More than a decade ago, consumers received marketing messages through televisions, print ads, radios, and word of mouth. But, today, everything has changed. The marketing message has lost its value. Consumers are taking matters in their own hands. Don’t you look for information about the products you wish to purchase? You do, right? You take long hours of research and several resources to know more about the products and services.
During these moments, marketers grab the opportunity to shape the decisions consumers make. In 2011, a study conducted by Google discussed consumer habits. They created the term The Zero Moment of Truth, ZMOT.
But, what does the Zero Moment of Truth mean? Before we discuss the crucial moments, let us have a quick overview of ZMOT.
Table Of Contents
- Overview of the Zero Moment of Truth
- 11 Touchpoints, 4 Locations of ZMOT
- Moments Of Truth + SEO in Content Marketing = Maximum Effectivity
- SEO and ZMOT
Overview of the Zero Moment of Truth
In your life, how do you know it is the Zero Moment of Truth? Picture this:
A young man is alone in a cafe, searching for information about women before going on a blind date.
An avid video gamer, comparing a newly released action-adventure game and an industry-leading sports video game, before purchasing the digital games.
A student in the library, scanning on her mobile phone, watching video reviews of the latest working tablet.
Or, an office worker at her desk, looking at the user ratings and reviews before purchasing a new laptop.
Those are the ZMOT of a person’s life. When you grab a device to start to look for information about the products and services (or a lover) that you are interested in. I am sure you definitely know what I mean, I bet you do several web searches a day!
I bet, these ZMOT statistics wouldn’t surprise you:
- There are 73% of the American populace who claim they scan through the product reviews before making a purchase.
- About 79% of consumers testify how smartphones are a great help when they are shopping for products.
- When people see their product on TV commercials that interest them, 83% do follow research about the product.
These large numbers do not surprise us at all anymore. The consumers have known how to live, learn, and make a decision through ratings and reviews, social media, and video reviews. People learn and decide at the Zero Moment of Truth.
11 Touch Points, 4 Locations of ZMOT
Now, we are done taking a walk through the overview of the Zero Moment of Truth. It is time for us to take a look at how crucial these touch points are to achieve an elusive ZMOT. Google found an interesting fact about the consumers that will truly help marketers.
Relax on your seat and we’ll have a serious discussion about the crucial touch points and locations of ZMOT.
When you say “touch points”, you are referring to the newsletters, flyers, blog posts, reviews, and TV advertisements that you take to market your products or services. Your touch points are accessible through four locations– social media, websites, email, or in person.
Google concludes that a consumer will not immediately purchase the product or service after they come across an advertisement. They conclude that the buyer has to interact with the touch points 11 times for 7 hours and to gain the maximum effectivity, it is best to have 4 locations.
How will you take the journey of the 11 touch points and 4 locations?
4 Locations of ZMOT
Let’s assess your locations first.
- Do you have a website for your business?
- Did you set up a social media profile?
- Do you have a storefront? Or is your store online?
- Do you attend networking events?
If you have these four locations for your business, then you are likely off to a great start. You don’t have any interactions, yet? Don’t worry, let’s use the potential of your locations. But, if you do not have these locations yet, then it might be the right time to think about how you can increase your online presence.
In these four locations, your customer needs to interact with you 11 times. For example, they have to visit your blog three times, read your marketing emails four times, like your Facebook page or other social media platform, email or call you once, read an article you have published, and do a face-to-face consultation.
Your 11 touch points should sum to 7 hours of interaction to achieve the maximum effectiveness.
However, most marketers get stuck in their locations. They do not know where to go after it. Liking a status update would only take less than a minute, reading a blog would only cost the audience less than 10 minutes, much more when they read an email (or if they open it).
If these touches will only take a few minutes, how long will you be able to reach the maximum effectiveness of 7 hours? Do you get the problem now?
First, the information is in a separate location. Second, not all readers can read the content in one sitting, you have to make them inspired and motivated to read it all through. Only if you can provide a good read, then you can engage your readers in all action steps you have set. That way you can easily build up the maximum effectiveness of 7 hours.
Moments Of Truth + SEO in Content Marketing = Maximum Effectivity
We cannot ignore the facts stated in the study of Google. Our target audience does not wait to wait for information, they search and educate themselves to make a purchase whenever they like. That’s why businesses that provide help to their target users during the Zero Moments of Truth will beat out the competition.
