As the brand-new year began, I was planning on enrolling myself in a gym and switching to a healthier lifestyle. Of course, living in a metro city like Bangalore, I was spoilt for choices. But before making my decision, I still had a number of unanswered questions: Does the gym have any offers for newcomers? What kind of services do they offer? What are the timings like? How close it was to my house? And how are the trainers in the gym?
The list was endless. It was not an easy task to pick one as each answer gave rise to another set of doubts and questions.
However, there was one specific brand that caught my eye which addressed all of my questions at every step of the way through their social media platforms. And once my mind was put to ease, making the decision was a piece of cake!
Of course, being interested in all things marketing, I wanted to understand how brands tackle such doubts or questions during the consumer decision journey - this me to the concept of micro-moments.
Making Sense of Micro-Moments
Your consumers don't just go online anymore, they live online. Their days begin with push-notifications, tweets, emails, calls, and ads that take them from one page to another. Then there are other instances called micro-moments, which according to Google, occur when people reflexively turn to a device — increasingly a smartphone — to act on the need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something.
These moments are becoming the new battleground for brands – where hearts are won and money falls into the pocket. These are the split seconds where consumers use their devices to act on a need or desire. And this small window of opportunity offers huge potential for your brand.
Here are 3 steps that will help your brand capitalize on these micro-moments and make them work for you.
1: Get to Know your Customer
Before you start creating content, you need to do your homework. Find out who your customers are and what exactly are they looking for. Learn more about their habits, and preferences to understand the type of person you are attracting to your brand. Then, try to understand the kind of questions your target audience would ask before purchasing your product.
If you have figured out these two elements, there's a high chance that consumers will turn to your brand in those micro-moments.
2: Stay Ready for those Micro-Moments
To be ‘moments-ready’, let’s think about when, where and why micro-moments occur for your consumer, and how does your brand fit in. And this takes us back to those questions consumers ask before purchasing. For example, a person who moved into a new locality will end up googling for the best cafe around their area. Now if your brand falls into that category, is it optimized to pop up first in the searches? Or is it on the second page of Google, where everything remains undiscovered?
There are tons of potential moments that could matter to your brand. So, how do you choose the best? Don't simply concentrate on the moment before the purchase. Instead, your brand should be there along the entire journey so that at each stage, your relationship with the consumer grows stronger.
3: Be Relevant & Stay Relevant
So, how do you ensure that your brand shows up at a particular micro-moment? There are a number of factors involved, but the main determinant is the content you create.
A consumer's average attention span is said to be about 15 to 20 seconds. With so little time to get your content across, if you are not able to provide what your audience wants, they'll turn to the next brand that can. Not only do you need to answer the right questions with your content, but you also need to ensure the content is easily absorbable.
An important tactic of micro-moment marketing is the idea of a "value-based exchange”. What value does the customer get out of engaging with your brand or content? If each interaction does not offer something of value, whether it is insights, knowledge, or even offers, discounts or exclusive experiences, then consumers are unlikely to engage as frequently.
Moreover, there should be an equal focus on the distribution of your content. Even if you have created an exceptional piece of content, everything goes down the drain if nobody can find it — so make sure that you are sharing the content where your audience is.
The path to brand loyalty is paved with micro-moments, but it’s not about the hard-sell. Even at non-purchasing moments, many brands feel the need to push consumers into e-commerce check-out pages or long lead-capture forms. It is imperative to understand that many people won’t be at that stage. You need to focus on creating a positive mobile experience in connection with your brand. Offering a series of short, clear interactions that add value or help consumers do research and educate themselves will drive more revenue, generate more leads and most importantly, create a positive brand sentiment.
So now that you know what to do and what not to do, go ahead and be the brand your consumers want you to be at every micro-moment possible.