Strategies that Fitness, News, Business & Game Apps Can Use Amid COVID-19Venkatesh C.R
The coronavirus pandemic is transforming the app industry in the same way that it is shaping the world. Numerous mobile app categories enjoyed great boosts in users during the advent of the lockdowns that arose from it. Others remained stagnant, while a few are noticeably struggling. It’s not certain whether the upward trends of entertainment, games, and music apps (a couple of categories that flourished during the start of the lockdowns) will continue.
There is a sense of uncertainty, in short. And this proves that strategies need to be formulated by any developer working on marketing his app. In this post, we will be taking a look at fitness, business, games, and news apps, among others. We will be providing valuable helpful tips about what routes developers and marketers can take to navigate their ventures amidst this pandemic.
Notable App Categories Booming During COVID-19
It’s hard not to have your interest piqued by these specific app categories. Certain apps belonging to them practically enjoyed overnight success (and still continue to do so). We will be highlighting the most interesting ones here.
Any wide-scale lockdown that affects an entire country is bound to bring about a surge in demand for fitness apps. Many people prioritize keeping their bodies in shape not only to offset any potential spikes in calorie intake they do while on quarantine but also to keep themselves healthy so they can fight the dreaded viral pandemic better.
From home workout plans and meditation to dieting and weight loss, these topics suddenly became the talk of the town. Fitness apps also got substantial gains in traffic volume – to the point that they struggled to handle the surge. What’s certain is that more and more people want to not miss out on their workouts. Home workouts, at present, are their best option.
Trends show that the demand for gaming apps is still rising. This category, along with fitness, is enjoying the most boosts, with an increase of up 24% in March alone. Games serve as a great way to pass the time, after all.
Management games, in particular, are enjoying more patronage. And it’s not really hard to see why because these types of games are set up for the long-term. That’s just one type, though, and other game categories are becoming in-demand as well. Certain game apps with a social aspect are also keeping a lot of gamers entertained. These also give them a great opportunity to socialize with their friends.
Entertainment + OTT
Entertainment apps might not have gotten daily active user boosts as big as those received by gaming and fitness apps, but it’s still considerable. Experts attribute the increases in engagement in entertainment apps to the fact that, like games, they provide just as many opportunities to have fun and socialize.
There’s no other proof that better illustrates this than the 20% increase in users that entertainment apps got. Practically any new content (TV shows or movies) is often immediately consumed by isolated audiences hungry for more entertainment.
People on lockdown are encouraged to stay at home. With this considered, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that grocery apps have gotten popular in the COVID-19 crisis. Grocery apps shine the brightest in such dire scenarios, for they are banking on the essentiality of supplies. In March alone, the influx of app launches reached a whopping 177%.
And even as the quarantines ease up in countries, governments will still put up social distancing rules. This notion asserts the very real possibility that grocery apps will only become more necessary in the long run.
Online Learning Apps
Education is another essential human need that can’t be allowed to stagnate for long. The very existence and evolution of online learning prove this. Once the COVID-19 crisis took hold worldwide, it didn’t take long for the value of online learning apps to rise.
People want to learn more skills and enter new hobbies, so apps that focus on teaching these skills promptly got surges in traffic. Children’s education can’t be allowed to suffer from disruptions for long. Where did schools and colleges immediately turn to? Platforms that provide virtual classrooms.
Online Collaboration Apps
In the same way that education should be kept continuous and free from interruptions, work can’t be delayed as well. At least, this applies to industries that can still manage to operate with COVID-19 restrictions. Online collaboration apps make seamless communication between team members always possible. Would it be any surprise then that these apps are becoming more in-demand, too?
Strategies App Developers Can Start Adopting
App marketers have since come up with creative and effective ways to capitalize on the surges in traffic that they are enjoying. If you’re an app developer yourself, there’s no better time to emulate what they’re doing. Below are but some of the viable strategies mobile app marketers can try.
Free Exercise Lessons
Offering anything without extra cost to users has always been a no-fail marketing strategy. When it comes to fitness apps, offering free exercise is one great way to keep your audience engaged.
It also readily gives you an edge over the competition that isn’t too keen on doing the same. Sharing free lessons also transmits your desire to help people keep their spendings down. Offering your main service for free takes a certain amount of grit and compassion. And such an act will surely not go unnoticed.
