With the growing popularity of mobile, our behaviors grow and change with it. We expect organizations to respond to our questions instantly and with that become more impatient and impulsive. All of it because of that tiny computer in our pockets that opens up a world of possibilities. It changes our entire lifes. A life where we don’t want to go through enormous books to find an answer but want to find it quickly at any moment. It’s these moments, also called micro-moments, that are significantly important to the consumer. And with that, also for you as a marketer. But how do you get your organization to show up in every micro second of someone’s life?
What are micro-moments?
Although Google already introduced micro-moments in 2016, its theory is still relevant today. With the growth of mobile, it might be even more relevant. Having our mobile phones at our fingertips 24/7, it changed our lifes. This small device helps us discover new ideas, brands, and solutions and share these with others with one click. This is exactly why we have countless interactions each day. Research shows that we check our phones 58 times a day¹, which is over 3 hours of looking at your phone². All of these interactions can be sending messages, scanning a work e-mail, posting that one cute picture on social media, and many more. These are countless micro-moments that we use our phones, but not the moments you want an organization to show up unexpectedly.
The micro-moments that are interesting for organizations are the moments that we look for more information. When we need help to make decisions. Think of moments like looking for reviews, explaining videos, opening times, or nearby restaurants. These micro-moments are the moments we want to get more information instantly or that allow us to respond quickly. These are interactions we NEED at that moment. You can use these moments after learning what drives your target audience. In an earlier blog, you can learn more about discovering the motivations of your focus groups with the help of the BSR™ model.
According to Google, you can divide all micro-moments into four main categories:
- I-want-to-know moments: moments someone is researching or discovering, but not ready to make a purchase yet. This is when people look for more information about a product or a solution that helps them solve their problem.
- I-want-to-go moments: when someone is looking for a local company or wants to buy something in a store nearby.
- I-want-to-buy moments: someone is ready to make a purchase but needs help deciding what to buy or how to buy it. These moments can occur even when the person is already in a store where they want to buy something. 82% of smartphone users state that while they are in the store to make their purchase, they still look on their phones to find more information on a product³.
- I-want-to-do moments: moments someone needs help to complete a task or try something new. An example: someone searches for a how to-video while putting together a new closet. Or searches for how to make that delicious tomato sauce, while making pasta. Lengthy manuals and huge recipe books are things of the past.
Micro-moments and the experience journey
Micro-moments happen in every step of the experience journey. With that, these two are inseparably connected. The experience journey, also known as the customer journey, is the journey your customers, guests, patients or any other entity of your target audience goes through before, during, and after a purchase or a visit. Because micro-moments set us in action the moment we have a question or an idea popping into our mind, the experience journey is split up into thousands of little decision moments. And with that, thousands of moments we get in touch with your organization. Micro-moments can also be looked at as the touchpoints we define in the experience journey framework, and these go further than mobile alone. Micro-moments and touchpoints move through multiple screens, devices, and channels. And in every step of the experience journey, you need to make sure your organization is visible to your target audience. Not just that, you need to stand out and offer the best experience to your customer. From searching for that one movie in the cinema up to booking a vacation. Understanding the micro-moments and using these to your advantage, can make your mobile conversions grow 29%⁴ and make your organization more relevant to your target audience.
Do you want to get started with the experience journey and planning your content?
From micro-moments to travel moments
Logically, you can use micro-moments in every industry. That’s how Google discovered travel moments shortly after introducing their micro-moments. These are micro-moments specifically focused on the travel industry. Because a huge recurring ‘purchase’ like a vacation - which is the largest discretionary purchase according to nearly 60% of leisure travelers⁵ - needs to be researched well and makes for a unique customer journey. 40% of travelers say they bounce back and forth between all possibilities and more detailed searching⁶. Because more and more research is done before people leave to go on their vacation, more micro-moments are created for the travel industry. Moments where preferences are formed and decisions are made.
Take for example Amy. She is planning on going to Disney World⁷. In collaboration with Luth Research, Google has researched her journey within the digital landscape. Her digital experience journey lasted for two months and existed of 34 searches, 5 videos, and 380 web pages. Of all 419 digital moments, 87% happened on her phone. when your organization isn’t visible and relevant during these moments, you’ll lose a lot of valuable potential customers.
