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Creating Compelling Microsites


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A case study contrasting two microsite builds: one for direct promotion of a product, the other for a promotion focused on brand building.

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Creating Compelling Microsites

  1. 1.   Creating Compelling Microsites This presentation shows the use of promotional microsites in two diverse circumstances. One example supports the direct promotion of a product, the other is an indirect promotion focused on building community & brand goodwill.  
  2. 2. Direct Marketing: The Mambo Book Site !   author site to promote the release of a book: The Mambo Visual Blueprint, (Wiley & Sons) !   Purpose is to raise awareness and drive traffic into sales channels Brand Building: DESIGN TWENTYTEN !   crowd-sourced design contest !   purpose is to build community and foster brand goodwill
  3. 3. example #1: The Mambo Book Microsite Project
  4. 4. Content Strategy Designed to spark –  Includes basic information on the title (Cost, page interest; drive count, ISBN) –  Includes Table of Contents for book. purchases –  Includes excerpts. In this case, complete chapters in PDF format. –  Includes links to purchase on Amazon & Barnes & Noble (affiliate links that benefit author). –  Includes reviews of book. –  Includes form for direct contact with Author.
  5. 5. Preview chapters to download.
  6. 6. Marketing Strategy a complementary –  Press releases announcing title linked back to resource microsite. –  Links to microsite were placed on publisher's site & author's blog. –  PDF Excerpts were released through file sharing channels, and linked back to microsite. –  Promoted aggressively through social bookmarking. –  Site was heavily optimized for search engine competitiveness and manually registered on numerous search services.
  7. 7. Links to purchase online.
  8. 8. Cost A low cost solution –  No additional hosting cost; no software cost. •  Site was built using an open source CMS and an open source template for the design. •  Deployed as a sub-domain on the author's blog site. –  The cost issues here were: •  Design implementation •  Content creation •  Deployment •  Ongoing maintenance •  Search engine marketing
  9. 9. Contact the author.
  10. 10. Time to Market Rapid time to market –  Site was conceived, prototyped and deployed within 5 business days.
  11. 11. Success Metrics Raise awareness, –  Site ranked well for relevant keyphrases and achieved drive sales. a Page Rank of 4. –  Drove a number of contacts with author as well as traffic to author's primary site –  Sold a meaningful number of books through the affiliate links. –  Lifespan of almost 2 years.
  12. 12. Lessons Learned What we would do –  Blog integration would have been useful to give the differently. site more "life." –  Given today's market, if we did this site right now, social media integration would be a necessity. –  Posting of errata would have been a useful feature for users and would have justified repeat visits (as it happened, errata was only available on the publisher's site, where it was rarely accessed by purchasers).
  13. 13. example #2: The DESIGN TWENTYTEN Contest Site.
  14. 14. Content Strategy It's all about the –  Site includes only basic information: i.e., the contest contest. rules and a single page about the sponsor. –  The heart of the site is the Gallery. –  Designers can register and upload designs. –  Site visitors can vote on their favorite designs and add comments. –  A contact form allows visitors to reach the sponsors.
  15. 15. The public can view, vote & comment on designs.
  16. 16. Marketing Strategy a place to interact –  Press releases announcing contest linked back to with the brand microsite. –  Promoted with an aggressive social bookmarking campaign. –  Postings in design forums raised awareness. –  The nature of the promotion tapped into the passion of the online design community. –  Blog postings from members of the design community helped drive traffic.
  17. 17. Simple access control regulates votes & submissions.
  18. 18. Cost A mid-priced solution –  No additional hosting cost; no software cost. •  The microsite was built on an open source CMS with an open source Gallery plugin. •  Deployed as a sub-domain on the client's site. –  The cost issues here were: •  Design of bespoke template •  Customization of Gallery •  Access controls •  Deployment •  Ongoing maintenance •  Search engine marketing
  19. 19. Includes brand message & contact form.
  20. 20. Time to Market Rapid time to market –  Site was conceived, prototyped and deployed within 14 business days.
  21. 21. Success Metrics Build goodwill, –  Nice traffic spike surrounding contest opening. stimulate interest, –  Got people talking about the brand. Created a positive buzz in the design and art communities – it was an create engagement. unexpected, non-traditional move from the brand. –  Jury still out on effectiveness of contest: (Promotion still on-going at the time of this presentation).
  22. 22. Lessons Learned What we would do –  Achieving critical mass is the challenge with these differently. types of promotions. –  Seeding the gallery with entries at launch would have been good to generate interest and stimulate competition. –  In these types of promotions, the client really needs to fine tune the requirements and avoid imposing too many limitations on the designers. Too many rules & regulations discourage submissions. The desirability of the prize is also a key to success.
  23. 23.   Learn More… water&stone is a full service digital agency based in Bali, Indonesia. We created the content in this presentation, including the sites that are the subject of this presentation. Many more examples of our work can be found on our website: