What is an effective microsite? 7 best practices to follow

If creating a microsite is key to your marketing efforts, follow these practises to create an effective one.

Posted by Team Edisol

A microsite allows you to interact and engage with your audience in a creative and uncluttered way as it is different from your brand’s main website. Read on to know about what it is and how to build one effectively.

What is a microsite? A microsite is a content-driven site that generally sits outside your brand’s URL, though it could also exist as a subdomain. It typically has a limited shelf life, linked to that of your digital marketing campaign, and this makes it immensely versatile.

You can engage in microsite marketing just for the purpose of testing the waters, seeing where new ideas lead to, or go all out with a targeted campaign, garnering leads from niche consumer personas.

You can use a microsite to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Announce a new product
  • Engage with your audience in a fresh, interactive way

However, while a microsite can help you generate leads and increase visibility, building a creative one takes time, effort and resources. Additionally, having more than one site can possibly confuse your audience, especially if they do not read into the URL differences. Moreover, implementing a great microsite requires a substantial amount of commitment, which can leave your other marketing efforts on the back burner.

These pros and cons beg the question, ‘What is an effective microsite?’ Read on to know about 7 best practices that go into making a microsite effective.

Dive deep

Since a microsite is separate from your website, you have the chance to go in-depth without your pages becoming cluttered. For instance, if your brand manufactures cars and is about to announce a new model that boasts of great efficiency across the board, you could use a microsite to display all its metrics engagingly. You could also have subpages dedicated to each standout feature, something you cannot do without cluttering and overloading your main website. The pages of a microsite are easy to navigate and digest, allowing you to engage your audience much better.

Choose an engaging design

Use your microsite to employ an interactive and refreshing design that portrays your brand’s personality. Go beyond traditional brand aesthetics and make new choices when it comes to images, typography, and colours. Given that a microsite is independent of your primary website and focuses only on one aspect, you can opt for a more engaging or interactive design. However, ensure that your microsite marketing efforts do not do away with user-friendliness or dynamism.

Say no to secondary branding

How to create a microsite that stands out? Professionals suggest the KISS – Keep it short and simple – design principle. The advice is reliable, in that it helps you stay consistent. No to overdoing elements, yes to going unique and minimalistic, yet within the scope of your company’s branding. When designing your microsite, you must keep in mind that the microsite is an extension of your brand and not a secondary brand in itself. So, all your design and content must prominently feature shades of your brand, avoiding any confusion regarding the microsite’s ownership.

Employ a visual narrative

With a microsite you can employ interactive designs, such as scrolling through a storyline or using gamification, which may not be suitable in your main website. For instance, if you sell cotton clothing, you could create a storyboard depicting the production process, from cotton plant to fabric, while also mentioning industry-related revolutions and inserting your brand’s story into it all. This would go a long way in helping you build trust and tap into the power of emotional marketing while making your brand more relatable.

Have clear CTAs and targets

Once you have established the purpose of your microsite, ensure that you have cleverly-placed CTA buttons, email widgets, backlinks, and so on. These should reflect what you want to achieve from your microsite and may be integrated once you list out measurable objectives. When using a microsite for marketing strategy for your brand, set targets and decide beforehand whether you want an X% bounce rate reduction, a Y% improvement in organic leads, a Z% ROI increase, etc.

Promote your microsite on social channels

To ensure that your microsite gains visibility and generates returns, promote your microsite to your target audience. The best place to do so is on social media. Ensure all your social media handles effectively advertise your microsite on each platform. It is also important to tailor your content for each platform rather than sharing the same message everywhere. For instance, Pinterest marketing may work better for you than Twitter marketing, and both require different approaches. Motivate your followers to share the link of your microsite. Since microsites house the potential for virality, social media channels serve as great vehicles for rapid brand awareness.

Think of a well-defined exit plan beforehand

Among the foremost microsite do’s and don’ts is to have an appropriate exit plan in place when the site outlives its purpose. If you intend to keep the microsite going for later, you can house it as an extension of your company’s website or on a dedicated domain and subdomain, making it easily accessible. When you think its shelf life is over, see to it that the domain does not fall into the wrong hands to prevent misuse.

Creating a targeted microsite is sure to amp up your digital marketing efforts. For a comprehensive strategy on how to go about it, contact Edisol.