2017-10-04 in Learning

Local magazines can create awesome micro-moments on smartphones

Even poorly made local magazine websites tend to carry a lot of weight for search engines to present relevant local information. So imagine what a magazine website with great editorial AND advertorial AND advertising content around a brand can do!

It’s now more than two years since Google introduced the concept of micro-moments. Google put a name to a behavior that, thanks to mobile, was becoming pervasive. People had started to expect an immediate answer in the moments they wanted to know, go, do, and buy. The concept of micro-moments was perhaps as truthful, observable, and relatable a consumer behavior trend as any marketer could wish for.

What does micro-moments have to do with local magazines?

Mobile is rewriting communication and commerce, changing the relationship between brands and people forever. And with half of the world still waiting to join the online world, we are only at the foothills of what is possible. The brands that lead this, providing consumers with a frictionless experience online and offline, are the brands that will win in the future.

The advertisers behind those brands need help to generate relevant and authentic content – journalistic and well as advertising. Even poorly made local magazine websites tend to carry a lot of weight for search engines to present relevant local information. So imagine what a magazine website with great editorial AND advertorial AND advertising content around a brand can do!

How can local magazines create products around micro-moments?

Local magazines are uniquely positioned to offer advertisers a subscription service to web pages with advertorial content with their own targeted url to drive SEO. Think a professionally written article where a brand is cleverly mentioned and the url does not include the brand, i.e. https://localmag.com/where-to-find-stone-oven-pizza.

Typically, four core micro-moments are defined:

  • I want to know
  • I want to go
  • I want to buy
  • I want to do


Get your team together to brainstorm ideas for what local brands and advertisers that sell products matching those core micro-moments. Pick the top five most promising ones, based on ability to get ROI for the micro-moments and how likely it is that smartphone users will be searching for the type of products they sell. Put together a short pitch of your offering and go sell!

How should we build our pitch around micro-moments?

First and foremost, your magazine website MUST be responsive, meaning that it displays as nicely on a smartphone as on a large screen PC. As a user I can’t be expected to zoom in using my finger. If you don’t already have such a website, get one quickly because this advice does not only apply to micro-moments.

Next, present a step-wise customer journey to the advertiser you’re pitching to. This journey need to start with a very product or problem specific Google search on a smartphone, related (of course) to the product that the advertiser is selling, and end with the smartphone user buying the advertiser’s product.

Start by presenting the search results you get the day you’re pitching and present what an alternative universe. A universe where the advertiser’s brand is represented on your website with editorial, advertorial and advertising content. A universe where the content is published under specific urls that are optimized for the product or problem that smartphone users need a solution for.

Finally, present a simple ROI calculation based on facts from Google’s “Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile“. Some of the statistics in the piece are stunning:

  • 65% of smartphone users look for the most relevant information on their devices regardless of what company provides that information,
  • 90% of them aren’t certain what brand they want to purchase when they begin their Internet search,
  • 82% consult their smartphones even after they are inside a chosen store,
  • and ‘how-to’ searches on YouTube are growing 70% year-over-year.

Show the advertiser how much you’re likely to be able to increase sales for him and show him how you can help generate the content as part of your package. Go back to one of our past posts for more ideas.

What content is relevant in micro-moments?

Focus on the smartphone user to connect with them on a one-to-one basis. In order to create an engaging experience, help the brand get rooted in purpose and doing good for the world. Yes, I know this may be stretching what you as a published believe your mission is, but I’d argue that it should be part of your mission to connect advertisers and their customers through a easy, helpful and convenient experience.

Don’t limit yourself to banner ads or advertorial content that is so obviously pushing products. The smartphone journey from above is a fragile flower that will end as soon as the experience becomes irrelevant or inauthentic. It is possible to create advertorial content that don’t feel like a product is being shoved down the readers throat. That’s what you need to pitch and even better if you can offer it as an editorial piece.

Banner ads that are not intrusive in their location, look and feel can certainly play an important part in the smartphone journey but do make sure they display well on any device. Use a platform like Bannerflow to generate HTML5 banners rather than displaying crappy gifs.

Video, video, video … and video times a large number

By 2021, 82% of the global internet is predicted to be video traffic. Already, according to Adweek, 50% of Gen Z ‘Can’t Live Without YouTube. Help your clients leverage video in an educational and fun way. Think up ways how you can incorporate video in articles originally produced for print to multi-purpose your carefully crafted journalistic content on your website.

A word of caution. While the younger generations consume a lot of content on YouTube, you need to educate yourself on the pros and cons of YouTube. Depending on the nature of your publishing business you may want to host your videos on Wistia rather than YouTube.

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