No matter where you go these days, you'll find people nose deep in their phones - on the bus, in line at Starbucks, or even as they wait for a meal at a restaurant. These gaps of time are known as micro-moments, and have become the newest frontier for marketers.
These moments are an enormous opportunity, as the average consumer experiences them about 150 times a day. Research shows that on average, people spend an astonishing one-third of their waking time on their mobile devices. About 55 percent of this time is spent in short bursts of 30 seconds or less.
So how do we take advantage of these micro-moments in our marketing strategy? There are three critical components to keep in mind.
1. What Are They Searching for at That Moment?
Google has identified four predominant types of searches people perform during micro-moments:
- When people want to know something. They want to research a topic or answer a question quickly.
- When people want to go somewhere. People on-the-go, either in their car or on foot, want to easily and quickly access directions to their intended destination.
- When people want to do something. Want to finish a recipe or put up a shelf? Google it!
- Or, when they want to buy something. See something you like while you’re out, pay for your morning coffee with your iPhone, or finish that purchase you’ve been thinking about for a while.
So, what are your customers and visitors most likely after?
If you’re a local ice cream shop, people searching for you are most likely looking for your address. If you’re a news source, your visitors are most likely looking to be entertained. If you own an online store, your visitors want to easily research or purchase products.
Understand what your visitors and customers are looking for in their micro-moment interactions, and offer that to them! Research the most-searched topics for your company, products or industry – these will be great topics to start with. Likewise, Google Analytics and website tracking can provide great insight into how your visitors navigate your website.
Mobile users in the throes of a micro-moment often carry the experience over across multiple channels. For example:
- 69% of people who identify as leisure travelers search for travel ideas on their mobile phones during micro-moments. Half of them go on to book travel through other means.
- 82% of smartphone users research products on their phones while they’re in the store, and 10% of them end up buying a different product elsewhere.
- 73% of purchases that follow a mobile search take place in a physical store.
Target realized the power of this shift toward omnichannel purchasing experiences during Black Friday, when they discovered a full three-fourths of their shoppers were beginning their purchases on mobile before completing the process in store.
This prompted the Target marketing team to shift their shopping experience to a mobile-first approach. Rather than having disparate teams, Target combined their online, mobile and in-store teams into one unit responsible for curating merchandise and facilitating customer experience across all channels. Today, omnichannel shoppers are Target’s most valuable customers, spending three times more on average than buyers who stick to one channel. By removing the silos around their online and in-store teams, they were able to better serve their customers.
As you consider your customer journeys, keep in mind that omnichannel experiences are inevitable. They start with mobile micro-moments, but where do they head to next? Where do they complete the purchase? How do you keep the conversation going? If you can anticipate these transitions, you'll be better prepared to give your customers the seamless experiences they expect.
3. Fit Your Content to the Moment
It’s unlikely your visitors will read lengthy op-eds in that thirty second window. Still, these are key touch points along the modern customer journey. The trick is to provide value while keeping your message short and sweet.
So, where are they going for their quick content fix?
It should be no surprise social platforms are a popular starting point, and a critical component of a micro-moment marketing strategy. Because it's so easy to consume while on the go, video has become the medium of choice for micro-moments.
In fact, video is the perfect complement for micro-moments, as research shows viewers retain 95 percent of a video, compared to only 10 percent of text. About 50 percent of marketers agree video has become the content type with the best ROI.
Research conducted by Facebook and Twitter, in conjunction with Nielsen, shows shorter video content is more impactful, with 74 percent of the value in a video campaign being delivered in the first 10 seconds. Furthermore, viewers tend to spend only 1.7 seconds consuming content on mobile, compared to 2.5 seconds for desktop. That’s an unprecedented discovery – you literally have less than 3 seconds to stand out before your audience scrolls on to the next item on their feed.
To help you succeed at this breakneck pace, here are four best practices curated from the Nielsen study:
- Weave your product into an interesting narrative. Don’t just sell.
- Include people early on in your video to draw viewers in.
- Make sure your story can be understood with the sound off.
- Make sure your product or value proposition is clear within the first 3 seconds.
Google defines micro-moments as the intersection between intent, context and immediacy. To take advantage of these opportunities, Google argues that marketers need to be there, be useful, and be quick. In other words, you must anticipate where those micro-moments happen in your industry, identify what the need is, and fill that space with quick, useful content that fits that need.