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What Is a Microsite, Anyway?

By Eileen Burick

If you’re looking for a definition of a microsite, the Hubspot Marketing Blog, describes the concept as follows: “A microsite is an individual web page or small cluster of web pages that act as a separate entity for a brand. A microsite typically lives on its own domain, but some exist as a subdomain.

In other words, the main difference between a microsite and a static landing page on your website is that the former actually has its own theme or brand message that’s focused on the customer experience. Think of it like a brochure on digital steroids.

But as with all things marketing, what a microsite “is” is far, far less important than what a microsite can do: First and foremost, to provide cohesiveness to what might otherwise be a fragmented, multi-channel marketing campaign.

And here’s why that matters: Fitting your unique brand into social media sites is like putting a square peg in a round hole; their regimented formats offer little flexibility for meaningful customization. Social media sites tend to commoditize brand messages and generate a “me-too” look and feel—with very little opportunity to differentiate your business.

Constant changes in the rules, guidelines and feature sets on social media platforms makes keeping your brand updated an ongoing challenge.

And, as with all “social media” platforms, also known as “Earned Media” and “Shared Media,” the brand presence allows community interaction which may be positive or negative about the brand.

Microsites turn that equation around, giving you a highly customized way to:

  • aggregate multiple social media platforms
  • launch new products or services
  • promote branded events
  • execute contests or promotions
  • educate about initiatives
  • target new, niche markets
  • utilize lifecycle marketing strategies
  • build awareness and community for cause-related issues

By developing an “owned media” microsite campaign component, there is more opportunity to control the brand message and create content that engages customers and fosters relationships throughout the customer lifecycle.

Despite the fact they have “micro” in their name, microsites can make a major impact to your bottom line–increasing sales and generating leads, in an easy-to-use and cost-effective way, and outside of the often-rigid requirements of corporate brand standards, internal planning and development cycle.

Have you used a microsite for an event, product launch or promotion? What worked? What would you do differently next time?

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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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