One of my favorite advantages of microsite marketing is this: microsites give you a way to say things that you want to say and you want to get out there – but you don’t want your brand associated with having been the one to say that.
What could you possibly want to say – and for the world to know – without wanting to be associated with your brand?
Well, let’s brainstorm some interesting use-cases – and this list is going to serve a second purpose as well: this is also a braindump on different cases we’ve seen and have done microsites for:
First: you want to say negative things about your competitor, that are true. Even if it’s true – you don’t want to be seen as a bad sport by bad mouthing your competitors; in most markets, your clients and your vendors/partners won’t like that, no matter how true your complaints are. Yet… you still want the true news to get out there.
Second: the same as the first – but in regards to news about your competitors that isn’t true. Note: I advise against ever sharing any information that isn’t true. I’m listing this here just as an option that other, non-scrupulous, teams have – and that they may be doing against you.
Third: you may want to create objective, third party resources to help people online understand the contours of the industry. Even if they are objective, it’s only to your benefit if you control it, right?
Fourth: you may want to start listing pages, to list companies and of course you will be featured prominently and positively on such listings.
Fifth: you may want to bring people in your industry together…perhaps even your enemies. The “frenemies” phenomenon is real in business.
Sixth: you may want to start a review site.
Seventh: you may want to start an online community for people in your target market.
Eighth: you may want to start an informational, content-rich site about your industry.
Ninth: you may want to start an informational, content-rich site about your target demographic.
Tenth: you may want to start a humor site about your industry, or for your target demographic.
Eleventh: you may want to start a gossip site about the unwritten industry news, what is whispered by everyone but not said outloud.
Twelfth: you may want to start an ecommerce site selling your main product, but positioned or targeted differently.
Thirteenth: you may want to start an ecommerce aggregator site, reselling your products, and also those of your competitors or perhaps partner companies.
Fourteenth: you may want to start an ebook or ecourse site to train people in the industry.
Fifteenth: you may want to start an interview site, as an excuse to interview key, targeted people.
Sixteenth: you may want to do something experimental or risky that may fail, so you don’t want it known it’s associated with you.
Seventeenth: you want to do something off-brand, so it can’t be associated with your brand publicly.
Eighteenth: you may have a difficult tech team and want to try another initiative but with a different team.
Nineteenth: you may have an old-school website or ecommerce system that is too difficult to update so you just want to let it lay there while you focus on a different platform simultaneously, without moving the old one.
Twentieth: you may want to get some Google-friendly keywords into another domain to rank for certain keywords, and your brand is established so you can’t change your main domain!
Twenty-first: you want the visitors to the site to suspect that a certain group or person or type of person is behind a website, when in reality, that may only partially be the case. (Or perhaps not at all.)
Okay, let’s step back after that list!
As you can see, microsites can serve lots of purposes.
Here’s one component of my ideal marketing strategy: do all of the above – in their positive and healthy versions – and to do all of them in intense, strong, sophisticated ways.
But in reality, doing each of those really well is a full project on its own and could potentially be infinitely complex.
This is why I like reducing the above to their simpler, smaller versions; hence, “microsites.”
No matter how complex or sophisticated the concept, it can almost always be done in its core essence in a simpler way.
So before even embarking on a microsite strategy, the first questions start with: what should be create microsites about? Targeting whom? With what objectives? How do we best achieve them?
Microsite marketing is a powerful tool, and like any powerful tool, they need to be handled with care.
If you think a microsite can help your marketing, then just drop me a line and I’d love to talk about it to see if we’d be a good fit for helping you!
Morgan Friedman has been building and running Display campaigns on top of GDN Network of Adwords, err, he means "Google Ads," for almost 15 years. Friedman is, by nature, an obsessive optimizer, and has been A/B testing every obscure option, configuration, strategy, and tactic on Display Ads. Oh and search ads, as well as figuring out how to grow companies and politicians from just the seed to hundreds of thousands of users, or voters, as well. His favorite number is eleven. Morgan enjoys writing about Managed Placements.