Websites are often where investors get their first impression of a company, so make sure it’s good. Think about how you want investors to receive your message – tell your story your way, on your website. This week we have highlighted 7 key areas to improve investor communication, via the company website and beyond. (We just listened to “NIRI Webinar: Building Trust with an Effective IR and Corporate Website” and much of the information is drawn from this). Miranda-IR, working in conjunction with Miranda Digital & Design, is happy to help you redesign or upgrade your IR website, and has plenty of experience of doing just that with listed Mexican companies.
Take the time to take content out of reports, presentations and press releases and put it on the website. This will ensure that more investors see the key content and constant updating with links to social media (Twitter) will also help with Google searches of your company content, making your company more visible to everyone.
- Analyze site usage e.g. how many people who visit your site actually click on and open your presentation – you could be missing a lot of people.
- Make sure people know that your ESG initiatives exist and that people have easy access to your investor thesis.
Once you’ve got the right content on the website, optimize it – think about how well your site meets the needs of investors:
- Use engaging graphics to make financial aspects such as the balance sheet quick and easy to understand.
- Use a video to tell your company’s story.
- Consider using a video of the CEO.
- Publish your annual report in website format e.g. Coca-Cola FEMSA.
- Consider making your top investors visible on your website.
- Do video webcasts for quarterly earnings and announcements.
- Think about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) from an IR standpoint (update and link).
Communicate your strategy to bolster trust with investors and analysts. This is particularly important in 2020, given the current situation.
- This could be by video.
- Use infographics and charts. E.g. IHG, Carlsberg, AngloAmerican do this well.
- Make it easy for investors to get to know the company. E.g. AstraZeneca show headshots of management to help tell their diversity story.
35% of NYSE 100 companies explain purpose, vision and mission, with 39% also describing innovation initiatives, so there’s a good opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by doing this.
The best way to manage your company’s reputation is to:
- Get in front of it – keep the web pumped with good news stories and your purpose.
- Own what search engines say about your company.
- BP do this well e.g. through their #netzero campaign.
- Communicate your purpose – purpose is becoming an increasingly important part of investor content. 34% of NYSE 100 companies communicate purpose, but only 1% quantify it. Answer the question – ‘What is the company’s purpose?’ and engage with investors.
- Embrace digitalization – how are you building your future by digitizing your business?
ESG policies are key to building trust with investors and continues to grow in importance for both institutional and individual investors – 62% of millennials, who are starting to gain more investment power, are doing more research on brands and their inclusivity before they invest; and institutional investors are adding robust screening processes and companies that fall short of ESG requirements being removed from their investment universe. So if the company is taking steps to improve ESG, make sure you show this on your website.
28% of companies in the NYSE 100 communicate their sustainability strategy, but only 18% quantify it. This low benchmark presents a good opportunity to get ahead of competitors with ESG messaging. Look at Unilever as an example – they have been global leaders in ESG and sustainability messaging for years – the first thing you see on their global website is “How we’re using technology to help end deforestation”.
If you’re at the start of your ESG journey then this could seem a long way off. To get started:
- Do a CSR (corporate social responsibility) report.
- Give a link to the report on the website, but also make sure that key information is readily available on the website, without having to click the link and download and read the full report.
- It is also helpful to have a materiality assessment available online.
- The CSR and materiality assessments will maximize your ability to communicate CSR and ESG themes to investors and analysts.
- Publish your policies on diversity and inclusion on your website.
- Make sure that your content is helpful for investors and can be easily consumed.
- 17% of companies publish research online, and 43% provide whitepapers and thought leadership from senior management, e.g. BP posts thought leadership from key executives.
- Consider publishing external reports on your company, on your website.
Beyond the website:
“To build trust, IROs need to expand their focus past the balance sheet to the fundamentals that connect with, and influence audiences. And it starts online.”
- Think about what people see when they search for your brand. Is it bad press? If so, they may never make it to your website.
- Own the FAQ section in Google.
- Social media – increasingly important. People might just go to the social media channel to find out about your company. Think about how you are engaging with your employees and investors.
77% of companies utilize Twitter, 73% use LinkedIn and only 55% use Instagram, despite its growth.
Target your audience – 41% of companies have increased paid media spend in the last 2 years, yet only 38% allocate spend to Facebook, despite its reach.
- If others are paying and you are not, then their message will dominate.
- Whether or not you are targeting individual investors, analysts for institutional investors are influenced by the social media they use in their personal lives.
Finally, it’s important to measure all of the website statistics – which pages or documents are not being viewed? What information are investors seeing and what are they missing? This ensures that you know what areas to work on to deliver your message to investors.
As always, at Miranda IR we are here to help with any website adjustments and draw on the expertise of Miranda ESG and Miranda Digital & Design for specific requirements.
NIRI Webinar: Building Trust with an Effective IR and Corporate Website
5 Strategies to Build Trust in Digital Communications: www.invd.co/buildingtrust