Understanding the Best Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged

Alexa Marino
April 5, 2019

Across the world, the number of people using smartphones and similar devices continues to rise. Numerous brands across a wide range of industries have taken advantage of this mobile revolution by releasing apps. With an effective app, it’s possible to maintain brand recognition, cultivate greater brand loyalty, and provide customers with an enriched experience.

That doesn’t mean all apps deliver the same results. For one to succeed, it’s necessary for users to actually engage with it.

This requires giving them a reason to. After all, you’re essentially trying to convince a person to adopt a new behaviour when you want them to start using your app regularly. Even with the progress made by iOS and Android app design agencies, it can be helpful to apply certain key lessons from psychology in order to achieve this goal.


The BJ Fogg Model & Engagement


Stanford University behaviour scientist BJ Fogg has developed a model of behaviour which states that three major factors must converge if a person is going to behave in a particular way. They are:

  • Motivation
  • Ability
  • Trigger

To understand how this model might apply to engage with an app, consider the following example:

Perhaps you’ve developed an app which helps users meditate. According to Fogg’s model, the user will likely already have the motivation to meditate, otherwise, they would not have downloaded the app. They also likely already have the ability to; in this case, “ability” simply means “access to a spot where I can meditate, and physical ability to do so.” The trigger could take the form of a notification telling a user it’s time for their daily meditation session.

This model is particularly effective when an app provides users with rewards and allows them to track their progress. This generates even greater motivation to continue using it in the future. That said, the Fogg model can essentially be applied to any type of app.

Maintaining Loyalty

The Fogg model is helpful as a means of getting initial users to engage with your app. However, in order for an app to be successful, people must use it on a regular basis. This helps you strengthen brand loyalty.

Thus, it’s still important to make sure an app always fulfils a genuine need for a customer. If it fulfils a daily need, even better. You also need to test an app rigorously to ensure it performs consistently. While the Fogg model is useful, it can’t make up for a weak app that doesn’t provide a user with any value.

Today’s app marketplaces are very competitive, which is why it’s important to coordinate with experts when designing any type of digital product. You need to release the strongest app you can to stand out among the crowd. Luckily, by applying psychology and working with professional developers, doing so is easier than you may think.

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