This is the second blog on the subject with Part 1 here. In this article, I would like to expand on the topic and definitions a little further with a few examples. The term ‘microsite’ used to be associated with high-priced tiny websites with good animations, high-quality presentations but a rather low SEO value. To be more precise, a microsite is a branded optimized content site that lives outside of the organization homepage and/or main brand URL. Over the last few years, these solutions have grown to have high usability and have become a powerful tool for organizational marketing strategy. Their use is popular as a new type of ‘communication platform’ or ‘independent campaign’ that can be built as a stand-alone minimalist website and optionally work together with an associated iOS and Android App to increase its reach and stickiness into the growing mobile audience.

What differentiates a microsite from a typical branded corporate blog or newsletter is that it has its own relevant URL that can be independent or perhaps a subset of the main company sponsoring URL, for example, opportunity.companyURL.co. These solutions give the power to highlight a product, launch a promotion, or augment a marketing campaign in a way that full websites or more traditional marketing tools fail. The single or small collection of pages in these sites can help to engage user interaction while conveying information in a modern and creative way.

These sites are not only artistic and creative presentations of one's products or services but also contain useful information and interesting contents that are easier to absorb than a convoluted corporate website. These sites are also highly optimized with minimized text and images but with exact phrases and keywords to impress the audience on the move, who do not have a lot of time to read or click a large amount of content and expect to grasp the idea quickly.

Let's start with an overview of who potentially needs this solution, followed by a list of main benefits for developing a microsite and companion iOS or Android App.

Campaign-based microsite with focused path to content

These sites have a sole purpose of anchoring and/or supporting a branded campaign. They are populated with minimized content (be it written, video, visual, etc.) and they are exaggerated using whatever strategy the brand requires. The focus is on clear presentation of one's specific brand, product, and services. The solution can give potential customers a faster browsing experience and it can optionally if appropriate, have a companion mobile App on iOS and Android. The aim is to give less distraction from other products & services leading to better results. Here is a couple of examples below, like a single-page microsite built to educate users on the SeePort event in Auckland and the other is BeoPlay H9 Drag Navigation in Drag, Touch & Gesture Interactions.

The other main advantage of this approach is the ability to build it fast whilst creative, allowing some updates on an ongoing basis if necessary. Also optionally the iOS or Android App can allow the regular audience to reach offline content without having to log in every time providing single sign on from the App.

Sites that publish regular, constantly changing content

Sites for media groups that publish original content on a regular schedule and potentially offer the subscription for their hidden content. These sites may have a username password and single sign-on for their users on iOS and Android app. SSO can allow company users/customers access to secure data if required without having to sign in every time, which is rather tedious for mobile users. Here are a couple with first the latest creative news from Fubiz about art, design, and pop-culture. The second is an E-Commerce example by Fotonaut Shop and also the Chanel brand has experimented with multiple microsite formats, including the editorial-style site Chanel News. Please check our previous blog Part 1.

I would also like to exhibit some really minimal microsites like the DXP below. This is so simple but it does bring awareness to a particular subject and create a call to action, encouraging users to make a purchase, or launch a marketing campaign that ultimately drives users to convert by interacting with the brand. Sometimes the message given on the page is so important that the organization may want to bring it up straight from the company App on employee mobile phones. Check Part 1 of this blog to see how that works. Also, see the dominosdxp.com as an example;

The first step in determining whether a microsite will give value to your brand is to evaluate your marketing needs. A microsite combination with a mobile App is a perfect solution to establish an exclusive space for users to interact with your campaign or product. Instead of offering convoluted navigational options like a corporate website, it also drives users to one specific purpose or goal.

Below is a summary list of advantages one gets from this approach;

Enhanced branding for the solution or the company providing it;

In addition to all above, one can ensure that your product or service would be able to stand on its own especially if your parent brand is not that reputable or has enough traffic or wrong type of traffic.

Targeted Email and Alert Campaign;

A well-designed microsite can drive a large number of users and potential customers to look and search for your featured product or service. If you have a companion App then naturally newsletters and press releases can be sent by both email and alerts directly to users of the smartphone App that they have installed. The Alert also allows you to send a press release as an alert.

Focused content and delivery path;

Clearer presentation of your specific brand of products eliminates the risk of convoluted competing products and services in the parent site. The content can be pertinent and detailed to aid viewers to easily clarify and understand your proposals. The optional companion Apps can alert users to check updates or press releases.

Agile Development of microsite and the optional companion Mobile Apps;

Creating a full website is tedious and lengthy. Microsites are easier to develop and faster to get approval from stakeholders. An example would be a deal site or online promo site that is direct to the point, yet the promotion is to last up to a certain date only. No need for a whole website just for that.

Experimental approach for testing the market

Organizations can produce various campaign messages through different and assorted microsites, to test your market without contaminating the public site. The process can help you to gauge the effectiveness of the marketing message and help you choose the best approach for your target market.

How can we help?

Do let me know if you need help before you embark on developing a microsite. You may need to lay out a careful strategy to determine the best approach to deliver the required outcome. As you can see, there are endless possibilities for your microsite + App design, style, content and message. That's the beauty of this modern approach because they differentiate from the larger and more cumbersome traditional websites. The task is to keep them flexible and focused. We can help you to build a solution using latest technology without the high costs in the following ways:

  1. Identify your target audience for the specific product or campaign you have in mind
  2. Limit the site to one, very specific topic and companion iOS and Android App
  3. Include optimized but minimum but high quality, relevant information on that topic
  4. Use a templated design and craft an excellent user experience and minimum cost with a single App/Microsite solution rather than building 3 separate entities at three times the price.

Check out our newsletter and contact us for a quote. You can always reach me at my Linkedin and I will be glad to arrange a GoToMeeting conference call to hear more about your project.

At Salaro.com we develop solutions using Microsoft.Net and DNN platform for building Microsites. For Mobile Apps, we develop in both native iOS and Android as well as the hybrid model for faster and more cost-effective development.

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