More and more people are realizing how useful in-app stories can be. Some use them for user onboarding and see terrific results from them. Others use them for product promotions within the app. But, there are still those that are reluctant to use story content in their apps or are unaware of what in-app stories are. Well, to help you understand the value of story content within an app, we will give you the best examples of in-app stories. Furthermore, we will give you a couple of tips on how to properly integrate story content with the rest of your app.
Common examples of in-app stories
In-app stories can come in many shapes and forms. They can contain written content with added visual effects. And they can contain full-fledged animations and videos. Add to this the interactive elements, and you'll soon see why there are so many ways to use in-app stories. Over the past couple of years, more and more people have relied on in-app stories to help boost their apps. And the most common ways in which people make use of them boil down to the following:
Product promotion is often difficult to tackle properly, especially within the context of an app. Of course, you've designed your app solely to emphasize products, promotion should be fairly straightforward. But, if your app isn't mainly about product placement, you may run into difficulties.
The biggest obstacle is that you cannot (or at least shouldn't) promote the same product to everyone. More often than not, apps have quite a heterogeneous audience. This means that your users will likely prefer different products, which in turn means that you should promote different products. Well, in-app stories are a great solution for this case. As they are dynamic, you can easily automate product promotion according to user behavior. If you understand your audience, it won't take much for you to determine what kind of product they would find interesting, and then promote via an in-app story. You can easily examples of in-app stories where the user always seems to get the right product recommendation, even if they didn't outright say what they were interested in.
App onboarding is rarely easy. While you, as the creator, may find your app easy to use and intuitive, your users may not find it so. Usually, there is a big discrepancy between how app designers perceive an app, and how the user experiences it. In the vast majority of cases, you will have to explain your app to your users and do so while they are using it.
In app design, we call this user onboarding. When tackled properly, it enables your users to seamlessly learn about your app, while using it. This makes your app approachable and fun to use, even for people that aren't tech-savvy. Unfortunately, people tend to learn at different paces and may even focus on different aspects of your app. Therefore, a single program for onboarding may not be the best course to take. Here, again, the dynamic nature of in-app stories comes into play. Not only can you make different recommendations for your customers, but also time them in different segments of their in-app journey. As such, in-app stories can be a terrific tool for user onboarding, especially in the hands of an app designer who knows what it entails.
Getting user data
What we've outlined so far is using in-app stories in conjunction with user behavior. Simply put, you monitor what your customers do in your app, and use in-app stories to address them (be it for product promotion, or for onboarding purposes). But, what if we tell you that in-app stories can not only use user data but can also gather it.
What we are talking about is declared data. Declared data is the user data that the user gives you (their email, their age, their impression of your app). Inferred data is what you get when you monitor their behavior and make deductions on what they are like. As you can imagine, both declared and inferred data are necessary to get a good idea of what your user base is like. And, unfortunately, gathering declared data is seldom easy. Rarely do people enjoy getting yanked out of their in-app experience in order to answer questions or fill out forms. But, if you do need to gather some declared data, in-app stories are the way to go.
Again, if you follow user behavior, you can outline the best periods to request declared data. With in-app stories you can modify your request (be it questions, forms, or rating scales), to increase the odds that the customer will fill them out. As such, in-app stores go a long way in helping you get the often-needed declared data. Once you understand the user experience on your app, you can look to time your in-app stories to maximum effectiveness.
Bridge to the rest of your online presence
One important thing to realize when it comes to marketing and brand awareness is that your app doesn't exist in a vacuum. If you wish to market it properly, it is paramount that you have a website and a social media presence. Ideally, you will first outline what the core idea of your app is, and then use that idea for branding and website design. But, even if you tackle branding properly, you might find it difficult to connect your app to the rest of your online presence. Again, in-app stories come to the rescue.
With in-app stories, you can easily point to social media posts and website pages. In a similar fashion, you can use web stories to guide people from your website or social media profile to your app. Again, the dynamic nature of story content allows you to make the right recommendation at the right time. By doing so you will naturally bridge different platforms, and ensure that both your branding and your marketing are on point. There are plenty of examples of in-app stories where bridging is so seamless that you hardly notice going from one platform to the other.
Connecting in-app stories to your brand
The last point is something we see people often struggle with. On the one hand, they understand that branding does require using different platforms. But, considering how different various online platforms can be, it can be difficult to maintain the same branding throughout. If you factor in story content into this, you might soon get a headache. On the one hand, your in-app stories need to be in line with the rest of your app. On the other, they need to stand out in order to gain attention from your users. So, what are you supposed to do?
Well, the examples of in-app stories we've given you so far all showcase how integral in-app stories are with your app. They shouldn't be seen as outside content jumping in, but integrated content that serves a distinct purpose within your app. This is why we recommend that you first carefully outline the fonts, colors, and visuals that you'll use for your in-app stories. That way you can ensure that all of them are in accordance with your app design and your brand. If necessary, hire a professional designer to create some templates for you. While platforms like StorifyMe give you a ton of tools for experimentation, you really ought to first understand what your brand and your app are all about. Both functionally and stylistically.