5 metrics that matter when marketing apps

The news app market is becoming increasingly saturated. It seems like every month there is a new, dynamic, informative, and authoritative news service available to app users. For this reason it is becoming far more difficult for a news app to grow its brand and visibility. Despite these issues, if the news app marketers use their user metrics carefully and strategically, then it is possible to exponentially increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and popularity of said app.

Before we continue, just to be clear, "metrics" or "insights" are essentially data that tells an app developer a little bit about their apps' users and the way they are engaging with their service.

Now, let's take a look at the five top user metrics that news app developers can make use of to further expand and engage their user base.

Demographics

The simplest of metrics that can be used to identify segmentations of your user base is basic demographics. Who is using your app? Which age bracket are they part of? Which operating system are they using? What location are your users in? Are they using smart phones or tablets? All of these questions can help identify new key advertising strategies for the app developer to explore. Never underestimate the power of these simplest of metrics.

Popular sections

Another type of metric which is often overlooked is in identifying the most used and underused aspects of your app. This helps you calculate where your users are spending the most time. Specifically for a news app, it is important that developers understand which category of news is being most widely used. For example, you may have a sports section, or a political commentary section, or perhaps even an entertainment news section -- knowing where your user base is spending most of its time can allow you to more specifically either cater your content to that type of news, or work on the areas which are being most overlooked.

What is a user worth?

The hardest part of developing a news app is not amassing a large number of downloads, but rather to have users engage properly with your content. If you are an advertiser and you wish to make money from the revenue brought about by the visitors who are using your app, this can only really be done when there is active engagement taking place. A one-time visit just will not cut it. By "engagement," we mean when a user comments or views in more than just one part of the app, or uses it more than once. A large percentage of app users in fact only ever use most apps once to try them out, never returning to them later. If your news app is gaining users but they quickly drop off then you can identify that the problem is engaging those who download your app. Since the typical revenue model for a news app is in-app advertisement -- similar to the online revenue model -- the more page views you produce, the more you are able to generate in revenue.

Referrals

One way to measure the success of your app is in the number of referrals to it. If you see a wide network of websites that are pointing to your app then you know that your news app has a successful level of brand penetration. If, however, from your metrics you can see that only a small number of sources are pointing to your app, then you know this is something that you will need to work on. The power of back linking and mentions in the blogosphere to push sales cannot be underestimated.

Flow

Finally, it is important that you understand how your users are accessing and navigating around your app. Again, if there are different sections of your app, then metrics, which allow you to see how your users are navigating from within the app, will let you know how easily specific sections can be found. It will also inform you as to which sections need to be made more prominent and which sections are working just fine. For a news app to be truly successful, it's important that the different sections and the different types of news are all well represented and have specific audiences attached to them. Assessing flow will allow you to redesign and tweak your design for a better user experience. Good user experience equals good word of mouth, and that leads to more users.

There are other types of metrics and insight data that can be used to better understand your app's audience and user base. The above five, however, will get you started and should make sure you're always paying attention to the way your app is being used and by whom. Any app developer or mobile app marketer who continually assesses metric data will have the chance to adapt to changes in their audience, while improving the efficiency of the app itself.

Jennifer Wong works on the marketing team at HasOffers.

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