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Three reasons you should launch a microsite in 2019

A new year is a time for building and growing, which is probably why so many companies wait until January to roll out new products and campaigns. And new beginnings also bring the opportunity for experimentation. However, if your current CMS is making experimenting feel a bit tedious, it could be time to create a microsite for a fresh start.  

So what is a microsite? Pretty much what it sounds like: A microsite is a single web page separate from the company homepage. A microsite generally has its own domain, but can also exist as a subdomain.

Since microsites don’t exist on the company’s homepage, they’re a great launchpad for new ideas and creativity. When big brands like Spotify and Office Max want to experiment with their messaging or create temporary campaigns–for example, holiday promotions–they don’t always do so by pulling traffic to their main site. Instead, they often create innovative microsites to drive highly specific traffic. And according to Forrester, microsites work! In fact, they can be up to four times more effective than traditional campaigns.

This content was produced in collaboration with Brightspot.

Launching a microsite takes a matter of days (not months)

Building a website is a long and often tedious process, and for good reason. A company website represents the brand as a whole, giving an overview of every product and service a business offers, not to mention FAQs and important information like store hours and locations. A microsite, however, is a focused, simple experience that’s easy to navigate and easy to build.

For example, Bolthouse Farms is a food company with a focus on natural, healthy products, offering a range of goods from smoothies to salad dressing. The brand’s main website provides a nice look at their company as a whole, but it doesn’t offer much opportunity for interactivity and fun. So when the company wanted to experiment with user-generated content, they created a “fruit and veggie takeover” microsite around the hashtag #URWhatUPost. Fans on social media could tag healthy food choices that were then showcased on a temporary microsite, which only existed for a week.

Microsites allow you to get specific

Because microsites are so easy to build, companies can get really creative with their messaging and target really specific audiences. A company website really needs to be focused on anyone who might stop by, but a microsite can be much more niche.

One example of an incredibly niche microsite comes from Spotify’s 2018 campaign, Adoptify. Spotify is a music streaming service that offers its users personalized playlists based on their individual preferences. The company’s Adoptify campaign further utilized those music choices to help match listeners with their perfect pets. But since Spotify’s main page is dedicated to getting users to download the app and sign up for its paid subscription, the Adoptify campaign didn’t really fit. Creating a microsite around Adoptify helped drive highly specific traffic: people who both like Spotify and were looking to adopt a pet. The result was a fun experience that provided real value to a very focused audience.

And they don’t have to be forever

But a microsite doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment, which makes them perfect for one-off or seasonal campaigns. The holidays are a great time for microsites, since many companies release limited-time products or campaigns created specifically for the season.

One microsite that’s basically become a Christmas tradition at this point is Office Depot’s The microsite was one of the first viral experiments with augmented reality and uses photos from social media to generate shareable videos of audiences digitally transformed into dancing elves. But the site is only functional around the holidays. The rest of the year it simply has a clock counting down the remaining time until fans can elf themselves again. To date, over 1.6 billion people have tried out the microsite.

Microsites are excellent for launching new products or for getting creative with an innovative campaign. But they can also be useful in myriad other ways. For instance, microsites are an interesting way to breathe new life into an older product that may be losing steam, since they can refocus audience attention in engaging new ways. Microsites also provide a great opportunity for testing, allowing businesses to easily try out new looks and messaging in a relatively low-stakes way.

Want to learn more?

If you’re looking to incorporate microsites into your 2019 strategy, join Brightspot and ClickZ for our December 6 webinar, “How Microsites Can Revolutionize Your Digital Presence in 2019” to learn more about how to easily build and launch your microsite in the new year.

The post Three reasons you should launch a microsite in 2019 appeared first on ClickZ.

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