40,000 online searches occur per second in the United States. These are people creating micro-moments: Where do I go to buy red high heels? What is there to do in St. Louis on a Wednesday? What is the best nail salon around me? These are only the obvious ones! 40,000 searches a second is a lot. People are awfully impulsive with their smart phones. How could your business be capitalizing on these micro-moments as they happen every second?
This was the question we set out to answer on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, when Blayzer hosted a Google Digital Breakfast event for some of our clients. The event featured a live web presentation and Q&A session with two Google Experts and our marketing team. The topic was Micro-Moments, how they influence consumers, and how businesses can win them with smart marketing. There was a lot of great information shared and discussed, and we wanted to pass it along to you.
What Are Micro-Moments?
As businesses, we wish that we could correctly predict what a buyer will want 100% of the time, but it’s impossible. Buyers these days are unpredictable. They switch between devices constantly: they’ll look-up ticket prices on their phone while waiting in line for coffee, and then book the flight on their laptop at lunch, only to purchase a new swimsuit on their tablet later that evening. Not only that, but they’ll spend hours reading reviews, comparing styles, and researching prices until they find the perfect fit. It may sound crazy, but 93% of buyers conduct this kind of online research before making a purchase.
The amount of time a consumer puts into making a purchase nowadays is insane, which is why businesses need to catch them at opportune moments. What moments are we talking about? Micro-Moments — Those moments when people reflexively turn to their nearest device to act on their need to learn something, do something, or buy something.
These Micro-Moments are happening at every step of the consumer journey: from the initial curiosity, to the research, to the end decision. A successful brand will be one that can deliver on these moments and connect with the consumer. It will be the brand that speaks to the consumer’s in-the-moment wants and needs.
How You Can Win With Micro-Moments
Do you remember how we used to consume media? When we wanted to hear what was going on in the world, we would wait for the five o’clock news. When we wanted a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, we got a cookbook off the shelf. When we needed to know a fact, we looked it up in an encyclopedia. All of these actions are more time-consuming than how we would handle these situations today: simply grab your smart phone, Google what you want to know, and have millions of solutions at your fingertips in seconds. These micro-moments have become game changers for consumers and brands.
Before smart phones, we relied on word-of-mouth and experience to deduce which ice cream shop was best in town. Now, in a micro-moment, a quick search will shape a consumer’s preference and decision. What shop pops up first in the search? What do the customer reviews say? What does the menu look like? These moments take place continuously throughout the consumer journey. A successful brand will be one that will deliver on these moments in a way that speaks to people and connects with them.
How is your business adapting to these new shifts in consumer behavior? Businesses that make use of the web are expected to grow 40% faster than those that don’t. Smart phones have become an indispensable aspect of everyday life, which means that micro-moments can happen anywhere, anytime. This constant attachment to the internet has set consumers’ expectations high- they expect brands to deliver exactly what they’re looking for, right when they want it. A business needs a strategy for understanding and meeting consumer’s needs in micro-moments.
Micro-Moment Event Tweets
We live-tweeted the event from our company profile, @blayzerstl. Here’s a rundown of our top tweets.
- Today’s the day — Our #MicroMoments Workshop w/ Google starts at 11:00 AM CDT. Stay tuned for live tweets!
- The gang’s all here – full house for the #micromoments Google Workshop today!
- Today’s presentation: Driving Growth in a Mobile-First World #micromoments
- “Mobile changes everything.” “Not just an evolutionary change, but a revolutionary one.” #micromoments
- Right now people across the world are looking to make the most of every moment. Are you there? #micromoments
- How are consumers using technology? Which moments matter and which ones don’t? #micromoments
- Which moments matter to marketers? Look for Intent + Context #micromoments
- Example: Macy’s tailors experiences for mobile vs desktop search. Desktop push to website, mobile push to stores. #micromoments
- 93% of buyers search online before buying. No more linear path to purchase. #micromoments
- Think of mobile as a new entrance to your business. #micromoments
- Working with a Google Partner agency lets you run more efficient AdWords campaigns, get early access to beta features + more benefits.
