Much of the conversation on content marketing focuses on social media, blogs, newsletters and informational assets such as videos, webinars, whitepapers and case studies. But depending on your marketing strategy, you may also want to consider another content marketing tool: the microsite.
While each of these content-driven, visually-oriented sites is different, each typically has
- a unique, memorable URL outside the navigation of the company’s main site;
- a specific purpose with a strong call-to-action;
- fewer pages and simpler navigation than a traditional website;
- a “look” (design) that – while still on-brand – breaks free from the constraints of the main site; and
- an obvious – and trackable – lead conversion opportunity.
As a result, visitor experiences of microsites differ from their experiences at other sites. For one thing, since they are more direct and condensed, visitors tend to feel immediately immersed in the content and, possibly, more likely to engage.
You’ll want to talk with a marketing professional about your specific goals and circumstances before you decide if a microsite is right for you, but here’s a list of how companies and organizations in healthcare, science, tech and manufacturing are using microsites to reach their objectives:
- Create a hub for specialized content, like GE Reports, a microsite that houses news and communications about GE, and Energy Realities a collaboration from Statoil, MIT, National Geographic and others that pulls together informational resources on the challenges related to energy demand.
- Provide content and resources for a specific audience, like Middle School Chemistry from American Chemical Society, which features lesson plans for educators.
- Promote single/specific product or service line, such as Jenway Scientific’s The Best Spectrophotometer and Domino Printing Solutions’ Domino Digital Printing.
- Tackle issues related to your mission, like these two microsites that address health crises: F as in Fat from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Are you the difference? from CARES: Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services.
- Address a major industry development, like Florida Blue’s What does healthcare reform mean for you?
- Host a campaign or launch an initiative, like U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does with Healthy People 2020 and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School does with Aging Redefined/ReAge.
- Run a contest or sweepstakes, such as Who is the Ultimate Game Changer? from MVP Health Care (client) and fit 4 the classroom from WebMD, Discovery Education and Sanford Health.
- Establish a place for focused engagement, like GE’s Ideas Lab where thought leaders and policy makers weigh in on global issues and IBM’s City Forward where experts can learn about and discuss “smarter practices” for cities around the world.
- Re-package your abilities and expertise, like First Men on the Moon by Thamtech, Health Care Lane by UnitedHealthCare and What Care Feels Like from Emblem Health.
- Showcase the kinds of things your products and services make possible, such as the creators project (from Intel and Vice) and Healthy Imagination from GE.
- Improve service to customers (i.e. make their jobs easier), like the Sappi etc. microsite from Sappi Fine Paper North America which makes the company’s “education, training and consulting program” available so industry professionals can “work smarter, faster and more effectively.”
- Promote an event or conference, like FMI Connect from Food Marketing Institute and International Dairy Show from International Dairy Foods Association or even like Engel K Online from ENGEL, a microsite dedicated to that company’s presence at a trade show.
- Highlight a call-to-action, such as “Get to know HealthPlus” at HealthPlus Difference or “Take our survey,” a call-to-action that changes depending on need at Fortifying the Future from Fortitech (client).
- Feature charitable giving and community service efforts, like CSX CSR 2012 from CSX and Merck CR from Merck.
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