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Microsite or Native App? [Infographic]

One of the biggest questions to date during an event activation is app or microsite?

With the growing trend of consumers migrating to mobile experiences, it’s no wonder brands are turning to digital engagements such as microsites, apps and other mobile interactions. In 2017, over 70% of Americans owned a smartphone with 71% of all digital traffic resulting from these devices.

You may be thinking that apps are the obvious choice. Probably because there’s an app for everything, right? It seems as though consumers are taking notice of this, as the lifespan for an app is dwindling to a mere five days. Recent studies also show that more than a quarter of consumers abandon new apps after just ONE use. #AppFatigue is real.

Web-based microsites offer another feasible solution for event activations that oftentimes get overlooked. They can be utilized as a registration tool to streamline the process for event attendees or it can be developed to house fun engagements. Everything from trivia, sweepstakes and interactive games, to image recognition and photo engagements, microsite can access almost every single feature your device has to offer.

“Microsites are a great way to save money for temporary and short-lived promotions” or event activations. Contrary to mobile apps, microsites:

  • Are more affordable and take less time than developing an app, allowing for more time for your content to be up and running
  • Have broader reach – because microsites can be accessed across platforms by anyone, users can easily share the site and generate more traffic
  • Allow instantaneous access – apps require search and downloading time just to launch the program; microsites are accessible through a simple url and can be linked to blog posts, banner ads, etc. making it a seamless experience for users
  • Have a quicker turnaround time – app developers spend a lot of time dealing with approval overlords which detracts from the amount of time your content could be up and running
  • Provide compatibility – with native apps, a separate version must be developed for each operating system, which can be costly in both time and money

Microsites live outside of a brand’s home site but may remain active for the duration of your campaign or activation. One of the biggest advantages of creating a microsite is the ability to benefit from SEO. Determining which keywords are important for your microsite and optimizing on these words can help your site gain even more traction than the traditional sharing methods. Because apps live solely on mobile devices, they cannot utilize SEO. 

The market has become “saturated with all manner of games, commerce, social media and literally everything in between.” This has made it harder for apps to establish a value proposition with consumers – just because there’s an “app for that” doesn’t mean people will download it and even if they do, there’s a growing probability that “they will send it packing soon if they don’t see obvious value in it,” a phenomenon known as app fatigue.  

Though custom apps can provide many benefits, microsites are the better endeavor in the case of promotions, event registration and shopper marketing. 


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MoZeus MarketingMarketing Specialist at MoZeus