How to Attract and Keep Investors Engaged on Your IR Website

2 November 2010

By Contributor

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The IR website is a dominant channel for investor communications and companies are looking for ways to do things better. We are seeing a lot of innovative things and this blog is the first in a series where we’ll share some Best Practices for your IR Website.

One of the first things companies should consider is how to make accessing site content easy for three investor audiences: potential, new and long-term.  Each audience is at a different point in their relationship with your company and they have different motivations for coming to your site.

The investor site needs to consider these audiences – from walking a potential investor through your investment proposition to permitting long-term investors to get timely information fast so they can get in and out quickly.

Some best practice examples to address these audiences include a navigational structure on the homepage that provides entry points to key information such as ‘About Us’, ‘Investor’, ‘Customers’ etc.; an investor index page that provides quick entry points that drill down into key content; using quick links to bring information forward with one click and helpful aids to sort/search information.

Navigational Structure with Multiple Entry Points
Shell has made it very easy for investors to find information.  As soon as you click on the homepage it is difficult to miss the ‘Investors’ tab that is prominently displayed in the middle of the page.  Upon clicking on this tab, visitors are then taken to a comprehensive ‘Investor Center’ page that houses everything a potential, new and long-term investor needs:

Shell_image one

http://www.shell.com/

Also of note, is the ‘About Shell’ tab on the left-hand navigation – investors are given another way to access investor information as an ‘Investor’ tab resides in the drop down menu:

shell_image two

http://www.shell.com/home/content/aboutshell/

Homepage Integration of Investor Content
Teekay Tankers* is a great example of a company who uses their homepage to highlight key messages that take into consideration all key investor audiences.  For example, potential investors are targeted by the message “Teekay Tankers has a full payout dividend policy” which is displayed on a flash panel in the centre of the page. A link is then provided to “Watch our Why Invest in Teekay Tankers” video.

Current and long-term investors are also given direct access to the information they seek through the ‘Latest News’ and ‘Events’ tabs.

Teekay

http://www.teekaytankers.com/

IR Index Page
A good site needs to show users where they are, where they want to go and how to make their way back.  It should also bring key content forward so users are presented with the next logical step in their navigation of your site.  One place this can be addressed is the Index page.

Danske Bank has a good investor page. They present the most frequently sought information and lots of quick links:

Danske bank_image one

http://www.danskebank.com/EN-UK/IR/Pages/investor-relations.aspx

They even come right out and ask visitors the question,  ‘Are you a new investor?” Asking this question is a very simple way to direct new users to the appropriate content. Once a visitor clicks on this link they are taken to a page that directs them to all relevant information for a new investor:

Danske bank_image two

http://www.danskebank.com/en-uk/ir/the-group/Pages/new-investor.aspx

Aids to Sort/Search Information
In addition to making the content easy to access, companies should also consider ways to help investors search and organize the information.

A common area that gets accessed by all three investor audiences is the press release section.  Cadbury has a great feature that enables users to look up press releases by year, subject and keyword:

cadbury

http://www.cadburyinvestors.com/cadbury_ir/press_releases/?pr=1&yearall=&categories=fin_corp&image.x=11&image.y

Investors also frequently access the ‘Financial’ section of the website. CGI does a great job of displaying an annual review with the archives immediately accessible. They also have a separate tab for all of their filings:

CGI

http://www.cgi.com/en/investors/financial-reports

The IR website still remains a leading source for the investment community to verify and gather company information.  Companies should take into consideration three key audiences and make it easy for them to access the information they are looking for.  This can be achieved by including a navigational structure on the homepage that includes an ‘Investor’ section; providing quick entry points that drill down into key content in the IR index page and implementing helpful aids to sort and search the information.

In addition, making the content more appealing through photographs that depict properties and animation such as a flash panel that highlights key differentiators or current information enhances the user experience and may ultimately lead to more time spent on your website.

Stay tuned for the second blog in our series where we reveal ideas on how to present a compelling investment proposition.

*Disclosure: Teekay is a Q4 client

3 comments

Comments

Shawn

8 years ago

Reply

Thanks for your blog. I have been working as an independent IR consultant for close to 10 years. Many of the smaller micro-cap companies that i work with are of the belief that they do not have to tailor their IR web presence like you listed above. Once i overhaul their site, many of their original investors contact the company for new investment.

It’s so simple to outline the financials, news, and press in one location to make it easy for investors to do their own research.

Thanks again!

Sheryl

8 years ago

Reply

Thanks for your comment Shawn.

In a previous life I was an IR consultant and worked with a few small cap clients as well. As you know, one of the challenges of smaller companies is gaining awareness and ultimately attracting investors – and one of the first places that is typically accessed to gather information is a company’s website.

By making the materials easy to access and in a format that engages visitors and allows them to do their own research may ultimately result in a new investor.

Cheers
Sheryl

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