Microsite - How to use it for your content marketing!
In content marketing, there are many helpful tools for promoting individual campaigns, products or promotions. On the one hand, there are the individual social media channels, blogs integrated into the website, landing pages or even... microsites.
These are thematically and structurally reduced websites for the promotion of advertising campaigns and individual products. The first sites of this kind were launched at the beginning of the millennium because the main sites and homepages proved to be too inflexible for concrete measures and the conversion of existing websites would have been too costly.
In the meantime, they have become firmly established in content marketing!
How you can optimize your content marketing in 2019 by using a microsite, what the microsite definition says about its design, structure and content, and what advantages it has over other formats, such as a landing page? We'll tell you in this article.
Fact Check: What you need to know if you want to create a microsite
There are several factors that define a microsite. For example, microsites are often launched as additional websites to the actual company homepage.
Care is taken to ensure that the design and content of the microsite is consistent with the actual website. Nevertheless, a microsite also stands and functions independently of the latter and is characterized by very minimalist functionality. It has few subpages and flat navigation levels.
In most cases, it is used exclusively for the presentation and treatment of a specific topic, product or campaign.
The purpose of a microsite is primarily lead generation!
Usually, such a minisite is launched with its own domain, but often you can also see that they run via a subdomain. In this way, companies try to lend their microsites respectability and create a concrete link to the actual web presence.
What else you need to know before launching your own microsite in 2019:
- A microsite is not a landing page!
- What advantages a microsite has.
- What disadvantages it may have.
- And which elements a microsite absolutely needs.
What is the difference between a microsite and a landing page?
That there is overlap in the usefulness or scope of microsites and landing pages cannot be denied.
- Both can be used to independently promote specific campaigns or individual products and services.
- None is accessible via the navigation menu of the company homepage.
- Both are characterized by a slimmer design than that of the main page.
- And both can, but do not have to, be online only for the duration of a campaign.
Nevertheless, there are also crucial differences between the two mini websites:
<span id="test" class="kool-class";" fs-test-element="test"><table class="customTable">
<td>Hat Unterseiten, aber keine tiefe Navigationsstruktur.</td><td>Besteht aus 1 einzigen Seite.</td></tr>
<td>Sind immer von der Hauptwebsite ausgelagert.</td><td>Ist in der Regel in Unternehmenswebsite integriert.</td></tr>
<td>Individuelle Domains ähnlich wie DeinBrandMicrosite.de oder www.DeineKampagneMicrosite.de.</td><td>Meist URLs wie www.DeineDomain.de/LandingPage oder LandingPage.DeineDomain.de.</td></tr>
<td>Dient der Leadgenerierung und Bereitstellung von Informationen zu einem Produkt oder einer Kampagne.</td><td>Dient üblicher Weise als Call-to-Action oder Registrierungsportal.</td></tr>
<td>Kann zum Content Marketing rund um das promotete Produkt oder die Kampagnen eingesetzt werden.</td><td>Bewirbt meist Angebote wie Produkttests, Downloads, Webinare oder Erstellung individueller Angebote.</td></tr>
Whether a landing page or a microsite is better for your content marketing depends on your goal and your product. To help you find out, we'll devote a separate paragraph to this question below.
What are the advantages of a microsite?
A microsite can be used to completely outsource the promotion of a product and separate it from the company website both visually via the design and thematically.
The fact that a microsite can be accessed via an independent URL means that it can be designed to be very target group-oriented. Because it offers more space than a landing page, for example, it is even possible to integrate stores there or to set up the product advertised on the microsite as a separate brand.
This means that microsites can be used to market products and services that, for various reasons, should not be associated with the manufacturing company. For example, because they differ greatly from the usual product range or because a new target group is to be developed for which the other products are of no interest.
The information on a microsite is less related to the manufacturer and more to the product being promoted. They are therefore more concentrated and keep the user's focus on the campaign.
In marketing, microsites are true playgrounds that can also serve market research, for example, by testing designs, functions and target group reactions.
What are the disadvantages of microsites?
Due to the company-independent domain of a microsite, users do not immediately realize the connection between manufacturer and product. In some cases, this is a desirable result,...
... in other cases, however, it could confuse the target audience so that they become skeptical and question the seriousness of a product promoted via microsite.
Another pitfall is the positioning of the microsite in the SERPs. Under certain circumstances, it may rank better than the company's web presence behind the campaign or product.
Then the microsite would be the bigger traffic generator, which means it would take traffic away from the homepage and furthermore miss its point as a lead generator.
What makes a microsite?
The most necessary building blocks of a Minipage are already revealed in the Microsite Definition.
First and foremost, it requires an individual URL, as well as a design adapted to the promoted product. The topic of the provided content and information is exclusively the promoted item, which is treated as an independent brand.
Last but not least, subpages on a microsite are quite common and desirable, but the navigation hierarchy should remain very flat and not go too deep.
Examples of good microsites include
- the business page of Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/business,
- the goal-oriented mini-site of Red Bull: https://www.redbull.com/us-en/theredbulletin
- or the promotion page of Zach Golden for his cookbook: http://whatthefuckshouldimakefordinner.com.
Which is better: microsite or landing page?
There are certain differences between microsites and landing pages. Once you understand what they are, you can decide on the optimal solution for your goal and campaign.
Are you still in the process of building your brand awareness or do you want to improve your users' interaction rate and their customer experience with your product?
Then a microsite offers you the right opportunities for targeted content marketing.
With a landing page, you're not providing immediate information, but offering users (often in exchange for their contact information or even payment) what they want: Sign up for a webinar, download a whitepaper, or test a product.
Both website variants are effective tools in content marketing, but they pursue different goals and address different target groups.
So, deciding for or against a microsite is the answer to the question of what your goals are.
How to use a microsite for your content marketing in 2019
Are you planning a product launch or a special campaign in 2019? Then use the possibilities that a microsite offers for your marketing measures. But don't think of it as a platform for your general content marketing strategies, only for marketing this one specific campaign.
The content on your microsite should focus on information about the product or brand. Optionally, you can create a link to your actual corporate website by using a design based on your corporate design or leave the page online for a limited time only.
This is what Domino's Pizza did in the USA in 2015: the international pizza service launched an interactive microsite to mark the introduction of a special pizza delivery car with an integrated oven.
As user interest in the innovation slowly waned, the site was taken offline.
Everything else you need to know to get the most out of your microsite is taught in our Academy. With just one click, you can become a microsite expert in just 6 weeks: