Two years ago, Google came up with the concept of micro-moments to describe a new consumer behavior trend. In the world where most of us have smartphones in our pockets, people have started to expect immediate answers when they need to know something, do something, or buy something. Now, midway through 2017, it’s obvious that micro-moments are only multiplying and marketers have to utilize every second they have with a potential customer. Here are the most crucial things you need to know to create a kickass micro-moment marketing strategy.

So What Are Micro-Moments?

Google has defined micro-moments as intent-driven moments in which consumers make their decisions and shape their preferences. Meanwhile, The American Marketing Association offers a more specific view, calling them mobile moments in which a person pulls out a mobile device to immediately get what he or she wants. Either way, the main philosophy behind these moments is that consumers reflexively turn to a device to fulfill their needs – to compare prices, to decide what movie to watch, to read the news. And they expect brands to deliver immediate answers.

Google has distinguished between 4 different micro-moments, each of which has its specifics:

  1. “I-Want-to-Know Moments” when customers are responding to information that provides an answer or solution to a question they’re interested in.
  2. “I-Want-to-Go Moments” when customers are more responsive to directions, maps and local search results, rather than to product information.
  3. “I-Want-to-Do Moments” when customers are looking for a practical guide to complete a task and respond better to tips, recipes, tutorials and how-to videos.
  4. “I-Want-to-Buy Moments” that happens when customers have decided to make a purchase and are looking for best deals and offers.

So what does this all mean? As a recent article by Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas Lisa Gevelber argues, three new consumer behaviors have emerged:

  1. The “well-advised” consumer. Mobile has empowered people to make the right decisions by simplifying the way research can be done.
  2. The “right here” consumer. People expect that their digital experiences will be tailored to the location they are at the moment.
  3. The “right now” consumer. People have become more reliant on their smartphones to make last minute decisions or spur-of-the-moment decisions.

Why Bother?

Recent data has pointed to important trends in consumer behavior that just cannot be overlooked:

 

  • Consumers spend an average of 4.7 hours each day on their smartphones.
  • 91% of smartphone users look up information while completing a task.
  • Mobile searches for “best” have grown 80% in the past two years.
  • 82% of them consult their smartphones while making a purchase decision in a store. 1 out of 10 of them ends up buying a product they did not plan to buy.
  • 90% of smartphone users are not certain of the specific brand they want to buy.
  • 69% of online consumers admit that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influence their perception of a brand.
  • 1 out of 3 smartphone users has purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended because it provided information at the moment they needed it.
  • According to Adobe, shopping from mobile devices accounted for a record-breaking $1.2 billion on Black Friday 2016.
  • Mobile ad spend is expected to double from $100 billion (2016) to nearly $200 billion (2019), accounting for over 70 percent of digital ad spend worldwide.

Taking that into account, clearly, it’s more important than ever to understand this new consumer behavior and build your marketing strategies accordingly. Here are some of the most powerful ways for marketers to communicate with their target market, establish brand loyalty, strengthen customer relationships and nurture conversions in the age of micro-moments.

1. Be Mobile and Fast

It should be clear by now that your website must be optimised for mobile. However, do not forget that the user experience must be seamless. The recent Facebook’s announcement to join Google in ranking faster loading mobile pages higher has proven that the speed matters. People check their phones in these “micro-moments” and expect to receive what they’re looking for immediately.

Try out these tools to easily evaluate your site’s mobile friendliness and mobile page speed:

Domino’s Pizza app has streamlined pizza ordering to just a few clicks and is a great example of speed and ease-of-use.

2. Put Yourself In Your Customers’ Shoes

Before creating any content, start by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. Do a walk-through of the customer journey and observe what you see. Think about who is your audience, what are their habits, preferences and demographics. Try to identify whether the customer is in an “I-want-to-know” or “I-want-to-be-inspired” stage and offer the content accordingly.

It’s crucial to understand how consumers are searching for your brand. The easiest way to gain some valuable insights is by using Google Analytics 360 Suite, that helps you better understand people, their behavior, so your business can deliver value in the moments they need it most. Google Insights for Search or an alternative Keyword Tool offer a comprehensive set of statistics based on search volume and patterns. L’Oréal is a great example of how search insights can provide not only unique consumer analytics but also show how to engage this audience with the content they’re most interested in. Using search data, L’Oréal identified a desire among its audience for an ombré hair style. By analyzing the search patterns, it came clear that more consumers wished to achieve the Ombré look at home, which lead to L’Oréal creating an at-home ombré hair kit.

3. Predict Micro-Moments

Research has shown that “moments-ready” companies realize higher ROI in both mobile and overall marketing investment. So once you have explored your audience, consider what types of questions they would ask before purchasing your product or service. Understand when, where and why micro-moments occur for your consumer and how your brand fits in. The goal is to Identify moments that matter and create content that provides exactly what the customer is looking for at any given time.

Nike, for instance, noticed that 63% of searches during big sports games happened on mobile devices. Exploring Google data, the company realized that fans were using mobile devices to find game statistics. As an answer to that, Nike developed 3D Phenomenal Shot campaign that let fans from around the world remix and share pivotal moments from the world’s greatest players—just seconds after those moments happened. This way, Nike ensured that its brand is accessible to consumers anytime, any place.

Nike

Image source: http://quanhoang.com

4. Be There & Be Relevant

Brand 24 research showed that in one month around 30,000 searches started with ‘Where can I buy?’ but around 60% of these questions never received responses from companies. This points to a huge opportunity for your brand to be there in the right moment. While searching at a desktop or from their phones, people are looking for businesses close to them. To ensure your local presence, list your business on Google Local, Bing, Yahoo, and other such sites. Also, don’t forget to update your review strategy and local keywords.

You have to remember that if you can’t give consumers what they want, they will turn to the next brand. So not only you have to be there geographically, but you also have to provide useful content. At micro-moments users have only a few minutes to look for answers so don’t make them keep digging for information.

Take an example from Red Roof Inn: the company noticed that they get the highest web traffic when airlines cancel their flights and people search for accommodation and they need a place immediately. The company created a geo-targeted campaign with custom flight-tracking technology to process thousands of bits of cancellation data in real time. The tool put Red Roof Inn in front of 75% of last-minute queries in the number one position and led to conversion rates rising 375%, and reservations from organic traffic increasing by 60%.

5. Analyze Your Performance

As you start implementing micro-moment marketing in your strategy, make sure you are tracking your leads and other data. Analyze your performance to get a better idea of what your future customers want and whether or not you’re providing it. Some tools that can help are:

  • BuzzSumo is a research and monitoring tool that allows you to identify the best performing content in any niche.
  • Ahrefs is a web analysis tool that features a site explorer, keyword and domain mentions tracker, and a backlink checker.
  • Capsulink is a URL shortener that protects from traffic loss, damaged external links and offers insightful analytics.
  • Google Analytics helps to track website traffic, measuring advertising ROI, and monitoring your social networking sites and applications.

Have you identified any important micro-moments in your industry? Share your successes in the comments!

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