Microsites: What Are They and Do You Need One?

Microsites: What Are They and Do You Need One?

Microsites: What Are They and Do You Need One?

You may be wondering what all the fuss is about microsites.

Isn’t all the information your customers need already available on your website?

While this can be true, microsites provide numerous benefits that work in unison with a well-organized web presence.

They have a certain focus and simplicity that makes it easy for users to find the information they need and take action—resulting in more conversions and a streamlined experience for your customers.

But let’s start at the beginning…

What is a Microsite?

A microsite or mini-site is a standalone web page used by brands to promote initiatives, new products, events, ad campaigns, or an array of other marketing efforts that benefit from a separate web address. They are highly focused pages with a singular goal and no distracting links, navigation menus, or information that is irrelevant to the purpose.

Microsites are usually hosted on a separate domain from the primary company website or a subdomain so that users can find and navigate to the site easily. The microsite is still a company-branded asset, but in some cases, it may be a standalone brand for a campaign or a brand created in collaboration with other partners.

What Are the Benefits of Microsites?

So what’s the point? Why do brands use microsites?

Well, there are numerous benefits of using microsites, many of which you may not think of immediately. Here are six:

  • Increase conversions. Microsites follow best practices for conversion rate optimization. There are minimal distractions, such as unnecessary menu navigation and external links to other websites, and users are left with a single action to take. This increases the chance of them doing so. That action may be to fill in a form, purchase a product, register for an event, or support a cause. For example, Motherhood Maternity used a microsite to run an instant win giveaway that collected over 50,000 leads:

The-Ultimate-Hospital-Bag-Sweepstakes
Instant Win Giveaway Microsite

  • Target an audience. Microsites enable you to remove all the noise and target specific audiences with your content. For example, you may want to deliver a web experience to a segment of your database based on their interests or geography. With microsites, you can even personalize the experience for multiple audience segments by duplicating the page and changing small components.
  • Focus on a topic. Much like audience targeting, you may want to create a microsite for a unique topic. For example, microsites are perfect when running a co-branded event or webinar. You can also use them for product launches and Google ad campaigns that need to be optimized for specific keywords. Victory Brewing Company garnered significant exposure for its new brews with a microsite giveaway:

Victory-It's-A-Mad-Mad-World
Product Awareness Microsite

  • Promote collaborations and company initiatives. It’s common for brands to join forces to support a charitable cause or meaningful initiative. Microsites allow collaborating partners to create a central place to send people.
  • Create an interactive experience. Interactive experiences, such as games, calculators, quizzes, surveys, and giveaways, are powerful techniques for engaging with prospects and collecting leads. However, it’s best to separate them from your main website to increase engagement and remove distractions. A great example of an interactive experience hosted on a microsite is Google’s Santa Tracker – an interactive game that educates and connects with families all over the world.

Santa-Tracker
Interactive Experience Microsite

  • Amplify exposure for a campaign. Microsites have an element of shareability about them. Given they are so specific and focused on one topic, people are more likely to share them with friends than a page on your website that gets lost in the noise.

As you can see, microsites provide a range of branding and marketing benefits, and these are just a few of them.

5 Examples of Interesting and Unique Microsites

Want to create a microsite but not sure where to start? Here are five examples of unique microsites you can draw inspiration from.

#1. Adobe Personality Quiz

Adobe launched a microsite called “My Creative Type.” It’s a personality quiz where customers can discover their “creative personality.” The quiz is an immersive experience that engages the senses and unearths vital information about how people work that Adobe can use to improve its products.

Creative-Types
Adobe Microsite

#2. NASA Spacecrafts

This microsite created by NASA is an interactive experience into every spacecraft ever launched by NASA. It’s more of an information-sharing microsite than a marketing initiative but is excellent for brand recognition and a fun example to check out.

Nasa-Spacecrafts
NASA Microsite

#3. Coca-Cola Personalized Bottle Campaign

This subdomain for Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign is one reason this campaign has been a raging success. You simply fill in your name and can have a personalized coke bottle(s) sent to you.

Share-A-Coke
Coca-Cola Microsite

#4. Airbnb Interactive Trip Matcher

Here’s another microsite with a quiz, but this one is a little different. Airbnb’s Trip Matcher is designed to help people decide where they should go on their next vacation. After answering a few questions, you get a tailored recommendation of where to go. Of course, they also provide an Airbnb itinerary for you!

The-Bon-Vivant
Airbnb Microsite

#5. Emirates A380 Experience

The A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft, and Emirates has a state-of-the-art simulator in Dubai. You can take the controls and fly the A380 just like an Emirates pilot. This is a big attraction for the brand, and so they created a microsite that promotes the simulator and excites their customers.

The-Emirate-A380-Experience
Emirates Microsite

Getting Started with Microsites

Perhaps the most exciting thing about microsites for brands is the flexibility. You can create a unique and customized experience that isn’t burdened by your main website’s complexity.

If used effectively during marketing campaigns, microsites increase brand recognition and improve the customer experience. Simply because they are hyper-focused and specific to the path a user takes to reach them.

Whether you’re looking to increase conversions for a marketing campaign, connect with a narrow segment of customers, promote a collaboration, or invest in an immersive interactive experience, a microsite could be just what you need.

With ShortStack, you can build a microsite (or landing page) in minimal time without any need for coding. ShortStack’s technology allows you to customize pre-set templates to be on-brand and integrate them with your current domain to streamline the user’s endpoint experience.

Create your first microsite now

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Will Blunt
will@bloggersidekick.com

Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing. Connect on Twitter here: @WillBluntAU. Read more articles by Will Blunt.