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How every app owner can better connect with their audience

No app owner wants their product to fail — or to end up on an embarrassing list of least-downloaded apps. In fact, app owners and marketers are usually preoccupied with one thing: How to deliver a better and more meaningful experience for their users. Those who can truly engage their bases have the most to gain. 

The mobile industry is transforming, and immersive app experiences are gaining significance. In-app stories, popularized by social media apps such as Instagram, whose stories earn a 42% engagement rate, are a familiar and engaging way to capture new users and keep existing ones invested. Here’s why they matter so much — and how every app owner can start integrating them effortlessly.

A changing mobile landscape

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Earlier this year, Apple made headlines by introducing a feature that allows users to turn off app tracking. The change came on the heels of new privacy controls related to IDFA — an identifier assigned by Apple to a mobile device used to track users — introduced last year. 

While the features are a win for user privacy, they mean that app owners and marketers need to work harder than ever before to reach their audiences. With less data and targeting capabilities to rely on, mobile marketers and app teams are harder pressed to create unique and engaging features that organically capture their audiences’ attention — and keep them coming back for more. That’s where in-app stories come in.

The case for in-app stories

In-app story features have changed the game for social media companies, most notably Instagram. The feature has been described as the “best decision Instagram has ever made” and has hundreds of millions of daily users. It’s a product that has caught on — stories have been integrated into prominent mobile apps across industries, from Spotify to The New York Times — but has yet to reach ubiquity in the app world at large.

It’s easy to understand why stories are such a hit. They’re often the first thing a user sees when they open an app, without appearing intrusive. In a world where average attention is only eight seconds long, the short-form nature of stories also makes them easy to watch— and the interactive components mean that users will naturally engage. Moreover, they’ve become a familiar and recognizable part of browsing mobile apps thanks to the social media giants that have popularized them.

Perhaps most importantly, in-app stories are a prime vehicle for storytelling. Brands and marketers can use them to interact with users through quizzes and polls, introduce their products and new features, announce important events, and to gain valuable audience insights. Pumpkin, a peer-to-peer payment app, integrated stories and saw results almost immediately. “We use stories mostly to promote new or hidden features and to poll our users, but also to deliver relevant content about our brand,” said Lead Product Manager Louis Le Bris. “Most of the stories are seen by thousands, and right after, about 50% of the viewers go test the features mentioned.”

The tool every app owner should have in their arsenal

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Pumpkin didn’t build their story feature from scratch. The team used Storyly, a user engagement platform that integrates stories into mobile apps and boasts a 40% engagement rate. The tool is developer-friendly and has a low barrier to entry; Storyly SDK can be integrated in minutes and supports native iOS, Android, React-Native and Flutter applications. 

Storyly means that app owners and marketers can start creating and customizing stories right out of the gate. The platform comes with a suite of built-in story features to optimize user engagement, such as polls, quizzes, emoji sliders, product tags, and countdowns. While the possibilities are limitless, app owners have used Storyly to promote deals and bestsellers, share seasonal content, and poll their users on their favorite products.

On the app owner and marketers’ end, Storyly provides a dashboard showing engagement metrics. App owners can assess their stories’ impact by analyzing reach, impressions, clicks, average watch length, and more — and better tailor their content accordingly.

Proven results for apps across the board

Ease aside, Storyly is adaptable. Its features can be used creatively by apps spanning any industry —  a versatility demonstrated by the company’s diverse set of customers.

When Domino’s Pizza sought to increase campaign participation on their mobile app, they turned to Storyly, using the platform’s interactive features to engage their audience, including a poll of users’ favorite pizzas. The stories achieved a 43% response rate — comparable to Instagram’s own engagement rates. As a result, users spent more time and money on the Domino’s app.

Pumpkin and Domino’s success has been mirrored by banks, food and recipe apps, and reading apps that have used Storyly to boost engagement. The platform’s blog page creatively imagines how other app owners might use Storyly, from grocery apps to news outlets, to e-wallets. Every app owner has a story to tell — and it’s never been easier to share it with the world.

Learn more about how you can engage your users with stories, powered by Storyly.