If you've been to a conference or two, you've probably heard about macrosites, microsites and landing pages. While some might use the terms interchangeably and others might not talk about them at all, it can get pretty confusing. In this three-part series, we will discuss what each of these terms mean, how effective they are and, most importantly, what the automotive industry should be looking out for in order to use these platforms to their full potential.
Let's start with macrosites.
Part I: What Are Macrosites?
Macrosites are off-shoots of a parent site that engage users without focusing on a call-to-action (CTA). BMW, for example, has been launching macrosites for models in order to provide an interactive platform to engage with their cars. The site thebmwi3experience.com offers videos of people from all over Europe test driving the i3. Below the videos are links to the specs, pictures, and a Facebook share.
A link to the official BMW website is placed inconspicuously in the corner because the point is to push the wonders of the i3. While it's still an advertisement, the site feels like a virtual community building platform centered around the i3 experience.
Effectiveness in Converting
Don't be confused: this is not the same as a community created via social media. While using Facebook, Yelp or Twitter establishes a virtual community, traffic is funneled through those sites. A separate macrosite, increases ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) of the mother site because of the backlinks and cross-referencing. (Learn about the power of backlinks here.) So when someone searches for a specific make or model, the macrosite boosts the visibility of that brand or vehicle.
The Bottom Line for Dealerships
Why isn't everyone doing this then? Companies, dealerships included, prefer to use other digital marketing techniques like landing pages or a PPC/CPC campaign in order to get the conversions they want because, frankly, it's easier. Macrosites take a lot of work, planning and maintenance if you're doing it on your own. When supported with the right resources, a macrosite could be exactly the kind of campaign a dealership needs to generate organic placing on SERPs and increase their conversion rate.