The Search Agency recently hosted a webinar with eTail  on the importance of leveraging the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) to influence consumer buying behavior and drive sales. Raquel Krouse , Social Media Lead at The Search Agency, and Joe Nolan, Director of New Media at Men’s Wearhouse , discussed how new trends in online marketing are changing how consumers acquire, apply, and are influenced by branded knowledge at ZMOT.
Krouse explains how increased consumer connectivity across devices and the mass of highly accessible, free information is changing consumer behavior. Today, consumers are highly knowledgeable about the products they purchase before they buy them, and are savvy about where and how to find relevant information about brands and products both at home and on the go. “Consumers are always on now, and it’s not just that we are on with our mobile phones,” explains Krouse. “We are on our desktop computers at work. We are on our tablet devices in the evening. We all live in multi-screened households, which are constantly connected.” As a result of increased consumer connectivity, purchase cycles have expanded. Consumers are now spending more time researching products across more site than ever before, and in turn are spending more time at ZMOT. What this means for marketers is that we have to be present from the beginning of this cycle, right as consumers begin conducting searches.
How do should you target consumers at their ZMOT? Using Men’s Wearhouse’s ZMOT strategy as an example, Krouse and Nolan outlined a few straightforward steps to applying ZMOT to your marketing strategy.
- Where do you stand at ZMOT? – Understand the experience around your brand at ZMOT by reviewing and optimizing the top 8 online sources used by shoppers when making purchase decisions at ZMOT. Applying this information to optimize SEO content creation both on- and off- page can help improve SERP visibility at the beginning of the consumer decision-making cycle.
- Search engines
- Word of mouth
- Comparison shopping
- Product brand/manufacturer website
- Online product reviews and endorsements
- Retailers/store website
- Online article comments
- Engage with a brand on social media outlets
- Generate online word-of-mouth across relevant social media channels with timely, engaging content- Make sure you are participating and promoting relevant content on the appropriate social media platforms. Make the most of seasonal trends, such as back to school, prom, Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc., to grow your share of voice by promoting keyword optimized content, comments, and coupons across relevant channels. For example, if you sold diet services, you would want to create promotional content directly after the holiday season and boost online participation to capitalize on the post-holiday diet craze.
- Drive organic rankings with valuable SEO content-Marketers should make their website attractive to both search engines and consumers through high-quality, valuable content. Write content for your audience and make it easy for them to find the information or call-to-action they are looking for quickly and efficiently.
- Incorporate social sharing buttons to facilitate organic sharing of content.
- Optimize your website for each device (mobile, desktop, tablet).
- Remove pages with high bounce rates.
- Nurture consumer relationships across social media outlets – Customer service is vital to ZMOT. Leverage social media outlets to provide your customers with an engaging, interactive page that addresses their needs.
The webinar goes into much more detail about ZMOT, how the marketing team at Men’s Wearhouse is applying it to their strategies, and best practices you can implement to win customers at ZMOT. To learn more, check out the on-demand presentation and full slide desk on the eTail website .