Capitalizing on micro-moments in travel

micro momentsIf you have walked down the street, rode a bus or sat at a table in a restaurant recently, then you have noticed that everyone has their heads down, focused more on their phones than their surroundings. Anytime someone has a spare moment, they check their phones, look at their social media feeds or perform a quick internet search.

The average consumer checks their phones 150 times a day but they only spend 177 minutes a day actively using their phones. That means that the average session lasts close to one minute ten seconds, precious time that marketers can take the opportunity to try and reach people in the midst of intent driven action. Google calls these brief minutes “micro-moments” and they are the newest and most important way to make sure you are getting your message to customers when they are most likely to be impacted.

When someone is in the beginning phases of trip planning, they experience their destination through photo, video, social media and online reviews – snackable content ideal for these quick research sessions. Over 69 percent of leisure travelers report searching for travel inspiration during those spare moments. These micro moments are the perfect storm of intent, immediacy and context as consumers move through the four stages of purchase: I want to know, I want to go, I want to do, and I want to buy.

Tips for each stage of purchase

During the “I want to know” phase, the consumer is at the very beginning on the decision making process. Brands should focus on driving awareness during this phase with a focus on paid search, SEO, and generating earned media through influencers and public relations. Your presence in mobile SERPs (search engine results page) is also imperative for reaching consumers on the go.

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Once they are aware of your brand, they will then move down the funnel to the next steps of “I want to go” or “I want to do”. Both of these phases are dependent on personalized messaging and useful content that the consumer finds relevant to their needs. This is essential. More and more consumers are moving away from loyalty to a single brand. Actually, one in three shoppers say that they have bought from a different brand they originally intended. Why? Because of the information and content the brand provided at the pivotal moment it was needed.

Seventy-three percent of consumers say that getting regular useful information from a brand is the most important attribute when making a selection. The message to brands – don’t be salesy, be helpful. How to guides and instructional videos are perfectly suited for this phase in the path to purchase.

To ensure you are reaching people when they are ready to buy you must satisfy their needs for immediacy and relevance. That means adjusting your bidding strategy for mobile buyers who are closer to their stores. Brands must be there, be useful, and be quick.

Making sales easy is key for speeding up the buying cycle. Brands must optimize their sites for mobile and smooth the path to purchase by removing unnecessary steps. By enabling a one-click to purchase button or auto filling forms, brands can cut down on the amount of effort that consumers must make prior to completing a purchase. If your buying cycle is slightly more complex than a “click to buy” scenario, you can always provide easy alternatives that get customers on the phone with a salesperson, for example.

It is also imperative for brands to anticipate the needs of their potential buyers. This means being obvious with your calls-to-action and deliberate with your mobile UX design. Being location aware and adjusting your strategy accordingly is also another way to win business from your competitors. Targeting users based on their past behavior is an effective way to craft a message and product offering around persona type.

Most importantly, optimize your mobile site for speed. More than 30 percent of mobile customers will navigate away from a mobile site if it takes longer than six seconds to load. If they are navigating away from your site, they are likely navigating towards someone else’s, and that means your revenue lost to competitors.

Moving into 2016, micro-moments must become an integral part of a brand’s marketing strategy as mobile use grows more prevalent.

About the author

Sarah Harkness 1Sarah Harkness is Marketing Manager for Screen Pilot, a digital marketing agency that specializes in telling the stories of hotels, resorts and hospitality brands through inspired communications, strategic marketplace opportunities, and foundational insights.



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