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WORD OF MOUTH

MARKETING
A New Approach for the Budget-Minded Blogger

By Jeanne Searfoorce
EdTech 505
Dr. Thompson
Boise State University

SUMMARY
TwoShinyPennies.com is a blog dedicated to providing home dwellers (both
owners and renters) with information focused on budget friendly interior
decorating solutions. Jeanne Searfoorce, the editor and creative mind behind
the blog has a primary focus to, source the inspirations and then search for
the contents which can be purchasedfor pennies. (twoshinypennies.com)
(Graphic 1). To make the content user friendly, it is presented in a blog
format allowing the audience to ask questions and make comments both for
their own edification and to improve upon the blogs content for current and
future visitors. In keeping with the blogs focus, the editor wanted to use
budget-friendly marketing to promote the website. By utilizing digital wordof-mouth advertising, the blog garnered a frugal-minded audience who
benefited from the information while also enjoying the light-hearted
commentary.

G RAPHIC 1.

SAMPLE OF PRODUCT SOURCING CREATED FOR THIS REPORT AS DISPLAYED ON

TWOSHINYPENNIES . COM .

While there are many websites dedicated to the same theme, two aspects
which continue to gain a loyal following are the honest opinions of the
professionally decorated rooms as well as the commentary written about
their practical utility in a realistic application. As a side note, the editor only
chooses rooms which she personally believes are beautiful and would have in
her own residence.
As the site began to receive feedback via comments, other topics were
introduced such as home staging and do-it-yourself upgrades. By presenting
other areas of interest, the site continued to retain its economical objective
while keeping the material interesting to attract new visitors while
maintaining the interest of the current followers.
After introducing digital word-of-mouth advertising only three weeks after the
blogs launch, it has been extremely successful. Word about the sites
content has traveled worldwide and continues to expand daily. Whats more,
the additional word-of-mouth advertising will continue to grow the site
interest. On an aside, the initial cost to start this blog was only $100 which
covered the website name and server space for the images. The initial
marketing goals have been met with great success.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM EVALUATED


Program Objectives
The goal of the program was to determine the effectiveness of digital wordof-mouth marketing. By implementing this marketing plan, the editor
wanted to examine the interest of her blog concept and if it could attract a
large readership base. There were several program goals:

Increase readership from the original 23 Blogging course classmates

and professor
Increase readership worldwide
Increase RSS (rich site summary) subscriptions
Increase blog comments
Increase blog traffic

Program Components
TwoShinyPennies.com is hosted though wordpress.com. Its maintenance and
new content creation is also utilizes this online tool and is facilitated by the
editor. There are several tools that were employed to increase traffic to
TwoShinyPennies.com.
First, within each blog post there were topic specific key words (or tags)
added that are used when search engines sour the web looking to fulfill
certain search requests. Second, a link was added to feedburner.com
allowing individuals to subscribe whereby they would receive an email when
there are new posts. Third, a Twitter account was created which alerts
subscribers via tweets about blog updates. Please note that these
technical additions were administered by the blogs editor. Once these
technical specifications were in place, the digital word-of-mouth campaign
was launched using a combination of SmartPhone text message, email,
LinkedIn message post and subsequent Facebook posts.

EVALUATION METHOD
Participants
The original participants of the marketing campaign included business
associates, friends, classmates and family of the TwoShinyPennies.com
editor. By interacting with individuals who want to see success in her
endeavors, they were the best resources to employ digital word-of-mouth
marketing. Some of individuals also voluntarily offered to market the blog
using their own social media accounts further promoting the blog to their
friends, family, co-workers and so on.

Procedures
In order to introduce the blog, correspondence was sent via text message to
the editors phone contacts with a short message and a link to the blog.
Those who received the text were asked to pass the link along to anyone
they felt would have interest in the blogs material. Some of the individuals
also asked if they could post a link on their Facebook page to further increase
traffic and to market the website as well. Then, a comment was placed via
LinkedIn to the editors business contacts promoting the blog as well asking

for digital word-of-mouth participation. Third, the editors email contacts


were also alerted about the blog and were asked to participate in the digital
word-of-mouth marketing campaign. Furthermore, the link was also sent to
her Blogging course classmates and her professor. Finally, Twitter was used
in conjunction with the blog to send an alert when a new blog post was
available.

Data Sources
When gathering information about the success of the program, the metrics in
wordpress.com were evaluated first primarily because the site is hosted and
managed though wordpress.com. Furthermore, this data was easy to read,
graphically pleasing and provided the most comprehensive metrics regarding
visits, country views and popular posts. Wordpress.com contains information
about site traffic as detailed as weekly metrics which pinpointed an uptick in
interest after the marketing campaign text message announcing
TwoShinyPennies.com. Furthermore, country interest illustrates which
markets the website have penetrated. Moreover, the top posts category
shows which content areas have garnered the most interest.

RESULTS
Upon concluding the evaluation, there were 19 posts including a welcome
message. While there were only small increases in specific quantifiable
readership in feedly.com (17 readers) and feedburner.com (1 subscriber),
wordpress.com provided the most valuable program evaluation information
for TwoShinyPennies.com. This information was used to evaluate the
programs success.
The day with the Best Ever views (135) of the site was the day after (July 9,
2014), the marketing campaign launched (July 8, 2014) (Graphic 2).
However, there were still 486 views after this date. There were also 22
Facebook referrals to the blog, four (4) shares though Facebook and three (3)
shares through Twitter. Furthermore, there were 75 comments posted to the
blog. Roughly half were replies to original comments.

