Written by Matthew Parker
Print Industry Consultant
Imagine you want to buy a new hi-fi or home audio system
Which shopping experience are you more likely to go for? Would you go to a specialist home audio retailer, where you can receive knowledgeable advice and listen to different types of equipment? Or would you pick up a sound system from your local supermarket?
If you have a true interest in music, chances are that you will go to the specialist hi-fi merchant. You will probably ignore a general retailer.
This is a lesson worth thinking about when it comes to websites.
Your website cannot be all things to all people
If you want to attract highly segmented target markets (who generally spend more), you need to provide them with a specialised environment. It is going to be difficult for you to do this with your general company website.
That’s why you need to consider the idea of micro-sites.
What is a micro site?
A micro site is a small website. Typically, it will only have two or three pages. This means that it can be set up with minimal resources and cost.
Micro-sites are often used to capture the attention of smaller audiences and drive them into a larger marketing funnel. They can also be used to test specific sales and marketing strategies.
They are rarely used by printing companies. However, they can be a very useful sales resource. Here are three reasons why printing companies should consider using micro-sites.
1. Micro-sites can target niche markets
A micro site will have its own URL. So with the right domain name and the right content it can be highly attractive to potential customers. Customers are often looking for ideas that are very specific to their market. So they are more likely to visit a micro-site that is targeted at them than a general printing website.
There is another reason why these will be appealing to prospects.
2. Micro-sites are more customer-focused
A typical print website will need to have at least some information about the company and machinery. A micro-site doesn’t have to have any of this. The site is not about your company: it is about generating prospect details.
Therefore, it is important to make sure there is a mechanism for capturing customer details. Typically, this will be in the form of a download of useful information.
Another advantage of this is that you now are able to segregate your prospects according to their interests. You can create marketing and sales pitches that are specifically aimed at their markets and needs.
The fact that you are generating prospect leads also points to another reason why micro-sites are useful.
3. Micro-sites allow you to test out new sales propositions
Because setting up a micro-site involves so little resources, it is easy to test new ideas. You can see exactly how much response varies to potential products or services for specific industries.
As you are generating specific prospect leads, you are able to measure success very easily. If there is no take-up on your idea, you have wasted very little.
Here are three action points to get you going with your own micro site:
- Decide on a market sector where you feel you have a good chance of increasing your presence
- Choose a suitable domain name. Talk to your clients in this sector to find out what they would look for if they were making a web search for your services
- Brief your website designer with your website structure, making sure there is some way of capturing lead details
Remember that your main website cannot offer the same specialist attraction as a micro-site. Your website is the equivalent of a supermarket. And remember, when it comes to shopping at supermarkets – most people choose on price.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on getting the most out of your website:
- Why Printing Companies Need to Think Like the Travel Industry When it Comes to Websites
- Why a Call to Buy on a Website Can Lose you Profits
- Why Most Printing Company Websites Don’t Get Results – and What to do About it
- The Importance of Calls to Action – the TIM Principle
- Why Micro-Sites are an Important Sales Tool for Printing Companies
Matthew Parker has been buying print for over 20 years. He’s had over 1,400 sales pitches from printers. Now he’s using that experience to help printing companies engage with their customers and sell print more profitably. Find out more about Matthew on his site. Download his e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” for free here.