Google has always been at the forefront of technological innovations that impact user behaviour. Its influence has driven mobile device manufacturers and other digital platforms to continue to improve the engine’s accessibility, creating a generation of consumers who have a vast collection of information right at their fingertips.
The ability to access information goes both ways, though. When Google introduced the concept of micro-moments, business owners and marketers gained better insight on consumers’ online behaviour. Understanding these moments has become the prerogative across different industries because of its crucial role in the creation of ROI-boosting business strategies.
For businesses from Maine to Denver, SEO, PPC, and other digital marketing tactics use the data gleaned from the micro-moments to inform their tactics and improve reach. So, what exactly are micro-moments and how can you use them for your business?
Google’s Micro-Moments and the Customer Journey
Google defines micro-moment as the instance when a consumer turns to their mobile device to satisfy a need. This need is then classified into four distinct brackets which define specific milestones in the customer journey. When applied in your business strategy, you gain a clearer insight on how to approach your audience.
During this micro-moment, the consumer is on the awareness stage of their customer journey. They are still researching the product or service they are interested in. Oftentimes, they just want useful information to help them decide what their next step would be. A hard-sell approach during this micro-moment would drive potential customers away from your business.
I-Want-to-Go moments, much like the name suggests, are those often followed by action. When the consumer is in this micro-moment, they are at the decision-making or consideration stage of the customer journey. Searches are often punctuated with “near me” and “closest;” consumers are more likely to follow through with their decision to make a transaction during this micro-moment. As a business owner, you have to ensure that you are prepared to engage with them during this stage to gain customers.
In this micro-moment, the consumer is searching for information on how to carry out a task. Additionally, they also look for new things to try out. Your brand’s role at this stage is to provide consumers with relevant and useful information. This is the time where you entice them with content that illustrates where and how they can use your products and services. When done correctly, this can influence a transaction with your business.
During this micro-moment, the consumer is ready to make a purchase. But they need help in deciding what to buy and how to buy it. The searches here would often include prices, reviews, and other types of information that provide deciding factors. What they find will ultimately influence their next steps.
Out of the four, I-Want-to-Buy moments are arguably the most important. As the stage wherein you can convert your target audience into your customer, it is important that you don’t lose them here.
How to Use Micro-Moments in Business
With an in-depth understanding of micro-moments, you can create strategies that target your audience at crucial stages throughout their customer journey. It is a matter of evaluating metrics — from online sales to the number of clicks to your site — and identifying their role in optimizing your overall marketing strategy.
Identify the Appropriate Presence at Each Micro-Moment
Being there with a solution when they need something is important for your consumers and, consequently, your business performance. To manage this, your presence at each micro-moment should be relevant. Evaluate your brand’s “share of intent” metric for category-relevant searches. Doing so helps close presence gaps in your marketing strategy.
- I-Want-to-Know Moments: Satisfy their curiosity by presenting relevant information which can inspire them to consider your brand.
- I-Want-to-Go Moments: Make sure your business is within your target audience’s vicinity. Use digital marketing tactics to make your presence known in the areas you operate in.
- I-Want-to-Do Moments: Provide consumers with additional information that can support your product or service.
- I-Want-to-Buy Moments: Be there with the information they need to make a transaction. Never assume that they will seek your out in their quest to find the best deal.
Design Experiences that Encourage Engagement
After identifying the type of presence necessary at each micro-moment, you have to make sure it counts every time. Usefulness will entice consumers to engage with your brand. Data like device, location, and even time will help you determine where consumers are in their customer journey.
- I-Want-to-Know Moments: Give consumers what they want — digestible yet informational content. Answer the queries they input in search engines.
- I-Want-to-Go Moments: Localize your content by directing them to your physical store in the area. For e-commerce, make it known that your products and services are available in their area.
- I-Want-to-Do Moments: Use creative content, such as infographics and videos, to educate consumers on how to get something done.
- I-Want-to-Buy Moments: Empower consumers to purchase through multiple platforms. Smartphone users are more likely to buy from you if you have an online store or an app.
Organize Touchpoints to Tie Each Micro-Moment Together
Consumers these days seamlessly move from one platform to the next. In viewing metrics from these devices together, you can identify the role each one has in your business. This will help you develop optimized strategies for the best consumer experience.
- On mobile devices: Although consumers use their smartphones to look for information, they don’t always use it to complete the transaction. Aside from looking at mobile sales, see how this platform contributed to their overall customer journey. This will help you create tactics that will improve their experience in the future.
- On physical stores: The accessibility brought on by technology has decreased the amount of foot traffic in physical stores. But it has also created a community of consumers that know exactly what they want when they do visit one. Use micro-moments to inform potential customers that the store near them carries the item they need. This is one of the ways you can tie your multiple platforms together.
Adopting the latest innovations and using the latest tools are all part of growing and developing a sustainable business in the digital age. Educating yourself on Google’s micro-moments allows you to develop well-strategized digital marketing campaigns that deliver positive results for your business.