That’s why travel moments already start at the moment someone dreams of traveling and last until the trip actually begins. Google states that every micro-moment can be categorized into four travel moments:
- I-want-to-get-away moments (dreaming moments): the moment people discover the destinations they want to go to, without knowing if they are actually going to book something. This phase focuses on finding inspiration.
- Time-to-make-a-plan moments (planning moments): A destination has been chosen and people are looking for more travel information: which days are they traveling, finding the right flight, a nice place to stay, etc. This phase is all about discovering brands.
- Let’s-book-it moments (booking moments): the research has ended and people are ready to book their flight and their stay.
- Can’t-wait-to-explore moments (experiencing moments): when the trip is finally there, people are looking for how to enrich their travel. They book activities that complete their dream vacation.
Sterc’s travel moments
At Sterc, we’ve dived deep into Google’s travel moments, and there was one thing we noticed: what happens during and after the trip? How do they experience their stay, what are people looking for, and has this trip created preferences for the next vacation? That’s why we’ve decided to expand Google’s travel moments.
Looking at inbound marketing principles, where you offer relevant information to your target audience to attract them to your organization, you want to focus on the customer in every step of the journey. That’s why we’ve created extra moments that are necessary within this industry:
Bij Sterc hebben we daarom naast de dreaming, planning, booking en experiencing moments, nog wat extra momenten bedacht die zeker op de industrie van toepassing zijn:
- The-moment moments (staying moments): The actual stay at a hotel, camping, region, island, parc or culture. The staying moments can be divided into three smaller moments:
- Arrival moments: when arriving at their destination, people can look for the reception, where they can park their car, and if they can store their luggage before they are allowed into their room.
- Staying moments: the actual stay. This is where people discover what they can actually do during their stay. Questions can be: what activities does this place offer? Who can I ask my questions? How does the jacuzzi work? Where can I get a taxi? This is where local SEO comes in.
- Departure moments: when you leave your accomodation, you have some final questions: where do I need to leave my keys? How late does my transfer to the airport leave?
- Fully-charged moments (afterwards moments): after your stay, you’re fully charged and ready to get back to work again. Still, you find yourself looking back at that great travel you just experienced. At this moment, the guest is in a happy state-of-mind, and you can use this to your advantage by sending the guest an email asking for a review.
- I-need-to-tell-everyone moments (sharing moments): the stay was so great, this person wants everyone to know about it. This is where you can turn your guest into a true ambassador of your brand. Where can they leave a review? Can they book their next stay with you already? Do you offer them a discount for their next stay in other locations?
As you might have noticed, we use Google’s travel moments the same way as we use the experience journey. That’s how you not only focus on the questions and needs of the customer before their stay, but also during and after. And you as a marketer can use this information to help your customers and guests in every step of their journey.
Create your own micro-moments strategy
Although micro-moments happen in a few milliseconds, these are unique contact moments marketers and organizations need to be relevant. Your organization needs to answer the questions of your customers, the moment they pick up their phone to look for it. Before you know it, the micro-moment is over. And with that, your change to attract the customer to you. When you focus on every micro-moment throughout the journey, you can offer an extraordinary experience to your customer. But how do you get started?
To get noticed during a micro-moment, it’s crucial that you are relevant. The moment people pick up their phone to search for something, 65% instantly looks at the most relevant information, no matter the brand that offers this³. To be relevant in a micro-moment, Google says you need to ‘be there, be useful, and be quick’. They give the following explanation for this strategy:
- Be there: use the micro-moments to your advantage and constantly focus on it so you are there to help the customer further.
- Be useful: 65% of people search for relevant information. You need to make sure that you show the right answer or help people find the information.
- Be quick: micro-moment are fast. Mobile users want to know, go, do or buy instantly. So you need to offer them a flawless experience.
For each step, you can use several channels and content to bring your strategy to life.
Most micro-moments happen on a phone. That’s why it’s vital to offer a good mobile experience. This does not only mean having a mobile-friendly website, but you need to be visible in mobile search results. 1 in 3 smartphone users has purchased something from another brand than they first intended, because the brand offered the information they were looking for in that moment³. When we at Sterc look at our customers, we see that mobile visits to web platforms in the travel industry is above 60%, tablet is between 10-15%, and the rest visits via desktop.
