Microsites and content experience platforms provide a convenient new way to share information with organizations. Instead of exchanging static documents, consumers can send over microsites containing all the information they need in a more engaging format.
No code / low code content experience platforms and microsites are quickly revolutionizing the way in which teams from sales specialists through to marketers handle communication with clients.
They’re disrupting traditional communication strategies and creating new internal workflows aligned around delivering great resources.
While you might be sold on the benefits of microsites, you may have doubts about how exactly your team could make the best use out of them in specific contexts. In this blog post, we’d like to offer a run through of the top use-cases for microsites.
Remember; this isn’t an exhaustive list. Although these are five great uses, microsites can be used however you think your organization might have a use for them.
Microsites vs. landing pages
Account based marketing (ABM) is a highly targeted system for identifying and marketing to high value prospects that is of growing importance in the B2B marketing sphere.
Traditionally, marketers focus their efforts on targeting population segments based on factors such as demographics. ABM flips that paradigm on its head encouraging marketers to roll out very tailored approaches to luring in specific targets. And it’s a perfect use-case for microsites!
If, like many organizations, your team is looking to devote more attention to ABM this year, then using microsites could be an ideal way to ramp up your activity in this area.
According to data from LinkedIn, 56% of marketers operate ABM programs, though practitioners differ in the sophistication of their efforts. Landing pages, like microsites, are ideal resources for ABM because they can be very easily deployed on a website or created by using a standalone landing page generator.
For those targeting high value leads, ABM is clearly a good idea. But who’s the king of ABM: microsites or landing pages?
1. Advantages of microsites for ABM
Here are at least three reasons why, for many marketers, microsites might actually make more sense than landing pages for ABM.
First, no code / low code content experience platforms are designed to make it as easy as possible to roll out and duplicate resources. Even if your marketing team doesn’t contain coding resources, these tools are very easy to use.
Second, many ABM strategies call for sharing resources with targets that should not be publicly accessible. Typically, landing page creators are configured to create publicly accessible resources that are indexed by Google and other search engines.
Content experience platforms such as Zoomforth, however, can create password protected and non-indexed content that won’t fall into public hands through inadvertent access settings. If you want to attract the attention of an ABM target by sharing confidential information with them, then you’re clearly going to need some password protection.
Finally, landing pages and microsites serve different purposes. Landing pages are ideal resources for steering prospects down sales funnels by eliminating potentially distracting UX features such as navigation menus and encouraging readers to click on a call to action (CTA).
ABM resources are focused on narrow pools of prospects — they’re not targeted at a general audience. In this instance, it doesn’t make sense to limit information to simple snipits and a call to action. Instead, you want to present all relevant information. Therefore, for ABM applications, microsites are actually a more logical tool for marketers to use due to their capacity to present detailed information concisely and engagingly.
For more information about how Zoomforth can help marketers build highly effective, conversion-optimized sites for ABM, read our previous blog.
2. Bidding on projects
For a busy sales team, sending out proposals and responses to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) can be a time consuming endeavor. Therefore, most sales teams have come up with various systems for making this process more efficient.
Many sales teams, for instance, send out proposals based upon a template which can be reused from bid to bid. However, sending static resources such as PDFs and Powerpoints to those you’re looking to win business from is unlikely to bring the ‘wow’ factor. In today’s distraction-filled marketplace, attention is a scarce commodity. Users need something out of the ordinary to win that mindshare. They need a microsite!
Microsites can be rolled out very quickly by building up from a template which can be configured to comply precisely with your marketing team’s set of brand guidelines. In this way, they have a lot of the same flexibility as document templates. However, this is where the similarities end.
- Can be instantly updated – If you’re sending proposals to your clients by email, then you probably know that once you click the send button there’s nothing more that can be done. It’s out the door and on the way! Given that many proposals are developed in a high pressure, fast-paced environment, this is a less than ideal situation. If you send out your proposals as microsites, however, you can avoid unfixable errors. Microsites are miniature websites. They can be updated in real time. Need to add another page to that RFP microsite? No problem! Log in and make the changes.
