Here's a compelling reason to re-evaluate your investor relations content: Almost a quarter of your key stakeholders never look at your IR site, according to a shareholder survey by PR Newswire. Another 25 percent of shareholders navigate to IR sites only once a quarter.
The reality is that many sites are isolated from their company's corporate content. Some of these sites have sat unchanged for years — they serve as mere data feeds. Yet they're crucial. Almost half of potential investors visit IR websites before making an investment decision, according to the survey.
With no compelling content, there's little reason for investors to show up. If your IR site is static, you're losing out on an opportunity to engage stakeholders. Well-crafted sites will reinforce your brand, show corporate transparency and educate and inspire your stakeholders. Good sites will deepen your relationships with investors.
To re-energize your investor relations content, start by tying it to your company's overall communications strategy and goals. It's important to ensure that your IR site has the same look and feel as your corporate site. The same branding and messaging will give it a cohesive feel and keep investors coming back to your site.
If you don't already, consider creating value-added, interactive content to your IR website. For example, interactive infographics can let your readers live out data points and create a custom journey. When you put out a whitepaper, augment it with video. Even something as simple as having your whitepaper's author talk about their work can boost engagement.
More than numbers
Earnings may once have been a top reason for investors to come to your site, but no more. By the time investors navigate to your site, the numbers are old news. To make your site an essential destination, create content investors can't get anywhere else.
Create content that addresses your stakeholders' top questions and concerns. Insurance company Aflac does this well with its Financial Analysts Briefing book, an in-depth view of its operations and long-term growth strategy.
Top of mind for investors is to understand the goals and ethics of management and to gain confidence in management's ability to carry out that vision. Brainstorm stories that will bring numbers to life and position you as a thought leader.
Perhaps it's a Q&A with a top director or 360° view of a specific accomplishment. Case studies, infographics and white papers are also great ways to engage investors. General Electric's GE Reports website highlights products and innovations with regularly updated content.
Engage your audience
On your IR page, make sure you have a clear and easy-to-find way for investors to sign up for regular alerts. As suggested above, you can't depend on shareholders to visit your site regularly — you need to push the content into their inbox. When they value your content, they'll appreciate your updates (as long as they aren't too frequent). Even better, consider hosting interactive data on your IR page, for example real-time share prices, historical price lookup or total return calculators.
You'll also want to follow up with shareholders who are engaged in other ways. Perhaps you have investors who dial in to every earnings call. Tap into these active participants to see what kind of content they're looking for and what would draw them to your site.
What to feature
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) files are crucial to investors' research. You can use these to drive traffic to your site. Make files easy to access and place them alongside top compelling content to encourage investors to linger on your website.
More than 70 percent of investors also watch or listen to investor presentation slides, according to the PR Newswire survey. Use this to your advantage by placing this content front and center on your site. Take time to button up these presentations so they are more engaging. Consider encouraging them to join the post-presentation conversation on Twitter by using a certain hashtag.
As you revisit your investor relations site, consider how you can magnify the effects of your content. Make sure to include prominent social media share buttons on each piece of content so readers can pass on the information to their networks. This will increase your content's reach with no extra effort on your part.