Just when you thought the marketing world was overflowing with jargon, another phrase is thrown into the mix. This time: micro-moments.

Google’s way of referring to the need to appeal to mobile customers regularly on the hunt for new information, this isn’t, however, a buzzword to add to your avoid-list.

Instead, content marketers need to be focusing on, and optimising content for, these moments and incorporating them into their strategies.

In this article, we explore:

  • What micro-moments are
  • Why you should care about them
  • How you can optimise for them

What are micro-moments?

So we’ve told you micro-moments are a necessity within your content strategy, but what does the term mean?

In a nutshell, it’s Google’s way of describing in-the-moment instances when a mobile user wants information – and your brand has the ability to give it to them.

They highlight four key moments:

  • I-want-to-know
  • I-want-to-go
  • I-want-to-buy
  • I-want-to-do

It’s not news to you that mobile is changing the way people search. Google say 87% of millennials keep their phones with them day and night, with 30% of people feeling anxious when their phone isn’t nearby.

Mobile enables us to be ‘always on’ and ask questions as and when they arise, which has led to more rapid search sessions. Google say we access our phones 150 times a day, for an accumulative daily time of 177 minutes – meaning an average session lasts around 1 minute 10 seconds.

This has contributed to the breakdown of the traditional search journey into smaller, real-time, intent-driven queries. Interrupt a consumer during the wrong moment – like when they’re uploading a holiday photo – and you’ll be ignored. Jump in when consumers are seeking answers? These are micro-moments, and your chance to win users.

micromoments-venn-diagram

Why you should focus on micro-moments

Reportedly, when using a mobile to seek information, 65% of smartphone users read the most relevant result, regardless of the brand. This means you have the potential to not only tap into a new audience, but potentially steal people from your competitors.

Content focus is increasingly moving away from targeting short tail queries, to appeal to longer tail, conversational questions. These tend to appear higher in the sales funnel, so, by answering these questions, your brand has the potential to draw in customers much earlier. Provide consumers with clear, concise answers throughout their purchasing journey and you’ll soon become a trusted expert, encouraging advocacy and return custom.

Additionally, optimise this content for Google’s Instant Answers (also known as Featured Snippets) and you’ll reach more people by taking up far more real estate in the search results.

How to optimise for micro-moments

Google highlight three key ways to optimise your content for micro-moments (more detail on each point can be found in their micro-moments guide):

  • Be there: Research and anticipate relevant moments to your industry and commit to being there
  • Be useful: The information your provide needs to be relevant to the consumer’s needs in that moment
  • Be quick: It’s crucial your mobile experience is fast and frictionless in order to compete for an audience that’s on-the-go

The ‘be there’ point, particularly, is critical for content marketers. It emphasises the importance of knowing and understanding your audience to enable you to create detailed personas. Once created, strategists should map moments to them. Pick a persona and think about the questions they might ask – use keyword research to help with this.

It’s likely you’ve got your keyword research process nailed, but as a tip, when it comes to longer tail research, Keyword Planner will help you find the fundamentals, then, try a tool like Answer the Public to build these queries into the whats, whens, whys, wheres and hows.

Once your research is complete, ensure content is structured correctly to adhere to the ‘be useful’ step. Essentially, this means a clear, concise and informative layout. This way, you also stand a better chance of featuring in an Instant Answer box.

How to optimise for Google’s Featured Snippets

We recently explored the importance of optimising content for instant answers. Unfortunately, there’s no best practice guide to guaranteeing a spot in a featured snipper, but research has taught us there are a few simple, yet effective, things you can do to increase your chances:

  • Focus on mobile: This is crucial. The audience for your micro-moments are on their phones and, as mentioned, want answers quickly. Ensure your site is responsive and fast, and the content is structured for a seamless mobile experience.
  • Answer multiple moments on one page: Rather than create numerous pages for each query, group together questions on similar topics and structure the page into a clear narrative.
  • Use heading tags: With the above in mind, ensure your page is labelled with a clear, relevant H1 and that any moments you’re addressing are broken up with applicable H2s.
  • Be concise, yet informative: Where possible, ensure the first paragraph beneath a header summarises the answer succinctly (to fit an answer box). Then, go into further detail beneath it to show that you are an expert on the topic.
  • Use jump links: At the top of your page, consider bullet pointing the various headers/topics you will cover in the piece and using jump links to allow users to skip down the page. Not only does this aid a user’s experience, it also helps Google find relevant information quickly.

You need to win at mobile to win at micro-moments

Mobile optimisation is no longer just a job for tech and IT teams. Content marketers need to be considering it at the start of their strategy process; the audience is only ever going to grow, and become increasingly confident at purchasing, as well as researching.

Detailed audience research, coupled with the ability to provide answers on-the-go is the key to winning these micro-moments – that, and crafting the best content, of course!

In summary, the fundamentals to winning at moments are ensuring the following are included in your content strategies:

  • Detailed audience analysis and personas
  • Moment mapping
  • Mobile optimised content

If you know of any brands that are excelling at micro moments, let us know by tweeting @RocketMill.