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Life in micro-moments

About how smaller, more digestible bits, defined by Google as "microcontent," also serves the modern need to consume content in micromoments.

In addition to accommodating the mind’s tendency to break up large quantities of information into smaller, more digestible bits, microcontent also serves the modern need to consume content in micromoments. Consumption in general has been driven by the proliferation of mobile technology innovation and adoption, placing our life experience—therefore the customer experience—into a series of these moments, defined as “those intent-rich moments when people turn to their smartphones or other devices to act on a need: to know, go, do, or buy.”11 

According to a study released in June 2016, the average user engages in 76 phone sessions per day, with heavy users averaging 132 sessions per day. Marry that with the average user’s 145 minutes spent on their phone per day, heavy users spending 225, and the result is a miniscule average session length: just under two minutes for the average user, and just over a minute and a half for heavy users.12 Over the years, this micro-moment phenomenon has reinvented the customer journey in terms of demand for relevant, useful content fast when customers turn to search engines in those micromoments— and companies are now obliged to accommodate with instant, accurate results or risk irrelevance.13 Traditional content formats are not equipped to do this, rather they create friction points that will divert a customer elsewhere out of frustration and lack of understanding.

Smart content is the next generation of microcontent: its semantic richness in addition to its structure propels delivery, increasing customer satisfaction with their experience. Meeting the modern expectations of on-demand understanding leads to rewards in the form of traffic, brand mentions, and conversions: for example 69% of smartphone users surveyed said they are more likely to buy from a company whose mobile site or app helps them find the answers to their questions easily.14 Further, 60% of online users say thanks to online research, they make purchasing decisions more quickly than they did a few years ago.15 Buyers make purchases following a search often within a day, sometimes within the hour.16

  1. How Mobile Has Redefined the Consumer Decision Journey for Shoppers, Google, 2016.
  2. Mobile Touches: dscout’s Inaugural Study on Humans and Their Tech, dscout, Inc., June 15, 2016.
  3. Ronnell Smith, “How Your Brand Can Create an Enviable Customer Experience for Mobile Web Searchers,” Moz, October 5, 2016; Matt Lawson, I-Want-to-Go-Moments: from Search to Store, Think with Google, April 2015; and Laura Adams, Elizabeth Burkholder, and Katie Hamilton, Micro- Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile, Google, September 2015.
  4. Smith, “How Your Brand Can Create an Enviable Customer Experience for Mobile Web Searchers,” 2016; and Give Consumers Relevant Information in Their I-Want-to-Know Moments, Think with Google, June 2016.
  5. Adams, Burkholder, and Hamilton, Micro-Moments, Google, September 2015.
  6. Lawson, I-Want-to-Go-Moments, Think with Google, April 2015.
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