Communicating successfully is much more than simply providing data and facts. Making an indelible mark on long-term memory requires information that inspires or keys into emotions. Advertisers have long known that messaging has to appeal to both the head and the heart.
This approach is becoming more and more prevalent in investor relations. As a result, IR websites are increasingly using modern communication methods with interactive elements or videos to tell a company’s equity story.
Going After Users
Successfully connecting with users and fully understanding their behavior requires a company to do its homework. Web analysis tools such as Google Analytics, Piwik or etracker that record visitor behavior provide vital data for optimizing digital messaging. The data collected by these tools goes far beyond simply showing how many users have visited a website’s IR area. Key parameters include the amount of time visitors spend on a site, users’ average number of clicks, and which pages are most frequently viewed. The exit rates of the individual pages then give hints to what extent there is still need for optimization.
Understanding the entry pages through which users reach IR websites is another important piece of information that can be analyzed through collected data. If, for example, visitors reach financial information only indirectly, then the architecture or the navigation of the website in question should perhaps be optimized for more streamlined searching.
Compelling Content Based on Interactivity
Web analysis allows companies to target content accurately and directly to stakeholders. Although investor relations managers often seemed trapped in a bubble of error prevention and legal pre-conditions, digitization allows companies to portray complex facts and figures in a clear and comprehensible way. Sometimes it just takes a little more courage.
Here are some suggestions for interactive content that creates real value for users:
- Let your board members have their say. In videos, management can report on plans and goals for the next few years and explain the unique features of a company’s equity story. So in addition to data and facts, emotions and visions are transmitted. Personal contact builds trust and empathy, two very important factors that pay off, particularly in crisis situations.
- With an interactive comparison of key figures, investors can individually compare selected key figures from previous years and export graphic representations.
- Individual-entry stock charts and auto-integrated company statements provide a good overview and are integral to any professional IR website.
- A yield calculator that allows shareholders to tally their investments for individually defined periods, with or without a dividend, adds real value.
- Both a stock exchange lexicon as well as an integrated glossary function, in which abbreviations and company-specific technical terms are explained, increase the amount of time users spend on an IR website.
Of course, excellent content should also be optimally presented — for example, via modern, responsive design that adapts to the respective end device. An additional advantage is that responsive websites receive preferred ranking on Google.
And yet even the best features and highest quality videos are of no use unless the overall IR package contains current and informative content, modern technologies and simple user guidance. Lastly, continuous analysis is a must in order to gauge your success.