If you haven’t heard of the Heartbleed bug, we can’t imagine where you’ve been all week. The Heartbleed name and logo seemed to be everywhere on the web (it’s even here with this blog post), and the news about this serious Internet vulnerability spread very quickly. As the first article listed below points out, this was mostly because the news of the bug was intelligently “marketed,” with its own name, logo, and dedicated website. The use of a small, dedicated website – usually called a “microsite” – for a particular piece of information is a well-established digital marketing technique, so well-established that some think it is losing its power. Yet libraries seldom if ever use this simple, but effective technique: If you are doing something special, give it its own little website.
- What Heartbleed can teach the OSS community about marketing (Kalzumeus blog/Patrick McKenzie) “People will generally try to link to something to describe a project / vulnerability / etc, and having an easy and obviously linkable canonical description is both best for clarity and best for your own personal interests as the project/etc creator. Heartbleed.com is the canonical explanation of Heartbleed, both because people trust $8.95 domain names and because it was first published, came with a design/logo and comprehensive information, and is suitably authoritative in character.”
- Content marketing with microsites: Pros, con, examples & best practices (TopRank blog/Nicolette Beard) “For our purposes, microsites refer to a site that is associated with an organization, but is on a separate domain or subdomain and has its own navigation, design and content. Consumers are much more sophisticated today and want in-depth information, but they also want it quickly. Microsites provide a lightweight alternative to corporate websites, which are often loaded with extraneous content that doesn’t meet the exact need of the visitor.”
- Landing pages or microsites? The debate rages on! (Percussion blog/Karo Kilfeather) “If you understand that the buying process around your product or service is lengthy and complex, microsites are a great way to serve up content that becomes an experiential tasting menu for your prospective customer. Whereas with a landing page you get to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ right away, with a microsite, you can give a customer reasons to keep coming back, until she has a sense of your brand, a deeper desire for your offering, and is ready to buy.”
- The end of microsites (ClickZ/Marko Muellner) “With the amount of change and complexity in digital marketing today, it feels like marketers are bringing knives to a gun fight – we just don’t have the tools or knowledge to keep up with consumers and it gets harder everyday to prove and improve the value we deliver to the business. Indeed, the traditional digital microsite with its full-screen option, rich desktop experience, built in Flash with video, animation, and game-like interactivity is dying. The cost and effort to value just isn’t there anymore. Even Facebook apps, the social-era equivalent to brand microsites, are near death.”
Randall Craig has posted a pretty good explanation of the various ways you can relate (or not) a microsite to your full website or to Facebook.