Don’t lag behind: Invigorate your app engagement with a news feed

Author: Steffen Meyer, Mobile Marketing Content Specialist

“All the news that fit to print”. These famous seven words have resided on the front pages of the New York Times for more than a hundred years. While this motto still holds true for the printed version, there is enough space for much more news in the digital age – and this is important for marketers as well.

Since everyone can publish their own news and articles on their own webpage (as we do with this blog), marketers can provide users with the content they desire to achieve various marketing goals, such as brand loyalty. 

While this content marketing strategy is basically digital marketing 101, it hasn’t fully conquered the app marketing world yet. Though this is about to change.

Partner up to set it up

Presenting the news feed. As we pointed out in our blogpost about “5 ways to keep in touch with your customers”, this communication channel is rarely used but has high potential for customer retention strategies. 

It basically works like a blog inside your app: Unlike In-App messages, the content published here will be accessible in the future and thus allows you to establish a library of articles that build upon each other. This keeps your users hooked and reduces user churn, since they spend more time in your app and are more likely to return again, looking for new meaningful content.

Example of a news feed in the app Mijam

However there are a few things to consider, when setting up a news feed.

First and foremost, we advise you not to develop your own solution but rather look for a technology partner that can integrate it into your app, such as Airship, Braze, CleverTap, Leanplum & MoEngage
They are experienced in this field and will make it easy for your content marketers to publish, track and analyze postings (read more about the advantages of such partners here). Building your own software from scratch, will most probably gobble up huge chunks of your ressources and your budget.

Best practices to keep in mind

Furthermore, we at Customlytics gathered a few best practices concerning news feeds that we are happy to share with you:

  • Design: The news Feed should look and feel like news Feeds most users are accustomed to. This means, it contains different articles with individual content that is easily accessible. At the same time, it should blend in with the design of your app, while still giving some freedom in terms of font size, for example.

  • Content: Each piece of content in the news Feed should have the option to contain a) a header image or icon, b) a written headline and c) a text body. Additionally, allow implementing web URLs and deep links, so users may venture forth to your website for example. And of course, it should be possible to delete and edit content pieces after they are published.

  • Expiration Date: Some content pieces won’t be up-to-date all the time – like time-bound vouchers for example – and you don’t want to keep track of them manually. So choose an expiration date that makes them vanish from the news Feed automatically. Make these three options available: a) Specific Date (e.g. 4/5/2023), b) Dynamic Date (e.g. 7 days after the piece was seen by  the user) and – not to forget – c) no expiration date.

  • Badge Count: Know these numbers next to a bell, showing how many updates arrived since the last time you checked? You want something like this for your news Feed as well. This helps users to easily and quickly grasp if there’s anything new on the news front.

  • Categories: A neat way to make many news Feeds out of only one, is using categories. When publishing a content piece, your content marketers choose a category like ‘Offer’, ‘Update’ or ‘Service Info’ and the content piece will only be seen in the corresponding stream. This way, you can apply the news Feed to different sections in your app, showing only the relevant content filtered by category. In the long run, you may add more functionalities. Our consultants at Customlytics are happy to help you with that.

  • Analytics: As with all digital communication, gathering and analyzing data is indispensable. Track the impressions and the clicks – at minimum – to alter your content strategy to the results.

Consultants will help you with important details

With this basic information you know what to look out for your very own news Feed. Though there is a lot more to it and we advise you to have a chat with our consultants before setting anything up. They will get into a lot more detail, for example user segmentation and targeting which are key for successful content marketing strategies. Furthermore, a news Feed should fit into your overall marketing strategy which is why you should get our free Marketing Master Map

So partner up and practice the best. Read you soon.

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