- Always on brand – While sales teams can use things like Powerpoint templates to ensure a consistent look and feel between presentations, microsites take this to the next level. With Zoomforth, users can set advanced style settings into every site they build. To learn more about how to use Zoomforth to create templates, check out our resource page.
There are further ways in which using microsites can give sales organizations a competitive heads up on the competition:
- Data insights – If you’re still sending your sales proposals as static documents, then you’re effectively sending you message right into a data vortex! If information whirlpools aren’t your thing, you should consider microsites as a replacement to emailed docs. Static documents don’t allow users to embed tracking analytics or other scripts that can provide invaluable insights into how users are engaging with the information presented. And measurement is the bedrock of success! Why not equip yourself with the technological means to know precisely how that information was received?
Click here to learn more about how microsites can be used by sales teams.
3. Human resources and hiring
Looking to hire top talent? These days recruitment and human resources (HR) are beginning to favor personalized approaches which are not unlike the ABM tactics used by marketers.
Traditional recruitment has relied upon HR departments maintaining a careers page on their website. HR management (HRM) plugins are commonly embedded to automatically display a list of open positions and provide clients with an easy way of applying for vacancies.
But what would your average HR department do if they wanted to roll out a personalized offer or pitch for a key potential hire?
Traditionally, the answer would be that the HR team might prepare a document or a presentation and get that over to the candidate. If that triggers your “static document alarm” then you would be right!
Like sending sales proposals as uneditable un-trackable resources, sending personalized information to key potential hires risks making poor use out of a lot of internal effort. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could determine whether the potential candidate had seen the site and what pages he or she had accessed? With microsites that vision can now be a reality.
Microsites can be password protected. Alternatively access can be restricted to an approved list of emails (or just one). Therefore, HR teams can securely prepare job offers and compensation packages and deliver them directly to the client via a microsite. And there’s no risk that the information will fall into the wrong hands.
Click here to learn more about microsites potential uses for HR and recruitment teams
4. Improved training
If you work for a large organization, or have worked at one, then there’s a good chance that your employer has asked you at some point to take an internal training program to obtain a certification or get up to speed on a key piece of knowledge needed to do your job effectively.
Learning and development (L&D) activities are a key priority for many organizations, but research by LinkedIn has shown that nearly half of L&D pros have trouble getting busy employees to take the time to engage in their programs. But what if learning could be delivered in a much easier and engaging manner?
Microsites can be easily repurposed for use as learning hubs. Micro learning experiences can be developed as microsite pages so that entire training programs can be delivered through these portals. The bite-sized nature of these information chunks makes them easier for employees to retain — which also means that trainers should face less resistance in getting employees to commit.
Compared to Powerpoint presentations and training manuals, microsites are also a new and friendly way to roll out training programs for workforces. Trainers can embed multimedia on the microsites such as video and audio content. Interactive resources like polls and forms can also be embedded. Together, these innovations can make the experience of going through continuous professional development (CPD) programs a lot more engaging and enjoyable for participants.
To learn more about how Zoomforth can help trainers roll out L&D programs, click here.
5. Intranet – V2
Another facet of life in a large enterprise that will ring a bell for many readers is the corporate intranet.
While some organizations need to use intranets for compliance and security reasons, others are exploring new ways of sharing information internally that have less restrictive access requirements.
Many internal communications teams are turning to microsites as a less formal way of creating knowledge management hubs designed to keep teams up to speed with the latest developments in the company.
Microsites can be used to host the full range of information that would have traditionally been posted on intranets. These include:
- Internal employee events
- Internal directories
- Internal newsletters
Zoomforth supports both SAML and email-based authentication, among other methods. For instance, access can be restricted to users with an email address from the organization. A login code will be sent to that email and the employee can login. Meanwhile, public users will be unable to access the microsite.
Get more done with microsites
Using microsite can be a powerful way for organizations to disrupt their traditional approaches to communication information, stepping into a new age marked by more powerful and effective means of content distribution.
Regardless of what specific use-case organizations use microsites for, they allow them to:
- Improve measurement
- Obtain performance analytics
- Securely personalize information
- Update sent resources in real time
To learn more about how microsites could help your organization do business, visit www.zoomforth.com.