From time to time, you might see a microsite on a brand’s website. These sites are the ones that talk about a new promotion, collect contest entries, display photos or become online voting centers. They’re often part of a marketing campaign.

When well-executed, the advantages of microsites in a marketing campaign are plentiful. They offer efficient data collection, reach a broader audience, encourage positive and negative feedback, start an online dialogue, build relationships between the customer and the brand, and collect customer data.

Despite these perks microsites can lose their appeal when they aren’t presented well. For example, some sites will continue to ask for information the customer has already submitted either in a profile or somewhere else. This can ultimately tick the customer off and in the worst case scenario cause the customer to either alienate or have a negative view of the brand.

Here’s another caution for businesses, while these sites are beneficial, sometimes they can overshadow the brand name when they have their own Web domains. In addition, “limited content, few links from other sites and competition from the brand website push these sites down the rankings,” for search engines, warned Andrew Walmsely, co-founder of i-level marketers, in the Marketing magazine article, “Microsites: approach with caution.”

Marketing campaigns can use the help of microsites, but businesses should consider having a finite shelf-life so as to not interfere with larger objectives.