Strategy and Innovation

The mobile app content ecosystem part 1: apps differ from websites

Here’s a fact that may not be super obvious to everyone:

Mobile apps live in their own content ecosystem, which is analogous to, yet different from, the content ecosystem of a website.

Let’s break this down a bit more.

What do I mean by “mobile apps”? I’m talking about native apps built for the iOS and Android operating systems.

What do I mean by “content ecosystem”? I’m referring to how users find your content through search engines (Google) and links. It also includes how you manage content (like form field labels, error messages, articles, and more) that appears inside your app. And I’m also referring to how you re-engage with users through notifications.

Why is this important to understand? Most folks who’ve built an app know that getting your app downloaded and used over time is a challenge. But fortunately, the mobile app content ecosystem gives us some tools that can help us meet—and overcome—those challenges. When we populate an app’s ecosystem with great content that people find helpful, they’ll gladly use the app again and again.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s explore the mobile app content ecosystem!

mobile app content ecosystem

4 critical content components of mobile apps

Over the course of this series, I plan to cover 4 components of content strategy for mobile apps. These components make up the mobile app content ecosystem.

Those 4 components are:

  1. App indexing
  2. Push notifications
  3. Product content (I group in-app messages and omnichannel content under this category)
  4. Store optimization

You can remember them using the handy acronym APPS.

Each of these components is pretty important to your app’s discovery, use, and retention. So they’re critical if you want people to:

  • Find your app in the store
  • Download your app
  • Use your app
  • Maybe pay money for things in your app
  • Return to your app again and again

It’s okay if you’ve never heard of one—or all!—of those components. I’ll explain them at a high level first, and then give you more resources so that you can continue to learn as much as you want.

In the next post in this series, I’ll discuss app indexing: what is it, and why should you use it?

Editor’s note: This blog post is the first in a series about the mobile app content ecosystem:

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