Presented by Facebook.

There’s a radical shift happening in the nature of what we consider “the web” today. With 1.5 billion smartphones and 6 billion worldwide expected by 2020 — we’re now more likely to be accessing the web on a device than on desktop. Mobile is such a dominant platform that according to Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz, “Saying ‘mobile internet’ = saying ‘color tv’.”

Today, acquisition is only part of the story for growth. In a constantly-connected world, it’s important to drive retention, engagement, and conversion — on every screen. But how do you do that?

You need to understand your audience, focusing on the complete customer journey across channels and platforms. Do you know who’s visiting your website or using your app? Do you know how often people open it, daily or weekly? Do you know what parts of your app they love and where they’re having problems? If you don’t, or if you’re not sure, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to engage people and keep them coming back.

Here are 4 ways to use cross-platform analytics to grow audience engagement:

1. Focus on people, not cookies or devices

More and more people are using multiple devices to browse and interact with your product. If you’re measuring activity based on cookies or device IDs, you’re missing out on important insights into your customers’ full experience and path to purchase. At Facebook, we believe in thinking about people, not devices. We know that in the course of completing a task, people are likely to switch between multiple platforms and devices. In fact, 53 percent of people who own two devices switch between them to complete tasks or activities, and 77 percent of people who have three or more devices do the same.

It’s important to get a complete picture of customer behavior across your native mobile apps, desktop web, and mobile web presences so you can optimize customer experiences. For example, you may discover that your mobile experience may not be converting users directly, but it’s the first touch point where people engage, and they eventually convert on your website via desktop browser.

2. Know your audience

Truly understanding who’s using your product is the key to smarter marketing and better product design. You’ll want to know their key demographics such as age, gender, location, and language. You may also want to know:

  • Education level or interests
  • Technologies used to access your product, such as device type, operating system, and more
  • Job roles and size of their company (if you’re a B2B product)

Analytics get really interesting when you start looking at the intersection of “who” and “what.” This prompts questions like “Who’s more likely to purchase — men or women?” or “Do people on Samsung phones retain better than those on Apple devices?”

By overlaying things like demographics, interests, and your CRM data on top of behavioral data, you can discover new, game-changing insights for your business.

Facebook Analytics

Above: Example funnel pivoted by gender in Facebook Analytics for Apps

3. Optimize the customer experience

Timing is everything when it comes to re-engaging your audience. Each audience is different and responds better at certain days and times, so it’s important to optimize your marketing campaigns accordingly. Base your strategy around when your audience is most likely to respond to push notifications or emails, and remind them about your app.

To determine the best timing, messaging, and content, you’ll need to experiment. Track which changes work best and measure the results so you can improve conversion in the future. Optimize everything across the customer experience — from on-boarding flows, to button copy and placement, speed, and more. Any improvements you can make to improve results are worth the effort.

4. Re-engage to maximize retention

To maximize retention, you need to continually provide captivating experiences to your audience, ensuring that they’ll want to return to your app. Look at your analytics and identify areas of drop-off, then adjust to help keep people in your app.

For example, social or dating apps are a more engaging experience for people when they’ve completed their profiles. E-commerce apps can dramatically improve conversion if they remind people about items they left in their cart. Whatever your use case may be, you can gently remind your audience to convert using an ad, push notification, or email. These reminders have proven to be effective, driving a 180 percent higher retention rate after 3 months among users who opt-in to these notifications. When used correctly, re-engagement can super-charge your growth.

Use the right tools to drive success

To achieve your goals, getting to know your audience and providing a great experience are key. For insights into who your ideal and most valuable customers are, as well as how you can improve results, you need a powerful analytics solution with deep metrics.

With Facebook Analytics for Apps, you have seamless, cross-platform reporting in one centralized location. Using this tool, you can quickly access demographics data and advanced features like cohorts, funnels, and push notifications to drive engagement and growth — at scale.

Josh Twist is Product Manager for Facebook Analytics for Apps.

cell phone.shutterstock_143129299Dive deeper: Learn more about boosting retention and acquiring new customers. Download these free white papers from Facebook Analytics for Apps:

6 Steps to Increase Engagement with Push Notification Campaigns

Five Tips to Grow your App

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