Let’s time travel. The year is 2003. Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film adaptations have closed out with the future-Academy-Award winning Return of the King, the Human Genome project has recently wrapped up after over a decade and the world-wide web is accessed with the help of a yellow running man icon and the shrill sounds of a dial-up modem.
Your browsing likely consisted of checking your email through AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo!. You also may have spent the time viewing photos that took about a minute to load in glorious 320×240 resolution. Fact-finding was a little bit more straightforward as HTML 4 was built around tables and text, limiting the possibility of mobile-adaptive element scaling, integrated multi-media and complex experience-enhancing scripts.
It was a different, and simpler, time.
What Does 2003 Have to Do with My Digital Marketing?
Why have we traveled to the halcyon days of the early 2000s?
Because buying has changed significantly since then. For the most part, however, marketing has not.
The ubiquity of smartphones with increasingly fast internet connections has allowed consumers to compartmentalize their purchases. No longer does forgetting to purchase laundry soap at the grocery store require the time and mental devotion of unloading the groceries one remembered, turning around and heading back.
These days, you can simply order the forgotten item and have it at your door in one day or less. Sure, you may have to flip your underwear inside out when the sun rises again, but you don’t have to think about laundry soap for more than the 7 or 8 seconds it takes to purchase the item through your preferred shopping app.
Despite the infinite number of new platforms, attribution models and sales opportunities that come along with the mobile connectivity revolution, many marketers are still stuck in what I call the “billboard mindset.” which involves throwing everything in front of everybody’s face and hoping that one or two people who see it just happen to be thinking about how they need what you are offering.
Micro-Moments are a remedy and a new paradigm for marketing. Best of all, data-driven strategy and execution of Micro-Moments is all but guaranteed to drive unprecedented success for your unique marketing goals.
What are Micro-Moments?
Seemingly the product of an intrusive bout of empathy, a trait that is sadly lacking in marketing, Micro-Moments are a new way to think about how we’re talking to our prospects.
Micro-Moments challenge the way we’ve traditionally talked to and captured the attention of the people who are most likely to move through our marketing funnels. It starts by thinking about the way people use their connection to the internet. For digital marketers, after all, the internet is an ad delivery platform.
For end users, however, it’s connection with people. It’s reading the news, finding the best Ethiopian food in a new city, checking baseball scores, buying train tickets, discovering today is an acquaintance’s birthday, wishing that acquaintance “happy birthday,” and maybe researching which compact crossover best meets their needs and wants.
The trick is catching them while they’re working out that final need they have for their online activity. That’s where Micro-Moments come in.
What Do You Want?
The name ‘Micro-Moments’ comes from trying to capture the small moments where prospective customers are acting on things they want to do. Google breaks these up into four moments:
- I want to-do moments
- I want to-know moments
- I want to-go moments
- I want to-buy moments
These Micro-Moments are small events throughout the average smartphone user’s day but represent the deepest well of opportunity for marketers seeking to capture and maintain their attention. All four of these wants can be satisfied with a quick search on a smartphone.
Once you’ve identified these moments, the term Micro-Moment comes to fruition because you have just that – a micro-second – to capture their attention and show them why you are the answer to their query.
Knowing how to captivate those who are searching in the correct way within those moments is how you elevate your own marketing and stop spinning your wheels with the “billboard mindset.”
How Do I Create Content That Wins Micro-Moments?
Effectively using Micro-Moments starts by seeing your online presence like shelf space in a store…or, more relevantly, parking spaces on your lot. Everything you do is taking up space and has an opportunity cost associated with it.
Let’s talk about how you maximize these infinitesimally-small opportunities to sell your brand or your expertise while avoiding content that gets lost in the ever-present static of the digital world.
Step 0: Know your audience
Understanding your base of customers, prospects and brand-desirables is a baseline step for understanding how to speak to and market to the people who will keep the doors open on your dealership/automotive group.
Make notes on things like the average ages of people shopping for certain vehicles, the importance of brand/dealer loyalty among shoppers, how many contact points are made before a sale relationship is established, what kind of technology is important to customers, what features and specs are important to them, etc.
The more data you can collect about your customers and prospects, the better prepared you’ll be to speak to them in a way that is direct and effective.
Step 1: Build content that starts with an answer
The first step is understanding what a prospect is looking for when they are hopefully going to find your brand. In the digital marketing world, it’s easy to get hung up on thinking about our dealership, group or brand as an important thing. It is important, after all, to us. To an end-user, though, they want something that is valuable for them.
When it comes to building out an editorial content calendar or even strategizing what aspects of your knowledge-base you’re going to be creating content around, think in terms of what you can offer that you would enjoy reading, listening to or watching as a consumer yourself.
- Rather than writing a blog about the founding of your dealership, create a blog post about how to find lift points when changing a tire.
- Instead of recording a video showing off your biggest-selling model, share a review and tutorial for a commonly misunderstood feature a less-popular vehicle has.
- Create a side-by-side model comparison page that transparently addresses the competing model’s strengths and is light on hyperbolic language.
These items are somewhat counterintuitive, but they represent ways to spread your own brand awareness within these Micro-Moments in a way that is free of perceived dishonesty/obfuscation.
Step 2: Be less flashy and polished
This step may seem counterintuitive for content creators, who love to produce magazine-quality spreads with infographics that could hit the front page of Pinterest.
Understanding that the average smartphone user spends over four hours a day on their device, however, means conceding that a lot of the work that’s put in to add more depth to valuable content is wasted.
That paragraph you re-wrote four times or that photo you spent an hour editing in Adobe Lightroom are being placed in front of people who just want a quick answer and are already overwhelmed at the amount of choices they have in the search engine results page (SERP).
Focusing on the value of your content rather than the presentation will not only help the static, technical success indicators like site traffic and bounce rate, but it will also help searchers within your region come to see your brand as an authority they can trust – light on bologna and heavy on answers that come from a place of understanding how busy everybody is all of the time in 2019.
Step 3: Use language that understands these needs
Whether you’ve budgeted to promote your content through paid search channels like Google Ads and Facebook or are simply working on creating search-engine-friendly website content that will rank for high-value, intent-driven search terms, speaking to Micro-Moments is essential.
On the paid search and digital advertising side of things, creating ad copy that seeks to immediately answer the questions that the keyword queries ask is essential.
On the organic search side of things, reinforcing the question your content answers and not trying to waver too much from a single answer/point in a content piece will help both search engines and searchers identify your content as a high-value resource that doesn’t rely on gatekeeping techniques to guard the knowledge therein.
Step 4: Test everything on mobile
If your website isn’t mobile and you’re not focusing your ad strategy around mobile-device preferences, you’re going to miss out on these Micro-Moments.
Making sure any paid advertising strategy is built around prioritizing and boosting bids on mobile devices, as well as ensuring that your website is responsive, scalable on mobile displays, looks good and directs visitors to convert is the difference between wheels spun and sales won.
Shrink Your Strategy. Inflate Your Sales.
When harnessed properly, Micro-Moments empower your dealership/automotive group to spend less time on the stuff that isn’t helping out your bottom line. Understanding how to speak to the unique and ephemeral needs of your prospect base will boost every portion of your funnel.
With Micro-Moments currently sitting as an outlier paradigm of automotive content marketing and digital advertising, the sooner you get on board the further ahead of your competition you’ll be.
If you have questions about how to properly strategize or implement Micro-Moments or would like a consultation with a DealerFire marketing specialist who can get you to this important level, contact us today!