With the high usage of smartphone devices, people are always searching for immediate information. These searches or “Micro-moments” can be leveraged by brands to gain attention and deliver quality.
What is the size of Jupiter? You google it. Hungry? Your search for nearby restaurants. Want to fix that screen glitch? Again, google.
When someone picks up their mobile device, chances are they want to learn, do, find, or buy something right now. Whether in the form of searches, app interactions, mobile site visits, or even YouTube video views, these “Micro-moments” are happening constantly.
WHAT ARE MICRO-MOMENTS?
According to Google, Micro-moments occur when humans reflexively turn to their devices to address their immediate needs. With the proliferation of smartphones, micro-moments will continue to grow.
Brands can leverage these micro-moments to win customers. It also provides opportunities for lesser-known brands to gain share in the customer’s mindset.
WHY SHOULD BRANDS CARE ABOUT MICRO-MOMENTS?
Thanks to smartphones, a consumer’s buying journey has turned into an array of micro-moments. These micro-moments are touchpoints for the customers to interact with the brand. Thus, micro-moments provide brands an opportunity to present themselves before customers. One study by Google found that more than half of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when searching for their smartphones.
In fact, by being there at these “moments”, brands have the chance to address consumer needs at the perfect time and help move them along their decision journey. In these moments, consumer’s expectations are high and their patience is low. This makes the quality, relevance, and usefulness of marketing more important than ever. As a result, brands have the chance to prove their quality and usefulness to its customers.
Due to such opportunities, the successful brands of tomorrow will be those that have a strategy for understanding and meeting consumers’ needs in these micro-moments. Recent research by Forrester Consulting found that companies that take steps toward becoming moments-ready reap higher ROIs in both mobile and overall marketing investment.
HOW TO DESIGN FOR MICRO MOMENTS?
The first step for brands to design their micro-moments strategy is to identify those moments. Marketers need to identify touchpoints where customers can interact with the brand. These moments can occur when customers are searching for products on Google or watching some videos online. To identify such moments, brands need to understand their customer’s buying behavior. These can be done by talking to customers, listening to industry discussions or analyzing customer web usage data.
The second step for brands is to be present at those micro-moments. Brands need to create a comprehensive strategy on how to be present at the time of their customer’s micro-moments. If you are a brand selling hair products, make sure your name appears first on the search results list. If you are an e-commerce store, make sure sales promotions are highlighted at the very beginning of your webpage.
The third step for brands is to respond to the moments with relevant content. Marketers need to provide the information their customer needs at those moments. The information can be a blog post, a YouTube video or a report. By being relevant, brands can win customers at those micro-moments. Google found that 1 in 3 smartphone users has purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended to because of information provided at the moment they needed it.
MICRO-MOMENT DESIGN IN ACTION: NIKE
Nike utilized this three-step strategy to win over customers. In 2015, the brand utilized Google data to understand search spikes after major moments during sporting events. From the data, Nike found that fans were turning to their second screens to find big game statistics.
The result was the development of Nike’s 3-D Phenomenal Shot campaign. Through a specially designed, real-time delivery tool, immersive 3-D display ads appeared across the desktop and mobile sites within seconds of an event happening on TV.
HOW TO UTILIZE MICRO MOMENTS?
To utilize micro-moments well, brands need to do three things- be there, be useful and be quick. The quality of these actions defines for customers whether they should or should not buy from the brand.
To be there, brands must be present at the micro-moments that occur during the customer’s buying journey. It should be across all stages of the buying journey, not only when customers are ready to buy. To do this, brands must understand the needs of customers that can be fulfilled in each moment type and provide content based on those moments.
To be useful, brands must connect with the customers in real-time by providing them with the information they are looking for. This means marketers must use contextual signals like device, time of day, and location to meet consumers with useful content that matches their moment. One study found 69% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand.
To be quick, brands must make sure their mobile site and apps are being quick and easy. Smartphone users not only do they have heightened expectations for speed in general, but they also are often in a hurry to accomplish their tasks. Thus, companies must make sure their websites do not require much load time and information can be accessed quickly.
UTILIZING MICRO-MOMENTS: CASE FOR UNILEVER
Unilever realized that online demand for hair information wasn’t being met by beauty brands. So, the FMCG giant partnered with Google to use search term data to predict hair trends and consumer behaviors before they hit the market. Based on these insights, bloggers for Unilever’s “All Things Hair” YouTube channel created new content with consumer intent and context in mind. They provided simple, credible answers to consumers in their I-want-to-do hair care moments and drove phenomenal brand engagement.
The result was that Unilever’s channel became the #1 hair brand channel on YouTube in just 10 weeks. Within a year, the channel had amassed over 50 million YouTube views! Fifty million times when people wanted help with their hair, Unilever was there.
Micro-moments provide brands with the opportunity to provide help to its customers at the time of their immediate needs. And the returns are phenomenal. As such, brands must carefully design strategies and utilize them well by being there, providing relevant content and being quick to gain better results.
Farhan Uddin Ahmed