Want to learn more about mobile and how you can use this device?
By being there when the consumer needs you, you help both them in their decision-making process and yourself by making yourself appear trustworthy. How can you check this out? Get your phone out of your pocket and search for keywords that are relevant to your organization. Do this in both Google and YouTube and look at your competitors too. Based on this analysis, you can create a share of intent graph which shows you how you compare to your competitos for ‘being there’.
Tips to be there
- Be visible and findable on mobile devices. This is most important device, especially for micro-moments.
- In the first step of travel moments, people don’t know where they want to go and when. Visually show them what your accomodations look like, create vlogs, and try to describe the experience as vividly as possible. Think of romantic destinations for honeymoons and sunny trips for the summer.
- People also look at local businesses. Make sure you are visible locally by setting up a Google Business Profile. Learn more about local SEO in our blog.
- Allow people to quickly navigate to a service that helps them. Use QR and NFC tags that people can quickly scan with their phone to get to more information or an explanation. Find out more about QR and NFC in our blog.
- Find out which channels are most important to your target audience, and make sure your organization is visible there. Google has specifically created Hotel Ads and Google Flights for the travel industry.
But you won’t get there by just being visible. If you are visible, but the information isn’t relevant, people will leave just as fast as they came. As little as 9% of users stays on a mobile website or app that doesn’t meet their needs³. It is, therefore, crucial you offer the most relevant information in every micro-moment or navigate them to this information. And this is how you do just that:
- A chatbot can help your web visitors navigate to the right content within your platform. A chatbot can help your visitors 24/7 and a FAQ-page helps them to find the answer to their questions. A FAQ page will help your visitors quickly find relevant information, while enhancing your chance of getting a featured snippet.
- When people look for a brick and mortar store to buy a specific product, it’s essential that you show where you are, your opening times, and if you still have the product in stock so people won’t visit your store for nothing.
- More and more people look for explaining videos or how to videos. This is where they get a step-to-step guide, without having to read a lengthy manual. You can also turn this into a infographic or a written step-by-step guide.
- Give people the possibility to re-order their previous order or offer discount on products/brands they frequently use.
Micro-moments are called that way for a reason: people want to navigate and find their answers instantly. 60% even state that they decide faster, because they researched everything beforehand³. Consumers even expect your mobile platform to be fast and easy to navigate through with as little as possible steps to get to where they need to be. Here’s how you make this possible:
- Discover which goals visitors try to achieve when visisting your website and find out how many steps it takes them to get there. Make sure you minimize the amount of steps they need to take by shortening forms, adding progressive form fields, using fly-out forms, personalize content, or adding nifty features like an address API that automatically fills in the address or Click2Call buttons.
- The most important activities your visitors do on your website need to have a prominent place. Preferably behind a call-to-action that stands out.
- Show location-based content so people have to take less steps to get where they need to be. Show them, for example, the stock of a specific store nearby.
- Speed is ever-important. 53% of web visitors will leave your website when loading takes longer than 3 seconds. Want to learn how fast your platform is? You can use Google’s PageSpeed tool for this⁸. To speed up your website you can load the content visible within the viewport first before loading the other content (lazyload). You can also choose a CMS that’s already fast, like MODX. Being huge fans of this CMS, we would love to help you out with that. You can learn more about MODX and speed in our blog.
To create a strategy based on the micro-moments of your target audience it’s crucial to follow the next steps:
- Find out what search intention your target audience has. What do they want to know or do? Look at the most important search results, trends (Google Trends), and questions that are most relevant to your organization or industry. Learn more about generating questions in this blog.
- Create relevant content for multiple channels and devices in every step of the journey. It’s important to focus on the most vital micro-moments first.
- Make sure that the different stages of the experience journey are connected with each other, so you can offer visitors a flawless experience. To improve this flawless experience further, you can personalize your digital platform. Is certain information more relevant in another season or outside opening hours? Or show another CTA button for people in antoher stage of their journey.
And this is how you can get started mapping out your target audience’s micro-moments and generate a strategy based on it. In our Sterc model you can find out more about creating a strategy that helps you achieve your goals.