Why you need to know about “want-to-know” micro-moments

Wayne Atkinson, Ontario SEO
Wayne Atkinson
March 2, 2016
Why you need to know about "want-to-know" micro-moments

When was the last time you whipped out your smartphone or tablet to dig a little deeper into an advertisement you saw? How about some guidance for your latest DIY project, or clarification for a presentation or report?

Like the majority of consumers, it was probably today (or yesterday).

We all do this frequently – many of us several times per day, at least. And it’s not limited to checking out ads or DIY. Just think how many people need a hand with all the new things they learn thanks to the Internet (hint: it’s pretty much all of us, now that information’s so widely accessible).

But therein lies the rub: with information so easily obtainable, how can a smart business ensure they stand out at the top of the heap and return at or near the top for relevant search queries?

Why you need to know about "want-to-know" micro-moments

The answer’s simpler than it seems.

It all comes down to listening – really listening – to your customers and making sure you provide exactly the solutions they’re looking for. The information they need, in the moment.

Nobody looks twice.

Well, some people do – but it’s still right there, in the moment. Maybe they want to double-check or get second opinion. But when they want to KNOW, right now, they’re not going to leave it for later. And they’re going to do one of two things:

1. They choose the first solution they see – whether looking for directions, protips, or more in-depth information, mobile consumers move fast. Remember, the top results get the overwhelming majority of the clicks, and most people stop right there, because they’ve found what they wanted.
2. They actively pursue the best solution they can find – “can find” is a pretty loose term. Consumers don’t wade through pages of search results in the moment; at best they might open a few tabs from the top returns, quickly closing all but the best result without following through.

So what happens to businesses that don’t fall into one of those two categories?

They get lost, forgotten. None of their other marketing efforts – even if what they offer is genuinely superior – fade into the background along with everybody else. Micro-moments mean reaching consumers RIGHT NOW, exactly when they need you.

And winning these moments, these impulse and/or real-time queries, is a little different than other initiatives.

Your customers want to know. Right now. And they will.

Micro-moments fracture the consumer journey into a billion tiny fragments. Anyone, anywhere, can enter your sales funnel from any point. Their intent is always clear, though: learn more. This isn’t the time to push for a sale. It’s time to establish yourself as an industry authority; someone willing and able to provide the best answers and solutions to questions and queries.

Google itself says 91% of mobile users turn to their device in the middle of a task.

And a full 69% of online consumers agree that a brand’s messaging affects their perception. The takeaway here is quality and relevance – NOT direct marketing.

They’re not looking to buy new widgets. They want to know how use them effectively. And if Brand X (that’s you) is the best – or first – teacher, they remember and will actively seek you out when it comes time to do business.

Unless, of course, they discover Brand Y’s expertise first.

Identify the micro-moments that matter to your audience

It’s different for every industry, and often between competitors. You need to understand not just what your customers want from you, but why they want it in the first place.

It’s kind of like positioning for the top spot in search results: yes, you want to present the most relevant information possible. But you also need to provide the info they’re looking for in the moment. This means recognizing the triggers that launch your audience’s hunt for more and being the bullet that fires in response.

WHY do your customers “want to know” in the (micro) moment?

Today, that’s just as important as WHAT they want to know. And you need to know if you want to make sure you’re front and center when they’re looking for you.

That level of insight separates today’s top brands, locally and globally, from those struggling to get seen, found, and remembered. And again, the solution’s simpler than you might think: we can help you get there. And we bet you’ve got questions about how to win the most want-to-know micro-moments for your business – please, don’t hesitate to ask!