How to Use Microsites to Publish Content Faster

by Sorina Mone, Marketer at Magnolia
Jun 4, 2020 | 8 MIN

Microsite is a term that is often thrown around in the digital marketing world. The name seems self-explanatory, but it’s not a fun alternative term for a small website.It actually forms an integral part of many marketing campaigns, due to its impressive characteristics.

A microsite is independent of a company’s main website. It serves a specific purpose and can have a domain of its own, or be a subdomain. It’s also typically temporary since it may be used to promote a particular product or event.

Even though a microsite doesn’t have the full functionality of the main website, it doesn’t mean it’s not valuable for a company to use in support of more extensive marketing campaigns.

Microsites provide the assist for brands to do several things. Some may target specific buyer personas or highlight a unique campaign. No matter how brands choose to use a microsite, they can be used to help them publish content faster.

Let’s dive into why you’d use a microsite in the first place and how to use it to meet your goals.

Why Use A Microsite?

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Microsites afford you the flexibility to experiment with multiple campaigns without having to disrupt your main website.

They also help you to bring more awareness to your business and deliver more focused content for your customers. For instance, if you need to spin up a quick campaign to highlight an upcoming product launch or webinar, a microsite is the way to do it.

For larger brands with smaller sub-brands, having microsites can help them to keep branding separate. That being said, microsites afford you the ability to optimize for local audiences and dive deeper into market segments without cluttering your main page.

Effective Microsite Usage

Even though microsites can provide tremendous benefits for brands that wish to use them, they can also have some drawbacks if not used correctly.

First off, microsites are separate from the main website. As such, they might not always have the same design elements as the main website. For visitors to your website, this can sometimes create confusion.

Another drawback of microsites is that they can be challenging to update. Since microsites live separately from your main website, it can be a painstaking process to update every microsite you have following changes to the main website.

However, to avoid these issues when using a microsite in your business, there are a few instances when using a microsite can yield the most value.

These are two of them:

New product lines or brands

Putting the focus on a new product your company is launching or a separate brand that lives under the main brand’s umbrella is a great situation where a microsite can come in handy.

This puts the focus on the new product and leaves your main website free of any disruptive changes.

Seasonal campaigns

Using a microsite for seasonal campaigns helps you to avoid the issue of having to update it as you go through changes.

Instead, you can focus the campaign for a specific period and then retire it once that period is over. For brands that use eCommerce, this is perfect for Black Friday or Holiday deals.

Avoiding Microsite Issues

No matter if you choose to build a microsite for a new product launch, a seasonal campaign or something else, there are some key things to consider to make sure it’s useful.

  • Make sure it is tied to a broader campaign. If your brand is thinking about running a giveaway or launching a new product or sale, then this is the ideal time for a microsite. The purpose of the campaign needs to be clear before you even begin.

  • Second, give the microsite a clear focus. Unlike your main website that can have several different elements, a microsite should be kept simple. A clear focus helps to limit the confusion factor that your audience might experience.

  • Finally, define the goals for your microsite. Some may be used for conversion and sales, or others may be used for awareness. With a microsite, brands need to be extremely clear about what they’re looking for and set the microsite up to suit.

Leveraging a Best-of-Breed CMS for Building Microsites

Remember, a microsite is an extension of your organization’s main website.

Launching a microsite needs to be a quick process, so having a content management system that you can use for your main website and other microsites is essential.

Marketers and content authors need the ability not only to create, edit, and publish content quickly; they need to be able to use templates and configurations that make their job easier. A user-friendly CMS does just that.

With the right CMS, brands can also customize and personalize microsites to meet the needs of different market segments and personas.

Finally, despite the need for some differentiation, microsites should still utilize the same brand guidelines, elements and systems that your company already uses. A good CMS can also give you the right balance of flexibility to create differentiation, and standardization when it comes to compliance to a core brand style.

3 ways in which Magnolia can help you with Microsites

Magnolia is a best-of-breed headless CMS that helps brands to get the most out of their microsites. Marketers can swiftly set up microsites and campaigns and optimize them with A/B and multivariate testing.

Fast experience creation

An easy to use, WYSIWYG interface and powerful features let marketers build and fully control microsite experiences - without having to rely on IT. You can fully control content and layout, manage content in one place and reuse it across different microsites.

What’s best, you get a live preview of the experience for any channel or device, ensuring the final experience meets the quality expectations of your customers and your brand guidelines.

Single access point to all your content

Forms from your marketing automation software, assets from your DAM, insights from all of your analytics tools - all these can be easily brought into Magnolia (no coding required) and used in the Magnolia UI as if they were native content.

You can create much richer microsite experiences, make decisions faster and in context - all while working in a seamless workflow across all your connected tools.

Personalization & optimization

Magnolia tracks user behaviour and how they engage with your content, and enriches that with data from your CRM or Customer Data Platform, so you can get a single view of your customers.

Advanced targeting and flexible personalization options allows you to start small and grow to experiment with all available content and data at scale.

CNN Philippines utilized Magnolia CMS to launch a new experience for viewers, including a microsite for elections in a short window. With the help of Magnolia, a process that used to take weeks can now be completed by a single in-house developer in just a few days.

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About the Author

Sorina shapes Magnolia’s brand and product communications, with a focus on creating demand and on enabling sales, partners & clients to make the most out of this great product.

See all posts by Sorina Mone