Think back to the last time you wanted to try to find a new restaurant. How did you search for the restaurant? Where did you look for reviews, hours of operation, the menu, and directions? If you’re like most people out there, chances are that you used your smartphone.
Consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices when they need answers quickly. This is now only affecting how they search for things online, but it has also changed the expectations they have when it comes to getting information from brands and businesses.
In short, consumer expectations have never been higher. Consumers expect brands to provide immediate and easy to understand information to help their decision-making, while also expecting personalized and localized experiences. This change in consumer behavior and expectations has become so prevalent that even Google has taken notice, labelling this need for information as micro-moments.
In this article, I’ll be going over the micro-moments that characterize the different ways that consumers use their mobile device to find answers, purchase products, or find directions to specific locations, and how you as a market can benefit from these patterns. By understanding these habits, your social media marketing agency will be able to better help your clients’ brands or businesses market to consumers who are searching with a specific purpose.
4 Types of Micro Moments
Mobile devices have enabled consumers to get exactly what they want, when they want. This immediate accessibility has made consumer more curious, demanding, and impatient than ever. Fortunately for marketers, Google has broken down a consumer’s decision making moments into 4 micro moments.
These micro moments are at the center of the shopper journey, and understand them and anticipating them will result in better mobile conversions (up to 29% more), and more brand engagement overall, making you more relevant to your customer.
These 4 micro moments are as follows:
1) I Want to Know
Consumers are apt turn to their mobile devices when they want answers. If a consumer sees a product on television and they want to know more about it, then they will search for information on their phone. By providing content that answers the consumer’s questions when they are engaged, a brand can attract the awareness and interest of that consumer.
When it comes to looking for information on a product, there are essentially three stages that the consumer goes through: price comparison; researching product information (what is it? What does it do?); and checking reviews online. Keep these stages in mind when you’re creating content for your brand or business’s website in order to rank higher.
2) I Want to Go
Consumers often use their mobile devices to look up restaurants, stores, products or services. Marketers can benefit from this behavior by providing that information with “near me” searches. After looking up a business in a local search, 50% of smartphone users visit a business within 24 hours. Having a mobile site that includes hours, directions, reviews, a click-to-call button, and (if applicable) local inventory listings is more likely to attract consumers into the brick and mortar location.
3) I Want to Do
Consumers are searching online for things to learn. Sometimes they need immediate instruction or directions to apply directly. This is what makes “How To” videos so popular. Marketers need to capitalize on these moments by leveraging search data to anticipate what prospective customers are looking for and use this information to publish educational content to YouTube. A good way to find content to create to serve this need is to research forums within your niche to see the information consumers are looking for.
4) I Want to Buy
Consumers use their mobile devices as personal shopping assistants. This stage typically occurs once a user has decided to make a purchase after completing the ‘I Want to Know’ stage. Users research products and reviews before making a purchase, with 93% of consumers making a purchase after product research on their smartphone.
By delivering content in this stage, brands engage consumers that are ready to buy, increasing the likelihood of conversions. However, you won’t be able to capitalize on this if your brand isn’t there in the first place. That’s why it’s essentially to hit both the ‘I Want to Know’ style content, and the ‘I Want to Buy’ CTAs and accessibility.
To make the most of micro moments, marketers must strive to understand what it is specifically that their target is trying to accomplish with each search for information. As a business, you need to be top of mind and relevant in the moment a customer consults their phone in one of these micro moments. Is the consumer looking to buy, or are they looking to learn? What knowledge are they trying to gain, and for what purpose?
Similar to keyword research, marketers need to try to anticipate how, and on what platforms, consumers are searching. Whether it is a Google search, a YouTube search, or even checking review sites, brands must be there in the moment. Because micro moments are short bursts of inspiration or demand, content must be readily available, quick to load, and easy to navigate if you want to keep the consumer engaged.
Not only do you need to have the right content to comply with these micro moments, you also need to be able to meet these demands technically. Consumers will navigate away from a page – and likely to a competitor’s – if their questions aren’t answered in a timely fashion.
To avoid losing consumers to your competitors, here is how you should be designing your mobile website to respond to and draw in consumers as they experience these micro moments:
- Start With Data:
Google Analytics will help you decipher where your consumers are spending the most time productively on your website. This will help you decide which pages should be your lead-ins and what information users are truly looking for in regards to your brand or business.
Google Search Console will tell you which keywords are most effective in driving high-quality leads to the site. Apply these keywords to your SEO strategy.
Once you know where exactly visitors see the greatest value in your product, you can then turn to third-party tools like Answer the Public to give you some insights into what relevant questions your users may be asking about you.
Ultimately, all of this data will tell you about your customers’ journey before they reach your website. You need to figure out exactly what the question was that triggered them to pick up their smartphone and perform the search in the first place. If you can identify that and other micro moments, then you can start using various design elements to respond to those question.
- Respond With Immediacy:
People are using their mobile devices to search for information at the exact moment they need something, and are looking for places that can meet their immediate need. In other words, when making these on-the-spot decisions, they are more loyal to their need than to any particular place. This is a huge opportunity for your brand or business, because in that moment the consumer is open-minded and looking to try anything that will address their particular need.
You need to provide users with instant solutions. Is your business open now? Can you mail out that new product same-day? Will there be an open table at your restaurant tonight? Answer these types of inquiries immediately at first glance and you could find conversions increase dramatically.
- Website Design:
Website design plays a huge role in whether or not users will find the information they need right away, or if they will click away and pursue information from your competitors. You need to make sure that the pertinent information that the consumer is looking for is obvious, and make sure that the website is easy to navigate. Make sure the following are easy to see or find:
- Navigation bar top of site
- Promotion/Sale – top of fold front page
- CTA: Register/Purchase/Buy
- Link to schedule, calendar of events, etc.
Smartphones have affected the way consumers engage with content online. While our attention spans continue to shrink, our need for immediate information grows. Businesses that don’t adapt to this new consumer behaviour miss out on an ever-expanding share of the market.
Designing for micro moments gives us the opportunity to more effectively reach consumers in their moment of need. This means you’ll be able to reach consumers who are actually ready to purchase or pursue your services as opposed to ones casually browsing the web. If you can use your data and design to actively reach consumers in their micro moments, you can effectively increase your mobile site’s conversion rate in the years to come.
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