According to the research of Technorati Media, consumers consider product description and blogs to be the top factors in influencing their purchase decision. In fact, the result of the research concludes that blogs overviews tend to mean more for the potential customers, that word of mouth from a friend. 28% of more than 1200 respondents consider a positive review in a blog to be the deciding factor, leaving friends’ recommendation on the second place with 17% of votes. (2013)
It suggests that customers tend to trust online testimonies of bloggers who have used the product more, than to the information on the official websites. It put blogs to the very influential position and therefore, I offer focus and statistically analyze the blog, as the medium of the modern internet.
For the purpose of investigation, I have selected a website “Living in Brno | Where to go in Brno, clubs, pubs, restaurants, and any other places that you should take a look at it”. It is a non-commercial English language blog with a sufficient potential, describing places foreign students can visit in Brno.
It is a popular website among the students of Vinarska Halls of Residence, giving an exhaustive overview of the places of interest in Brno, currently promoted mainly through the Facebook social network. The updates are posted regularly, including not only the overview of the places, but also the description of the events.
The owner of the website, Jomar Bustamante, has kindly given me a permission to look into the websites’ statistics to evaluate its performance and suggest online marketing strategy, if possible.
Figure :"Living in Brno"
The website was created on September 2012 and is successfully functioning for eight month, with the average of 275.5 views per month. It contains 29 posts, 2 pages, summarized in 8 categories and marked with 54 tags. It is also accompanied with a social network profile, created in September as well, for easier popularization among students. So far, it has 435 likes, 5 people talking about it with the engagement rate of 1.1%.
Going back to the blog, its loading time is 2.549s of 827kb1, Google Page Rank is 0 out of 10 with 134 indexed pages2.
The website has pleasant colors; text is clear and very well illustrated by graphics. The content is up-to-date, not overloaded by keywords, but not unique, what might affect the overall trustworthy of the blog. It has only 5 errors, according to W3C, what is an indicator of a quality content management system. The navigation is clear and convenient, with the sufficient mobile version of the blog.
Figure : "Visitors per month"
Visitors are the most important indicator of the website success. As illustrated on the figure above, the interest to the website was totally dependent on the holiday’s schedule, which is easily explained by the overall theme and topic of the blog and supported by the search words used to find a website, as “living in Brno”, “Two Faces”, “Mandarin club”, “life in Brno” and “I love living in Brno”.
The next figure illustrates tendency of the website visiting per day. The numbers are obtained by the sum of views per month divided by the amount of days. It is showing the interest to the website at the particular day throughout the eight month of the website existence. The graphic is also reflecting the pattern of decreasing interest to the website during the holidays, when students go home. In this case, it is indicating one of the specific features of target audience, that should be taken into consideration when analyzing the website during summer month.
Figure : "Average visitors per day"
Alongside with the amount of visitors it is always useful to take a look on the location of the visitors.
Figure : "Location map"
For the given website, the location map shows the most activity for Czech Republic – 1 359 visits. That result is followed by Norway, Spain, United Kingdom, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Germany and Greece. The chart illustrates the share of each country in particular, excluding Czech Republic, to make the illustration more comprehensive. Multinational audience is also one of the distinctive features of the website putting political and interracial restriction on its content.
Figure : "Location share"
Statistical overview gives an opportunity to assess the performance of the website and its impact on overall business result. In the case with the blog I am reviewing, the impact on the business activities can be only hypothetical and formed as a prognosis for the future monetization, as the website is non-profit.
For the current moment, the blog is following the marketing strategy of differentiation, offering a differentiation in reviewing the places to visit in more precise matter and according to the needs of the target audience. If to take into consideration the main competitors of the blog, as “Brno Now” and “Czechmate Diary”, the differentiation is easily spotted.
Figure : "Brno Now"
“Brno Now” website has more trust from the Google search engine, illustrated by 5/10 page rank indicator. Having 1520 indexed pages and uptime since November 30, 2010, high page rank indicator can be explained by frequent updates of content and longer website availability online. Nevertheless, major difference between “Brno Now” and “Living in Brno” is the content and targeted audience.
Figure : "Czechmate Diary"
“Czechmate Diary” appeared online on May 11, 2005 and has earned 4/10 PR trust indicator, having 2260 pages indexed. The interesting feature of this resource is that it is updated on both, Czech and English languages, and is supported by a Czech living in United States. “Czechmate Diary” is an indirect competitor of “Living in Brno”.
So far, the only marketing activity applied to the “Living in Brno” was the promotion through the social networking, Facebook in particular. It has engaged 437 subscribers with the low involvement ratio. By the involvement ratio the active participation in discussions and offered activities is understood.
The next sub-chapter is devoted solely to the creation of the future marketing strategy and list of recommended activities to enhance the performance of the investigated blog.