So, we’ve come with ways how we can help marketers gain their prospective customers by giving them information about the product they like. Follow this framework and modify each stage to best fit your business approach.
Zero Moment of Truth
In the Zero Moment of Truth, the information in the contents have to be self-serving. It should provide important details about the product, industry, service, and category. You have to know your audience’s needs to present the information in a way they will have easy access. For example:
- You will post blog content on your website that talks about the common questions of your audiences.
- Next, make short and informational video content and upload it on popular video social media platforms like Youtube.
- Answer customer questions through video formats on Facebook Live.
These kinds of content will predominantly provide answers to audience questions. At this stage (ZMOT), you are present in several locations and content formats will help you win the ZMOT.
First Moment of Truth
At this moment, your target audience has an idea of the product or service they are looking for. That’s why your content should support and strengthen their purchase decision. You can include the following in your content:
- Case Studies – Compare the products and make a promising statement on why your brand product is the best.
- Customer Support – Give your prospective consumers to ask questions easily through your website. You can implement support forms and live chats with you or hire a support agent.
- Product Specifications – It is best to give your consumers a heads up about the features and specifications of your product, the delivery information, hand them FAQs to give them a clear idea about the product or service, and so on.
- Reviews – Consumers read product reviews to have an idea of whether their claims are true, and 87% of the prospective customers will trust online reviews.
- Special Offers – You can convince your consumers by sealing a deal with them with a special offer.
- Social Media Engagement – Social media platform is a critical place for target audiences, that’s why they actively respond on social channels.
- Testimonials – Let your real customers talk about your products on your content.
When our target audience looks for credibility, it is crucial to review and understand the potential platform and locations that can present a positive reputation for your brand. But, remember, you can take another measure depending on what is suitable for your industry.
Second Moment of Truth
Meanwhile, in the second moment of truth, you are relating to your customer through the platforms we have discussed in the first moment of truth. Your content should allow your consumers to relate while they are using your product or service.
Their experience in the second moment of truth can affect future consumers, it will provide negative or positive feedback into the ZMOT. That’s why your content should critically support and encourage your advocacy in this stage.
You can create these types of content to support your SMOT:
- How-To Guides – You provide your customers with a guide and support in the advanced use of your products.
- Product FAQ – Consumers have common questions or problems that need to be resolved by your product, or they may be experiencing a problem operating your product. Make sure to answer them in advance through the product FAQ.
- Questionnaires – These can help you ask for feedback to have a guide for future improvements. It can give you ideas on how to modify your moment of truth marketing.
- Social Media – Some audiences have a short attention span, make your social media contents straightforward, and redirect them to your FAQ or user guide. Also, you can create videos for their benefit.
- User Guides – If you have a complex product, you can provide your customer support in the user guide.
In this moment of truth, you are helping your consumers have a smooth experience with your product. You should make sure to have your content provide all the support and answer all the questions of your consumers. Ensure to provide a positive brand experience with your second moment of truth.
Third Moment of Truth
Now, we are in the moment of truth after the consumers have experienced your product or service. The third moment of truth is the point when your customers become an advocate and fan of your brand. You need to give your consumers a “real-deal” after-sales customer service to have positive feedback.
SEO and ZMOT
You may be wondering, where does SEO fit in the journey of ZMOT? My perspective in SEO includes the interaction potential between the consumers and search engines. How do consumers search for your products or services? Do they search for solutions to their problem that only your products or services can solve? How ill your consumers perceive your credibility?
Now, how can you manage to own the search engines? It would be useful in this step to create customer profiles and categorize them with the search terms they would use in all the stages of the buying cycle.
Do you know where to find the high-ranking search terms? Use Ubersuggest, SEMRush, or ask for a helping hand from Blue Water Digital for SEO. They will help you dig the proper keywords and create a strategic plan to have your target audience at the Zero Moment of Truth and beyond.
We want you to gain 100% of the content marketing to win your target audience at ZMOT and beyond. Use the search engine to help you know your target consumers and get a clear understanding of where contents need to be.
Now, you have an idea of how everything has changed in the Internet and how it has mold marketing. Before, when audiences see a stimulus, they would directly go to the product or service and trust the salesman.
Now, we can be experts. We can look for the product or service information and even find the best price for it. So, as marketers, we have to step up our game in helping our consumers in their journey of finding information. It is our job to be there at the Zero Moment of Truth, and support them through the other moments of truth to invite new prospects.