Guide to Microsite Best Practices
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a BlogTalkRadio series with social media architect Ana Lucia Novak. With four episodes, the discussion ranged far and wide, but for the moment, let’s drill down into a guide to microsite best practices.
Ana: If you had to define the four or five major design principles or best practices which absolutely must be incorporated into a microsite, what would they be?
Eileen: As a designer by nature, my first thought is that microsites offer an opportunity to be a design showoff—with the caveat that, in design, the key is knowing and choosing the right tool and approach for the job.
Second, you need to leverage state-of-the-art techniques like full-screen video, parallax scrolling, motion graphics and compelling, effective messaging to create “WOW-factor” keeps your audience coming back again and again.
Next, you come to experiential marketing. Think about it from the customer’s perspective: How will they feel and what will they experience when landing on your microsite? Will the path be clear to solve their problems, and to educate them well enough so they can make an informed buying decision or take the next step in your process?
Then there’s strategy, which means considering how you’re going to drive people to it, as part of an overall multi-channel and social media strategy.
Finally, your microsite best practices need to address engagement. Organizations have come to value the “Swiss Army knife” capabilities of these highly targeted vehicles—and the fact that microsites can capture audience attention with stunning visuals, foster interaction and spur action in ways that corporate websites aren’t particularly suited for.
For everything from contests, initiatives, and events to new product launches, promotions, and lifecycle marketing strategies, a single-theme landing experience is quickly becoming recognized as a superior solution to boost SEO and cut through the clutter.
Ana: In addition to those microsite best practices, do you have any final advice for a CMO or marketing team who’s considering integrating a microsite into their next marketing campaign to increase results?
Eileen: Lots of companies are leveraging the power of social media and other on- and offline marketing to access audiences and drive engagement. The key is that effective owned-media tools, specifically dynamic, interactive, single-theme microsites, can serve to aggregate multi-channel touchpoints to tell a cohesive brand story.
Bottom line, microsites are powerful communication tools that better position and differentiate your brand to stand out in crowded markets. They drive actionable and measurable results in ways that landing pages or corporate sites don’t have the flexibility to do!
In the comments: What are some of the best applications you’ve seen of microsites, either as a marketer or as a consumer? What made them stand out from the rest?
What do you think? Continue the conversation and share a “like” on my Facebook page.