G RAPHIC 2. F INAL

BLOG METRICS AS REPRESENTED IN WORDPRESS . COM FOR

TWOSHINYPENNIES . COM

Another important marketing consideration is the audience who is reading


the blog. The four (4) top regions who have found the blog include the
United States, Canada, Brazil and Australia (Graphic 3). Three of the four
have English as native language. Brazils native language is Portuguese.
Furthermore, the digital word-of-mouth campaign can be seen as one that
transcends geographic barriers based on the metrics in wordpress.com. It is
important to note that while there are four(4) large geographic regions that
have an interest in TwoShinyPennies.com, the website has also reached 15
other regions worldwide.

G RAPHIC 3. G LOBAL

INTEREST AS REPRESENTED IN

W ORDPRESS . COM

FOR

T WO S HINY P ENNIES . COM

When tracking interest in the posts, the Home Page/Archives is the most
visited area. However, the home page does not reflect one specific post since
the newest post appears on the home page. Therefore, for the most
accurate interest in topics, Stage Your HomeFor You was the most
popular topic in the blog (Graphic 3). There was also a poll located within this
post (Graphic 4). There were 11 individuals who participated in the poll.
There were also seven (7) original posts and seven (7) editor replies. There
was also an additional comment added though the poll embedded on the
page. This particular entry was also posted two days before the site was
marketed. Therefore, the content of the page was possibly driving force
behind the page views.

G RAPHIC 3. P OPULAR B LOG P OSTS


T WO S HINY P ENNIES . COM

AS REPRESENTED IN

W ORDPRESS . COM

FOR

G RAPHIC 4. H OME

STAGING POLL CONDUCTED ON

07.07.2014

ON

T WO S HINY P ENNIES . COM

DISCUSSION
This evaluation was conducted for less than one month regarding a newly
launched blog. The marketing was virtually free. While there was not much
content when the site was first launched, the material continues to grow as
the editor receives comments and suggestions. There is definitely an
interest in this topic as there is an entire television network dedicated toward
home renovations and interior decorating.
The digital word-of-mouth marketing efforts were successful. Had there been
a more established blog with other social media accounts established
(Facebook, Instagram) or time for additional social media interaction, there
could be even more traffic driven to the site. The editor also needs to blog
on other related websites and she should also leave a link to her website
there as well. For the short duration the site has been active, the interest is
tremendous and encouraging. There have also been comments asking the

editor to explain how novices can develop their own website/blog, how the
site was developed and interest in the sites color scheme. All of these
comments are positive and indicate that the blog should continue forward
tweaking areas where there was underdevelopment (the catalog lacks store
descriptions) and the Home Staging area is of great interest but only
contains one blog post. The Home Staging area can draw interest from both
those who are looking for ideas for their own residences and those are
looking to sell their homes.
There should definitely be a content development plan going forward
regarding variation in posts, diversity in topics and extensive use of images
as mentioned by the audience. Furthermore, there should be care when
posting to add global appeal as the audience is not concentrated in the
United States.

PROJECT COST
As seen Graphic 5, the costs for evaluating TwoShinyPennies.com were based
on blog post analyses (which includes blog traffic), analyzing blogging
methods, follow-up with the target audience, accounting and completing the
evaluation report. There were a total of 36 project hours which equaled a
final billable rate of $18,000 ($500 hour).
Analysis was conducted by Senior Evaluator Jeanne Searfoorce. Jeanne
Searfoorce has her undergraduate Business Administration degree and her
MBA from La Salle University. She is completing her Masters in Educational
Technology from Boise State University in December, 2014. She has 15
years experience in technology which includes website design, graphics
design and email marketing which focused on email marketing campaign
analysis.

BILLING REPORT FOR TwoShinyPennies.com

SERVICE
Marketing

DETAIL
Send Blog link to target
audience/Follow-up

DATE
COMPLETE
D
6/14/20147/28/2014

HOURS
6

TOTAL
$
3,000

Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Analysis
Marketing
Final
Report

Welcome

6/16/2014

Tranquil Neutral Bedroom

6/25/2014

Looking Room or Living Room?

6/25/2014

Designing A Room That Works


Celebrate the Fourth of July With
Style!
Bring Your Space To Life With
Plants
Stage Your HomeFor You
Comfortable, Sophisticated and
Glamorous Living Room
Idea Boards: From Vision To
Reality

6/29/2014
7/4/2014
7/7/2014
7/8/2014
7/9/2014
7/12/2014

Welcome Guest Blogger: J.E.L.

7/13/2014

Beachy Bathroom

7/13/2014

Part 1: The Kitchen Backsplash


and Feng Shui
Part 2: Movies, Music and
Inspiration
Part 3: YouTube and Your New
Kitchen
Part 4: Fear Not The Abundance
of Door Choices
Part 5: Putting You Kitchen
Together

7/26/2014
7/26/2014
7/26/2014
7/27/2014
7/28/2014

Chic Coastal Dining Room

7/28/2014

A Hotel Chic Bedroom At Home

7/31/2014

Blog Traffic

7/30/2014

Accounting

7/30/2014

Word of Mouth Marketing

7/30/2014

Ongoing-Follow-up with target


audience

7/30/2014

Report of Evaluation

7/30/2014

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G RAPHIC 5. E VALUATION

COSTS OF

T WO S HINY P ENNIES . COM .

$
500
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500
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500
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500
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500
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500
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500
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500
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500
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500
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500
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500
$
1,500
$
3,000
$
18,000