You might also know their not-so-distant marketing cousins: "Moments of Truth". These micro-moments, as coined by Google, represent steps inside a consumer's journey in an ever increasing mobile and connected world. If you're not already attempting to reach your customers during their decision-making process, you're not doing your business any favors. You need to take control of your online presence, and you need to start today.
In a study dating back to the Jurassic era of the mobile age, way back in 2011, Google identified something called a "Zero Moment of Truth" or ZMOT. A moment when the consumer would make a decision prior to the actual moment of an in-store or online purchase. They discovered that 88% of U.S. consumers engaged in a ZMOT prior to making their final purchase decision. Longer purchase cycle industries such as Travel, Auto and Tech had their micro-moment peaks at around 3-4 months prior to purchase while the more impulsive or spontaneous categories such as Restaurants would peak only hours before.
What does this mean for a business owner in a small town? The exact same thing as it means for a large store in a big city: you need to be where your customers are, when your customers are. Let’s discuss three distinct micro-moments.
Being present when a consumer does a mobile search early in the journey is imperative to shape their decision. We're not talking about misrepresentation; we're talking about giving your product or service a fair chance to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. Give this exercise a try:
To remedy the situation, start planning some website or social media content today. Create how-to videos or take pictures of your in-store display. Show them useful ideas that will come up when they're looking around.
According to Google, 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search, and 1 in 3 smartphone users have purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended to because of information provided in the moment they needed it.
This is micro-moment #1, and you need to be there when your future customer is looking for ideas.
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When comes the time to compare or view reviews for your product or service, where does your customer go? Are you encouraging your satisfied clients to leave reviews on your social media profile, website or Google MyBusiness? Would you say you are actively participating in the conversation when a happy customer posts a photo of your product, and do you respond to negative reviews?
The nature of the beast (by which I mean your online presence on social media or search engines), is to show content that is deemed to be as relevant as possible to the consumer. Multiple genuinely positive reviews will give Google or Facebook a good excuse to show your business next time someone is looking for recommendations.
When it comes time to dive in, do you have a pool of information available for a quick swim? Your website needs to work flawlessly on mobile devices for search engines to decide they're worthy of a higher ranking. In late 2016, Google announced they would be starting to rank websites by primarily using the mobile version. If you’ve noticed a recent drop in your search ranking, this might be the first place you need to look at.
This is micro-moment #2, and you need to be there when your future customer is comparing products & services.
Consumers won't hang back while your slow mobile site loads. They've made their decision and they expect to buy now. Knowing that 40% of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a retail site, you don't want to have wasted all your efforts by creating a negative environment in the last step.
If you rely on the more traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, you need to have all the information necessary for a customer to easily make his/her way to your location. Keep an eye on your business hours across profiles (Facebook, Google MyBusiness, Yelp, etc.) and while you're at it, make sure your address is properly entered and is matched across the board. This also goes for your business name: avoid duplicate Google Map profiles, unofficial social media pages, typos and weird capitalization. If a customer uses the "Get Directions" feature on Google Maps, will the route make sense?
Just like we did for micro-moment #1, put yourself in your customer's shoes; this time, you're ready to buy.
This is micro-moment #3, and you need to be there when your future customer is ready to buy.
About The Author
Jean Sebastien. Social Media & SEO Manager