How to Get Users Hooked on Your Mobile App Tracking app downloads is a dead-end strategy. Instead, entrepreneurs need to focus on adding value and keeping users coming back for more.

By Sara Sisenwein

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


A company launches a mobile app with a strong concept. They've built awareness and are beginning to see downloads increase. However, in gauging the success of an app, are downloads really a valuable metric?

To the media, companies -- large and small -- tout their downloads as an indication of app value but this metric is not what advertisers or investors find valuable. Downloads are what many refer to as a "vanity measurement," along with registered users and screen views. The true value lies in actionable measurements like engagement, monthly active users (MAUs) and average revenue per user (ARPUs). If an app's actionable figures don't measure up to vanity metrics, it is time to make adjustments to further engage your users.

To convert a download into an MAU, a company must better understand their users: How often does the audience engage? At what frequency and what type of content is resonating with them? After that, it's important to follow through with the value promise extended upon initial download, which will keep the audience opening the app and interacting.

Related: 4 Steps to Launching a Mobile App Even If You Don't Know How to Build It

Here are some tips on how to add value and keep your users engaged.

Keep content fresh and engaging.

In the world of apps, content is king. This is the crucial aspect of an app that will keep users coming back for more and an effective way to differentiate from the competition. By generating fresh content on a consistent basis, the audience will be drawn back to the app knowing they will find new, exciting information each time they return.

Additionally, the quality and variety of content is important. By integrating rich, interactive content, the app will continue to hold the user's interest. Some ideas of engaging content include polls, quizzes, contests, social integration, downloadable offers and more.

Companies also want to ensure that all of the content in the app is relevant and native to the experience. It should come as no surprise that random third-party banner ads are obnoxious and can cause accidental clicks, which navigates the user out of the app and causes frustration. While ads are often a key revenue strategy for apps, making sure the ad content is pertinent to the other content in the app and properly integrated is important to keeping the audience and the advertisers coming back for more.

Related: 7 Resources That Can Help You Create a Stunning Mobile App Design

Tie the app to a traditional-media vehicle.

The more often an app reveals new and relevant content, the more the audience will tap into the app and engage. Providing rich, interactive content daily, hourly and even by-the-minute will increase return visits. But this approach can be a bit overwhelming and extremely challenging for app companies.

Tying the app to a traditional vehicle like radio or television, where new content is being produced 24/7, enables the app access to nearly unlimited content for the users to connect with, comment on, share and learn more about. The right technology and development strategy can take advantage of this content and increase their MAUs.

Also, while there are other vehicles to help provide content like social media and web, traditional media has an extremely broad reach.

While increased revenue is the clear end goal, it should not be the sole focus of a mobile strategy. By concentrating on the aforementioned strategies, you can increase your actionable measurements like engagement rates and MAUs, and the revenue will inevitably follow.

Related: 4 Types of Apps That Never Succeed

Wavy Line
Sara Sisenwein

Vice President of Marketing at Clip Interactive

Sara Sisenwein is vice president of marketing at Clip Interactive. She is implementing her background in advertising in broadcast and digital media in the tech startup arena.

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