Use zero-party data to personalize user experiences
One of the reasons personalization is becoming increasingly difficult is new privacy regulations and the resign privacy awareness among users. Ordinarily, businesses would be able to track users' activity across apps to help with personalization, but companies like Apple and Google are moving away from those in an effort to improve user privacy and gain consumers' trust.
Now, you have to turn to other means such as first- and zero-party data. First-party data is that which you can collect directly from users who interact with your app, such as session duration and monthly active users. Additionally, you can connect with users through zero-party data, which is different in the sense that users willingly provide this information, and it can be invaluable.
There are plenty of ways you can collect zero-party data and use it to personalize the user experience.
For example, Barbara discusses how you can use tools to capture user information: "I would mention one basic feature in Storyly, which is creating audiences based on answers in a specific story. I think it works perfectly for brands like ours because you don't have to spam people with the content they don't want, but just target the content perfectly."
These strategies help gather critical data while maintaining transparency. As a result, you'll maintain users' trust while getting the data you need for meaningful personalization.
With the help of Storyly, you can collect zero-party data in a variety of innovative ways. You can use polls, surveys, and quizzes that request user data in a way that brings real value to them in exchange. These in-app Stories can go a long way in helping you get valuable data while indicating to users that you care about their input. You can even offer in-app rewards in exchange for interacting with these surveys, which will further drive engagement.
How you can make the most of these and other quick wins
It's not enough to implement quick wins if you want to experience real growth. You also need to take the right approach to your strategy. Not just any quick win will work and help your mobile app grow exponentially.
Here are a couple of ways to position quick wins for true success:
Keep your quick wins aligned with long-term efforts
You may want to get fast results through quick wins that are easy to implement, but you should also make sure those quick wins connect with your larger goals. Think about what you specifically want to achieve, whether you want to increase metrics such as monthly active users or app session duration. Based on what you want to achieve, you can identify the right solutions to help you reach your goals.
Keeping your quick wins aligned with your long-term strategy will ultimately help you grow your app over time and prevent you from limiting yourself to short-term results.
Also, you may discover that you don't need to implement an entirely new solution or strategy if you find that a simple change to an existing one is all you need. This will further save you time, energy, and money to help fuel long-term growth.
Find the right partners to help you achieve your goals
To help you achieve the success you want, you'll likely turn to various third-party solutions that you can add to your toolkit. However, not all tools are the same and will be able to give you the results you want.
Take the time to find the right partners that can benefit you in the long term as you establish a relationship with them. As one panelist in our webinar mentioned, one element to look for in the ideal partner is honesty. If a partner promises you the world and infinite capabilities, this could indicate a potentially problematic relationship full of unpleasant surprises. For instance, you might want to use your partner's solution to achieve a highly specific quick win, only to discover that this tool simply isn't capable of doing so. This would set you back and force you to seek out another solution or rethink your strategy.
A good partner will instead discuss what their products can do and their limitations. At the same time, your partner should be eager to help you meet your objectives by introducing new features and capabilities over time.
Implement quick wins and long-term solutions with Storyly
As you work to increase and maintain consistent user engagement in your app, you must have the best tools available. At Storyly, we'll provide you with an engaging solution that's easy to use and integrate into your app or website. Using compelling and interactive Stories, you'll be able to connect with users and stand apart from less engaging competitors.
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