Take a moment out of your day to learn about the latest mobile-driven trend that’s disrupting digital marketing: Micro-moments, the short bursts of attention customers spend on mobile devices to buy, search, watch, or locate something are offering major payoffs to marketers.
For a quick definition, a micro-moment is an intent-driven action powered by a mobile device.
Now a trending hashtag in digital marketing circles, #micromoments emerged in a Google AdWords study earlier this year. It found that searches on mobile devices already outnumber desktop searches in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.
“Billions of times per day, consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments. And at these times, consumers are increasingly picking up their smartphones for answers,” concluded Jerry Dischler, VP Product Management, AdWords.
Right here, right now
When customers search the Web with specific questions, it pays off for brands to have the answers – and have them quickly. The real-time dimension of micro-moments is disrupting the digital marketing playbook, with in-the-moment needs trumping long-term strategies.
According to Google, the share of mobile devices in Web sessions has increased by 20% over the past year, but the average time spent per website visit has dropped by 18%.
But while people are generally spending less time on a website – mostly because they have a clear intent or need in mind – the consequences of these visits during micro moments can be immediate with direct impact on the bottom line, especially in retail.
As retail statistics confirm, 82% of smartphone users utilize their phones in-store for making informed purchase decisions, and Google also notes a 8.29% increase in mobile conversion rates.
But here’s the catch: 1 in 10 customers decides to buy a different product based on short mobile research. Quite a significant impact for a few seconds worth of engagement in a fleeting moment…
Seize the (Micro) Moment
So how can marketers get in on this building trend? First of all, it might be time to say goodbye to the linear customer journey. Or better yet, time to get acquainted with the idea that what used to be a linear sequence of milestones is increasingly becoming a Choose Your Own Adventure Book in the hands of mobile-powered customers.
Now, customers may still hit some of the major milestones of your customer journey, but in an order of their own choosing; one micro-moment sized bite at a time.
This calls for updating mobile marketing strategies with a few small tweaks that can prove the upper hand, including these 7 Ways to Boost Your Digital Marketing with Micro-Moments:
1. Provide small steps towards Big Goals. In today’s busy society, hyper-connected consumers are always juggling several major projects at the same time. In the AdWords study, 90% of smartphones have used their phone while out of their homes to make progress on a long-term or multi-step goal.
Marketers can guide the way with SEO-optimized content and the right AdWords to match specific searches. Take the Big Picture perspective and attain a thorough understanding of what your customers want and need inside of the micro-moments you’ve identified. Whether it’s designing new product features or providing location-based, real-time content, the emphasis should be on delivering a customer-centric user experience that feels real, relevant and personal – with all the small steps toward completing the Big Picture.
2. Optimize for mobile. Out of all strategies listed here, this should be #1. It’s essential to understand how your brand experience holds up across channels—is it a seamless journey across screens, covering various points in the conversion funnel? Make sure you have the right technology or technology partner in place to support your overall audience engagement strategy and to ensure the best possible user experience.
The payoffs are enormous – and so are the pitfalls: According to Google, 69% of consumers search new travel ideas in micro-moments. But if a website is not mobile-optimized, only 23% of leisure travelers ultimately book through the site.
3. Be found where the action is. Investing in local search marketing is the next logical step in serving micro-moments when and where they happen. Since 2011, “Near Me” search volume on Google has increased 34-fold. And it downright doubled in 2014, while about 80% of “Near Me” searches now come from mobile devices.
As a result, brick-and-mortar businesses are making use of a suite of new mobile-focused ad formats, for instance detailed listings on maps and localized search lists. This is accompanied by new, location-based measurement products for measuring ROI (see 7.).
4. Get used to the pace. Customers are on the fast track to making their purchase, so marketers need to keep up with the speed. In a Google study with Ipsos called “Consumers in the Micro-Moment,” 60% online consumers attested to now making purchasing decisions faster because of available online research.
It’s a breakneck speed: eCommerce marketers have 10 seconds or less to interact with their customers (Entrepreneur Magazine). Planning ahead is key, for instance by controlling product reviews and reputation, optimizing for mobile (see 2.), and providing content for individual steps of the customer journey (see 1.).
5. Offer guidance. Who reads manuals these days when you can read step-by-step guides online? Consumers want experiences that feel personal and address their unique needs in real-time, especially when it comes to getting the best out of products and services they already own (major loyalty-building potential, right here.)
The real-life impact is enormous: 62% of smartphone users are more likely to tackle an unexpected problem or start a new task because they feel empowered by their smartphones. Written tutorials are a great way to boost content marketing ROI – instructable videos are even better: Over 100 million hours of “how-to” content have already been watched on YouTube this year, and counting.
6. Automation is great, but sometimes you just have to be there. Some micro-moments can unfold on social media, perhaps as a comment on a post, or a re-Tweet that garners additional responses. Brands can drive major wins by having the right answers – and be the first brand to do so in the right moment. Customer: “Cool shoes, but are they also available in white to match my new #jeans?” Brand: “For sure, here is the link.” That’s how you #win on social media!
Answering a customer question or comment in a timely and needs-oriented manner can lead to direct conversion effects – for instance buying a product – and most definitely will affect brand perception and loyalty in the long run. It’s magic when it happens, and don’t forget to high-five your social media team.
7. Adjust your metrics. Gathering meaningful insights from your users will form the foundation for any successful strategy. While you might not be able to track ROI for every micro-moment directly, there are an increasing number of ways to make your anonymous audience addressable.
The key lies in having relevant content ready across all channels for these Want-to-know, Want-to-go, Want-to-do, and Want-to-buy moments. According to Google 66% of smartphone users research products they saw on TV with their phones. In this broad playing field, data-driven, omnichannel marketing solutions offer a host of innovative products and features to help track on-line behavior and capture the data that matters.
The brands that do the best job at addressing consumers with personalized, relevant content in the micro-moment will drive conversion, increase positive brand perception, and create valuable, lasting connections with their customers.
As a one-stop solution for covering these diverse needs in one powerful package, the Selligent omnichannel audience engagement platform uses rich data analytics to provide 360-degree audience insights and offers customer journey mapping capabilities to deliver optimal audience engagement to customers and prospects alike.
The rise of the micro-moment
This white paper describes the ascendance of the micro-moment, a term coined by Google, referencing the instance where consumers turn to an Internet-enabled device to search, learn, find or buy something.