Recently I was asked by my daughter to purchase alien-themed party bags for her favourite toy, Sheepy's, birthday party; it was Wednesday, and they were needed for Saturday. Sheepy must be about 101 by now as we always seem to be celebrating these occasions.
But I was tempted to play along with this one as she was enjoying putting a lot of effort into handcrafting alien themed party goodies.
As I sat there calculating Sheepy’s possible age, I wondered out loud – where the heck am I going to find alien-themed, paper party bags for Saturday in a world of unicorns and mermaids?
Within two seconds my friend, search-extraordinaire, whipped out her phone, blink-and-you-miss-it typed out the request and shouted – “there’s only one set in stock, I’ll buy them now and you can pay me back.”
And that is what Google’s content-kings over at Think with Google are describing as ‘micro-moments.’ The snap moments when someone, caught in the ‘I want to go to/do/learn/buy/find out more about’ moment, are searching for the product, service or answer that will fit the bill.
In today’s content-driven battle for hearts and minds, these micro-moments are the things that are encouraging people to buy, make a more informed decision or to choose one brand over another.
Think you’re immune to micro-moments? Think again!
Micro-moments have come about due to our insatiable need for information quickly and efficiently. We just want to cut through the fluffy pink and glittery stuff, and straight to the alien content we came for, thank you very much.
The little computers in our pockets, on our wrists and sitting on a shelf at home have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking. According to Google, the average person can have these intent-rich moments around 150 times a day. It may sound like a lot, but if you try to rack up the things you’ve had to search for today you’d probably be surprised to find yourself on your way to that number!
But when you’re considering your number, don’t forget micro-moments are not just the answers you need to quality or useful questions, like, the most recommended restaurant in the city you’re planning to visit or the best brand of running trainers.
It’s those little, silly things too, the down the pub type debates – like, who played so and so, in that movie, ten years ago? Enter websites such as movie database, IMDb – you don’t purchase anything from them directly. But they want to make it as easy as possible for you to source the answer to your question, use the website and share their content (and along the way perhaps take in some of the advertising perhaps!).
Is your business ready to embrace micro-moments?
Micro-moments are not just for large brands that might want encourage their following to choose Pepsi over Coke or buy a BMW over an Audi; they can also be used by SMEs to encourage purchasing and decision making with their own customers.
When considering your micro-moments start with your broader customer journey, then take a marker to it and brainstorm all those little in-between moments:
When it comes to decision-making moments, what are all the times in your customer’s journey that they might require more information? Consider everything! You can also use opportunities like feedback questionnaires, comments and conversations with customers to find out if they had any barriers to information. As well as marketing performance data such as Google analytics to find out where your traffic may drop off and where you may be missing out on opportunities.
Similarly, purchasing data can be used to see how many completed purchases have taken place compared to your inbound traffic. Where you see gaps in your content – fill them! When your customer is online looking to search for the information they need, you want your business to be top of the responses.
Brand choice moments
During brand choice moments, when encouraging customers to choose your brand over another, consider what makes your brand stand out as different, as well as its defining characteristics. This is when you really need to look at your features and benefits of your product or service, are you promoting all of them fully and can they be found easily? Your website is a starting point, but you might also consider blogs, social media, email, video and advertising as a way to really promote what you do and how you do it better. This is particularly true if your product or service is used for something it is not normally associated with, celebrate its uniqueness – you never know you might also have landed on a profitable niche market.
When considering the purchasing moments, when your customers are primed and ready to go, how are you going to convert them? It’s all great when you have the information readily available, but if your purchasing process is not up to scratch your business is going to miss out. Quick and streamlined purchasing platforms or slick ways for your customer to move quickly from the quote to completion phase will keep them in the moment. Other techniques include emails reminders of items placed in a basket, or banner adverts reminding the customer about you and your brand or specifically the item they were looking at.
Think of micro-moments as your one shot, dragon’s den style pitch, the dragons are there intent-rich on securing an opportunity, they have the money next to them, and you just need to make sure you can give them all the information they need to be able to seal the deal.