Agatha Christie site revamp gets 35% audience boost in first week

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The official website for crime writer Agatha Christie got a revamp this month, resulting in a significant rise in visitors. This case study looks at how digital agency Tangent Snowball used a user-centred social media strategy to solve the mystery of fan engagement…

Brand: Acorn Productions | Sector: Publishing | Country: UK | Partner/agency: Tangent Snowball | Objective: brand awareness, consideration and purchase | Format: Website design, Social media

Acorn Productions, the custodian of the Agatha Christie brand, hired digital agency Tangent Snowball, to introduce new audiences to Christie and enhance the dialogue between the brand and Christie’s committed fans.

The results so far suggest that the content, layout and design of the website have already contributed to an enhanced user experience.

Key figures from the first week include:

• 35% increase in page views
• 26% increase in average time spent on the site

The figures are encouraging reading, suggesting that the strategy to engage the two distinct audiences of the established fans and those coming new to the brand through a focus on stories – the stories Christie wrote, the characters within them and the film adaptations of her works, and her own life story - is already delivering ahead of expectations. This reinforces the value of the social media audit Tangent Snowball carried out over a two month period prior to the website refresh, which informed the web re-design strategy.

The social media audit, created to strengthen the brand’s understanding of the Christie fan base and their interests, threw up some interesting insights, including correlations between an interest in Christie and subjects like Art Deco and vintage clothing.

Tangent Snowball used these findings to help steer the brand’s social media content strategy in the build-up to the site re-launch with significant results, particularly on Facebook, including:

• 1,716% increase in viral reach – the number of unique individuals who saw a specific post from the Agatha Christie Facebook Page through a story published by one of their friends

• 324% uplift in engagement – the number of Likes, Shares and Comments

The insights from the social media audit also provided a useful perspective when it came to developing the visual style for the reinvigorated Agatha Christie brand. Tangent Snowball worked closely with the team at Acorn Productions Ltd- creating collaborative mood boards on Pinterest to gather stimulus from the team, Agatha's Christie's family and subject matter experts such as Yasuko Suga (Associate Professor at Tsuda College, Japan).

Hilary Strong, managing director at Acorn Productions Ltd comments: “We were keen for our new site to forge a deeper link between our visitors and the brand, but appealing to a diverse international audience of new and existing fans was always going to be a challenge. Presenting the wealth of content we have in a way that enabled our audiences to easily find the information they come to the site to find was identified as one of our biggest challenges. In practice, however, Tangent Snowball made this part of the process seem relatively simple, and the ideas we came up with together have made the site a more engaging destination. We’re thrilled by the reaction to the new site so far and are looking forward to seeing how this develops over the coming weeks.”

Spencer Yates, managing partner at Tangent Snowball concludes: “The website of an author is increasingly critical to safeguarding the brand’s longevity, but getting the website right is a complex process – particularly for authors of Christie’s stature. Making sure the site appeals to the varied users requires a significant investment in understanding those audiences. We also felt a real sense of responsibility on this project. When you're dealing with a brand with such a passionate fan base you really want to ensure you're reflecting the brand appropriately online. The close working relationship with the team at Acorn Productions Ltd and the time spent getting under the skin of the audiences has really helped us to develop a site that we feel is as welcoming as it is intriguing. We’re hoping for a continued positive reaction from Agatha Christie fans as we evolve the site in the next phase."


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