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What Marketers Need to Know to Capitalize on Micro-Moments

What Marketers Need to Know to Capitalize on Micro-Moments

[By Aaron Broverman]

People often say that life can be broken down into a few key moments. Whether that’s actually true doesn’t matter, because it has already started happening in the marketing world.

These key moments are called micro-moments. They’re smaller online engagements with a brand that may not directly lead to that brand’s primary goal, but are a moment on the way to that goal that may have influence down the line.

“We still speak of the primary goal as getting those leads through the door and driving more revenue, but micro-moments are ancillary methods to get clients to think about not just the short-term in getting those primary conversions, but helping to build the brand long-term,” says Matt Umbro, a senior account manager in charge of community at Hanapin Marketing in Bloomington, Indiana.

For example, the goal might be sending people to a white paper and receiving their contact information. A micro-moment on the way to that goal would be getting people to view a video demo of the product or having them sign up for an e-mail newsletter where only a name is required.

For e-commerce companies, a micro moment might be getting people to “like” a Facebook page. It’s not a sale, but it’s an action that gets people at least following your brand and it may turn into a sale in the future.

“The whole notion of micro-moments isn’t necessarily new. It has been around for a while and started when Google Analytics rolled out its Event Tracking a few years back. This allowed you to tag your page and track things like button clicks, clicks to social icons, or clicks to play a video. Previously, you weren’t able to track that data in Google Analytics, but with Event Tracking you are now able to,” says Umbro.

Micro-moments is a term invented by Google and they are basically thoughts consumers have that can be fulfilled by going online. They are the “I-want-to-do,” “I-want-to-go,” and “I-want-to-buy” impulses that consumers have and brands can capitalize on.  We asked Umbro the best ways for brands to do that.

Focus Your Micro-Moments

For Hanapin Marketing, the way Google defines a micro-moment is a little too broad.

“Google defines a micro-moment as anything that relates to the brand, but clients want more focused micro-moments. They’re not necessarily going to care that a user went online and saw where their physical location is; they want something more concrete, such as a Twitter follow, liking a page on Facebook or playing a video,” says Umbro.

For him, a micro-moment is only a true micro-moment worth tracking if it relates to the brand’s end goals, which are usually quality leads, more revenue and higher R.O.I.

Micro-moments aren’t the End Goal; They Help Get You to the End Goal

To understand how you can capitalize on a micro-moment, you must first realize that a micro-moment is meant to be a step toward your final goal and not the final goal itself.

“We emphasize to clients that these micro-moments aren’t necessarily going to be the last clicks, but they will help in the overall process,” says Umbro.

For example, Hanapin Marketing bids on both branded keywords and more generic keywords as part of its paid search program for clients. A branded keyword term is something like “Nike running shoes,” while a more generic keyword term would be “men’s running shoes.”

Obviously, the branded keyword term leads to more conversions to sales, while the generic term doesn’t get as much. But Hanapin shows its clients that even though they’re not seeing last-click conversions from the generic term, it is helping to bring in last-click conversions on the branded term as a customer’s search goes from something generic like “men’s running shoes” to something more specific like “Nike running shoes” as that potential customer becomes more interested in making a purchase.

“We utilize these micro-moments in our attribution to show how they’re ultimately helping get those last-click conversions to leads or sales.”

Going from a Micro-moment to a Last-Click Conversion

So how does a brand get from a micro-moment to a last-click conversion? Unfortunately, this is difficult to pinpoint, as micro-moments are just being figured out by much of the brand population even though the concept has been around for a while.

“It’s a very loose science at this point,” says Umbro. “Google has made efforts within AdWords to track what’s called ‘Estimated Device Conversions,’ which is when someone clicks a mobile ad and then makes a purchase from his or her desktop computer. They’re trying to track when someone clicks an ad and actually goes to the store location and makes a purchase, but this certainly still is a work in progress.”

There are things brands can do to make the process a little more concrete, however. Matt Umbro has a number of recommendations in that regard.

“With your Google Analytics setup, make sure your micro-moments are clearly defined and create a culture within your marketing and sales department of understanding the holistic landscape of what’s going on. For example, obviously Hanapin’s main goal is to turn ‘Contact Us’ forms into sales, but we do a lot of white papers, we do a lot of webinars, we blog every day because those are all steps toward the process. And throughout it all, we’re tracking who is coming in and visiting our page.”

His main advice is to not get discouraged and understand that it’s all part of the process toward getting more sales and a higher R.O.I.

“This can all be tracked to a certain extent, but it’s not quite clear throughout the whole process,” says Umbro.

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