The term “micro-moments marketing” has gained quite a bit of traction in digital marketing circles. If you’re a part of this world or follow any marketing blogs, you’re sure to have come across it. But, what are micro-moments, and why are they becoming increasingly important?
What Are Micro-moments?
Essentially, micro-moments are the various small interactions between brands and consumers across a variety of channels — the touchpoints that drive engagement. It is the exact moment we turn to our devices to look for a product, seek a service, find information on a place we want to travel to, or research an activity we want to do.
Google’s content marketing team first put forward the concept of micro-moments to describe these countless moments when we reflexively go online to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. And, by tapping into this small but crucial part of the buying journey, as marketers and communicators, we can shape and improve the consumer’s experience and leverage these moments to interact with our customers in more meaningful ways. If done well, this interaction can play a crucial role in the entire decision-making process of the buyer.
How Can Micro-moments Help Your Marketing Efforts?
The shift to mobile devices presents a massive opportunity to get closer to our potential customers at moments of intent than ever before. Mobile devices are an indelible part of our lives. There is plenty of data to indicate that the time we spend attached to our smartphones has increased exponentially with top users spending as much as 4.5 hours on their smartphones per day. The high levels of usage mean there are innumerable opportunities for brands to reach our target audiences.
These moments can be used to enhance search marketing performance, but to create real engagement, we need to be visible at the right moment on the right channel, in an authentic way. Interactions during these micro-moments should feel less like overt signs pointing out the way and more like natural curves in the pathway, and this can take a little art and a little science to get right.
According to Google, there are four key micro-moments that marketers need to be aware of—I-want-to-know moments, I-want-to-go moments, I-want-to-do moments, and I-want-to-buy moments. If we can be there at the right time, providing valuable answers coupled with a seamless user experience, we are well on our way to making the most of these micro-moments.
Game-changer Concept For Brands And Customers
In today’s time of smartphones, planning our marketing efforts to roll out linearly just doesn’t work. Unlike what many marketing books and gurus tell us, the buyer journey isn’t split into well-defined stages, like awareness, consideration, and decision. We need to be more aware of the thousands of real-time micro-moments that a consumer experiences every day and take these to shape a more insightful decision-making journey.
These days, we have such high expectations from brands and what they ‘give’ to us, and we expect it to be seamless and fast and serve up some instant gratification. Given the number of choices we get bombarded with every day, we often don’t have the patience to engage with a brand that doesn’t mirror our values in some way. We no longer appreciate being asked to fill lengthy forms (did we ever?) or get pushed to check-out pages, and buying decisions are often made on the spur of the moment as we scroll through Insta. Additionally, brand loyalty levels are at an all-time low, and most buyers aren’t loyal to one specific brand and will often seek an option that fulfils their needs in the best possible way.
As a result, the relevance and usefulness of our marketing messages are more critical than ever before. A brand that does the best job of addressing a customer’s need in a particular micro-moment stands to enjoy a considerable advantage.
Adjust Your Marketing Strategy and Tactics To Make The Most Of Micro-moments
The best way to succeed using micro-moments is to pair it with a robust omnichannel plan, ensuring you ‘show up in these micro-moments. It’s important to start by mapping the journey your customers take from becoming aware of your product to then purchasing (and don’t forget after purchase), and then create micro-experiences that aim to engage them at each step.
Here are a few important questions to answer before you kick-off:
- Where do customers first learn about you, your product or your service?
- What is the origin of this moment?
- What are the typical steps in between this moment and a purchase?
- How long does this process usually take?
- What online and offline resources does the customer use during this process?
- What are the pain points or objections the customer faces during this process?
Once you have a map of your customer journey and understand their needs at each step, the real fun starts and you can create the content and experiences to address these needs and take them on the journey. And, don’t forget to measure performance. This is key to knowing which tactics you should scale up that work and which to do away with. And, how experimental you can get with your ideas.
Production quality is no longer the most crucial aspect of the content you put out. An impromptu selfie can fetch you more likes and engagement than a painstakingly art-directed layout. More emphasis must be placed on the value of the content rather than executing it flawlessly.
Another essential aspect to consider is the fair value exchange. Ask yourself what your consumers are getting out of their interaction with you or your brand. Each interaction must leave them with value in the form of information, offers, or a genuine and unique experience or support. This will ensure that your brand stands out from the clutter and your customers keep coming back.
To engage consumers on the right channels with messages and content that resonates with them, we must rethink our tactics—steering away from siloed engagements performing independently and moving toward interactions that provide a fluid experience; identifying what particular interactions customers expect along the journey, and how we can deliver them.