You’re ironing your shirt one morning when all of a sudden your iron makes a loud BANG, sending the little red light off. You flick the switch off and on again to no avail. It’s completely stuffed. After cursing the appliance, you whip out your phone and type “top-rated irons” into your search browser to start looking for a replacement.
What just happened? Ask anyone clued in about the latest digital marketing trends and they’ll probably call it a ‘micro-moment’. Micro-moments is a term Google coined to describe the point when thought sparks the beginning of a customer’s purchase journey using a device (usually mobile).
According to Google, these moments are needs driven, and can be segmented into three categories: ‘I want to know’, ‘I want to go’, ‘I want to buy’, and ‘I want to do’ moments.
See Google’s examples of micro-moments in this video:
Anything but unremarkable
Understanding micro-moments gives businesses great insight into buyer behavior and decision-making in the digital age. Optimising for micro-moments gives brands an advantage over competitors and can speed up their customer’s buying journey. Before you dismiss them as irrelevant, statistics show micro-moments are relevant to every business. Consider the following:
- 87% of Millennials, currently aged loosely between 20 and 36, have smartphones by their side constantly, day and night (source).
- On average, we engage in 76 sessions per day on our mobile devices (source).
- 82% of smartphone users report consulting their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store (source).
- 91% of smartphone users turn to their phones for ideas mid-task (source).
Google suggests there are three key factors to success when it comes to micro-moments. In order to capitalize on these moments, brands must obey the following three commandments:
1. Be there
To the disappointment of branding aficionados, when it comes to micro-moments businesses need not worry about ‘being there’ in an intangible emotional way, or even ‘being there’ in the front-of-mind. Research shows 90% of smartphone users are not certain of who they want to buy from when they begin looking for information online.
Instead, to ‘be there’, brands must show up in Google search results with mobile-optimised content. It’s simple enough in theory, but optimising for search and mobile can be daunting tasks to even the most experienced marketing managers. As a result, businesses often outsource to agencies with specialised search engine optimisation (SEO) services.
There are few limits to how in-depth you can get with optimisation. For a business looking to ‘be there’ for micro-moments, it’s certainly worth looking at whether the type of device, time of day or location of your micro-moments call for a more tailored approach to SEO.
2. Be Useful
Unfortunately, to capture the interest and desire of your audience in their ‘I want to know’, ‘I want to go’, ‘I want to do’, and ‘I want to buy’ moments, you need to go a little further than just turning up. To succeed, businesses must publish timely, relevant and original content joining the searcher and the information they want in an instant.
It cannot be overstated how important ‘being useful’ is in terms of influencing, and completely transforming, a buying journey in a micro-moment. According to Google, more than half of smartphone users have purchased from a business other than the one they originally intended to because of the usefulness of the content, and
“Consumers gravitate toward brands with snackable, educational content—not brands giving the hard sell.”
Considering these facts, it’s safe to say content marketing can be a total game changer in this context.
Strategic content marketing considers how a consumer can be helped through the provision of information at any point in time. A business looking to ‘be useful’ in micro-moments would create different content tailored to the different ‘I want to know’, ‘I want to go’, ‘I want to do’, and ‘I want to buy’ moments they may encounter. For example, whereas ‘I want to know’ moments may be better suited to written content, an ‘I want to do’ moment could be better served by a ‘how to’ video.
3. Be Quick
Slow and steady does not win the race of micro-moments. Instead, businesses need to anticipate the needs of their audience, eliminate barriers to decision-making and deliver instantly. For the ‘be quick’ step, web design and page usability are paramount. Mobile users in a micro-moment are in a hurry, and a slow page speed or gating information with an online form before access are enough to end their interest of your information.
Does the idea of incorporating micro-moments into your marketing strategy have appeal but leave you wondering where to begin? Start with giving Lush a call. Our dedicated strategy team are across the latest digital marketing trends.
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