Interactive Microsite Best Practices

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Interactive Microsite Best Practices

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 often times, 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 a Chuck Close photography exhibit.

Hamburger Menu

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 fashion content marketing microsite we created with NewsCred has a sticky nav that stays pinned to the top of the page.

Standard Links

Option 3: Jump Page

If you have a number of pages 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, NewsCred used their Inspiration Lookbook homepage as a jump page with a GIF preview of the content on each page.

Jump Page gif

They tied this together with a navigational icon in the top left that took people back to the jump page (highlighted in red below).

Jump Page Menu

2. Space out Animations and Videos

One mistake new microsite creators often make is to overload 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.

NewsCred really nailed the balance of content types in this microsite. They used photos toward the top, a GIF in the middle, clickable data points below, and an autoplay video at the bottom. The end result is visually rich without being busy.

Impeccable Digital Storytelling

3. Give Viewers a Shortcut to Return Home

If you opt to use a jump page for navigation, it can make your viewers’ lives easier to give an on-page shortcut link back to the homepage of your microsite. For example, HP uses a simple “Back” link to get people from one page to another in their simple jetpacks microsite created in Ceros.

Return Home Nav

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:

Persistent CTA