12 Examples of Great Microsites

What exactly is a microsite? According to Wikipedia: “A microsite is an individual web page or a small cluster of pages which are meant to function as a discrete entity within an existing website or to complement an offline activity.” I’ll add that a microsite typically lives on its own domain, though some exist as a subdomain.

Why and When?

There are numerous reasons to employ the development of a microsite because they can be used to help most any brand achieve a number of objectives, such as highlighting a certain campaign or to target a specific audience persona. They are used to tell stories, inspire an action and focus content. There are also some very compelling reasons:

Precise SEO

With its own URL, keywords can be deeply targeted to the content of the site.

Information Immediacy

With only targeted content on the site, users are not distracted or lost in navigation streams.

Time to Market

Microsites often require less time in development and also in approval processes.

Potential Savings

Not always, but generally because of their smaller size, they are more budget-friendly.

FU

11 of the Best Microsite Examples We’ve Ever Seen

Hubspot has compiled a list with links to 11 ‘best’ microsites that they actually call ingenious. I’m not convinced that I would go that far with all of them, but the FU2016 / House of Cards microsite is quite good—clean design, simple and compelling with a few twists (mouse over the hero image and notice the eyes). Hubspot states “If you’re not familiar with the Netflix series “House of Cards,” the program follows a man named Francis Underwood, a ruthless politician with a hidden agenda. As the series enters season four, they’re promoted the premiere with a clever microsite that pokes fun at politics. Talk about perfect timing, amirite? The microsite invites visitors to join Underwood’s movement and rally support for “important” issues such as inequality, dishonesty, and entitlement. But jokes aside, what we love most about this microsite is the design. In fact, you could easily argue that the site functions better than those of actual presidential candidates. From Underwoods attention-grabbing, shifty eyes to the high-quality videos, the microsite draws you in and provides good reasons for you to stick around and engage with the content.”

chest-microsite

We very recently completed a microsite “Year in Review” for CHEST. It’s an infographic-meets-annual-reportmeets-brand-story, and tells the accomplishments of the organization through facts, figures and flat graphics, all organized within 7 key categories. The use of flat design helps focus the visitor on the story being presented. Read the full case study. Here’s a quick primer on: What Is Flat Design?

“Flat design is a minimalistic modern style of user interface and graphic design, which uses a minimum of elements and excludes any types of complex colors, gradients, highlights and other shiny, textured, shadowed effects. All in all, flat design helps to focus more on the content, without distracting the viewers from the visual effects. It emphasizes the simplicity of elements and at the same time makes the interfaces more responsive, faster and easier to use.”

And yes, the CHEST Year in Review is the 12th example of a great microsite—though we’d rank it at number 1.

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