- Digital communications & marketing
- Fundraising ideas
- Guided Fundraising
If you’ve been in the nonprofit marketing or fundraising space for a while, you might be looking for new ideas to revamp your event marketing campaigns.
If you’re trying to rework your existing direct mail, social media, or email marketing campaigns, an event microsite might be the tool you need. A nonprofit microsite can help you promote your event and register more attendees. All types of organizations can use event microsites to take a targeted, unique approach to event marketing.
In this guide, we’ll explore how event microsites benefit your nonprofit’s digital strategy and how they can give your event marketing an edge. But first, let’s explore the fundamentals of event microsites to get started.
What is a nonprofit event microsite?
According to Kanopi’s guide to charity microsites, a microsite is a sub-website that functions as an offshoot of an organization’s main website. These sites are typically a single webpage or a small cluster of pages. A microsite can have its own domain name or be a subdomain.
An event microsite functions as both a marketing tool and an informational hub for any type of nonprofit event. Depending on what type of event you’re hosting, include information like the event location, schedule, sponsors, fundraising purpose, and goals on your microsite. You can also include fundraising updates with visuals, such as a fundraising thermometer that displays progress made toward your goal.
Benefits of nonprofit event microsites
If you’re still on the fence about whether you want to commit the time and resources to create an event microsite, consider how microsites can:
Allow you to brand your event more effectively
Your microsite will be affiliated with your main nonprofit website but function as its own entity. This allows you to brand your event separately from how you brand your organization, which can be useful for emphasizing the importance and uniqueness of large-scale fundraisers.
For instance, if you’re running a charity 5K for your cause, supporters will know your event is associated with your organization, but it’ll feel distinct from your other fundraising efforts. Use your event microsite to display your fundraiser’s logo, colors, and other branding elements to give the initiative a professional feel.
Streamline necessary attendee information
An event microsite provides a central hub for everything attendees need to know. Continuing with the 5K fundraiser example, you can include the registration form, race schedule, course map, a link to the sponsor’s website, and parking information on your event microsite. Plus, if your event is a hybrid or fully virtual experience, you can host links to the event livestream on the microsite so participants just have to visit one online location to get involved.
Be shared easily
Social media widgets not only enable you to easily share your microsite but also allow supporters to do the same. Sharing your event microsite via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms can promote it to a broader audience.
Host content after the event concludes
Microsites are often temporary, but some organizations choose to keep them up even after the event concludes as a hub for the event’s photos, videos, or educational content. If your event was livestreamed, you can also leave a recording up on the site for supporters to return to. Having these elements remain separate allows you to keep your main website organized and streamlined.
Allow you to track event-specific marketing data
You can take a more tailored approach to analyzing your marketing results by assessing your event microsite’s data. Evaluate user demographics, site activity, and user behavior to determine which elements of the site were most successful. For example, if event microsite users clicked on your microsite’s FAQ section the most, you can promote this element on your social media pages and ensure it’s prominently displayed the next time you market an event.
Microsites can support your nonprofit event marketing and allow you to explore new opportunities that you might not have been able to on your main website. Plus, microsites are generally easy and affordable to set up. You can even create your microsite with the same CMS used to create your core website.
Tips for creating your event microsite
To access all the benefits event microsites have to offer, it’s important to keep a few design best practices in mind. Fortunately, the strategies that apply to creating an excellent nonprofit website also apply to designing an event microsite. Ensure that your event microsite has:
- A prominent donation button: If you’re hosting a fundraising event, you’ll want to keep your donation form front and center in all event marketing materials. Include a large donation button on your site with colors that pop against the rest of the page. You should also use unique and specific language on your button. For example, instead of adding a label that just says “Support,” try active language like “Donate to Our Cause” or “Sign Up to Volunteer.”
- Unique content: Your microsite should include different content than your main website. Rather than going over information that’s already on your main site, keep your microsite focused on your event information. This makes the site more useful for event marketing purposes and for your attendees who are looking for event-specific information. Plus, repeated content from your main site can look spammy to search engines.
- Intuitive navigation: Just like your main website, your microsite needs to be easily navigable and designed with user intent in mind. If your site is larger than one page, keep the navigation menu very simple and clear. This allows supporters to conveniently access the information they need.
- Accessible content: Your event microsite should be accessible to all users, no matter their ability, location, or device. Be sure to follow accessibility best practices such as including alternative text for images, contrasting colors between the background and foreground, and using unique page titles. Additionally, ensure your microsite is mobile-friendly by testing your pages in the mobile view to spot and fix any formatting issues.
- An optimized URL: Your microsite should have a URL that’s unique to your core nonprofit domain. Choose a URL that captures the intention of your event. It might be the event name, a unique slogan, or a catchphrase associated with your event. This will help your website stand out while also reminding supporters of the site’s purpose.
If your organization has a tech expert or website designer on staff, they can build your microsite in-house with all the specifics you’re hoping to include. Nonprofits that don’t have the expertise or bandwidth to craft a microsite can consider partnering with a nonprofit-specific web design company that can customize your microsite for you.
These firms not only specialize in website design best practices but also in the unique digital needs of nonprofit organizations. They understand that nonprofits need to pursue online fundraising capabilities and donor-centric outreach. They can work with your organization to design your microsite and provide ongoing support to ensure it remains effective for meeting your goals.
The importance of leveraging nonprofit microsites
A microsite can provide the online focal point for your fundraising event marketing strategy. For the best results, be sure to start promoting your microsite several weeks before your event is scheduled. That allows enough time to review the event details, donate, and even share the site on their social media pages. Good luck!