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Top Mobile Publishers Weigh in on User Engagement

Posted Aug 22, 2017

Mobile publishers consider multiple metrics of engagement when assessing user quality, so what methods are they using to engage and how effective are those strategies?

Simply put, a majority of top mobile publishers rely rewards and messaging to engage their users. In particular, achievement systems (65%) and push notifications (62%) are the most commonly used tactics, followed by value exchange ads (49%) and scheduled in-app events (49%).

Basically, mobile publishers engage users by:

  1. Appealing to the user desire for a sense of accomplishment
  2. Rewarding the user for their time and efforts
  3. Maintaining interest by notifying the user of new content

Indeed, it’s a multi-faceted approach that requires multiple user engagement mechanisms to work effectively. Perhaps that’s why the majority of top publishers (71%) use 3 or more engagement methods to retain their users.

So, how effective are these engagement strategies? With respect to appealing to the user desire to feel accomplished and rewarded, VIP tiers, achievements, and value exchange ads were all viewed relatively positively, with minimal respondents noting that any of these methods were ineffective.

The story was a bit different when it came to messaging, however. Indeed, more publishers felt that banner messaging was ineffective (36%) than those who thought it was effective (24%), and the sentiment wasn’t much better for modal messaging, with 38% finding it to be effective and 29% finding it to be ineffective.

Instead, a majority of publishers (70%) found push notifications to be the most effective app messaging method. This sentiment suggests that publishers view engagement as more successful when it gets a user to return to an app than when the message simply aims to drive deeper engagement within a current app session.

Of course, for any message to truly be effective, it needs to pique the user’s interest. So, what types of content have proven the most successful at captivating & engaging users for today’s top publishers? As it turns out, it’s all about events.

In short, publishers have had more success with scheduled events (##%) and dynamic events (##%) than they have with user generated content. What’s interesting here is that as content predictability diminishes, so does engagement effectiveness.

About the Study
The AdColony Summer 2017 Publishing Survey provides insights, benchmarks, and trends from the world’s top-grossing app developers, asking over 100 detailed questions on monetization, user engagement, and more.

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