A microsite is a web page or small website made to promote a company’s product, service, campaign, or event. Microsites typically use a different domain or subdomain from the main company website and include links back to the main website, but act as a separate entity for the brand.
Microsites can help brands achieve a number of things. As HubSpot Product Manager Alex Girard puts it, “You can use a website to create a digital experience for a number of different moments in the buyer’s journey. It doesn’t have to be just a corporate ‘.com’ website for converting visitors to leads. You can build digital experiences that span the entire customer journey.”
For example, many companies use them to highlight a specific campaign or target specific buyer personas. Others use them to tell a short story or to experiment with new types of branded content. With a big event coming up, a company might launch a microsite to spread awareness and promote sign-ups.
Whatever the reason, the goal of a microsite is to engage visitors with a specific message, generate interest, and draw them to the business’s offerings.
Microsite vs. Website
While microsites are often their own websites, there are a few things that differentiate them from what we usually call websites. The main difference between a website and a microsite is its purpose. An organization’s website often does many things, including explaining its products or services, sharing its values and mission, and selling products. It’s the main place where visitors, leads, and customers go to learn or do business with you. It’s also probably built in order to drive conversions and encourage visitors to a purchase.
Microsites, on the other hand, could be made for a bunch of different reasons. Microsites are smaller websites, separate from a company’s corporate website. This makes it possible for marketers to quickly build content. Reporting and tracking is also easier: you can focus on a specific business initiative. This initiative could be a campaign, a product launch, an event, or other way to draw in current and potential customers. Still, all microsites are usually focused on brand awareness or conversion. They also typically occupy a different domain or subdomain than the primary website.
Additionally, as their name implies, microsites are typically smaller than full company websites. A microsite could range in size from one page to several, but always fewer pages than the main website it’s related to.
Microsite vs. Landing Page
Like microsites, landing pages are focused on a specific goal related to a marketing initiative. However, a landing page is not a website — it is a single web page within a website intended to inform visitors about an offering and drive conversions. While landing pages feature minimal design to keep visitors focused on generating leads, microsites encourage exploration and engagement. Microsites aim to build positive connections between people and brands, so visitors are more likely to convert later in their journey.
Microsites: Small But Mighty
At least when it comes to websites, companies don’t like taking risks. The goal is to get visitors from landing to conversion to purchase as seamlessly and as quickly as possible. That’s why businesses spend so much of their resources on design and the user experience. But, microsites aren’t a company’s main website — that’s the point. As a result, microsites are a chance to experiment with new content, promote a unique message, do something offbeat, and, most importantly, create value for visitors.
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