Health and fitness apps are still enjoying growth post-pandemic. They became a go-to for fitness enthusiasts who could no longer visit the gym. With a wide range of options for consumers, these apps can attract and retain users with the right strategy. Competition is high, and people can be fickle about loyalty. As a result, you’ll need a cohesive plan to increase app installs and engagement.
The Health and Fitness App Category: A Look at the Numbers
In 2021, the category generated $5.35 billion, which was a 54% year-over-year increase.
Downloads hit an impressive 400 million, as well. The momentum began in 2020 after years of stagnation.
Data from the first part of 2022 show that the leaders in downloads were a mix of apps. Number one is Sweatcoin, which mixes health and gamification, rewarding users for staying active. Others included apps relating to COVID-19 tracing and vitals like blood pressure. Relax was also in the top 10, with sleep, meditation, and relaxation programming.
In terms of revenue, the leaders thus far in 2022 are MyFitnessPal, followed by Fitbit and Strava. These three are more traditional health and fitness apps that support users on weight loss journeys, tracking activities, and training.
As you can see, consumers have an interest in many kinds of apps in the category. No matter what niche, new offerings are popping up, making it critical to focus on both user acquisition (UA) as well as engagement and retention. So, what are your options?
Health and Fitness App UA Strategies
First, you have to get the download, which requires that someone be aware of your app and consider it a good fit for their needs or goals. Your audience may be very broad or more targeted. These UA campaign ideas can move the needle on installs in either situation.
Get Targeted with Keyword Burst Campaigns
App seekers are searchers, so take the opportunity to deploy some targeted keyword burst campaigns. The key to earning a return on these ad types is to be as specific as possible in your keyword choice that represents the type of user you’re seeking and what your app does.
For example, Strava is a fitness app that focuses a lot on sports, not just running, as exercise. It might entice people that are adventurers, kayakers, or skiers. Using those kinds of words in campaigns is specific, so the type of searchers they attract will likely see the value and be a quality install.
Second is timing. Burst campaigns are relatively short, concentrated spends. You can look at your data to see when there are install spikes. It might also be seasonal in nature, like apps that focus on cold or warm weather fitness. In the health genre, apps that track allergies may have more traction in the spring. If you’re in the weight loss genre, January is when people want to begin their fitness journey.
If you can optimize keywords and timing, you can see positive returns.
Tap Social Influencers to Spread the Word
Social influencer app marketing can be successful when you find the right collaborator. You don’t want to work with someone who is a standard celebrity or Instagram “model.” Instead, partner with a micro-influencer with authority specific to your genre so the endorsement is legitimate and authentic. You’ll also want to go with a performance-based model which uses CPI (cost per install) pricing.
Influencers get a unique link to share and get paid when people install your app from that link. In this scenario, you aren’t paying for anything you don’t actually get a return on, and the new users you acquire will be more likely to remain on your app.
Pick the Right Channels
You can advertise your app in so many places, from social media to other apps to OTT (over-the-top)/CTV (connected TV). However, you don’t want to spend in channels where your target audience isn’t. You’ll need to understand your personas and where they discover new apps. Put your budget there but diversify as much as possible.
For example, if you want to engage Gen Z, you’ll find them looking for apps on TikTok. They are also big streamers, so an OTT campaign could be impactful. This demographic also spends most of their mobile time on apps, so placing in-app ads on apps they love is a smart move.
Once you attain these new users, how can you get them to stay and spend?
Increasing Engagement in Health and Fitness Apps
Retaining your users is the foundation of earning revenue from them. In most cases, health and fitness apps have a freemium version with the ability to upgrade to a subscription. Users can also make individual in-app purchases (IAPs). The key to moving them from a free user to a paying one is engagement.
Onboard and Reward
Does your app have an onboarding program? It could be as simple as a few screens, including how to use the app or find tools. Other apps may need a more extended tutorial. The onboarding process is critical to long-term engagement. It gives new users the resources they need to use the app effectively. It also allows you to highlight the value.
Drive users to onboard as soon as they open the app and reward them in return. This could be a discount on a subscription, premium content, or other components with value. To determine if onboarding leads to revenue, track data around this and consider how you can continue to optimize the experience.
Promote Your Most-Loved Features
To get your new users to subscribe or purchase, they have to know what you can deliver. If you’re a fitness app, top instructors may be the draw. If your app focuses on relaxation techniques, some programs are favorites. These are the features to tease and create excitement around continuously.
You can use these to launch CPE (cost per engagement) campaigns. The engagement could be to preview the feature or session. If they complete it, you can then deliver a one-time special price for them to have that feature for the following year.
Work Out a New Plan for Your Health and Fitness App with AdAction
If you want to boost installs and engagement of your health and fitness app, you can’t be stagnant in your strategy. The category is growing, so another company is always looking to take your market share. With these ideas and the help of experts like our team at AdAction, you can work out a new plan to drive success.
Get started by connecting with our team today.
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