The Future Belongs to Those Who GET Micro-Moments

This fantastic post comes from Bob Hutchins of Buzz Plant!

Forget the New York Minute.

The future is all about “micro-moments,” Google’s (relatively) new term for those flash-in-the-pan moments where we decide what we want and how we’re going to get it. According to Google, these “want-to-know, want-to-go, want-to-do, and want-to-buy moments […] are the new battleground for brands.”

In our always-on digital world, where our iPhone picks up where our MacBook left off, consumers want immediate, relevant content.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, a Google SVP, writes, “Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever.”

Micro-Moments: Essential Knowledge for Marketers

Ramaswamy shares in the Wall Street Journal, 69% of online consumers “agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand.” Oftentimes, marketing and messaging “trends” tend to be much more trendy with marketers than with consumers. When it comes to micro-moments, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Consumers are ready and willing to connect with brands during these times of need.

What Micro-Moments Should Your Brand Own?

Google advises that marketers know about the following four key moments:

#1 I want-to-know moments. Two out of three online consumers look up more information online than they used to (not surprising); two out of three smartphone users use their device to look up something they saw in a TV commercial.

Your Move: Mobile-friendly content should already be a priority for your digital platforms. Focus on short-copy content (with ample variety in text formatting when text is necessary) that is instructive and informative. When at all possible, use photos and video instead of text. Don’t shy away from video; mobile video is booming. As I’ve recently shared, “Over half of all consumers watch at least one video on their mobile device per week,” and 50 percent of all YouTube views are on mobile. 

#2 I want-to-go moments. “Near me” searches have doubled in the last year. Four in five smartphone users use a search engine to find a local business.

Your Move: If Google Map’s “Explore Around You” feature is any indicator… it’s definitely time to beef up your business’s presence on Google Maps.

#3 I want-to-do moments. Nine in ten smartphone users use their device for help in doing a task. Over 100 million hours of “how-to” content has been viewed on YouTube this year (so far!). 

Your Move: Content has been the name of the game for over a decade. Discovery, however, is changing. Don’t focus on Google with such intensity that you block out the very real possibility that Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms could become primary content-discovery channels. Millennials are already changing the discovery process. 

#4 I want-to-buy moments. Eight in ten smartphone users look to their device for purchase-decision help while in-store. There’s been a 29 percent increase in mobile conversion rates in the past year.

Your Move: Influence marketing is rapidly growing in the retail sectors. Influencers garner more trust and offer greater ROI in comparison to many other forms of advertising. Read this article I recently published to find out how to integrate influencer marketing into your greater marketing strategy.

What’s Your Take on Micro-Moments?

Is it another marketing trend? Or do you think mobile and real-time communications is the definite next step for digital marketing? I’d love to discuss in the comments below, or reach out on Twitter to @bobhutchins.

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