Yesterday I had an interesting discussion with a client about how we should go about implementing a new brand/product strategy that she was looking to create. We had a good talk about the different options and ways we could structure the new brand and product offerings. It got my thinking that this was a great topic for a blog post.
I wanted to go through the differences between creating a blog vs a micro-site vs a landing page. Each has unique characteristics and a different strategy that goes along with them.
Choosing a Blog
Creating a blog, requires a larger investment of time and money compared to a micro-site or landing page. Typically a blog is more of a long-term strategy that takes time to build a brand and loyal readership. Primarily blogs are meant for businesses that want to establish trust and credibility in an industry over the long haul. To setup a blog is not hard, but to maintain a blog is where you will spend the majority of your time and money. If you are looking to separate yourself from the rest of your industry, you should create a unique design and have bloggers who can add valuable content on a consistent basis.
If you are just trying to make a quick buck and don’t plan on sticking around to see the long-term results, than stay away from creating a blog. A blog has tremendous long-term benefits, but you need to be committed to start to see the return.
When to Choose a Blog
- If you are trying to increase traffic over the long-term using other marketing techniques like Search Engine Optimization and Social Media.
- You want to have a centralized place on the web where you can send your traffic to.
- You have lots of content that needs to be organized and updated frequently.
- If you want to define your company or personal brand as an authority in a specific niche.
- If you are trying to build a long-term monetization strategy through things like banner ads, text link ads, and premium content memberships.
Choosing a Micro-site
A micro-site is almost like a mini website that may not have as much functionality or options as a typical website. It is a hybrid between a full website and a landing page. It is generally used when a business or person wants to create a group or set of products/ideas in a way that won’t distract the user with other things going on.
A good example would be if a personal development company that offers products in Career Development, Relationship Development, Personal Well being, etc…wants to create a targeted micro-site on just the Career Development idea. The idea would to be to have everything on that micro-site tailored to Career Development. You may have a a product that you are looking to sell, that has a few additional pages that show a demo of the product, a brief survey and a free whitepaper to download. All together it may be 3-4 pages, but is all relevant and targeted to users who are looking for guidance with their career. All of the content around the micro-site should be to support a main theme or idea.
When to Choose a Micro-site:
- When you have a specific idea or product that you want to segment from the rest of your full line of products.
- When you want to have a site that speaks only to that product and has supporting documents/pages around that product or idea.
- Franchisees or business owners who own a specific location who want to have a mini site targeting their store or service.
- You want to limit the number of options you give a user to get them to perform a desired action (buy, download, view a certain product/service)
Choosing a Landing Page
A landing page is the most simple and easiest strategy to get going. This is a good option if you are looking for short-term results where you can drive traffic using things like Paid Search, Media Buying and other short-term traffic tactics.
A landing page is just a one page site that is setup to get the user to perform one action. The key elements of a landing page include a call to action, feature/benefits, testimonials, offer or promotion, a lead generation form/buy now button. The whole concept of a landing page is to remove all of the choices a user has. That includes navigation or any link that goes to an internal page. That page should give them them best chance of converting into a lead or sale.
When to Choose a Landing Page
- You are promoting affiliate products.
- You are driving PPC traffic to a landing page where you want to user to take a single action.
- You are trying to build an inhouse marketing list.
- You are giving away a free piece of content.
- You are creating a sales page for a new product you are offering.
- Creating a place for people to go to for an upcoming event.
- For tracking off-line campaigns where you direct them to a unique offer/landing page.
- When you want to test the demand for a product/service you are looking to go to market with.
- When you want to gather market research and feedback.