Got a great campaign idea? Make it even stronger with a microsite, which will give curious customers the information they need without a complicated search.
Microsite or Landing Page?
It can be tempting to lump microsites with landing pages, but they’re actually separate solutions to different problems. A landing page is hyper-focused and specifically designed to encourage audiences to answer a call to action. So, say an organization is looking for signatures on a petition or contact info in exchange for an eBook, a great landing page is absolutely the way to go. In content marketing, landing pages are usually leveraged in this way—a form to be completed by your visitors in exchange for a piece of content such as a whitepaper.
A microsite, in contrast, is a branded content site that exists independently of a company homepage and URL, so it’s the perfect space to offer multi-level, interactive engagement for a highly specific campaign or topic. Microsites allow audiences to get detailed information about a product or service without getting lost (and distracted) in the layers of content on an all-encompassing company site.
And while websites and landing pages certainly have their uses, here are a few reasons microsites are the best solution for capturing and holding interest.
Rise Above the Content Marketing Fray
Buyers are more connected to brands than ever, and they’re using mobile, tablets and desktop to gather as much information as they can before they make purchase decisions. A recent Ad Age study found that 94% of consumers used multiple devices to research before they made purchases. To meet buyer demand, three quarters of marketers plan to produce more content in the coming year than they did last year.
An interactive microsite helps audiences find relevant information at a touch, rather than forcing them to slog through pages of irrelevant content hoping to stumble upon the information they’re looking for. Microsites are also great for drawing new leads that might have been lost on a larger page.
When pop star Rihanna teamed up with footwear legend Manolo Blahnik for a highly anticipated shoe collection, the two incredibly popular brands merged on a microsite to create an interactive lookbook that not only showcased the collection, but also included two sharable videos outlining the creation process behind the product as well as purchase information.
Microsites are the perfect solution for creating specific branding around a new or limited addition product because they allow established brands room to experiment without altering logos and personalities on existing webpages and social media accounts. A word of caution from the RihannaxManolo campaign: anticipate audience interest. Their brand collaboration was so well received users crashed the microsite!
While marketers are producing more content than ever, many are forgetting to keep the focus on the audience, leaving many buyers feeling talked at rather than engaged in conversation. A recent study found that 54% of B2B buyers wanted more personalized recommendations across interactions, and 51% wanted more information about promotions or special offers.
A microsite can answer both problems by providing specific, personalized information about products, but they can also go one step further. Marketers can actually create personalized URLs for each contact on a list, which is a particularly effective solution for account-based marketing, or marketing to an entire organization instead of an individual. Personalizing microsite URLs can make a campaign tailored to an entire company feel as 1:1 as an individually targeted campaign.
Create Sharable, Interactive Experiences
However, the most personal, informative microsite in the world might not be enough if audiences aren’t engaging. It’s important to make sure that users are interacting with content once they click to get the most out of your microsite.
Case in point, when Domino’s introduced its new delivery vehicles, DXPs, the brand wanted to show off the in-vehicle ovens, storage capacity and design, so it created a microsite that allowed users to get behind the wheel in a fun game that showcased the cars rather than the pizza. Once users were sharing and engaging, Domino’s took the experience one step further by linking the microsite to an interactive social media experience that gamified the delivery process even further. Using games, quizzes, and interactive infographics on microsites is an easy, highly sharable way to encourage audiences to play with the product, learning more in the process.
Microsites are great at generating new attention, but they’re also highly effective at converting new leads. One study found that dedicated microsites could increase conversion by as much as 50%. However, those conversions are much more likely for microsites that not only provide hyper-focused product information, but also make the information gathering process fun by creating meaningful, personalized engagement through interactive content.