“Microsite” is not a new buzzword in SEO and SEM. You’ve probably heard of them, and have even been tempted to purchase several microsites solely for increasing your online exposure in the Houston market.

Wait a minute. Before you go and plunk down valuable company assets (a.k.a. cash) for the perfect domain name, you must first think about how a microsite will fit in with your overall marketing plan.

You’ve most likely invested a lot of time and money in your company’s marketing strategy. You’ve done hours of endless market research. You’ve built all the models so that you can be confident that you have the right product mix for your target market.

After all, the goal of a marketing strategy is to make as much profit as humanly possible.

Your marketing plan is the “how I’m going to get it done” part of your marketing strategy. It’s the details of the marketing campaign. The plan is “how I’m going to attract customers” and the actual execution of your marketing strategy.

Microsites can fit in very well with marketing plans. If you are established businesses and your main site is already attracting visitors and generating leads, a microsite allows you to focus on one specific product. You could also target an emerging demographic that is not attracted to your main site.

There are basically four reasons to use a microsite in your marketing plan

  • To introduce a new business segment or product
  • To target a new demographic
  • To establish a short term promotion
  • To test a new idea and analyze results before incorporating them into your main site

Think of your microsite as a subsection to your marketing plan. A microsite is only one of many marketing tactics designed to obtain new customers or develop a following of old clients. Just as in the overall plan, you must consider

  1. The goal of the microsite – what the microsite will accomplish
  2. The purpose of the microsite, such as targeting people between the ages of 18 and 25 or a site devoted to your new video game
  3. The length of time that the site will be up – short term promotion or long term information about a specific product
  4. Your ability to create unique, interesting content not found on your main site – budget, budget, budget
  5. If the site will directly compete with the main site – do you want the site to be permanent to target a specific demographic or solely to promote one product or product line?
  6. Your ability to establish metrics and measure the microsite’s results

Basically you will perform the same steps as assessing other tactics you will be using, such as print, radio, or television. You must carefully consider the cost of design, adding content, and maintaining the site as well as the return on investment. On one hand, microsites can be a very cost effective method to generate leads. On the other hand, they can drain valuable resources and not produce the desired result.

In a nutshell, microsites can be a very effective addition to your overall marketing plan, but requires thorough scrutiny. Houston’s Directory One has an expert staff that can assist you with integrating a microsite with your overall marketing plan.