I was going through Medium for interesting articles, as I often do on my Fridays, and I came across Ali Mese’s “Side Project Marketing is the New King”, where he effortlessly puts into words, a tactic religiously used in inbound marketing; providing value for your audience away from your sales channels, to drive users back into your business.
This was pretty much the entire point of social media back in the day, to humanize a brand for people to communicate with, without feeling they’re being sold something in return, this doesn’t work as well now with audiences who grew more aware of those hidden marketing tactics, the same also applies to product positioning in movies, landing pages, and native advertising in media websites.
Another tactic marketers use, is to build communities in the form of websites and forums, an obvious example of this is HubSpot’s community-arm InBound.org, a portal for marketing professionals to share and discuss ideas, as well as post and view marketing related job openings, other examples include different company-related medium publications and niche content websites that are connected to established businesses.
Now while all of those still work, if done properly. A more recent tactic has proven successful as well. Single page websites that do not appear to serve much of a function, that pay little attention to SEO and more attention to a page’s social sharing potential, designed to provoke an emotion so powerful that’ll make you drop everything you’re doing and share it with a coworker or a friend. Coupled with the right subtle call to action, those pages can accomplish so much more in so little. Examples of those include freelancers building websites to showcase a skill, employees building websites to get a job, companies building websites to introduce a product, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Here are three of my favourites.
Flat Design Vs. Realism
If you’ve ever worked in web design or development, chances are, you’ve already seen this one page parallax wonder from two years ago, a beautiful story of two design methodologies, Flat Vs. Realism, with it’s own soundtrack that changes dynamically as you scroll down the page. What some users didn’t notice however, was the link to the digital agency who created the work, Intacto.com which reappears at the end of the story.
The User Is Drunk
The idea here is simple, “your website should be so simple, a drunk person could use it”, oh, and I am personally willing to help you test this out if you send me enough beer and a small fee. This very simple idea and website, brought Richard Littauer access to a number of clients such as Gizmodo and Hubspot to mention a few.
Nina 4 Airbnb
This is another favourite story of mine about fellow Jordanian marketer Nina Mufleh. You might’ve heard about her story when it was covered by the likes of Business Insider and Fortune. She built a single page website explaining to Airbnb why she would be a perfect fit to work there, the page got Brian Chesky’s attention, and ended up getting her the job.
The three examples have a few things in common, they show the concerned audience that you care enough to put in the effort of building a website to deliver your point, this in return, drives them to share and recommend, if not because they’re interested, they’d do it for the effort you put into it.
Honourable mentions include a Caffeine Calculator that tells you how much is enough to kill you of your favourite coffee beverage, The life of Pi’s movie journey website that prompts you to buy the DVDs when you’re done, and another parallax page telling you to eat healthy, and showcasing a company’s web design skill set. Let me here your ideas and website examples.