Trying to get changes made to corporate websites is often the bottleneck in executing on marketing campaigns. More and more, B2B companies are realizing that showcasing and sharing their expertise in a way that helps their leads better understand the challenges they're facing, and explore options for overcoming them, is a wise marketing move.
Problem is that marketers need a way to quickly get relevant information out in a way that generates usable intelligence for their marketing and nurturing strategies. Creating microsites for different challenges, focuses, industries or company types gives marketers a tighter way to connect with actively interested leads. And, the sites can be simple to navigate—hugely important given a recent statistic that 80% of website visitors leave if they have to click more than 4 times to get to the information they want.
However, if microsites are going to be a viable marketing tool, they need to be flexible and allow line-of-business, non-techie marketers to quickly upload and professionally present timely thought leadership content. You can't halt a campaign in the middle of the conversation. And, what many businesses don't realize is that filing a content piece with your outsourced agency who has a two-week lag time, severely restricts the agility of responding to what leads want. Especially if they shift focus.
Let's say that you plan a campaign. You develop your content on schedule, your agency deploys it, you send your first email and notice that a majority of your audience is not only clicking through on the link in your email, but are also expressing interest in an additional article on the microsite. The issue is that the follow-on content piece you have in the agency pipeline, and next up on the program, is written in a different direction.
So, what do you do? Send that piece, as scheduled, and miss out on responding appropriately to expressed interests? Or, do you do individual sends with a PDF of a new article that meets their needs, forgoing any ability to track response and interest metrics?
If your ability to connect with leads on their terms is hindered by a rigid process with a long advance time, then your company is going to miss out on those early steps of building what could turn out to be a gorgeous customer relationship.
One answer is to deploy microsites that marketing can manage. And yes, there is technology available that will hold template look and feel to corporate standards (for those of you shuddering) and working with them doesn't need to require expertise in technology.
Additionally, the ability to drive organic growth around your company's area of expertise can deliver huge results. In contrast to the corporate website which is usually focused on your industry, product and investors, you can cull a whole following that might not otherwise have connected with your company, based on your ability to optimize expert subject matter for search engines.
Corporate websites are great once the potential buyer has researched, gained knowledge, learned what he needs to know, decided how he wants to solve the problem and is ready to evaluate vendors. But, if you wait to get to know your leads at that point, you've probably missed the boat. Consider your microsite the responsive online presence that can get you in the conversation in the beginning, when beliefs, perceptions and attitudes are forming. That's where you need to be.