Here are my top 10 best practices to help you deliver a highly effective microsite (or simply provide a sense check for your own good work in progress).
1. Personalize your microsite for each target.
Include their name (and, if appropriate, company) in the welcome area, refer to their general location if you can, and point them to a named contact rather than “a customer representative.”
2. Feature content mapped to each buyer’s persona and their stage in the buying cycle.
Use the microsite as an opportunity to prove to buyers that they will get what they need from you, when they need it. Focus content on the buyers’ pain points and customize content specific to their industry and/or company whenever possible.
3. Alternatively, you might design an “intelligent” microsite to help you figure out where your buyers are in the buying cycle. This includes multi-tiered offers spanning early-mid-late stage content to appeal to a wider audience.
You may include certain tools or resources whose uptake would help you identify what kind of buyer you’re attracting. For example, if a visitor clicks on and downloads a business case-builder tool, you can assume that they’re in an exploratory stage, and your website can be configured to serve up more content aligned with that stage.
4. Throughout the microsite, provide links to relevant content on the corporate site or other partner sites. This adds value but keeps the microsite tightly targeted and prevents content fatigue.
5. Make sure the look, feel and messaging of your microsite corresponds with the campaign supporting it. This is not just nice to have; it assures visitors that they have arrived at the right place and boosts brand awareness.
6. Update the site as part of a nurture program. No doubt you’ve invested a good deal of time and resources in your microsite to get it right, so make it work harder for you by attracting repeat visits.
This is a big consideration for building both the microsite and the campaign touches supporting it, so address this function in the campaign planning stage and keep it in mind as you do content planning, programming and design.
7. Add relevant share icons to encourage viral growth:
Which icons you add will depend on which forms of sharing and social media you’ve decided are most effective in your demand generation program for the buyers you’re targeting. The point is to always consider how or if you might like your audience to share the content your provide on the microsite.
8. Pre-populate any forms on the microsite with as much data as you have for the visitor to enable fast registration and increase completion rates.
9. Don’t collect data “just because.” If you use forms to gate content, make sure every field on the form will provide data that helps you build a relationship with the visitor. From the buyer perspective, the fewer the better.
10. Be smart with your analytics. Integrate reporting with:
- Your SFA system to track how many leads turn into sales
- Your marketing automation platform to show how many people clicked through from email touches
- Web analytics that let you do SEO and inbound traffic analysis to show how many people clicked from non-email links
- Media analytics to show how many ads were clicked that then led to conversion
Do you have any tried-and-true B2B microsite best (or worst!) practices to add? Please share them in the comments. Also, if gating content (or not) is a timely issue for you, check out my Four Criteria for Gating Content to Aid Demand Generation.