Microsites are often used to promote specific products or services or target a particular audience. They can also be used to test new ideas or strategies before rolling them out on your primary website.
A microsite is a separate web page or group of pages designed to achieve a specific use case. At Zoomforth, companies use microsites to showcase digital sales proposals, learning portals, event sites, and client experience sites.
Creating a microsite is easy – all you need is a domain name and web hosting.
The critical thing to remember when creating a microsite is that it should serve a specific purpose. Your microsite should also be easy to navigate, and it should be well-written and rich in relevant content.
This article will explore what a microsite is, compared to a traditional website, and detail the process behind creating and hosting a microsite.
What are microsites?
The goal of a microsite is to provide a platform for specific personas to discover your business. These personas can range from prospects, current clients, and job candidates to employees.
So, what is the definition of microsites? A microsite is a branded content site outside of your company’s website.
Microsites will usually sit on a subdomain or your main domain and have their own unique URLs. This makes the microsite even more special for the target audience that’s using it.
The goal is to provide a laser-focused experience. A microsite is a great solution when you need to:
- Promote a new product or service
- On-board new employees to your organization
- Showcase a business proposal in response to an RFP
- Give info to job applicants about working at your firm
Having a microsite is helpful since it allows visitors to obtain information about an occasion or campaign in one location rather than having them dig all over your website.
Multiple situations would warrant the use of a microsite, including but not limited to:
- A brand that wants to build a website for a specific product or service
- Recruiting teams looking to manage targeted career sites
- A company that wants to generate leads for its sales team
- An organization that wants to capture employee data through surveys or signups
- A business that wants to conduct A/B testing
Microsite vs. website
Microsites are used to eliminate distractions and focus on a specific item. However, microsites may include links to publications, blog entries, company news, updates, and so forth. The beauty of microsites is that they are more focused on a certain goal yet can include rich media to make the experience luxurious.
Some of the main differences between microsites and websites include:
- Microsites are not the primary site for a business. They are usually less than ten pages long, but they can be as many pages as you want.
- Microsites frequently have their own domain (e.g., mymicrosite.com), but they may also be hosted on a sub-domain (e.g., microsite.mycompany.com).
- Microsites are generally used for short-term campaigns or purposes. They are not meant to be permanent like websites, but can have a permanent shelf-life if you want.
The main difference between a microsite and a website is that a microsite is usually created to support a specific campaign or product. In contrast, a website’s purpose is more general. For example, if your company offers multiple services, each with its own microsite, your main website would likely be used to provide general information about the company, while the microsites focus on individual services.
Examples of microsites for campaigns, products & brands
Microsite creation is a popular solution for businesses with multiple products and services. Nike, Coca-Cola, Ford, and Apple are just a few well-known brands that have created microsites to support specific product lines or marketing campaigns. Let’s look at some particular microsite examples and the benefits that various companies have seen from creating one.
Microsites in the accounting industry
Zoomforth assisted a Big Four accounting firm to create a more impactful way to engage in the sales cycle and showcase their digital DNA. Many of their rivals were not only providing comparable services, but they also appeared to be identical in terms of their sales approach.
The accounting firm used Zoomforth to create microsites for delivering proposals, enhance and centralize ongoing project delivery, and help and educate the staff by creating repositories for internal use.
Some of the results included:
- Increased sales conversions
- Increased audience engagement
- Year-over-year growth, and
- A global roll-out
The Agoria Solar Team and Zoomforth
The Agoria Solar Team is a group of Belgian engineers competing to construct the most cutting-edge and efficient solar vehicle. Their goal is to increase public awareness of the benefits of clean energy while also promoting Belgium’s strong engineering sector across the world. The team is mostly volunteers, and it largely relies on sponsors’ generous financial aid to fund its global adventures.
With competitors vying for the attention of potential sponsors, Agoria needed a strategy to set itself apart. They came to Zoomforth because they wanted to communicate their message quickly and distinguish themselves from the competition.
The results of using Zoomforth included:
- An increase in conversions from outreach to site visit
- 50% conversion from site visit to meeting
- 50% conversion from meeting to partnership
These are just two examples of success stories of properly utilized microsites. Microsites are a powerful marketing tool that, when used correctly, can provide your business with a significant return on investment.
Some examples of some well-known microsites include:
Microsites can provide a company with a more targeted way to communicate with its customers. When a company has a microsite, it can focus on providing specific information about the product or service that is being offered. This type of site also allows businesses to track how people interact with the content. If someone visits the microsite, the business can use this data to follow up and to refine the look and feel of future sites.
How to create a microsite
When creating your microsite, you’ll need to choose a domain or subdomain name. You’ll also need to decide on the content, structure, and layout of your site. The most important thing to remember about microsites is that the best microsites are hyper relevant to the target audience and provide them with what they’re looking for.
If you’re not sure how to get started, plenty of online resources are available that can help you create an effective microsite. Just remember to keep it simple, focus on the user experience, and use good quality content.
Now that we know what microsites are and how they can be used, let’s explore the process of creating one. While you learn how to build a microsite, it’s important to realize that they should be personalized to best promote a specific product, service, or event.
Choosing a domain or subdomain name
The first step is to choose a domain name for your microsite. This can be either a subdomain of your primary domain (e.g., productname.example.com) or a new, unique domain (e.g., productname.com).
Creating relevant content
Once you have chosen a domain name, you will need to create content for your microsite. This content should be relevant to your target audience and should focus on the product or service that you are promoting.
When it comes to website and microsite building, simplicity is vital. Keep the content concise and easy to digest, focus on the user experience, and use good-quality images and videos. If you follow these basic tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating an effective microsite that will help promote your business.
Setting up microsite hosting
The final step is to set up web hosting for your microsite. This can be done through various providers, such as GoDaddy, BlueHost, AWS, or WP Engine. Some companies, like Zoomforth, take care of hosting for you as a part of their service. Agencies and companies that take care of microsite building often offer this as an additional service.
The Zoomforth platform is extremely easy to use, and allows me to design awesome pages for various purposes and audiences. The array of features and options give me control over designing my pages, sharing my content, and conveying my message. - Enterprise Human Resources User
How to host a microsite
Hosting a microsite can be done in various ways, but we will focus on the most common methods used.
If you are not using your own domain name but rather are using a subdomain (e.g., productname.example.com), then you likely will not need to set up web hosting since it is usually included in the price of the primary domain.
There are a few things to keep in mind when setting up web hosting for your microsite. First, make sure that you choose a provider that offers good uptime and reliability. Second, select a package that provides enough bandwidth and storage for your needs. And finally, be sure to read the reviews before making your decision.
If you want to create a microsite but don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself, there are many microsite builders that can help you. These platforms provide everything you need to create a professional-looking microsite, including templates, designs, and even web hosting.
What is a microsite and how to build one: A summary
Microsites are standalone websites that are used for multiple purposes, whether it’s for internal or external usage. They are generally used for the short-term and are not meant to be permanent like websites.
Microsites can be a great way to elucidate that business proposal, your new job posting, and more. Just remember to keep it simple, focus on the user experience, and use good quality content.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful microsite.
With plenty of applications for building microsites, you can create several of them to upgrade your organization.
Tell us a bit about your interest in leveraging microsites, and we’ll show you how easy it is to achieve.