(This blog post is part of the "5 New Ideas for Better Online Engagement with Investors" series. Read the next related blog post on "Reading the minds of Investors - and so what?" here.)
Perhaps investors are institutions, funds, companies, super funds? That's how they show on share registers, right?
But organisations, as such, can't actually make investment decisions. Only the people in those organisations can make decisions.
Investors are, first and foremost, people.
They may be constrained by a particular mandate, but within that, they will all behave like people. A large part of a human's decision making process is logical, so your company results or numbers that fit with their mandate are important. But the rest of their behaviour is emotional.
So, as well as a great set of facts, you need to appeal to the emotions of the people making the decisions. In short, you need to help them to like you. Even the best set of results will not appeal to them if they don't like you.
Investors are, first and foremost, people.
People have filters, prejudices, beliefs, time pressures, failings, all sorts of things that they don't necessarily understand or control. Add to this is the fact that most people are time-poor.
If you have succeeded in grabbing their attention for the first time, probably as a distraction, then you have only a few seconds to make them like you. Even if they know you well, you have only a few seconds to get them to change their mind and consider another investment decision.
Only when they decide they like you will they then allocate the additional time to engage with the particular investment proposition. Otherwise, they are off to the next idea, distraction or task.
Every person has a few favourite sources of information, or touchpoints, that they visit regularly. Many of the touchpoints are online touchpoints - email, websites, social media, online news, videos, webcasts, etc.
Yes, investors are people. The first thing you need to do is to make them like you at whatever touchpoint they choose to use. These touchpoints are mostly online, so engaging with them in the digital world is the best way to go.
Engage with investors online at whatever touchpoint they choose to use.
What can you do to take this into account in your online investor relations?
1. Be easy to find.
Respond well to the most heavily used touchpoint in the world - the Google search bar - by understanding your keywords, utilising them, and maybe with an online advertising profile.
Make sure all your online documents and other materials have links to the touchpoints you want them to visit, such as your website. If people never find you, they'll never get a chance to like you.
2. Make them LIKE you.
When they arrive at any of your touchpoints, present an instant likeable impression to satisfy the emotional need. A favourable impression embodies a range of factors. Appealing images and style, identifiable branding, clear messages, consistent storylines over time, an impression of substance, trust and reliability are a few things to consider.
Make investors like you when they arrive at your touchpoints.
3. Make it fast.
Online touchpoint visitors might form a like or dislike impression in less than a second. Make sure your website loads instantly. Don't expect them to scroll down to form that impression. Impress "above the fold". If they don't like you, they will "bounce" - head off somewhere else. Higher bounce rates might mean less likeability.
4. Give investors what they want, immediately.
By understanding the traffic to your website, you will understand what visitors want to know, not just at your website but at all online touchpoints. Make sure your straplines, key phrases, button names, imagery all reinforce the message that what they want to see is easy to find and friendly or likeable, if only they would click here.
5. Sell the first click.
At any online touchpoint, if you can get through the initial emotional issue, you might get two clicks, but you have to sell them both. You know what they want. You've made it easy for them to find the link, now SELL the first click.
You also know what other things you want to tell them that may not be on their mind. Promote those ideas, and sell those clicks too. We'll talk about selling the second click in another blog post.
Sell the first click at your online touchpoint.
So you've gotten through the emotional barriers. You know that you need to be easy to find and be likeable. That you have to be quick to give investors what they want and to sell the first click. Now what?
The next blog post is to understand a bit more about where the investors are coming from, and where they are on their investor journey. Then we'll discuss the investor journey and consider what to do as a result of understanding that.
Catch you then!
A little help goes a long way
If you need some assistance with your online IR, we’re here for you.
As online investor communications specialists, IRM understands how you can best support investors in their journey. We help around 170 clients with their online investor touchpoints – websites, news, social media, reports and online tools.
Download our white paper on the Investor Journey here. You can also head on to our website for more information.
When you’re ready, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 2 8705 5444 to get started. Speak soon!