What are Micro-Moments: How to Target During These Snippets of Time
In a world where customers are looking for instant gratification, it’s a marketer’s job to anticipate their needs and give them what they want. Smartphones and social media have triggered an era of “I need it now,” and it’s causing marketers to have to target customers in the moment.
What are Micro-Moments?
In 2015, Google introduced the concept of “micro-moments” and shortly afterward began advocating for content marketers to start paying attention to these short-lived, intent-driven moments as a vital part of an overall marketing strategy.
Micro-moments are quick, reflexive, and intent-driven decisions a consumer usually makes with their smartphone or tablet. The goal in these moments is to either learn something new or make a purchasing decision in a short amount of time.
Because these events happen literally at the spur of the moment, the challenge for marketers is to anticipate them far enough in advance to provide the most salient options for all consumers.
If done correctly, addressing consumers’ needs at each unique moment will lead to more targeted marketing campaigns and better ROI. The challenges lie in keeping users engaged with content for more extended periods.
It can be challenging to meet consumers on your website or social media channels at these most critical decision-making moments.
Types of Micro-Moments
Micro moment marketing is about grabbing attention quickly, and thankfully it’s not just a game played among the most recognizable brands.
Modern consumers are much more interested in a brand’s timeliness and ability to meet their needs than those concerned about repping a well-known logo. This means that smaller brands who are excellent at micro-moment marketing will excel.
There are four types of micro-moments every brand should be aware of:
I want-to-know moments
When people need to learn the answer to a study question, a fact about a product or service, or the lead guitarist’s name in Whitesnake, they usually grab their phones and ask Siri, hoping to learn the answer in less than one minute.
These I want-to-know moments will reward brands who are good at answering specific questions, either in FAQs or within a blog post. If consumers feel satisfied, they may be compelled to click further into the website to learn more about the brand.
I want-to-go moments
If someone is visiting a new town, or perhaps just looking to try something new in their area, a local search will be the first step towards uncovering the hip new sushi bar or concert venue near them.
For these moments, local businesses need to have their local presence beefed up in a number of ways. Firstly, their Google My Business listing needs to be optimized with positive reviews. Secondly, their local social media presence should be robust since websites like Facebook, Instagram, and especially Yelp listings often appear on page 1 for localized searches.
I want-to-do moments
How-to and DIY content has been popular for several years. However, with the increased prevalence of video marketing, this content is only becoming more effective in satisfying the “I want-to-do” moments.
When people want to learn how to do something, they typically look at videos because they can load and watch the content quickly. Brands that own a significant presence on visual platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok, or Facebook will reap the rewards from these micro-moments.
Roughly 100 million hours of how-to content is watched over the course of the year in North America, leaving plenty of chances for marketers to get in on these moments.
I want-to-buy moments
Perhaps the most critical micro-moments occur as “I want-to-buy” moments. These are times when consumers are geared up to buy a particular product or service. Then, the only step left is to assess prices and make a final decision.
The most common micro-moments examples of want-to-buy moments include shopping for retail or electronics or comparing local restaurants.
Regardless of the type of micro-moment, marketers are tasked with assessing consumer intent and tapping into it at each given stage.
When business owners have many other to-dos on their plates, it can be challenging to find time to perform this kind of analysis. For many, it’s beneficial to hire experienced digital marketers who are tasked with studying consumer intent and enacting strategies designed to meet it.
Micro-Moments Marketing Model
Old school sales funnels aren’t dead, but they are certainly evolving along with consumer behaviors. The idea of consumers slowly working their way down a funnel towards purchase has been supplanted by the notion of intent-driven actions. The traditional conversion funnel is now thought of as a more fluid, action-led process.
Businesses can take a few steps to edge ahead and reach consumers when it’s most important to do so.
Identify when your target audience wants-to-buy
Can you sense when your target demographic is most likely to pull the trigger on a purchase? Perhaps this comes after reading a comparison article between two products or watching a YouTube video that shows the how-to part and deciding they want to buy the products to tackle this project themselves.
Finding where they go to make these purchases
The next step involves finding where your target audience goes to make these purchases and ensuring your brand is there ready.
If we’re talking about a local services business, like a plumber or HVAC technician, you’d want to be showing up in the Google Maps pack (top 3 results in the maps). This will ensure that your business will be noticed when users open up Google Maps or Apple Maps on their smartphones.
Delivering relevant content
Regardless of the type of micro-moment you’re targeting; your content must be relevant to the user and the situation.
This is where competitive analysis comes into play. See how top rankers in the space use content marketing to target these micro-moments and meet consumers at their decision-making moments.
Making it easy to make a purchase or conversion
Are your product pages easy to understand? Do you have prominent calls to action above the fold, especially on mobile devices?
User experience is vital for boosting conversions. For example, a better UX makes it easier for your website to rank in Google search, and it will help consumers find the products they want faster.
Taking note of consumer-related data
Any marketing efforts will be wasteful without proper monitoring of analytics and conversion data, but especially for precise timeframes involved in micro-moments.
Analyze the data and make informed adjustments to target your consumers better, boost conversions, and improve retention rates.
Micro-Moments Marketing Models Will Vary Based on the Type of Business
Different business types will require different approaches to address consumers’ needs at various micro-moments.
Local businesses will focus on the bottom of the funnel purchasing decisions, especially restaurants, bars, and retail stores. Therefore, a heavy emphasis should be placed on ranking in the map pack for important local terms.
On the other hand, a SaaS company would want to optimize their FAQs and use articles to show up in featured snippet results.
Examples of Targeting Micro-Moments
Today’s brands are getting innovative, grasping the latest technologies to help them articulate data into valuable insights and identifying the real-time progress of their micro-moments campaigns.
World-famous brand Clorox has a host of products ranging from cleaning supplies to Hidden Valley ranch dressing. With such a wide range of audience targeting needs, they have adapted their micro-moment marketing to answer consumers before that consumer even realizes they need Clorox.
When someone looks up snack recipes for football Sunday, they are met with a 15-second inspiration from Hidden Valley for a fun ranch-infused menu. Alternatively, when consumers look up flu prevalence in their local area, Clorox provides content related to ‘cold and flu prevention tips.’
As is the case with any brand winning in micro-moments, Clorox is there when their target audience needs them. So regardless of your niche, you could be addressing questions that would help grow your audience and increase your conversions overall.
Why These Few Seconds Are More Crucial Than Ever
We’re all aware that attention spans are on the decline, but how bad is it? A 2020 study by the Technical University of Denmark found that the average person’s attention span decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds in just 15 years. They concluded it was due to an overabundance of information, largely thanks to your smartphones.
Because we live in a society where people have 24/7 access to information, there’s never been more information readily available to them.
On the bright side, there’s also never been such a high demand for information. So, if your brand can deliver quality content that focuses on intent-driven actions, you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Whether your content is delivered in the form of blog posts, FAQs, or informative videos, it will effectively reach consumers if it’s proactive.