What is the difference between a microsite and website?  

With the ever expanding capabilities of web design and development, brands have gone crazy for the latest trend; the Microsite.

If you haven’t heard this term before, don’t be worried, because there are others that are unfamiliar with the idea too. However, it may be known better to some in its buzz wordiness: like the “Branded Blog”, “Campaign Communication Page” or “Independent Campaign Channel”. 

A great example of a microsite can be seen by Carling Black Label, who created https://www.noexcusesa.com, where individuals can get help, take action, or pledge against violence against women.

The premise behind using a Microsite is that it houses unique information, geared towards a different narrative, defined by a new strategy, that promotes a single campaign on its own URL address. Why is this different to a website? Considering all URLs are domains/properties, let us use the following metaphor – a website is the main house and the microsite is the pool house.

One is bigger, equipped with a lot more rooms, furniture and appliances. It caters to the needs of ‘living’ or rather offering all solutions to any frequent visitor or first timer. The pool house is not big at all, but what it lacks in size and items, it makes up for it in its purpose – to have fun. You throw parties and get togethers in the pool house. 

The idea with the above mentioned is to show that businesses will always need a main house, a place to welcome people and give a tour to show their riches and answer any questions one might be searching for. This has worked and still works very well (you’re currently reading this off DarkMatter’s website), but once the welcome tour has been taken, the main house gets a little dry, and your guests want to experience something more, something different, something fresh. Thats where and why the microsite has become the ‘go-to’ option for brands who know they need to entertain their guests in a new location (quite literally).

With the increase in digital marketing budgets across all the biggest brands (AB InBev, Investec, Chicken Licken, Sanlam), don’t be surprised at being invited to a lot more pool house parties in 2019 by the CMO’s – as this is a digital trend that is sure to grow in South Africa, even if it goes by another set of buzz words.

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