The world is going digital, and news agencies and magazines are not lagging. The big brands have diversified to mobile channels for their readers, and they are reaping the benefits.
The Guardian, in their 2019 report, revealed that 29% of their revenue comes from users of their mobile app. The New York Times, too, in 2018, reported that the over 3.3 million paid users on their mobile platform generated over $544 million in revenue.
From this, you can see that the news app can get you more clients and increase your sales. The problem, however, is not developing the mobile app but keeping your users engaged.
In-app engagement for news app is a journey that never ends. It starts from designing the app and continues through the lifetime of the app.
If your news app is engaging, you’ll retain your customers and generate more revenue. This article will show you tips to employ to increase the in-app engagement of your news app but first, let’s intimate you with some exciting statistics for news apps.
News App Statistics
According to the Ipsos MORI, U.S. Mobile app research report of 2017, mobile app users spend 31 minutes each day on news apps, and 93% of smartphone owners use apps. This shows that users are willing to read the news, but you have to keep them engaged to spend a longer time on your news app.
It may interest you to know that 67% of smartphone users utilize gaming, entertainment, news, and sports apps. And twice and thrice a day is how often some users come back to their favorite games, sports, entertainment, and news apps.
It all depends on how engaging your news app is!
Tips for In-App Engagement
Want to make your news app engaging? Here are tips you should employ:
#1. Show Users the Most Relevant News First
News subscribers rush to news app mostly to get the latest news and happenings in their location or around the world. It is, therefore, important that you show your most recent or top story first before other stories.
Carousels may look appealing and may actually be functional, but the sad reality of things is that users often ignore them. Notre Dame University’s research on carousels revealed that only 1% of their total visitors clicked on their carousel, and of that percentage, only 84% interacted with the very first slide. The other five slides had close to zero interaction.
Source: Mobiloud News App UX Best Practice Guide
It is no news then why the BBC News app highlights one top trending story rather than using a carousel. This is something you should emulate in your news app to increase in-app engagement. With Storyly, you can highlight your content by using stories in your app. Contact for more detail.
#2. Help Users Find Content with Categories
News items of interest should not be difficult to locate in your news app. Because the readers have different interests, they would surely want to access different types of content on your site. You need to provide an easy way for them to do so, and adding categories to your main menu is the best way to go about this.
Rather than take up ample space on the app, as you may be concerned about, categories would instead provide your users an easy way to navigate the app and find what they want to read. Remember that the focus is to engage the readers in the app, and engagement starts when they easily discover what they came for.
#3. Keep Users In-App for Longer with Related News
Many news of today is interrelated with past events. Linking these stories by way of internal links or related news will do magic to the in-app engagement of your news app. It provides incentives to your readers to stay and read more.
But while this is a great option, avoid adding unrelated content to the “related post” section of your article. This would not provide the result you need, and your users may be forced to look elsewhere for related stories to the one you provided on your site.
WordPress-related posts plugins will help you automatically add related posts based on categories and tags, but it is best to add related news yourself.
#4. Encourage Commenting
News readers are often opinionated people, and based on your content; they want to express their feelings through words. If you make this possible by adding the comment functionality to your article, your news app’s in-app engagement will increase.
Besides, some readers are encouraged to read certain stories based on the number of comments the article has. So, it may be necessary to highlight the total comments on the article at the head of the article so the reader can see it even before reading.
The New York Times employs this feature, and it works powerfully for them.
#5. Increase Time Spent on Page
In all you’re doing to increase in-app engagement for your news app, increasing the time a reader spends on-page is the focal point. Research shows that the average adult in the United States spends 5 hours and 16 minutes with digital media per day. Only a fraction of this will be spent reading your content, so you want to do well to add incentives that would retain the reader on the site.
One useful incentive to keep readers reading on news app is Time Indicator. Contrary to what you may think, articles that are over 1000 words don’t scare readers away – especially if the length of time it would take them to complete the read is indicated before they begin reading.
Some plugins for time indicators are intuitive. They show a bar or circle that either increases or decreases as you keep reading. This gives the reader some vigor to want to read through to the end to feel accomplished.
This article showed you tips to employ to increase the in-app engagement of your news app and important statistics for the news apps. To learn more about Storyly, which is an interactive way of increasing in-app engagement, you can contact us.