Let’s say you want to pursue a microsite marketing strategy, and you work through general questions like “should we be public or not about the relationship between the sites” and then all the other subtle questions–then, you’re left with an interesting question: what topics should you create microsites about?

The answer varies depending on your niche. But here are some ideas that we’ve found successful:

  • Testing out other brands for the same products
  • Aggregation sites, of your own products
  • Aggregation sites, of your competitor’s sites
  • Review sites (formal)
  • Review sites (informal)
  • Calculators
  • Sites about your competitors
  • Tips & unofficial manuals
  • Awards sites
  • Certification sites
  • Demographically-targeted sites
  • Geographically-targeted sites
  • Mission-oriented sites
  • Community sites
  • News aggregators (manual)
  • News aggregators (automatic)

And so on, and so on. The list goes on! (Shhh, but we’ve done lots and lots of each of these types… and many more)

One of the many great things about microsite marketing is that you can build a whole universe around your concepts and your product… and/or your brand.

But the “and/or” I blithely threw out there gets to the point. Do you want it to be about your brand? Or do you want to create a community? Or do you merely want SEO juice? Or just leads?

To go about answering those questions, the first meta-question is: are you playing a long-game or a short-game? In other words, what is your overall strategy and timeline? The short-term strategy is to get leads; the mid-term strategy is to play the SEO game; the long-term strategy is to build a sincere, and strong real community.

And doing that isn’t merely creating a microsite. That’s the start. It’s the manual work of going one by one by one and building a community around it.

And that is the hard part. I wish I had good news that there’s a substitute for doing the hard work of community building… but there isn’t.