Engaging Millennials on mobile devices has never been harder, or more crucial for a brand's success. There are now over 83 million Millennials in the United States, representing $1.3 trillion in consumer spending. Of that 83 million, 88% of Millennials use a smartphone, and 52% of them will use their mobile device for commerce, according to CreditCards.com.
With over 1.6 million apps currently, per Statista, the app space is becoming more and more competitive each and every day. While organically capturing one new user is difficult in its own right, creating a mobile experience that will keep the millennial consumer engaged on a daily basis teeters on impossible. Here are some of my tips on how to not only engage millennials on mobile devices, but keep them coming back for more:
Measuring Engagement: Before worrying about whether or not your app is engaging, first determine how your brand will measure user engagement. For example, social networking apps like Facebook will use daily user engagement metrics that are dramatically different than the metrics an app like Uber would use. How you measure engagement is contingent on your business model, so determining how you will measure that engagement should be decided upon early on, giving your app the best chance of your definition of success.
Provide Something Important: When setting out to create an engaging app, you need to make sure that you are providing something relevant, important, and differentiated. In other words, does it have a market fit? Take the retail app market; there are more than 3,500 retail shopping apps on Apple’s App Store today. If you’re creating a new retail app, make sure you’re going to provide the consumer with a significant reason to frequently use your shopping app over the many other choices they have. When co-founding a mobile trivia app that awards winners with things, I knew that while there were thousands of apps for coupons, shopping, and deals, not one of those apps created an experience where users actually played product trivia games as a way to earn deep discounts on an array of products. Our research showed us that this gaming component could be incredibly valuable and entertaining for Millennials, and other types of consumers as well.
Fresh Content is Key: Continuously updating your app with fresh content is a surefire way to engage the discerning Millennial generation on a consistent basis. Fresh content could range from new products, articles, games etc., and are completely dependent on your business model. Once you have honed in on the type of content your app provides, making sure that content is consistently and continually updated is a key component in driving Millennial traffic to your app day in and day out, or even multiple times in one day.
In-App Messaging: An additional element vital to app engagement is the use of in-app messaging. Millennials are not only looking for an engaging app, they are looking for a community as well. The ability to connect and chat with fellow app users, or even the brand itself, is a great way to show Millennials that not only is their feedback important, it’s encouraged. In-app messages are crucial to user involvement and enjoyment, and can dramatically change the app’s engagement rate for the better.
With thousands of new apps being added to the Apple App Store each and every day, brands are finding that it’s harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. By honing in on engagement metrics, unique services, fresh content, and community cultivation, your app stands a chance at creating a mobile experience that will keep the Millennial consumer engaged on a daily, or even hourly, basis.
This article originally appeared in Engage:Millennials on Aug. 7, 2015.