Looking to jump on the microsite madness bandwagon? Let these useful tips be your guide.
The current trend in the world of marketing seems to spin around microsites. You can think of these as branded blogs, independent campaigns or communication platforms. In a nutshell, these are sites that sport an independent URL, design, content and navigation than the main brand website, where brands publish content to attract the desired crowd.
The term microsite is defined on Wikipedia, in part, as follows:
A microsite, also known as a minisite or weblet, is an Internet web design term referring to an individual web page or cluster of pages which are meant to function as an auxiliary supplement to a primary website. Microsites may be used for purely commercial purposes to create in-depth information about a particular product, service or as editorial support towards a specific product, such as describing a new technology.
New microsites seem to be springing up every day. Brands are using microsites instead of social platforms such as Facebook for their projects and campaigns because they get better viewership and sales conversions.
Be it launching a new product, announcing your corporate culture, keeping a contest for your audience or sharing a brand promotion, these sites can connect you directly to your customer. However, these sites can also prove to be costly, high-maintenance and confusing for your users.
Here’s some pros, cons and tips to help you decide whether it’s time for you to get your hands into a new microsite for your brand or not, and to aid the way:
1. Make It Stand Out
For the sake of work you put into making a microsite, make sure to give it a whole new look, feel and reason of existence that is separate from the brand’s website thus providing users with a reason to visit your microsite and interacting with it.
2. Short Lifespan
Microsites work best for temporary and short-term projects or campaigns, as it needs to be maintained just like a normal website. Giving it a shorter life saves you maintenance cost over the longer term.
3. Lead The Way
A lot of microsites confuse the users and direct them to the main website and kill their curiosity. Make sure your microsite has clear indications and directions to guide the users and whip up their enthusiasm and interest.
4. Website First
A lot of companies neglect their main websites and see microsites as a replacement. This leaves a lot of trusty customers in dismay for when they wish to interact directly to the brand and its website. Make the improvement of your website your no.1 priority and then work on creating a microsite.
5. Let Them Play
A lot of microsites these days comprise of fun, interactive games and incentives for the users. These attract a lot of attention. Take Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood as an example, a game about dating and fashion that generates $700,000 each day. The mind-blowing figure may sound tempting, but always make sure to stay true to your brand. Creating games for the sake of popularity will not be enough. Your brand should shine through it too.
Coca-Cola is the undisputed king of microsites. Last winter’s SweaterGenerator.com and the Super Bowl’s CokeChase.com are a set of “choose your own adventure” style films.
Last year, it launched “The Ahh Effect” a set of 61-and-growing microsites. Each site has a different URL, with a different number of “h’s” at the end of the “ah.”
Enter three “h’s” and you get bottle rocket, a game that lets you “fuel” a Coke-bottle rocket and then launch it. Ten “h’s” gets you an ice-toss game. The sites were created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland. It’s an ongoing project, with more URLs added as time passes.