Engagement and retention: How to create mobile in-app content that’s actually worth paying for

June 04, 2020

Tags: Publishers

Creating premium mobile content that’s actually worth paying for is more difficult than ever. With the prevalence of free-to-download mobile apps that use in-app advertising and in-app purchases as core monetization strategies, there are more avenues than ever to entice users. Asking a user to pay for the (premium) app itself is one avenue, but developing a mobile app that can be monetized in a recurring way and feels like it’s worth paying for is not only useful and valuable for users, but also something worth focusing on as the ultimate goal for publishers. So how can you do it?

Develop an app that creates value or provides a unique experience for your user

It might sound obvious, but one of the best ways to create something that a user actually wants to spend money on is to create a unique experience that the user cannot find elsewhere or that provides value they cannot find elsewhere. One method of doing this is to publish app content that stands out. Content that is too similar to something that already exists can easily get lost in the shuffle. The trick is to analyze the market, decipher the type of content that’s popular or is gaining a lot of traction amongst your target users, and then innovate (or iterate) in that content space in an appealing way that makes sense for your particular app(s.) One way to do this is to leverage an existing intellectual property (IP) if you have access to a license that’s well-known, and adapting that setting or its characters to a genre of games you produce. Another option: if you have means to work with an experienced developer, task that developer to create something appealing in a growing genre that users would likely pay for based on the developer’s pedigree in the industry. 

Tailor your app content to current topics and trends

Another way to make your app content worth paying for is to tie it to current trends that broad audiences care about. For example, apps that focus on at-home healthy lifestyles are very popular since everyone is looking for ways to stay fit and healthy indoors, or games that help occupy time. Content that is topical, relevant, and authentic to your brand is crucial to attracting user impressions, and in turn, the likelihood that they will make in-app purchases, and pay for premium apps. 

Make in-app purchases a seamless part of your user’s in-app experience

Let’s say you opt to keep your apps free-to-play or free-to-download instead of adding the price tag that accompanies a premium app, and you want to utilize in-app ads to generate revenue. In this case, you’ll still want to include content within that free app that’s meaningful enough to your user or serves a purpose within the app to the extent that it makes sense for the user to make a purchase. If you want to go that route, you have other monetization models to consider

  • You can release a “freemium” version of your app that allows the user to see and experience the value, but require payment for full access, to remove restrictions, or unlock new features.

  • Build your app with a subscription model in mind that has users pay a recurring fee for access. To make this valuable, you’ll want to focus on delivering on new, useful content that’s fun on a regular basis so users have a reason to keep coming back.

  • Or, take the hybrid approach with a combination of freemium and subscription models; your subscription could offer extra bonuses to entice the most dedicated fans.

  • Create in-app purchases that encourage users to spend money to make the game go faster, introduce new features and benefits, or remove any established barriers. This can also be supplemented of course with in-app ads.

Ready to publish your app? Click here to get started today and find out how you can start creating mobile app content that’s worth paying for.

About the author: Sara Penchina, Global Content Marketing Manager

Sara has 5+ years of B2B marketing and communications experience for companies in the advertising, marketing, tech, and media industries. At MoPub, she's currently focused on developing and executing content marketing strategy and activities supporting MoPub's market education, brand awareness, and lead generation initiatives. She lives in Brooklyn and is a certified yoga instructor. When she's not at work, you can find her at a barre or yoga class, practicing boxing (her latest fitness obsession), or planning her next trip. 

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