What Are Micro-moments?
The moments in our daily lives when we look for a device (laptop/desktop mobile devices & tablets) to take action on things we want or need right now are micro-moments. Quite often, devices we use are mobile devices—the gadget that is always in close proximity.
Micro-moments is a recent development with Google; they launched it as an important step in fracturing the consumer’s journey into intent-driven micro-moments. Marketers have the opportunity to influence buyers by focusing on micro-moments to meet their business goals.
Types of Micro-moments
Google officially classifies these into:
1. I Want to Know – Consumers are exploring or researching and have not yet decided to buy.
2. I Want to Go – Consumers are considering buying from a local store or eating at a local restaurant.
3. I Want to Do – This is possible before or after a purchase is made. People want help in getting things done or trying something new.
4. I Want to Buy – This is very important. People have made the decision to buy and may need help in deciding what and how to buy. People move in-store and research online about the same product, often while being in the store itself.
Why Marketers Need to Focus on Micro-moments
Mobile devices can give you any info you want at your fingertips. In November 2016, mobile traffic to websites, for the very first time, surpassed traditional desktops, tablets, and PCs. Google started testing mobile, first indexing for natural search ranks. This means that data from mobile devices would, primarily, be used for awarding search engine rankings. This has not traditionally been the case, though, as the past has been more focused on desktops and PCs.
Therefore, an increase in mobile traffic data, Google’s focus on mobile-first indexing, and the relevance of micro-moments from mobile devices is a clear indicator for the next big wave in the search process. Marketers need to consider this in their marketing plans for 2017.
Things Marketers Should Do
It’s all about being there at the right moment. You must be relevant and quick when your consumers need you the most.
Anticipate consumers’ micro-moments in your industry
What, where, and how they search for information—utilizing search marketing and SEO skills can help you understand their goals and aspirations while doing so. Use search insights and opportunities using a mix and match of SEO tools (such as SEMRush), Google trends, Webmaster tools, and consumer insights to identify seasonal behavior shown by your consumers and prospects online.
Anticipation from the step above means you know what your consumers are looking for. It is obvious that you also need to be relevant and appropriate. A recent algorithm update called the Google Penguin 4.0 Update enables SERP changes in real-time. Being there and ready is one part of the equation, being most relevant to your consumer will certainly give you that edge in Google’s micro-moments.
29% of smartphone users will immediately switch to another site or app if it doesn’t satisfy their needs (that is, if they can’t find information or if it’s too slow). If it’s a micro-moment you are aiming for, it needs to happen from the time consumer searches for your business. Users on mobile devices need to know quickly and buy without interruption. Keeping your mobile user experience seamless and top class is the need of the hour. You must look at paid advertising (AdWords) in case you are still not there organically. For example, flight cancellation on a stormy day is a clear indication for hotels near the airport area to go on paid advertising, saying,
Flight cancelled due to bad weather? No worries! Stay with us tonight for 50% off—show your flight cancellation SMS to avail this offer.
If you recognize the opportunity, you will be there at the right time and at the very micro-moment itself.
Managing negative mentions
Always be careful about the micro-moments you never want to be a part of. Even if you have a negative news/story and it’s trending on social media, your marketing/PR team needs to ensure that there are subsequent positive mentions and influencers, and good PR/thought-through improvements in customer satisfaction to support the same. Taking help from a news and PR distribution platform like PRNewswire comes handhy in such situations. Check out my guide on social media listening tools and best practices for press release SEO.
For instance, this is what you get if you search for the “worst hotel in the world.” It is high time their marketing team fixes this. No hotel would ever want to be listed here, as you know 🙂
The Bottom Line
Unlike the past few years, mobile traffic is going to increase further. The proximity of mobile devices to their users makes it important for brands to consider putting in sincere efforts to make it into Google’s micro-moments. Recognition and research of what your consumers will be searching for will be key to all your efforts. Brands also need to consider word of mouth and primary research, as well as talk to their customers to understand what matters to them. Brands should also look at connecting dots and making similar observations between social media and data from their search marketing team, call center support, local and store merchandising, etc., to find out the most realistic micro-moments your customers are searching for and plan ahead to be there.