Investor Relations Website Design: The Definitive Guide
- The Basics
- Why you need an IR Website
- Minimum Standards
- What is Important to Investors
- Advanced IR Website Strategies
- News Section
- Media Section
- Investor Lead Generation
- Critical Digital IR Tools
- Media Relations
- Investor Relations Strategic Plan
- Social Media and Investor Relations
- Reputation Management
- Investor Communication
- Free IR Website Checklist
Why you need an IR Website
What is Important to Investors
Advanced IR Website Strategies
Perhaps the most important aspect of any company is their latest news releases. The website should be updated immediately upon issuance of the latest press release. Also, press release services should include links in the PR back to the website, or media sources that further explain aspects of the PR.
News continues to be a major driver of market activity, and a focal point for IR representatives. Markets are consistently moved higher and lower on news, and this is of critical importance to investors and investor communications. Make the News section of the website more than just an archive of past press releases, take the opportunity to educate investors on the people and events that influence your market.
Investors have come to expect that they can download an IR package for a company, without the hassle of calling the investor relations contact listed on the website. For this reason, it is critical that every IR website have an easy to access download section, that contains the critical documents.
I generally explain to my clients that they really need to have 4 pieces of IR collateral material, consistently kept up to date and available for download;
- Retail Investor Corporate Presentation
- 1 Page (Front/Back) Corporate Snapshot
- Latest Financials
- CEO Interview
In addition, a collection of the latest, critical news releases in PDF format are another good idea. The download section should be easy to access, with links to it on the Homepage. As a rule, we never have a barrier to entry (name squeeze) to gain access, although we do utilize Pop-ups to suggest volunteering contact information.
Media and Research Coverage
The most important characteristic that any company can use to foster their shareholder base is trust. Providing media and research coverage on the website is an excellent way to reinforce trust.
If your company has had independent research coverage, or the CEO has appeared on TV or radio to speak about the company or industry, make sure to include these media pieces on your website.
Is your investor website mobile compliant? If not, then you are missing out on a huge portion of your potential audience.
Mobile continues to grow each year by leaps and bounds, and it already eclipses desktop traffic by a significant margin. When you consider investor research, that number is further exacerbated.
There is absolutely no reason that in the current digital age for your investor website to not be mobile friendly. If you are currently not mobile friendly, please skip ahead to the Content Management section of this guide.
Investor Lead Generation
Critical Digital IR Tools
Content Management System (CMS)
Content management system is a software platform that enables centralized control of the creation and deployment of all digital content on a website. There are many different solutions in the CMS market, including free, premium and custom options.
One of the most popular CMS platforms available is WordPress, a powerful software application that is very flexible due to the huge community of plugin developers. There are hundreds of investor relations friendly plugins available on the WordPress framework (many for free), and this makes it a logical choice for IR departments.
Other popular CRM solutions include Drupal and Joomla. Both are excellent pieces of software, but they lack the depth of the WordPress development community, making customization more cumbersome. There are also numerous online website builders such as Weebly and WIX that offer excellent platforms and warrant consideration, as some of the customized CMS solutions, especially ones that focus on the IR niche.
CRM & Database Management
One piece of software that I believe every single Investor Relations department should have as a foundational piece, it is either Customer Relations Management, or capable Contact Database.
There are literally thousands of options to select, but our advice here is to focus on a product that is both simple to use and effective. Some examples include Salesforce CRM, Hubspot CRM, Microsoft 365 Dynamics, etc.
For a smaller company or IR department, an effective contact management platform can also be effective, but not something I would recommend.
Marketing Automation & Email Marketing
Keeping in contact with both existing shareholders and prospective investors can be a time consuming and cumbersome task. That I why marketing automation and list management tools have emerged as one of the cornerstones for digital IR solutions.
One of the most popular options in this category is MailChimp, and because it is both cost-effective and easy to implement. While we have used MailChimp in the past, it should be noted that there are better solutions for the investor relations space.
A comprehensive marketing automation platform allows for more comprehensive digital intelligence when delivering content to visitors. MailChimp is a highly limited, more-or-less a scaled-down list management tool that will deliver emails and manage subscribes and unsubscribes.
More comprehensive digital solutions allow for greater list segmentation, and the delivery of specific content to visitors, based upon their online behavior and interests.
Another major focus to keep in mind is an automated list cleaning or purging. A major obstacle to any digital marketer is getting their emails in front of their subscribers.
When subscribers stop opening your latest news release, this is noticed by the major email service providers. As a result, your emails are eventually diverted towards the promotional tabs or spam filters. This can be mitigated or even avoided by being proactive by ‘scrubbing’ lists of inactive subscribers, hence preserving your pristine reputation.
Examples here include Keap (formerly Infusionsoft), or DRIP.
PowerPoint into a video presentation, then we suggest you give Adobe Premiere a try.
Go with Google Analytics and Google Search Console here, no need to reinvent the wheel. Yes, there are more advanced solutions, but there is a ton of data collected by these two tools.
There are some excellent strategies for expanding your existing IR content simply by looking at your Search Console data. Search queries can often spell out the exact questions your audience is asking.
We cannot stress the Importance of these two tools enough, they are free and should be one of the first tools that you plug into your investor website.
Another thing to keep in mind is heat maps. There measure where your visitors are clicking, or even looking on your webpage.
Heat map data is critical at identifying both what is working and what is not working. Premium solutions here are CrazyEgg, Mouseflow, and Lucky Orange.
Social Media Management Tools
Investor Relations Strategic Plan
Social Media and Investor Relations
Free IR Website Checklist