Your Digital Navigator

Sarah Bauer is a project manager and writer with Navigator Multimedia Inc., a Kelowna web development firm. Email sarah@navigatormm.com.

Marketing in the digital age requires a bit of mental gymnastics.

The path to purchase is fragmented, due largely to easy-peasy mobile internet access.

We find what we want when we want it, whether it’s early-bird concert tickets or a video tutorial on making perfect poached eggs.

Decisions are made on our devices in short bursts of action. Brand loyalty means less; companies that give us what we need in the moment are king.

“Micro-moments” is a term Google coined to define those fleeting, powerful instances where we use mobile Internet to meet our needs on the fly. According to Google, there are four central categories of micro-moments:

• I want to know

• I want to go

• I want to do

• I want to buy

In these moments, our patience threshold is low; we want what we want, right now. Brands win us by delivering it to us in the most convenient and consumable way possible. This is what makes micro- moments “the new battleground for brands.” If you get into the game now, consider yourself ahead of the pack.

The brainwork of a micro-moments strategy starts with identifying the moments that matter to your brand. You need to know your target audience really, really well. Like, creepily well. If your website is hooked up with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, you’ve got a goldmine of information to dig through for answers about which devices your visitors use to access the site, their age, gender and location demographics, interests and what types of words and phrases they’re using to find you.

This information can provide a solid groundwork for your micro-moment strategy.

Data is fantastic, but don’t forget the context of your customer’s experience.

The impulsive nature of the micro-moment presents a challenge in determining what your audience desires most, and when.

Start brainstorming moments based on your product or service offering. Cover all four types of micro- moments; plot out your response for the prospects who want to know, want to go, want to buy and want to do. Take the example of a Kelowna-based hair salon:

• I want to know: What are the hair salons’ hours? What will it cost to get my hair dyed?

• I want to go: How do I get to the hair salon? Where is the closest hair salon near me?

• I want to do: How to I achieve long hair without split ends? How do I style my hair like Zac Efron?

How do I decide between platinum or brunette?

• I want to buy: Let me pre-order hair services online. Let me purchase shampoo and have it delivered to my daughter’s dorm in London. Now think about your presence on the web: does it deliver the easiest to find, most consumable content? In the various contexts of a micro-moment, different formats will appease different needs.

For instance, I might have a couple minutes while I’m eating breakfast to peruse how-to hair tutorial videos, but only a couple seconds on Google Maps to assess which hair salon to drive to for a drop-in trim. Anticipating where and when your prospect need you will help in optimizing your various web marketing touch-points, from social media to Google My Business and your website.

There are some measures you can make right away to prepare for micro-moments and get a leg up on the competition.

For starters, responsive web design.

Responsive is the Google-recommended design pattern for mobile delivery. Using media queries, fluid grids and flexible images, responsive design allows for website elements to change to suit different screen sizes.

Instead of a mobile site, which operates as a separate entity from your desktop website, a responsive design delivers one site across all platforms. It’s easier to manage for SEO and marketing, and significantly enhances the browsing experience on mobile devices.

Micro-moments happen on smartphones and tablets, so it makes sense to invest in a strong mobile presence. Visits to websites on mobile devices have increased by 20 per cent in the last year. Don’t miss a moment.

Sarah Bauer is a project manager and writer with Navigator Multimedia Inc., a Kelowna web development company. Learn more at Navigatormm.com.

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