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Microsites can be a powerful lead generation machine any time you have a unique call to action especially when 50% of purchases start online these days.  To be effective, a digital campaign must drive a relevant conversation. David Meerman Scott nailed it when he said,  “Instead of one-way interruption, web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the precise moment that a buyer needs it.” Finding the right conversation and capturing that interest in a digital microsite is the holy grail of digital demand generation.

Here are my top 5 quick tips on how to drive a successful lead generating microsite that will support a successful digital campaign.

1. Start with the market conversation. Let’s say you are building a site for marketers, your first step would be to start with research on organic momentum for marketing topics. Take the time to think about what marketers care about now — Social Media Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Behavioral Marketing, etc.

2. Build a microsite that is experiential.  Your microsite should be an immersive experience.  Its goal is to provide the visitor with lots of rich information in a very interactive, compelling manner, with a rich use of multi-media assets.

3. Consider serving dynamic content. You may want to consider a different experience based on the prospect’s interest and buying stage. If a user downloads a white paper on an overview on ad retargeting, you can assume they’re in an exploratory stage; your website can be configured to serve up more content aligned with that stage.

4. Include relevant tie-ins to social media. Do you have a Twitter following, Facebook fan page or LinkedIn community? Make sure to add the appropriate share icons to show viral growth.  Pen blogs & consider media placements to drive relevant audiences to your site.

5. Use analytics.  The use of social media analytics, web analytics and behavioral analytics will help you get to know your prospects & push relevant information. For example, find out what audience your microsite is targeting through web analytics that let you do SEO and inbound traffic analysis to show how many people clicked from non-email links. Media analytics can also show how many ads were clicked that then led to conversion.

Here is an example of a microsite we just launched in the U.S. projected to drive 15,000 registrations  for our organization.  What do you think?

http://www.ibmconnectedcustomer.com/us

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I spent the day at the #SocialCommerce Summit in New York City today. It was a packed agenda filled with ruminations and theory on the intersection of Social Media and Commerce. The discussion has me pondering the enormity of the social phenomenon which is touted as just as revolutionary as the emergence of the web a decade ago. Interestingly, it occurred to me, that the broader story isn’t about technology at all but about the basic human need for human connection.

I learned today that the oneset of Facebook has changed the rule from 6 degrees of separation to a norm of now 4.9 degrees of separation. That’s why we,  as marketers,  have moved from mass advertising to micro-location based targeting within communities of users. This social shift has changed the very dynamics of commerce. We are now living in a liquid economy where 100s of users can be a relevant, targeted customer base. Hence the rise of location- based, community-based social communities all geared to making relevant human connections.

For today’s consumer, the WHY matters as much as the WHAT. For example, if I have tickets to a concert, I can sell to the highest bidder on Craigslist, but I would rather sell to a friend. There is more being exchanged than money in this transaction. In today’s economy, you need to think about the full economics of the transaction beyond the dollar value. To today’s digital buyer, the connection matters more than the end service or product and therein lies the secret to these new business models.

In fact, the contextual relevance matters so much that communities are developing story-based engagement models. I want to engage, learn, buy from others I trust in my circle. A story is formed around me and those who ‘like’ me. They matter to me more than commerce, more than material ‘things’.

Do I want to go to that ‘Kings of Leon’ concert? Buy that new ‘Chloe’ bag? Drink your brand of ‘Starbucks’ coffee? It depends:  are you my Friend?

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