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Microsites: What are They and How Can They Help Your Business?

The growth of the virtual world has created an entirely new way for businesses to reach consumers on a massive scale.  It wasn’t that long ago that many businesses operated locally, competing with other area businesses for a limited number of customers.  With the birth of e-commerce, however, businesses can reach consumers globally.

Of course, this not only means more potential business, but also a lot more competition.  If you want to take advantage of the opportunities presented by online operations, you have to find ways to stay relevant, grab attention, and convince prospective customers that you’re a better choice than competitors.

One way to reach your goals is by adding microsites to your online business strategy.  What are microsites and how can they help your business?  Here are a few things every business operating in the online arena should know.

What are Microsites?

Your website is a collection of connected pages that all stem from your unique URL.  A microsite is something different.  It’s branded content that exists on the web, but it has its own URL and is not connected to your business website.  There are a variety of different types of microsites you can use to experiment with new kinds of content and reach new audiences without necessarily monkeying with the formula that works for your standard website.

Different Types of Microsites

When you elect to create a microsite separate from your website, there are several different models you might choose to follow.  One of the most common types of microsite is created for a specific marketing campaign.  An example might be a microsite for an album or book release.  Even though musicians and authors have their own websites, they can bring added attention to a product by creating a microsite specifically to market it.

There are also blog and infographic microsites that allow you to create branded content separate from your company website to disseminate specific types of information, showcase your authority, and raise awareness.  These types of microsites may offer the opportunity to deliver more sharable content and increase organic link-building.

Finally, you can get on board the gamification bandwagon with branded game microsites.  These are designed to engage prospective customers and get them invested in your brand in a way that’s more fun than your standard marketing or promotional effort.  Game microsites can allow you to interact with customers in a new way, generate leads that might not otherwise show interest, and support other marketing and SEO efforts.

Benefits for Your Business

You might think creating microsites that aren’t attached to your business website is a waste of time, but it allows you to accomplish a variety of goals.  First and foremost, it gives you the opportunity to try out new content without necessarily impacting the core brand messaging on your website or causing loyal patrons to become disgruntled by a change in tone.

Microsites can help you to reach a new audience, try out a more playful and carefree aesthetic, introduce new products or services, or speak about polarizing industry issues on a separate platform.  You can attempt to engage new audiences in new ways and in many cases, boost SEO and outreach with organic sharing and linking.  In short, experimental microsites allow your brand to branch out and grow in new and exciting ways.

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