eMarketer released research on microsites popularity and relative effectiveness for driving engagement with consumers. While semantics come into play to some degree with defining what makes a microsite, in principal you can say that any site that acts as a supplement to a standard site designed to provide focused, interactive content. It will typically be focused, interactive and drive back to a main site. It can be used frequently in conjunction online marketing (display or SEM) to gather drive results.

This follows the evolving approach of designing Web sites in more of a hub and spoke fashion versus the older large destination monolithic Web sites.

In health care, you can see this in practice because many sites are large and templated and do not necessarily lend themselves to discreet brand experiences; or if you want to create specific campaign site or brand experience for a product or product category that links into your site.

Usually heavy on Flash and interactivity, microsites will continue to be popular for providing rich, detailed and interactive content in a specific brand experience context for customers. However, be sure to keep it simple, relevant and try to tell a good story. It is really about the experience.

Here is an example I really like.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes