In this article, we’re answering the question, “what is a microsite?”
Online presence has undoubtedly grown to be one of the pillars of a successful business. An effective online presence can positively impact your brand awareness, reach, and marketing campaign. In the past, I’ve discussed some factors that make a powerful digital presence, such as metrics in Google Analytics. In this feature, I’ll be talking about another vital aspect of successful digital content.
So what is a microsite? Keep reading if you want to find out.
What Is A Microsite?
A microsite is a web page or small website that predominantly highlights a brand’s new product, service, campaign, or event. It can be hosted in its own domain or a subdomain through a company’s main website and acts as a temporary web page for a time-limited digital marketing campaign.
Essentially, a microsite plays a significant role in digital marketing by supporting a company’s marketing campaign, increasing its brand awareness, and creating a unique user experience for consumers.
Difference Between Microsite And Website
The main difference between a microsite and a website is the function that they serve.
A website serves as the “face” of a business. Its web design is structured to include multiple pages and relevant information about a company’s products, services, and other resources a consumer may search for.
Meanwhile, a microsite is a branded content site focused on supporting a specific campaign, generating interest and awareness for a new product or service, engaging potential customers through a tailored fit user experience, and ultimately converting them into paying customers.
8 Benefits of Having a Microsite
You might think that having a microsite is just a fancy marketing strategy, but it actually has more benefits than that. When done right, a successful microsite can be a powerful tool businesses and entrepreneurs could use to maximize their advertising and content marketing efforts.
#1: SEO advantage.
One of the most expansive benefits of having a successful microsite is the guaranteed SEO boost. With an effective microsite, businesses aiming to grow their brand will have better SEO ranking and online visibility.
Each microsite has its own keyword-rich domain name, and with a unique URL that is easy to remember, potential customers will be able to find your product or service faster and hassle-free.
Paired with a strong link-building campaign, having a microsite can even lead to more external links. A high-quality microsite often attracts advertising and marketing blogs and encourages them to feature them on their own website or social media. With more people sharing your site across the web through referral links, more search engines will view your site as credible and increase your search engine optimization rankings.
#2: Focused path.
The main purpose of a microsite has always been to highlight a specific product. Compared to a bigger website, a small website provides a more straightforward source of information for your target audience and allows them to have a faster shopping experience.
Just think of it this way, the less distracted your customers are from other products, the faster you make it for them to decide, and the higher your buying rate is.
#3: Effective branding.
I told you it’s more than just a flashy marketing strategy. Since it only focuses on a specific product and can be customized based on a buyer persona, having a microsite is a great way to make your brand stand out and create a stronger brand engagement.
OfficeMax’s “ElfYourself” is a great example of an interactive microsite that encourages the target audience to have an impactful interaction with the brand while helping the business establish powerful brand loyalty and engagement.
#4: Efficient email campaign.
Almost every one of us has an email address or two. We have it as the main communication channel for work, we use it for our social media channels, and we check it for exclusive brand deals and discounts. Popups and welcome gates that ask for visitors’ email addresses will help you drive potential customers to search and purchase your featured product or service.
#5: Detailed information.
If you’re trying to raise awareness for your brand, it is important to provide your customers with sufficient and digestible information that would better support their buying process. A microsite with relevant content about a certain product will help visitors learn and find value in it.
#6: Faster development and placement.
Microsites are easier to develop and faster to place than a large-scale company website. This is especially true for advertising efforts with a limited time, such as seasonal promotions and brand activation events. Creating a small website meant to promote a single product for a limited time frame makes more sense and value for money instead of creating a full-scale website.
#7: Less overcrowded homepages.
One of my biggest pet peeves when visiting a website is the complicated user interface and an overwhelming homepage. Microsites prevent online congestion by only including important details about a product and providing limited offers tailored fit based on a buyer persona.
Time and money-wise, a small website with a limited number of pages and lesser content is much more affordable and easier to maintain than an extensive website.
Examples of the Best Microsites
Microsites can be modified depending on your brand and advertising goals. Here are a few great examples of different kinds of microsites:
#1: Focused Blogs.
Focused blogs are specialized blogs that position a brand as an industry expert.
A great example of this is Chanel’s “Inside Chanel.” It is an informational site designed to educate readers about the fashion industry, how Chanel contributed to it, and highlight the company’s successes. On the site, visitors can learn everything from Chanel’s history to “The Vocabulary of Fashion.”
#2: Data Visualizations.
Who knew you could turn infographics into microsites, right? Microsites that contain data visualization are super useful for drawing attention to an issue, cause, or topic relevant to the brand. Plus, you can make it fun and interactive too.
An example of this is Collaborative Fund’s “The Bright Future of Car Sharing.” This microsite aims to highlight the growth of car sharing and its impact on the planet. It has a side-scrolling layout that enables visitors to hover over sections and graphics in a fun and engaging way.
#3: Interactive Experiences.
Microsites with built-in interactive experiences create a more personalized experience for your users and can significantly influence their emotional responses.
The New York Times Magazine’s “Walking New York” is a unique example of an interactive microsite. It utilized data from Google Maps to give visitors an immersive online tour of the city’s most popular areas.
#4: Campaign Landing Pages.
Campaign landing pages are often used as a central hub for large-scale marketing campaigns.
Take Halsey’s Manic The Album microsite. It features her music videos and tour dates and takes pre-orders for her Manic Album. It doesn’t only provide relevant information for her fans but also provides them with an immersive space.
Tips On How To Develop A Microsite That Performs
Successful and effective microsites require as much planning and organization as designing a full-scale website. Here are some best practices to take note of when creating a microsite.
Tip #1: Strategy and Planning.
Microsites are heavily positioned to attract a specific buyer persona, so the first thing that you have to do is to identify and define who your target audience is. Find out their demographics, buying habits, and the direct competitors they’re already buying from.
Tip #2: User stories and Flow Mapping.
Once you’ve figured out who your target market is and their needs, the next step is to create a clear path for your visitors to the action you’d like them to take. The easier you make it for your visitors to find what they need, the higher your conversion rate.
Tip #3: Keyword research.
To help your site rank better on search engines, including as many relevant keywords to your content is a must.
Tip #4: Messaging, Voice, and Tone.
People love a brand they can resonate with, so make sure to use messaging, voice, and tone in your content that relates to your customers.
Tip #5: SEO.
Your content should be based on your comprehensive market research, competitive landscape, and keyword analysis. Doing so strengthens your online visibility and expands your brand reach.
Tip #7: Analytics
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are great Web analytics tools you can use to monitor your microsite’s indexing status and enhance its search visibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some more pointers to help you create a powerful microsite!
What makes an effective microsite?
Great microsites should help build brand awareness, boost your SEO efforts, increase brand engagement, generate leads, demonstrate subject matter expertise, and help your brand reach new audiences.
Are microsites effective?
Yes. When done right, a successful microsite can be a powerful tool to strengthen your online presence, positively impact brand awareness and engagement and businesses and maximize your advertising and content marketing efforts.
Should my microsite have the main company branding?
Your microsite can be hosted on a unique domain separate from your company’s main website. However, since its goal is to highlight a specific product, service, or campaign from your brand, it should also be consistent with your company branding.
How long will the site need to be live?
The timeframe of a microsite will heavily depend on your marketing campaign and advertising directives.
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