What can I really gain from microsites that I'm not already getting from my other web marketing tactics?
Woburn, MA (Vocus) July 3, 2010
Many marketers ask the question "What can I really gain from microsites that I'm not already getting from my other web marketing tactics?" At Acquia Inc., we talk a lot about the benefits of Drupal, specifically Drupal Gardens, when it comes to speeding the creation of building microsites. The following are our Top Ten reasons why marketers will be (and should be) building more microsites.
1. Traditional, vendor-driven, “outbound marketing” activities cannot deliver adequate leads into the sales pipeline.
Believe me, I’ve seen it first-hand. I’m not saying throw out traditional marketing tactics, but you must recognize that a strictly outbound marketing approach won’t get you the sales leads your executives are asking for. Microsites create valuable “inbound marketing” opportunities to attract customers under their own initiatives and drive sales.
2. S-E-O. These three letters roll of your tongue more times than you’d care to count, right?
The success of search and decision engines have taught us that content is king. Organizations with static or custom-built websites just can’t turn around content creation and distribution fast enough, putting them at the bottom of the SEO mix and ultimately at a significant competitive disadvantage. Microsites, built quickly and easily refreshed with new content, are SEO magnets. Good for traffic, good for your marketing reach.
3. Microsites pay back big branding numbers.
It just makes sense. New research from Dynamic Logic shows that microsites are working as effective brand awareness and messaging tools v. more traditional display advertising. They found an increase in brand awareness and purchase intent with microsites. A good user experience for the microsite is key, where easy navigation, straight forward messaging and benefits are associated with value.
4. Meet your Corporate branding guidelines.
Microsites are a great way to roll out a campaign, launch a product, or communicate about an event. Using a platform like Drupal Gardens, you can target your message, yet still have a site that meets corporate branding standards and applies your corporate template. It’s not always appropriate to carry over the Information Architecture of your whole corporate site, but preserving the brand look and feel is critical.
5. Today’s marketer wears many hats including web designer.
This means that building websites need to incorporate the features and functions important to a marketer like community and content, but they also must be easily created, designed and maintained. Let’s put it this way, when a marketer puts on his web designer hat, the process should be painless and require little web development experience. We have to have sites up, running and ready to generate return NOW.
6. Preservation of Brand Equity.
In case you haven’t noticed, your customers are as much your brand marketers as you are, especially when empowered by social media tools. Microsites designed with social media tools built-in, give you the ability to create a destination for your biggest brand evangelists to help spread the word.
7. Traffic spikes should fuel a site, not kill it.
Deep in their hearts, all marketing leaders believe that their next program is going to “go viral” and drive spikes of traffic, activity, conversions and ultimately, revenue. Alongside that dream is the nightmare of a system or server failure due to unexpected volume. Microsites, when built on a platform like Drupal Gardens, give you the best of both: the agility to build “viral” sites, but the capacity to manage traffic the way a large enterprise site can.
8. User-generated content needs a home.
As marketers we all “get” one thing: User-generated content driven by the advent of social media has created tremendous opportunities for us to understand what our customers are thinking, market directly to them, etc. But at the end of the day, user-generated, social content is fundamentally scattered. Microsites give UGC a home and helps put it to work within an integrated digital marketing plan.
9. User management and roles:
So far I’ve talked a lot about customer-facing microsites- blogs and other types of social pages and forums that are typically lightly moderated. But when it comes to support forums, customer feedback pages, and the like (sites which also factor into the marketing mix), being able to moderate discussions, quickly respond to and address comments and concerns is a must. Often, static, clunky proprietary-built sites aren’t nimble enough for you to do or see into this at an appropriate level.
10. Budgets are shrinking but big ideas aren’t.
Let’s face it- while the economy is starting to come around, many marketing budgets have been permanently cut. Nonetheless, your executive team is still looking to drive the next big idea and generate creative campaigns, only this time on a smaller budget. Social publishing microsites will give you the most bang for your buck any way you slice it.
Still wondering about creating microsites quickly and easily? Check out Drupal Gardens. and let me know your thoughts on Microsites. Also if this blog interested you, please download our free white paper on Social Publishing for Marketers.