Offer Premium Subscription for Free for a Specific Duration
Many users covet premium subscriptions precisely because it means they gain access to exclusive content. Once you decide to go down this route, we recommend you offer the premium subscription for free for at least 2-3 months.
Whether you are marketing a fitness app or any kind of content, the same reasoning as the offering free exercises strategy applies here. Keep in mind that charitable acts will always have their own innate appeal.
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Provide New In-app Purchases Offers
If you’re a game app owner, now is the right time to figure out new offers for your in-app purchases. A lot of your players might not be too willing to spend as much on these purchases. That said, you shouldn’t be surprised if your convention rates take a dip.
How can you address this? One straightforward route to take is to lower your prices and start offering discounts. Start testing the content you include in your promos. Of course, you have to be mindful of the keywords you use. The key is to figure out what appeals the most to your users.
Reaching Users in Social Media Channels
It goes without saying that you have to be proactive in improving user retention, as this is often the more prevalent issue among game owners. As you do so, you also can’t overlook the continuous promotion of your game app on various available platforms like social media.
Social media has all the tools you need to connect with your audience directly. At present, it’s also one of the best platforms for people to stay connected and engage with one another. Seize that opportunity. Discover ways to optimize your reach and your audience’s engagement. This takes developing your own unique style and crafting messages that will resonate with them.
Shifting Focus and Budget Where Demand Arises
Be constantly aware of areas where demand is currently rising. This takes looking for and researching every niche-relevant opportunity available to you. And once you have pinpointed demand, be sure to responsively shift your attention to it. Also, resources are limited, so do not delay in relegating your budget to where demand or potential profitability is highest.
Learn to Adapt to Present Conditions and Use What’s Readily Available
Versatility and adaptability are qualities that have always been lionized before – and this is just starkly exhibited by the current social and economic climate of countries worldwide. The same principle applies to your apps.
Fitness apps, for example, can encourage users to avoid spending more on gym equipment. Advise them on everyday objects they can use as substitutes. Again, the key is to help people spend less.
Focus on Helping Users Rather than Using COVID-19 References When Marketing
It’s easy to be tempted to make COVID-19 references when offering your products or services. This is actually a fatal mistake because a lot of people have grown sensitive to such references. As much as possible, they want it out of their minds and just want to concentrate on their immediate problems. Of course, the best way to respond is to just focus on alleviating their present burdens.
As for Content Marketing, Start Leaning More Towards How Your Product Will Provide Solutions to Users
Know what their problems are and act on it in any way you can through your app. If you think this takes shifting from one category to another, then do it. A lot of companies have already made these transitions. Try to keep it as relevant to your previous category as possible (like food stores and restaurants making their menu items available as frozen items in groceries or going over to selling grocery items altogether).
Grocery App Owners Should Be Transparent to Users about Their COVID-19 Safety Policies with Regards to Their Products and Employees
Grocery apps will not be running out of consistent, long-term users soon. So, the least owners can do is to immediately put their users at ease. By being transparent about the health and safety of their products and staff, they quell their customers’ anxieties. Always remember that you are handling essential, potentially life-saving supplies.
Host In-app Events, Promote New Features, Come up with New Bundles and IAPs, and Adapt Your App to Any Changes in User Behavior
These are but some of the other strategies you can try out. By going down these routes, you keep your audience engaged. New features always pique the interest of any app user, and almost always, more than a handful is keen on trying them out.
In-app events open up plenty of ways for your users to get fresh content while creating new IAPs gives your users options. At present, more people are attracted to packages where they can get the most content without breaking the bank.
Lastly, by always being adaptable to your users’ changes in behavior, you not only transmit to them that you care about giving what they need and want but you also prevent your app from becoming stagnant. In these times, being stagnant almost readily equates to losing.
Taking advantage of favorable trends and shifts in user behavior should be any mobile app developers and marketer’s priority at present. It’s the least you can do considering the still robust vigor of the mobile app industry.
What’s more important is to take action, as time is undoubted of the essence for many marketers. Continue to look for twists to strategies that have already been found to work. And more importantly, find genuine ways to help people overcome their difficulties amid this pandemic – this takes realizing their pain points and coming up with effective solutions to them.