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5 Great Microsite Examples

By Eileen Burick

Microsites are the perfect does-it-all tool for contests, events, initiatives, new product launches and promotions, among many other uses. We’re seeing a trend of targeted, single-theme microsites integrating 3 screens via TV, print and other forms of digital communications, linking from corporate and brand websites and social media properties to build momentum, community growth, and generating leads and increasing sales.

As the online environment becomes more crowded and competitive, however, brands, organizations, and companies are looking for ways to communicate their messages with exceptional impact. Using microsites to create “owned media,” is an effective way to develop a customized platform that delivers results.

Enough preamble. Let’s take a look at 5 great microsite examples to see some of those factors in action:

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CONTESTS. Under Armour’s third “What’s Beautiful” online fitness competition for women is using an interactive microsite as a key component of the marketing campaign. If you compare it to the company’s corporate site, you can see that it uses a distinctly different design, yet retains the company’s brand identity. What’s particularly notable is how personal it is — offering a community experience highlighting contest participants. It’s clever and inspiring in a way that a pure product website can’t always be.

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INITIATIVES. ConAgra’s initiative to end child hunger in America employs an engaging microsite, Child Hunger Ends Here, in conjunction with TV commercials, school and retailer programs, and other downloadable tools. Like Under Armour, they’ve used a design approach that’s in line with the corporate site, and features lots of branding, but is highly tailored to the mission at hand. Where this site excels is how simple it is to use and get involved — walking users through the steps to find the codes from participating brands and contribute to the cause. Social media connections to the related Twitter and Facebook pages are prominent, as well.

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EVENTS. The Canadian Urban Transit Association isn’t exactly a household name, but their “Leading the Way” Youth Summit event microsite is every bit as effective as many big brands. This year’s event has already passed, but the site was designed as an information hub, aggregating social media outlets and important resources about the event and schedules. The design is clean, effective, and the navigation structure couldn’t be more user friendly.

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NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES. Luxury brand Hermès takes a radically different approach to its Long Live Sport microsite. It’s a whimsical, interactive multimedia presentation that sets a clever marketing and advertising tone, using animated videos and quirky audio clips rather than traditional male and female models. While the minimalist and visual-only navigation structure isn’t traditional either — making it a bit of a puzzle to figure out at first — it also creates a memorable experience.

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PROMOTIONS. Tennessee’s “Get Away This Spring” interactive vacation planning microsite puts the state’s best features in the spotlight: bright colors and vivid landscape images, combined with detail images that entice visitors to plan and enjoy the perfect vacation in the Volunteer State. Although it’s visually appealing, it also excels on a practical level, walking the user through lodging, dining, shopping and recreation opportunities, broken down by region. Additional resources, such as free iPhone trail apps, a downloadable vacation guide, and even a contest to win a free trip, are calls to action that encourage interaction.

Microsites are increasingly being integrated in today’s multichannel marketing campaigns because of their excellent ability to be laser-focused on a company initiative, brand promotion, TV, or digital campaign destination site that cannot be easily or effectively communicated from a corporate “authority” site. As you can see, these 5 great microsite examples use the medium with maximum impact.

In the comments, share some of your favorite microsite examples as well as your thoughts on what makes them effective.

Eileen Burick

About Eileen Burick

Eileen Burick and her expert team at Burick Communication Design (BCD) are passionate about combining creative aesthetic, strategic communication skills and cutting edge technologies to accomplish your key business objectives. Whether you’re a CMO or marketing leader who wants to launch a digital makeover, redefine your brand’s value, generate/nurture leads for sales, or make your online marketing more effective with targeted campaigns, BCD can transform your message with WOW-factor to drive results. Follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn

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