Sign up for our daily recaps of the ever-changing search marketing landscape.
5 Reasons To Put Viral Content On Mini-Sites
Mini-sites have been around forever, but with a new
eMarketer showing they provide the best results for viral marketing, more people
are likely to give these a shot. This makes it more important than ever to know
when it makes sense to use a mini-site and when it doesn’t.
The truth is that sometimes mini-sites do work, and there certainly is a time
and place for them. Sometimes we need to think more like traditional marketers
and less like search marketers. There are other things in life besides links.
When do mini-sites make sense?
1) Content Not Related To Your Brand Or Site
When we launched the
Smackdown game on Pronet
Advertising, it was very successful. There was no point is launching the
game as its own mini-site since it was so closely related to the existing theme
of the site.
In contrast, would the game have had the same success if it were launched on
a debt consolidation site? Probably not. In certain cases, where the viral
content is not related to your existing site, it might make sense to use a
2) Content Will Spread Better Away From Your Domain
One of my favorite examples of a mini-site was the Elf Yourself campaign from
OfficeMax. Unfortunately it now redirects to the OfficeMax site (free tip: use a
The campaign probably wouldn’t have been as successful if it had been on the
main OfficeMax domain. The reason is that people don’t like to feel like they’re
being blatantly marketed to. By distancing the campaign from the domain, people
don’t have that feeling that they’re being pushed a message by a corporation or
company, and they’re a little more willing to tell their friends and spread the
3) Your Brand Or Industry Isn’t Sexy
Let’s say your company is XYZ Payday Loans. It doesn’t matter how clever your
viral content is, chances are that when it’s directly attached to your company’s
domain or brand, it won’t spread very well.
4) Reputation Management
Mini-sites are a great way to own another spot on the top ten results of a
search engine for reputation management purposes.
5) Your Domain Or Brand Is Diluted
If you get enough content on one domain that goes viral through
social media sites, you can start to dilute your brand in social media.
Users of these social sites will begin to notice that your site continually gets
popular, and they may perceive you as a spammer and start voting all of your
submissions down. If this is the case, you might not have any choice but to
create mini-sites to continue to leverage social media.
I am not saying that it never makes sense to put viral content on your own
domain. In many cases, it does. But sometimes the content won’t go viral unless
you use a mini-site. What are your experiences with mini-sites?
Cameron Olthuis is
director of marketing and design for ACS and
writes regularly on social media issues through the company’s blog,
Pronet Advertising. The
Get Social column appears Tuesdays at
Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.