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What Is a Microsite?

Marketing your products and services can be complicated if you use a single main company website for all your digital marketing efforts. Maybe your website doesn't give you enough pages or space to highlight the important features of your unique brand, or perhaps you're launching a new initiative and want it to stand out from your core business functions.

Whatever the case, consider using a microsite to fulfill your needs. Microsites can help your brand stand out while allowing you to market to subsets of your audience and create highly targeted campaigns. Doing so can provide customers with more information than you could on your main website or a simple landing page.

Unlike your primary website, microsites focus on one core aspect of your business, such as a product line, event, or individual campaign. Whether you have a brand you want to showcase or an event you wish to promote, a microsite can ensure your content stands out and attracts the right audience.

What is a microsite? Microsite definition

Microsite definition

What is a microsite? A microsite is a website that promotes a company's products, services, campaigns, events, or entire brand. The definition of a microsite encompasses many different things; they're small websites or single web pages that use a different domain or subdomain, separating them from the company's main website. Ultimately, a microsite acts as a separate website for a single company, but it may convey a unique message that differs from the business' everyday website.

Microsites are typically temporary but can be used long-term, depending on their purposes. For example, microsites can help you target specific buyer personas or build campaigns for products or services. Think of it this way: Say you have a company that consists of multiple brands, each with its own identity and personality. Instead of combining all the different graphic elements that separate your brands and their audiences, you can use microsites for each brand's digital marketing campaign to target the right audience.

Microsite vs. website vs. landing page

To understand what a microsite is, you should know what a microsite isn't. A microsite is built for a specific purpose and is not a website or landing page. Microsites are small, but that doesn't mean they're small company websites.

Instead, microsites are sub-websites that focus on a campaign, product, or service rather than the entire company and its offerings. In addition, microsites are not landing pages. While they can be single-paged, microsites allow for more goals than generating leads and can help visitors make informed decisions by providing more content.

Microsites are not websites

Microsites are technically websites, but they're not the same type of business website you may already have. The difference between a microsite and a company website is their goals and purposes. For example, your business or main website likely lists all your product or service offerings, shares your brand story, and was built to drive sales or lead generation efforts.

On the other hand, the definition of a microsite is a small website that's created to serve many different purposes. These websites are usually smaller and separate from your primary website, allowing you to build targeted campaigns for specific initiatives, brands, or audiences. For example, microsites typically aim to increase awareness and conversions. And they have a different domain or use a subdomain to set them apart from the core functions of your business website.

Microsites are not landing pages

While microsites can be single-paged websites, they're not the same as a landing or splash page. Landing pages are often focused on a specific goal, such as conversions. However, a landing page is designed as a single page within a website and features minimal design. In contrast, microsites may have the same goals as a landing page and be single-paged, but they offer more content and information about a brand or campaign.

What's the purpose of a microsite?

As mentioned, a microsite may have many purposes. However, its main goal is to promote a company's individual products, services, or campaigns using a subdomain or different domain to take visitors away from the main website. Ultimately, microsites can help businesses separate brands, audiences, events, and campaigns that aren't part of their core business.

When to use a microsite

So, when should you use a microsite? Microsite examples might include the following purposes:

  • Supplement campaigns. Microsites allow you to supplement digital marketing campaigns. Like landing pages, they can give you a place to send website traffic to learn more about a specific campaign offer. Microsites designed to supplement campaigns are independent and use content designed, written, and created for that specific campaign. An example of this is a sports drink company highlighting their coffee-flavored drinks apart from the rest of their brands or an e-commerce business emphasizing a limited-time offer.
  • Promote events. Microsites can also be used to promote events, no matter what type of company you run. For example, suppose you're sponsoring an event for charity. In that case, you might build a microsite to help visitors understand what the event is for, information about the charity, and what they can expect.
  • Showcase new products or services. One of the most common uses of microsites is to promote new products and services with fewer distractions than a corporate website. For example, if a pet products company introduces a new line of dog treats with specialized ingredients, they may create a microsite dedicated to the new product line.
  • Target a specific audience. Microsites allow you to keep your audiences separate. Separating audiences can increase conversion by allowing you to target one specific group of people with each microsite. For example, suppose a medical supply company starts a new line of consumer-based products that don't require a prescription. In that case, they can create a microsite separate from their corporate site to separate their 2 audiences.

