Here are all of the posts tagged ‘microsites’.
Our friend Nick Burcher, Head of Products / Partnerships EMEA at Publicis’ VivaKi, drew me a diagram last time we caught up for coffee outlining his social media world view, which he’s since written up. I think it’s a valuable perspective (although there is something missing, which I’ll come to below):
Traditionally marketing efforts have focussed around ‘The Destination.’ Ad space is bought to push people to a main site / microsite and this could be anything from Paid Search to TV to Print. It’s all about ‘go here now!’ There is a direct correlation between ad spend and ‘Destination’ traffic. Generally increase in ad spend = increase in traffic and decreasing ad spend results in decreasing traffic.
This is changing though. New ‘Destinations’ are being created, it’s no longer just a main site or a microsite. Facebook Fan Pages are being used as an activity hub with paid ads driving traffic. Alternatively the Destination could be a YouTube channel or other social platform.
The social web is also providing new traffic driving opportunities eg Facebook Engagement ads, sponsored Diggs or socialmedia.com social banners but the biggest change to the internet landscape though is the emergence of ‘The Conversation.’
Web 1.0 was a one way street. Users went to a site and consumed information and advertisers served messages somewhere along the way. The publisher published, the consumer consumed, the advertiser advertised . On the social web the distinctions between these three areas have all blurred and changed marketing forever.
If advertisers can successfully participate in the Conversation then it becomes less about paid pushing. The Conversation is about engaging rather than broadcasting, and if done successfully it changes the equation. Instead of having to pay to recruit every visit, consumers can be co-opted as brand ambassadors who then will freely relay the advertiser message with consequent Destination traffic the result.
Activity targeting the Conversation needs this ‘kickstart’ to give it initial momentum. This is where new disciplines like blogger outreach and video seeding come in. This is where marketers need to think of taking content to the consumer, rather than expecting consumers to come to them – and make it easy to share using ‘Blog This’ buttons, Facebook Connect and more.
Nick is right to point that it’s no longer just about ad spend, that Destinations no longer need to be microsites (if they ever did), that the Conversation is about engaging rather than broadcasting, and that traffic can flow from the Destination to the Conversation. But what the model doesn’t take account of, is the fact that it’s the Conversation, not the Destination, that’s important, and that in some cases there doesn’t need to be a Destination.
The Conversation itself sometimes can fulfill your business or marketing objectives without reference to a Destination, creating demand by driving awareness, consideration and/or engagement through far-reaching word of mouth – whether that be through simply getting the product into the hands of bloggers and generating reviews, through viral seeding where the vast majority of the video views happen out there in the conversation cloud or through a myriad of other ways.
More progressively (and effectively), you still have a Destination, but it’s designed to facilitate, support and amplify the Conversation, and success is measured not in traffic to the Destination, but in the reach, sentiment and engagement with the Conversation itself.
So I’ve been banging on about the death of the microsite for quite a while, but I’d never spent the time to fully articulate my position.
When Contagious magazine offered me the opportunity to articulate it to the world at large, I jumped at the chance. Although only normally available to their subscribers, they’ve kindly made my article available as a PDF (the article itself is on page 5).
The rise of the real time web
What have you done online in the past week? How many microsites did you visit? How many branded Flash animations did you watch? Calculate the mean answer for the entire country and you’ll probably arrive at a figure close to zero. Read on
In typical style, I submitted two panel ideas to SXSW Interactive and have been too busy to write a blog post to ask you to vote for them. As the deadline is Monday, I figured I better pull my finger out…
So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I submit for your appreciation and possible affirmation, the following:
Think about what you’ve spent your time doing online in the past week. How many microsites did you visit? How many branded flash animations did you watch? Calculate the mean answer for the entire world and you’ll probably arrive at a figure close to zero. But it’s a fair bet that you’ll have spent a significant proportion of time in social media. In the places that people choose to spend their online lives, constant interaction is the norm. But where does this leave the traditional model of brand websites?
Europe is ahead of the US in terms of the consumer usage of social media, and yet little attention is often given to the nuances of what is on one hand is the world’s largest economy and on the other a collection of 48 countries with very different cultures. Find out why the blogging scene in Paris is 2 years ahead of the US, the Brits are all a Twitter, the Dutch prefer Hyves to Facebook and the Germans will take any chance to give brands a hostile reception in social media.
Click through to see more details, including who I’m intending to have on each of the panels, and if you feel they are worthy, give them the thumbs up. If you’re interested in other British panel submissions, Sam Michel has put together a comprehensive list, and while you’re in a voting mood, We Are Social could also do with your help in the the people’s choice of “Most Admired Agency”…
With the rise of the real-time update streams being popularized by Facebook, Twitter and FriendFeed, users are becoming accustomed to a constantly-changing flow of pictures, videos and new snippets. Even actively-maintained websites seem locked in languid stupor in comparison.
This will change company’s interactions with customers, who will start to expect and then demand real-time interaction [...] The style will shift from slickly-produced mass marketing to a one-on-one responsive back and forth. Smart marketers will think less in terms of selling and more in terms of relationship building.
And then a nice article from Brian Morrissey in Adweek, with this killer quote:
Clients want more of an emphasis on igniting conversation and less on the rich, textured sites that have typically accompanied their campaigns. The goal, as EVB CEO Daniel Stein put it, is to “stop building $1 million microsites that attract [only] 10,000 visitors.”
Advising a client to skip a $200,000 microsite in favour of a free Facebook page or social network built on Ning for $25 per month might be the right move, but it begs the question of whether the agency can make money.
Well, the simple answer is that digital agencies with teams of designers and flash developers to pay have some serious restructuring to do, assuming they even realise that restructuring is needed (after all, they are the ones who advised their clients to build the flash microsites in the first place).
However, those of us whose agencies are built from the ground up to focus on conversations are probably in a much better position to both give their clients the right advice and to profit from it…
Update: More from Steve Rubel in Ad Age:
Digital marketing is still wired for the destination web era. To succeed going forward, we have to change our thinking. “Earned media” through direct public engagement in the venues where our consumers spend time will become the only way to truly influence a behavior change. The greatest advantages will go to the first movers who embrace this shift.