Investor Relations Websites: How to Create an Engaging User Experience
9 January 2020
By Allyce Maclaren
In today’s digital landscape, your investor relations website is the investment community’s first port of call. In this light, it’s more than just a repository of financial metrics, it’s also a window to your ‘company’s soul.’ But as technology, the market, and today’s investor continues to evolve, so has the investor relations website. Here’s a look at what it takes to make a real impact with investors in 2020 and beyond.
Intuitive structure for ease of use
Ease of use is critical for investor relations websites. In fact, According to a study by Rivel Research, “insight on the Global Buy-side,” 42% of the buy-side says that “ease-of-use” is what makes a website “best-in-class.” IR sites tend to be data-heavy, so it’s important to give your content space to breathe and focus on guiding your users. Create an intuitive design by simplifying navigation and structure, grouping similar content, and prioritizing key information. Make it easy for a user to navigate around your site and find what they need in as few clicks as possible.
This was a critical focus for Good Energy during a recent IR site redesign. According to Clare Griffin, Investor Relations Associate at Good Energy, one of their key goals was to improve the overall site structure and navigation to better communicate with investors. Clare explains that although their previous site was “packed with content”, it didn’t offer investors an easy or intuitive way to find information.
To achieve this, Good Energy included a “mega-menu” on the new site, to show everything at a glance and make content easily accessible. They also implemented “sticky navigation,” so that users could access the menu from anywhere on the website without having to scroll. In fact, since the redesign, Good Energy’s web engagement increased by 317%, which Clare credits to the improved structure.
Heading into 2020, it’s also critical to leverage your investor relations website to share ESG initiatives and showcase success stories. As a key trend in IR, ESG has become an essential focus for many IR professionals, including Marsha Gordon, Manager of Shareholder Relations at Wendy’s. For Marsha, it was important to showcase, in one place, all of the “great things they were doing as a company” while maintaining an intuitive site structure.
To achieve this, Marsha pulled together a variety of disparate pieces from their corporate site and worked with Q4 to repackage the content into the ‘E, S and G’. Reflecting on the redesign, she says the revised structure “connected the dots”, in a way that their investors could easily find and appreciate.
Thoughtful design that brings your brand to life
Thoughtful design is another critical element of a good IR site and has never been so essential to the success of an IR program. In fact, according to a Rivel Research Group survey of 353 buy-side professionals, 75% of the respondents say their interest in a company is diminished when the website is poorly designed.
This was top of mind for Sonos, when they went public in 2018. According to Daniel Welch, Director of Corporate Finance at Sonos, they needed an IR site that clearly and effectively communicated all of their key information, but also visually represented the core tenets of their essential design philosophy: simplicity and minimalism.
Daniel says, “our mission was (and continues to be) to provide clear, accurate, and timely information to the market and all of our stakeholders”. For him, it was critical to have a clean and simple, easy to navigate IR site that was also beautiful to look at.
Sonos created a site that is clean and simple, but still a rich and engaging hub for their growing IR content. Their contemporary, design-conscious brand was also brought to life with eye-catching graphics, product shots, and videos thoughtfully integrated across the website. Since launch, their IR site has become a crucial platform for presenting their investment story, showcasing their brand, and engaging with the Street.
IR websites today are all about conveying a strong brand and engaging the user, whether they’re an analyst, shareholder, or potential investor. To learn more about how you can design your IR site to increase engagement and make a measurable impact with the investment community, download our latest infographic.