Benefits of creating a microsite

Benefits of building a microsite

There are many benefits of using a microsite, which is why they're a popular strategy for many businesses and marketing campaigns. The advantages of creating a microsite include the following:

  • Increase brand awareness. Microsites can increase brand awareness by helping you reach the right audience. Because they're highly engaging and offer the opportunity to promote one brand, product, or service, you can easily share content to help teach people about your offerings.
  • Create niche content. Microsites allow businesses to create content focusing on one product, service, or campaign. With a microsite, you won't have to worry about cluttered home pages and can focus on promoting, and creating content that will help drive awareness and boost conversions.
  • Boost customer engagement. Microsites are naturally highly engaging because they have focused content. Because microsites can either be single-page websites, you can create as much or as little content as you need to keep customers interested in your brand. They're highly shareable and easy to scan and enable you to create targeted campaigns.
  • Generate leads. Microsites improve lead generation efforts by boosting SEO and customer engagement. Microsites have a clearer purpose than a main site because they only focus on one topic or campaign, so there's no unnecessary information. Unlike landing pages, they allow you to add more content to convince visitors to take action and enter the sales funnel.
  • Boost search engine optimization. If you want to rank on search engines, microsites can help by allowing you to create highly targeted content that uses the right keywords to bring more organic visitors to your site. Your corporate website may only have a content silo or a single product page dedicated to each product. However, with a microsite, you can dedicate targeted content for each brand to help you earn more organic traffic through keyword implementation, backlink building, and optimizing your website for mobile.

How to build a microsite

A microsite is similar to a company website. However, you'll build it differently because it has a singular purpose. Here are the steps to building a microsite:

1. Set goals and define your audience

Before beginning your website design, you must set goals and define your audience. Remember, microsites are created with a singular purpose in mind. Whether you're trying to target a specific audience or promote a particular product line, it's best to set a few goals to inform the design.

You can determine your audience based on market research and customer personas to help you understand who will use the microsite. Once you've clearly defined your audience, you can set SMART goals. For example, you can create objectives to increase engagement, sales, or conversions.

2. Choose your microsite domain

Your microsite can be on a separate domain or subdomain. If you want it to exist completely away from your main site, you'll need to decide on a domain name and purchase one before designing your microsite.

3. Define your marketing strategy

You can make a website beautiful, but it won't do its job if no one sees it. Therefore, you must define your marketing strategy and how to get website visitors to your microsite. You should have an SEO strategy for all microsites to help you get organic traffic. However, depending on your goals, you may also choose paid advertising on social media, search engines, or various other providers.

4. Design

Your website design is crucial since it can help you achieve your goals. Before making your prototype, consider how many pages you want, navigation, and calls to action (CTAs). Depending on your objectives, you might create a one-page website or a multiple-page site that focuses on a single product line.

5. Create content

Once you have your basic website prototype, you can create microsite content based on your campaign that encourages visitors to take action. For example, if your brand has its own identity apart from your business mission, your microsite should use the same tone of voice and address the right target audience. You can use various written and visual content to ensure your microsite is successful.

6. Launch & analyze

You can launch your microsite and analyze your results when it's complete. Remember to set up Google Analytics and any other website data tools to ensure you can track and analyze different data types from your microsite. Once you begin analyzing your data, you can perform A/B testing to make the right changes and reach your goals.

Create an effective microsite with Mailchimp

Microsites can help you target specific audience subsets and promote particular products, services, and events. However, to create a successful microsite, you must design the right website. Designing a simple website is easy with Mailchimp. You can use our website builder to create a microsite without coding knowledge. Instead, use our templates or create your own website from scratch with our drag-and-drop features to make an elegant microsite guaranteed to convert.

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