As the online revolution continues, one idea that has captured the imagination of marketers is micro-moments. For some time, we were happy throwing out as much marketing material as possible in hopes of gaining interest. We’re now realizing that it’s far more efficient to reach out to customers at the right time and appear when they need us most. This has led to the magic of micro-moments.
As consumers become increasingly reliant on mobile devices, we as marketers need to address user intent and be accessible when they need us. We’ll go through micro-moments, why they’re important and how you can find the most valuable with them in your niche.
Whenever we have a question or a need, these days we turn to our devices as a reflex—although it’s usually our phones, it could also be a tablet, laptop or computer. A large percentage of micro-moments come from mobile devices because they’re always within reaching distance, and we can find answers within seconds.
We’ve spoken about micro-moments as generic actions so far, but they can actually be split into four major needs:
Need to Know - In these moments, users have a simple question and need an answer. In just a few years, the number of people looking up information has skyrocketed. In the past, curiosity often went unanswered. Now, we’re learning answers and digging deeper into topics than ever before.
Need to Do - According to one study, nine in ten people turn to their smartphone when looking for ideas/help during a task. Additionally, ‘how-to’ content and guides are all over the internet. In addition to blog posts, we have video guides on YouTube and other forms of how-to content.
Need to Go - Need a local hair salon? Search it. Need a shoe repair shop? Search it. It’s thought that over eight in ten people turn to a search engine when looking for a local service. As marketers and businesses, this has made Google My Business and similar features invaluable.
Need to Buy - This becomes even more important as more people spend their money on mobile devices. If you can be ready for people who are searching with a need to buy, you will make money and earn new customers.
As a business or marketer, you need to understand the different stages of the buying journey and how to meet them with the right content at the right times. By doing this, you’ll get conversions at each stage and take full advantage of every micro-moment. The very best brands look into trends and search data in order to determine the type of content that consumers need. When you understand intent, it’s easier to match content to your audience. You create content that resonates, and they ultimately gain useful or interesting reads. With a complete strategy, you’ll have different content relating to micro-moments along the purchasing funnel.
Micro-moments aren’t exactly a new idea. Nike is a positive example that illuminates how to introduce this technique effectively. After looking at the data, they realized that nearly two-thirds of all searches were made when a big sporting occasion was broadcasted on TV. As a result, they tried to play on this with the 3D Phenomenal Shot campaign. This campaign displayed players at their best in some of history’s greatest moments. After noticing this trend, Nike was able to introduce content and campaigns that leveraged micro-moments and encouraged conversion.
If you’re going to make the most of micro-moments, you need to understand your audience and the intent behind their searches. Can you interpret data and identify the time when more people need to buy? Can you pinpoint parts of the week where the need to know is higher?
According to Google, seven in ten believe that their perception of a brand changes depending on the timing, quality and relevance of its message. To boost engagement and results this year, you need to be on top of micro-moments.
As a brand, the biggest problem you’re likely to encounter is identifying the micro-moments worth chasing. We have five tips that will help you do exactly this. They’ll help you find the micro-moments that will put you ahead of the competition.
The place to start with micro-moments is mobile. Although it varies across niches, at least three-quarters of searches come from mobile devices, so it doesn’t make sense to start anywhere else. What are people searching for when they’re on their smartphones?
For businesses with store locations, you might find that a significant percentage of searches are ‘near me’ moments. For example, a car mechanic might see that lots of locals are looking for mechanics near them. Moving forward, your strategy should be Google My Business and other tactics that allow you to appear near the top of search engine results. You want your name to be one of the first that people see when they search. To gain more calls, you’ll need positive reviews, testimonials and correct and visible contact information.
Let’s take another example. Mechanics might find that people are searching the cost of repairs. It could be something as generic as replacing a headlight or restarting a dead battery. When people search for how to replace a headlight, you have the opportunity to become an authoritative source of information if you provide the right content. They might just follow your social media accounts, spend time on your website or even get in touch.
Open communication with consumers is extremely important. Instead of trying to guess what they want and need, you can instead ask directly with surveys. These days, something like Google Consumer Surveys helps us gain insights into micro-moments quickly. In the past, surveys would ask about features and brand perceptions. While this is useful, it’s often difficult to interpret. With this in mind, we recommend asking questions when customers look to their smartphone for answers (as well as where and why).
Let’s look at a kitchen repair supplier. It might be that people search for this type of service on their smartphone after buying a replacement mixer tap cartridge. They’ve been told that replacing the cartridge on a leaky tap is simple and they have the tools and product, but are unaware of where to start. To help consumers, you could create an article or video tutorial explaining the process in simple terms (while advertising your repair service for those who aren’t confident).
Why not make the survey process a physical one with in-store interviews? If you see people using their mobile device in-store, ask them what they’re searching. Without invading their privacy, you can improve the store experience and use this information as a basis for online content. If they’re in your store and find your content, you’ll win them over in no time.
What do people want in the moment? Another way to tell is to look at the most common queries in your niche. Start the search with the following and you should find the questions that people ask most frequently:
While performing this research, we advise analyzing the difference between smartphones and other devices. You might find that people search different things and ask different questions on mobile as opposed to desktop.
Our final tip is to take advantage of the whole team when learning about consumers and their needs. Brainstorm with all team members and encourage them to share what they’ve learned from customers. Your customer service team might get the same questions over and over, and the marketing department can create a useful FAQs guide in response. Not only does the customer experience improve, your team gains free time to deal with more important tasks.
Use these tips and take charge of micro-moments today.
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