Grow your app in 2022 with these 15 app growth tactics!

2021 was a watershed year for mobile. For the first time ever, over 7 billion people are active mobile phone users. That’s nearly every single human on the planet! This rapid growth presents opportunities for app developers to grow their user base. Moving into the new year, mobile app engagement moves up on the priority list! But how do you do that in 2022? From gamification examples like badges and points to social media integration, there are many ways to make your app more exciting.

In this article, we’ll cover 15 of the best growth tactics to watch in 2022.

How 2021 sets the scene

Rebounding from the chaos of 2020, new habits like working from home have now become the status quo for many. So what is the state of play as we begin the new year?

Consumer behavior is shifting:

  • Consumers in developed markets now spend 33% of their time on mobile – equalling an eye-watering 3.8 TRILLION hours of screen time
  • 70% of that time is spent on social media & photo or video apps
  • But behavior differs wildly with age – Gen Z are the most active and social

app growth age statistics

And competition is tougher than ever (but so is the prize!):

  • Global mobile ad spend is up 23% and hit a record $295 billion
  • 233 apps generated over $100 million in 2021 – 13 of them over $1 billion
  • More apps than ever – 2 million released in 2021 alone

app how to increase monthly active users

So how do you grow your app in this market? These are the 15 best app growth tactics for 2022:

#1 A smart gamification strategy made to motivate

Gamification can be one of the smartest ways to grow your app! Case studies have shown that gamification examples can result in a 500% increase in 90-day user retention. That’s an enormous boost, especially when you consider that a jump of just 5% in user retention can boost profits by as much as 25-95%!

Gamification works by motivating users, in turn driving up mobile app engagement. Gamification examples like badges, points, and rewards entice users with science-backed behavioral studies. The motivational drivers pushed by gamification are common to us all, which is what makes gamification so effective and pervasive!

#2 Optimize your loading times

Don’t make your users wait. The first 5 seconds are critical for future mobile app engagement – every added second of load time reduces your conversion rate by over 4%! But in case your users have to wait, one gamification example like fun loading screens can make the wait less painful.

#3 Augmented reality is here to stay

Implemented right, AR can be a huge driver of mobile app engagement. For example, Snapchat generates over 6 billion AR interactions every day! But AR goes far beyond face filters. For instance, banking apps can use augmented reality to show customers their closest ATM, and mobility apps can use easily display info to users on the move.

#4 On-demand is an expectation, not a luxury

On-demand is not limited to shared mobility apps like Uber or food delivery apps. In banking, instant transfers are now an essential feature. Current statistics show that on-demand services make $57 billion a year – and this will only increase. In addition, as 5G becomes more widespread, people will get used to having things instantly!

#5 Take advantage of the power of AI

Artificial intelligence can totally transform your app. To name just one example, smarter chatbots will lead to more efficient and effective customer service, as well as a scalable approach to customer engagement! This will prepare your app for future growth.

mobile app engagement growth

#6 Ensure your retargeting is up to scratch

Low rates of user retention plague the app market. Today, around 90% of new users will churn within 30 days. To improve that number, your retargeting strategy is crucial. A great tool you should use is contextual, personalized push notifications that hit your user at the right time with the right words. Pro tip: use a little personality! Personalized notifications are a great way to implement gamification examples into your app in a less obvious way.

#7 Make onboarding matter

Onboarding is the first hurdle your customers face in the app, and you need to make it matter! This is where the value of your app should be clear. Don’t ask prying questions or immediately request that new users sign up. How will they know if they want to sign up if they haven’t tried the app? Optimize your onboarding to avoid frustrating your users and pushing them to churn.

app onboarding retention gamification examples

#8 Hyper-casual is the next big thing

The App Annie report for 2022 shows that hyper-casual gaming is on an ‘astronomical rise’. Hyper-casual games are minimalistic, easy-to-play, and free-to-play and were the fastest-growing app genre of 2021. What does this mean for non-gaming apps? Ultimately, these apps will change consumer expectations. Think free, fun, and fast.

#9 Partner with established companies

Partnerships can be mutually beneficial. For newcomers, established institutions bring trust and know-how, meanwhile, the big names can benefit from new innovations. For example in banking, fintech Cake partnered with the Belgian bank Argenta to create a personalized rewards program that drives mobile app engagement. In shared mobility, e-scooter company Circ joined with Spanish train operator Renfe and taxi app Cabify to create an integrated mobility app that benefits all three companies.

#10 Free trials and subscriptions are on the up

Offering people something valuable before asking them to fork over their hard-earned cash is called reciprocity – and it works. As of the end of 2021, in-app purchases, premium apps, and subscriptions grew 15% year-on-year, an increase of $4 billion!

#11 Integration, integration, integration!

Your mobile phone can do what took multiple devices to do just a few years ago. Apps are headed the same way! We have moved past ‘there is an app for that’ and people want integrated platforms. Research by fintech unicorn Klarna confirms the fact:

David Sandström, Chief Marketing Officer at Klarna –“70% of mobile shoppers are looking for a single app that better unites services and features instead of switching between apps”.

#12 Work on your App Store Optimization

Optimizing your page on the app store is certain to boost growth. For one, it is a potential new user’s first impression of your app. Strong branding and good reviews can be enough to encourage people to pay upfront, should you run on a paid model. In addition, a page with more memorable and relevant keywords will push your app further up the search results page. That’s more eyeballs on your product for completely free!

As an example, the App Growth Network’s advice for meditation app Ten Percent Happier rewarded the app with a 10% conversion boost and a 40% increase in installs.

#13 Personalization can overcome age differences

Whilst generations differ in what apps they use, that doesn’t mean your app has to pick one age group to target. The key to growing with a diverse userbase is personalization! Personalizing your app gives each individual user personal benefits and attention, making them feel valued. You can do this through contextual or behavioral targeting, essentially using the user’s data to better tailor their app experience.

Fintech app Moven does this excellently, leveraging user data to learn when is the best time to remind users to save up some of their cash. CEO Brett King notes that upon a repeat notification, users are 50% more likely to save their money!

gamification examples mobile app engagement

#14 Grow your in-app community

Social apps continue to garner the highest level of mobile app engagement. Social features in your app can do the same. An in-app community maximizes user retention metrics by as much as 2.7x! Users are motivated to return due to a sense of belonging. A truly social experience can be created with gamification examples like user avatars, community challenges, and leaderboards.

#15 ‘Creativity, creation & connection will define 2022

No matter what vertical you are working in, every app needs to offer the three critical C’s: creativity, creation, and connection! Making the most of these concepts will create a rounded app that fulfills the need of your customers and drives mobile app engagement.

Get your app ready to skyrocket in 2022! Book a value-packed gamification workshop & design a custom gamification strategy & roadmap to achieve your goals!

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