Braata Productions is a not-for-profit organization that provides a platform for Caribbean and Caribbean-American artists to express themselves through folk art, theater, music, education and community events.
Braata expressed a desire to improve their web presence in order to:
- Increase sales and attendance to performances.
- Broaden their audience beyond their core Caribbean following.
- Boost donations.
In collaboration with Andrew Clarke, Executive Director of Braata, I spent three weeks working on a team consisting of Nishi Chitale, Nathalie Traikos, and Olivia Loeb to analyze Braata’s digital analytics. After meeting with Andrew and learning about his goals for the organization, we came up with a plan to leverage Google Analytics and Instagram data. Our primary ways to measure success were to:
- Gather general usage statistics including device category, sessions, bounce rate, and user types (new vs returning)
- Track user journeys involving the “Events” page on Braata’s website.
- Gather information on Instagram posts including frequency, post type, content and engagement.
We transformed the relevant metrics into charts, timelines and other visualizations in order to identify historic trends and areas for improvement. We leaned on our analysis to create recommendations including social media strategies and design mock ups.
The tools we used to perform our analysis were Google Analytics (UA and GA4), Supermetrics, Looker Studio, and Figma.
Google Analytics Findings
For the three month window that we measured, we found a majority (63%) of users viewed Braata on mobile. Interestingly, the majority (85.7% on mobile, 84.6% on tablet/desktop) were also new users, which suggests a low retention rate.
Bounce rate and average session duration indicated issues that could explain the larger distribution of new users. Bounce rate was 74.6% and 83.41% for mobile and tablet/desktop respectively, while average session duration was 56 second and 1 minute for mobile and tablet/desktop respectively.
The combination of low user retention, high bounce rate, and short session duration suggested that users were struggling to find what they intended on Braata’s website and infrequently chose to try again.
After gathering general statistics, we began to dive deeper into how users were engaging with Braata’s website. We created path explorations to measure general behavior and funnels around the Events page to specifically examine how users were engaging with Events, as per Andrew’s stated goal of increasing ticket sales and event attendance.
The above path exploration, dated from February 22, 2023 to April 21, 2023, has encouraging data for Events. The largest subset of users go from the homepage to Upcoming Events. The 2nd and 3rd largest groups go to the Mission and Theater pages, indicating a desire to engage with Braata’s performances. We also noticed people returning to the homepage after viewing upcoming events and, after exploring this, realized it may be due to the handful of outdated events that linger on the upcoming page.
The Events funnel, pictured above, indicates a struggle to move beyond the homepage. The high abandonment rate both at the homepage and at the Upcoming Events page was also concerning. A number of factors may contribute to these drop offs including outdated events taking up space in the Upcoming Events page and difficult to find navigation including links buried in auto-scrolling carousels with vibrant, busy images.
The above image is the main entry point to Braata’s website: an auto scrolling, full-width carousel with rich images, obscured navigation and hard to identify buttons. “BUY TICKETS NOW” is the only way to engage with the content being shown, which is both difficult to identify and precludes the possibility of learning more information before making a purchasing decision. This creates barriers that discourage further engagement.
Despite these barriers, we were encouraged by the general trend towards Events and Theater pages. It is clear that users want to engage with Braata’s live events, they are just having a hard time figuring where and how to do so. We believe that simplifying navigation and moderating content on the Upcoming Events page could lead to significant increases in website engagement.
Instagram Supermetrics Findings
Public Instagram data told us two very clear stories:
- Braata’s inconsistent posting schedule hampered their reach to followers and new users
- Videos, specifically related to their performances, are their most popular and engaging posts
Post frequency was an important metric to examine because of how Instagram rewards consistency.
We noticed inconsistencies in posting frequency, with some months going as high as 10 and some as low as 2. Establishing a regular posting schedule would ensure their account remains visible in their followers feeds, thereby promoting engagement. This may also increase the chance of organic discovery of the channel.
As shown in the above graphic, videos were both the most frequent and most popular type of posts. This aligns with current trends of short-form video content. We noticed that among the video posts, the most popular were either trailers for upcoming plays or snippets from plays. This desire to engage with Braata’s live performances was consistent with the path exploration on the website.
Ultimately, we were hampered by technical issues that prevented us from accessing private Instagram statistics. However, even only with publicly available data, we were able to identify a few key areas for improvement that could help with the organizational goal of increasing audience reach.
For Braata’s main website, our recommendations mostly center around accessibility, navigation, and content moderation. We envision three key ways to implement this:
- Replace the auto-scrolling carousel at the homepage with a Hero image that introduces the brand and provides an easy avenue to engage with targeted pages (in this case, Events)
- Create a simpler way to access Events that focuses on accessibility, readability and hierarchy.
- Actively maintain the Upcoming Events page to only contain future events. Move past events into Past Events to let users know the page is actively maintained.
To communicate these changes, we created the above mockup of the homepage.
To handle the inconsistent posting on Instagram, we recommend the following strategies:
- Create a calendar that tracks organizational milestones, holidays, culturally significant moments and other recurring events. Post curated content on those days to have a consistent set of posts to fallback on.
- Given the popularity of performance related posts, try reaching out to actors, writers and other individuals involved in Braata’s performances and give them a spotlight. Either an Instagram takeover, personal profile, or other format would line up with the user bases desire to engage with theatrical productions. It would also reinforce Braata’s community ties and enhance their standing as a place to build bonds.
- Put “Link in bio” to drive traffic to the website
We found that users engaging with Braata often wanted to access the pages that align with their organizational goal of attendance and ticket sales. The abandonment rate indicated a disconnect between what they wanted and what they found, which we hoped to address in our recommendations. We did not draw any conclusions about donation flows or ways to boost donations. For the Instagram page, we hope that our recommendations will increase traction and open Braata up to a wider audience beyond their core following. Access to private Instagram data would have helped us conduct a more in depth analysis.
To help Braata track their metrics, we created a custom Looker Studio dashboard for key metrics and insights.
We presented to Andrew on May 8, 2023, and received positive feedback. He was happy with the conclusions we drew, and said they align with some other work they have done recently. Andrew stated that they are undergoing a 15 year anniversary website redesign and the team they hired drew many of the same conclusions as we did, including removing the carousel, focusing on accessibility, and even creating similar card styles for the “Braata Programs” portion of the homepage.