They say the best things often come in small packages.

Enter the rise of microsites. Unlike regular websites, microsites tend to be rather simplistic and easier to navigate. This isn't to say they won't make you want to poke around for a while, though. In fact, the really great ones do just that.

A microsite is an individual web page or small cluster of web pages that act as a separate entity for a brand. A microsite typically lives on its own domain, but some exist as a subdomain. Microsites can be used to help brands achieve a number of things. For example, some companies have used them to highlight a specific campaign or target specific buyer personas. Others have used them to tell a short story, or to inspire a specific call-to-action. A microsite has the power to highlight a product, launch a promotion, or augment a marketing campaign in a way that full websites or more traditional marketing cannot. The single or small collection of pages these sites consist of is meant to engage user interaction while conveying information in a creative way. Microsites are separate from a company's full website and are dedicated to serving one purpose - thus eliminating the clutter and distractions that come with a full website.

If you're looking to promote a specific campaign, then a microsite is a great solution. A microsite - being separate from your brand's website - can use different forms of branding to reach new target audiences. It can generate new leads for your business and create interest in your brand and website. The first step in determining whether a microsite will give value to your brand is to evaluate your marketing needs. A microsite is a perfect solution for establishing an exclusive space for users to interact with your campaign or product. Instead of offering many navigational options like a full website, it drives users to one specific purpose or goal.

As you can see, there are endless possibilities for your microsite's design, style, content, and message. That's the beauty of these websites: because they're separate from larger more cumbersome brand sites, they remain flexible and focused. However, in order to have a successful microsite be sure to:

» Identify your target audience for this specific product or campaign.
» Limit the site to one, very specific topic.
» Include plenty of high quality, relevant information on that topic.
» Use a creative design and craft an excellent user experience.