A microsite is a self-contained, standalone website with independent links accessed from a larger site. These sites will often have their own subdomain or sub-URL structure to distinguish them from their parent site.
Marketers tend to build microsites for:
- Short-term marketing campaigns.
- Editorial content that requires multiple interrelated pages.
- Events or contests.
- In-depth overviews of new products or features.
Ordinary microsites are a collection of static pages that are interlinked. This is fine for some use cases, but oftentimes, text and photos aren’t enough to bring your content to life. That’s why many marketers have started to create interactive microsites instead. These rich experiences have video, GIFs, layers of content, and animations that dynamically tell a story.
If you're new to microsite creation, especially interactive microsites, you’ll find these 4 tips useful as you consider how to build one in Ceros.
1. Provide Clear Navigation
A microsite isn’t nearly as complex as a full website, but you still need to provide a clear navigational structure for your viewers to find their way. Here are three of the most popular navigation options used on interactive microsites:
Option 1: Hamburger Menu
First popularized on mobile websites, hamburger menus also work great on microsites where you have just a few links to navigate between. Here’s a simple example used on a microsite for Creative Circle.
Option 2: Standard Links
A basic top nav bar with text links works well if you want your viewers to always see their options. This microsite from Washington Prime Group has a sticky nav that stays pinned to the top of the page.
Option 3: Jump Page
If you have a lot of content that you want to represent with more than just text, you may want to create a jump page that serves as a centralized navigation hub for all of your content. For example, Ausenco used this experience as a jump page for their 2021 Sustainability Report.
2. Space out Animations and Videos
One mistake new microsite creators often make is overloading each page with too many bells and whistles. It’s important to use animations, interactions, GIFs, and autoplay videos judiciously so you don’t overwhelm your audience.
Carlisle really nailed the balance of content types in this microsite. The end result is visually rich without being busy.
3. Give Viewers a Shortcut to Return Home
If you opt to use a jump page, page/section navigation can be made easier for your viewers by including an on-page shortcut link back to the homepage/initial section of your microsite. For example, Franklin Templeton used a pinned ‘back to top’ arrow button to drive users to the top of the page that appears while scrolling down the page.
4. Include a Persistent CTA
The nice part about running a microsite is that you don’t really need a traditional footer. One good way to utilize this extra space is to create a persistent CTA bar at the bottom of each page. Here’s an example of a dual CTA for NewsCred and Ceros: