What is a Microsite?
So what is a microsite and why would anyone be interested in one? A microsite is a website that is separate from an organisation's main website. This separation grants a degree of freedom that would not otherwise be allowed. This freedom extends into independent design and content, and nonadherence to the usual strict branding and corporate identity guidelines. Fundamentally the timelines microsites operate on are radically different to an organisations main website.
Why a Microsite?
If one works for a large organisation, be it a locally run South African company or one headed up in another country - it can be a nightmare to get a campaign onto the organisation's website. It may have to be reviewed by many channels before being published online. The result is the campaign is late, never launched, or augmented to such a degree that it looses its effectiveness after passing through all the organizations checks and guidelines.
Launching a microsite allows a nimbleness and independence that is simply out of the question for an organization prone to this scenario.
The speed at which a microsite can be planned, executed and launched is of considerable attractiveness to certain marketers; playing well into competitive marketing when a competitor launches a campaign. A dedicated microsite to answer a competitive campaign can be up and running within a week. This includes a new url, website and content, and online marketing strategy including SEO, Google Adwords, and integration of platforms like social media or email marketing.
Marketers around the world are finding it vastly easier to build independent, standalone sites under their total control and meeting their accelerated time scales. These microsites are generating traffic, leads, sales and referrals. They can be temporary or permanent in nature, and are focused rather than broadly targeted like most organizations websites.
All organizations start out with a website that describes their operations and provides information about the company, but as the organization grows the message on the website cannot help but be diluted. This diluted nature of content can lead to the marketing and sales teams feeling that the website is no longer aligned with their goals, and no longer communicating them effectively. This is precisely when the microsite might offer a remarkably well suited solution.
Lastly on a more technical front, the level of focus can be used effectively for Google Adwords, allowing a lower cost per click because the Google Ads are closely related to the content of the microsite. This alignment leads to more clicks within a set budget.
Examples of Effective Microsites
Procter and Gamble using a microsite to promote one of its brands Charmin toilet paper. Click here to view this microsite.
Salesfore.com the customer relationship management gurus are promoting and educating potential clients about their new product offerings in a clear and uncluttered microsite. Click to view the Salesforce.com microsite.