- Analytics and conversion tracking are essential for every website. #micromoments #googlepartners
The event wrapped up with a vibrant question and answer session between attendees, Google Experts, and Blayzer’s team. Here’s what came up and what was recommended.
Q. Should I include Bing or Yahoo! in my online marketing strategy?
A. Start by checking your website analytics to see what percentage of your current traffic is coming from these sources. For most sites, the traffic coming from Yahoo! or Bing is dwarfed by Google, simply because far fewer people use them. In our discussion it was joked that an even smaller number of those people do so intentionally, with a greater number using the wrong search bar by mistake or because it was set as a default somewhere. We don’t have the numbers to verify this, but we do think it speaks to users’ perceptions of these outlets. Unless your audience is largely Microsoft-embedded or doesn’t care/know one search engine from the next, you can probably skip Bing and Yahoo! without any worry.
Q. How do micro-moments affect social media?
A. If Google Search is the king of micro-moment, then social media is its queen. The fun difference between social and search is that with search, the user is in the driver’s seat, choosing the destination by entering a search and evaluating resulting matches. With social media, the content drives the journey. For this reason, social micro-moments tend to be a bit more passive or incidental, with effective content being focused on discovery, engagement, and conversion incentive.
Q. How can email marketing help a business win with micro-moments?
A. Email marketing is a powerful marketing channel. If you connect your micro-moments strategy to email permission and user acquisition, micro-moments can help grow your list. You can also analyze the search information of what micro-moment users are looking for and tailor your content to fit.
Q. What are some ways to help traffic convert once it reaches my website?
A. The soul of conversion is the offer. If you can offer a great deal, a limited opportunity, or an astonishing value, that’s your best chance for conversion. These things are relatively easy for ecommerce companies, assuming you have enough room in your margin to do these kinds of offers. When offering deals or a whizz-bang product just aren’t in your wheelhouse, there are some other things you can do with your site in terms of design and content and navigation that will help “funnel” your visitors toward completing an action. You can look at analytics and see where traffic is dropping off without converting and change those pages. You can even install software that shows you heatmaps of where visitors click, scroll, and hover while on your site so you can make design updates to increase the effectiveness of calls to action and improve the user experience.
Here at Blayzer we are evaluating some software that allows you to trigger emails and CRM tasks to known users based on their website page visits. For example, one of you might visit our Support page looking for instructions of setting your Blayzer-hosted email account up on a new smartphone. This software could then follow up with an email later in the day to check and make sure you were able to complete the task or if you needed further support. We’re still in the evaluation stages, but the potential is huge and we’ll be sharing more info with you as soon as it becomes available.
Q. How do I know what works and what doesn’t?
A. As our final live-tweet from during the event states, “Analytics and conversion tracking are essential for every website.” This is how you measure results and determine what works. Google Analytics provides an absolutely overwhelming amount of information. Even we have to take a deep breath once in a while when new features roll out. But once you dig in and get a handle on it, the world of information it opens up is astounding. Once you learn how to interpret that data, attribute results to revenue, and form an action plan, you can accomplish leaps and bounds over other businesses.
More Resources About Micro-Moments
Here are some additional resources for you to look at to get more familiar with the concepts and science behind micro-moments.
Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal perfectly sums up why micro-moments are so important right now. It touches on the new way that people are consuming media and how there are countless, seemingly insignificant moments every day that have the potential to completely shape a consumer’s preference and decision.
Watch a couple short videos to see examples of micro-moments from real people! Their situations are extremely relatable, and the videos really show how much we depend on the internet daily. One quick Google search can yield a quick decision, as it does for the mother in this first video. In this second video, however, we see that one search turned into research, which turned into another search, which finally got the dad the final result he was looking for.
Lastly, tune in to this awesome video about the Share-A-Coke campaign and how Coca-Cola used mobile to connect with consumers. As one of the world’s largest and most successful companies, they definitely know what they’re talking about. Coca-Cola made each consumer feel special with this campaign, and furthered it by creating moments through mobile devices.