Experimentation is key to innovation. However, when it comes to shaking things up on company websites, many brands are pretty wary of change. But with a new year comes new possibilities, and building highly specific, engaging microsites offers a quick and relatively easy way to create content around product launches, upcoming events, or simply testing out ways to reach new audiences.
ClickZ recently sat down with Brightspot director of product marketing Josh Martin for a webinar, “How Microsites Can Revolutionize Your Digital Presence in 2019.” Here are some of Martin’s key insights about both building a microsite and ensuring that your company’s microsite is a success.
Content produced in collaboration with Brightspot.
A microsite is a piece of branded content that lives outside the company’s homepage or URL but can sometimes exist as subdomains on the brand URL, such as branded verticals.
Businesses use microsites to test out new content or to drive very focused campaigns: “Often microsites are built with very specific goals and objectives in mind,” Martin says. “For example, when brands want to reach a new audience or they want to launch a new product and they can’t get it on the website. Or it’s a completely new brand and they want to try something without impacting the core capabilities of the main website. Microsites are also time fixed and can live for a very short time, so brands often launch, let it run, and then take it down.”
And though microsites are often associated with timely, short-lived campaigns, microsites are also ideal for infographics, branded games, blogs, and events.
Landing pages are great for getting audiences to perform quick, specific actions, but according to Martin, if you’re looking for visitors to stay with content awhile, microsites are the better solutions:
“A landing page is a quick hit,” Martin says. “Visitors are meant to come there, spend as little time as possible, fill out a form and move on. For a microsite, it’s about engagement as well as the action, so you want to generate some level of brand affinity. You want to generate some level of time on site. It’s not necessarily that quick hit of ‘get to the page and get off as quickly as possible.’ Those are the primary differences.”
Incorporating microsites into a marketing strategy means bringing differentiated customer experiences to audiences fairly rapidly without needing a ton of help from IT. Whereas adding content to a website could take months or even years, developing a microsite (or many microsites) is much faster.
“You don’t need to spend three, six, or nine months to build a microsite,” Martin says. “You can get significant benefits very quickly.”
The main thing marketers need to build effective, engaging microsites is a clear purpose.
“The most important thing to have is a specific goal,” Martin says. “Make sure you’ve got a well-defined persona and target audience. By having that focus and clarity of objective you can strip away what’s not necessary on the site and focus on what experience will drive engagement and cause people to take action.”
When it comes to measuring a microsite’s success, conversions are key:
“The key metrics are things like conversions,” Martin says. “The number one objective should be driving engagement with people so they take a specific action. Whatever that engagement is: it could be filling out a form or liking a photo. Ultimately you launched the this site for a specific reason.”
Though driving traffic to the site is important, according to Martin, if visitors are spending time on the site without ultimately performing the action you’re angling for, it might be time to rethink your microsite strategy:
“The number one thing, without a doubt, is comparing to your expectation from a conversion standpoint, and I think that’s just a critical element there in order to determine the success of your site. If you wanted to get a thousand people to fill out a form and you got ten thousand, I’d say that’s pretty successful, and if you got five, then that’s not successful even if you had people spending an hour on the site.”
For more information about building engaging microsites and the best metrics for measuring their success, download the full webinar here.
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