help-iphoneFor several years, we’ve recommended that marketers consider two types of timeliness when developing various types of content to use in their marketing efforts. We call one type of timeliness “flow content.” It’s the tweets, posts, updates, etc., that stream past us in real time all day and night. We call the content for the other kind of timeliness “know content.” It’s the how-to information, context, directions, etc., that we need to know right now!

The timeliness of flow content (such as this email) is determined by the moment the sender (publisher, blogger, Twitter-user) clicks or taps a send button. The timeliness of know content is determined by the user and occurs at the precise moment he or she needs to know, eat, buy or fix something.

We’re glad to report that Google has just conducted a wide range of research on searches related to what it calls the “micro-moment.” (Or what we used to call the “Right now!” moment until Google gave us a new buzzword.)

Google research reveals a phenomenon all of us have discovered on our own: People are viewing the internet—especially when accessed by the powerful computers we all carry around in our pockets—as a tool for learning how to do anything and a means for finding out about everything, as much as it’s a place for surfing, sharing and entertainment.

How-to content is hot. How hot? According to Google’s research*:

  • 91 percent of smartphone users turn to their device for ideas about completing a task.
  • “How to” searches on YouTube are growing 70 percent year over year.
  • More than 100 million hours of how-to content have been watched in North America so far in 2015.

Bottom Line for Marketers: Since we’ve been saying for years that “Help, Right Now!” is the content users want the most, we’ll pass the baton to Google’s David Mogensen, who says, “When people ask how to do something, that’s a need. That’s someone asking, ‘Can you help me out?’ … Respond to those questions and be there at the very moment someone needs them most. Brands that successfully do this can win loyalty and drive sales to boot.”*

* “I Want-to-Do Moments: From Home to Beauty,” Think With Google, April 2015


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