7 Tactical Tips for Creating a Profitable MicrositeOctober 31, 2017
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably aware that there are big benefits to a microsite. You also probably know that a microsite is very different from a regular website.
Small, lean, and highly targeted—microsites are great for showcasing a specific contest, event, product, or service. The best microsites are also cost efficient, requiring minimal time and money to maintain.
Despite all this, microsites are only as valuable as the business they bring back. Whether your goal is to gain contest submissions or generate newsletter leads, your microsite needs to be built on a solid strategy for driving real value. Here are seven tips for building a profitable microsite which we’ve learned through our own experience using our own Microsite Builder:
1. Cover the web basics
It goes without saying that your microsite needs to be functional. Beyond that, it should be mobile responsive, offer a smooth user experience, and, in most cases, feature strong SEO.
In general, any builder that you use should offer mobile-responsive layouts and easy customization. Our Microsite Builder, for instance, makes it easy for professionals without coding backgrounds to build a microsite from the ground up. We offer various templates and drag-and-drop blocks that are mobile responsive and support advance features like a dynamic header, parallax scrolling, or live social media streams.
Zoomph’s Microsite Builder
When crafting an SEO strategy, keep in mind that your microsite won’t reap the same results as your main site. Some reasons for this include a thinner number of backlinks, shorter life spans (aka less time to build authority), and a relatively small number of visitors.
You wouldn’t want your microsite to compete with your main site anyhow. Rather, your microsite should target “niche keywords” that are backed by your paid or organic marketing efforts.
Remember that a microsite is best used as a supporting piece of a larger campaign, so tread carefully when setting expectations and KPIs for your SEO strategy.
2. Cover the design basics
When building a microsite, you enjoy many freedoms. You can employ a separate structure from your main site and enjoy more creative liberties with the design. But keep in mind that microsites are still an extension of your brand. Make sure that the aesthetic matches the theme of your campaign and represents your brand well. Use high-quality photos and appropriate, easy-to-read fonts and colors. Confirm that your layout looks clean on mobile and that the user journey from your microsite to your main site (or vice versa) makes sense.
3. Know your target users
As you’re both designing and marketing your microsite, it’s essential for you to have a clear idea of who your target audience is. Since your microsite is meant to promote a specific part of your business, it should be built with a specific audience in mind. Just like a blog with a vague headline, or an ad campaign that targets too many broad keywords, a microsite that’s too general won’t hit home with many visitors and may, in fact, attract the wrong types of visitors.
As a first step, define your target persona. Do additional research that may be necessary for your campaign and follow tip #5 for setting up your microsite to collect the right audience insights.
Then, craft visuals and messaging that speak directly to your persona’s interests. Consider partnering with influencers within your niche to promote, participate in, or help tailor your campaign to your collective audiences.
In the example below, Nationwide created a contest microsite specifically for Junior Nation (fans of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., whom they sponsor) and made sure that the content appealed to several of their unique affinities, pets and Earnhardt.
Nationwide created a highly targeted microsite for a recent pet photo contest. Learn more.
Earnhardt served as the voice of this campaign, helping Nationwide build its authority among his fans while providing a powerful customer testimonial. Earnhardt has Nationwide’s pet insurance for his dog, Gus, giving him all the more reason to partner up with Nationwide to engage Junior Nation in this fun contest for attracting pet insurance leads.
4. Keep your call to action focused and visible
When people land on your microsite, they should immediately be able to tell what your microsite is promoting and the action you want them to take next. This is not to say that your microsite should be laden with slogans and cold calls-to-actions (CTAs). On the contrary, your microsite should clearly address your target persona and introduce a logical next step.
As with the rest of your microsite, your CTA should be highly focused. Stick to one primary CTA, remove any unnecessary or disruptive links, and make sure to include an incentive that resonates with your audience. Some examples of powerful CTAs include:
- “Subscribe to our newsletter to get more blogs like this!”
- “Like what you see? Join free for a month!”
- “Vote now for a chance to earn a free [product name]!”
- “Subscribe to our email list to be the first to hear about [new product]!”
- “Can’t wait to try [product name]? Contact us to get yours today!”
- “Sign up now and get 20% off your first purchase!”
- “Join thousands of others at [event name]. Reserve your seat now!”
5. Collect the right data
Our philosophy is that it’s not all about how much data you have, but the type of data you have. Your microsite has the potential to produce rich intelligence around your consumers, but it starts with having the right tools in place.
Google Analytics can help you track the performance of your webpage via clicks, visitors, and other engagement metrics. These quantitative metrics are crucial to getting a big-picture view of your performance and an idea of who you’re engaging.
Qualitative data is equally important. Understanding why people come to your site and getting a sense of their personalities gives you an idea of how successfully you’re hitting your target.
To glean psychographics around your audience, start by embedding a custom form or social media login for collecting more identification information (this also lets you gain your user’s permission to collect data to personalize your campaign to their interests).
You can then use our tools like our Audience Builder to unlock psychographics around the people who submit a form. If you’re using our Audience Builder, simply download a list of form entries and upload it to Builder to receive an Audience Analysis. This report will show the top interests, associations, and more of your visitors based on their social media activity. You can simultaneously use Audience Comparison to distinguish the unique traits of your audience in comparison to a universal baseline, or second campaign audience.
For full disclosure: we generate these reports by crunching over 102 billion data signals each day. We combine real-time social media data with our database of a quarter of a billion enriched profiles to infer normal behaviors, and to give breadth and depth to our data.
6. Optimize your campaign and microsite
Chances are, there’ll be lots of room for improvement after you launch your initial microsite and analyze its performance. It’s only natural. Luckily, after collecting both qualitative and quantitative data, you’ll have actionable insights, or a clearer idea of how to readjust your microsite to better engage your target audience.
For example, imagine that you’ve launched a product microsite appealing to runners who want to receive a special offer on running apparel. Google Analytics is telling you that many of your visitors are from metropolitan areas. And using our audience analytics tools, you realize that many of your leads are young female professionals who love to travel, have a high affinity for cross fit (on top of running), often talk about city marathons, and value high-tech gear.
You may choose to optimize your microsite so that it emphasizes the high-tech material or design of your gear. You could also run a spin-off campaign specifically for young female professionals who need portable or versatile running gear that can accommodate to different running conditions. Alternatively, you could target the participants of local marathons or cross-fit athletes.
With the right data, you can identify immediate opportunities for growth. Make controlled, measurable changes to your site based on what you discover. Consider whether you need to segment your marketing more to personalize your message.
7. Follow up with leads
While your microsite may help to generate leads, it’s your job to follow up with them to convert them into long-term customers. You can use some of the same analytics from above to inform this nurturing strategy.
However, take into consideration the uniqueness of other channels. What other channels will you be using to contact your lead? When and how do your contacts use these channels? You can launch social listening feeds to monitor your social audiences in aggregate.
Keep your follow-up message personal and relevant. Take what you’ve learned from your leads’ engagement with your microsite, and demonstrate that you’ve paid attention to them in your follow-up communications. Consider how leads with social handles may even prefer to be contacted on social as opposed to email or other traditional channels
The biggest takeaway here is that the more you learn about your audience as people, the more strategic (and successful) you can be with your marketing.
Don’t simply dump leads from your microsite into a general marketing list after your campaign is over. Retain, groom, and build upon the information so that you can continuously connect with your consumers at a personal level.
Want to build a microsite but not sure where to get started? Request a free consultation or demo of our Microsite Builder!