3 benefits of securing your corporate website

Secure website

“Not secure.”

Not_secure

Seen that message next to a web address? (Hopefully, not on your website.)

Google displays that label on sites that don’t use SSL certificates (or Secure Sockets Layer certificates).

This digital certificate delivers secure, encrypted communications between your website and any browser used by your audience.

It guards against hackers and identity thieves. Because it enables information to become readable only to the server your website is sending it to.

This means privacy and data integrity for your site and your audience’s personal information. It ensures other sensitive information won’t be compromised. Like passwords or credit card numbers.

But more than protecting your website, there are 3 other advantages of securing your site with an SSL certificate. Read on to uncover these additional benefits:

1. Boosts search ranking for your website

Google now considers using SSL certificates as a ranking factor in search results. This means your SSL certificate will help boost your site to list higher in search. Giving you an edge over your competitor’s website.

2. Establishes trust between your website and your audience

By showing a “Secure” signal, your clients and investors will consider your site as a trusted one. They’ll have a sense of security as they browse your web pages. They won’t worry about signing up in forms, making a purchase or engaging in other activities there.

Secure

3. Determines verification of your website

Certificate authorities only issue SSL certificates to verified companies that have gone through several identity checks. So your certificate validates your domain ownership as well as business registration.

 

To put it plainly

An SSL certificate provides your website search visibility. It establishes trust with your audience as they determine the verification of your site. All these benefits come with the use of an SSL certificate to secure your web pages.

 

Perhaps we can help

For IRM clients, we can install the SSL certificate you’ve purchased for your website. Or we can buy a certificate on your behalf and manage the renewal for  you.

Chat with one of our account managers today on +61 2 8705 5444 or clientrelations@irmau.com for more details.

You can also visit our website here for further info.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

You can share this blog post too! Just use the share buttons below or on the left-side of the page.

 

How to relate to investors through your website

(This blog post is part of a series discussing 10 Success Factors for Online Investor Relations. Read the previous related post — “How to educate investors about your company” — here.)

How to Relate to Investors

Straight from the horse’s mouth.

Nothing beats information directly from your company.

Communication with shareholders is vital to the success and growth of your organisation. It’s not just to meet an obligation under the ASX-listing rules.

In fact, investors recognise your website as the most valuable source of company news or information. As you communicate effectively and honestly, strong and transparent relationships are forged with them.

But relating with your stakeholders is not just limited to your site. You can use other mediums to supplement your website and enhance connections with your investment community. Following are some ideas you can apply to expand your reach.

1. Adopt a social media strategy

A clear social media plan will help your audience relate to you other than through your site.

Investors consider Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook to be were very valuable platforms. Why not use these networks to direct them to your website? Just make sure your tweets and posts have links that lead them to your web pages.

Not yet active on social networks? Nowadays, ASX-listed companies can no longer hide in digital space because of $cashtags on Twitter. At least occasionally check what others are saying about you. (You can Google your $cashtag or company name for starters.)

Consider this. If more Australian businesses are now into social media, these platforms must be doing well in catching the attention of stakeholders.

2. Publish your social media icons

Make sure your website and email signatures have social media icons that link to your accounts or company pages. Also add these icons in soft copies of your reports and letterheads, including ASX announcements. Don’t forget to check that the links are correct and not broken.

3. Take advantage of media coverage

Aside from your site, investors regard business media as a significant source of information. They rely heavily on this medium when making investment decisions.

That’s why it’s good to have a media coverage page on your website. Featuring what the media is saying about you or your industry adds credibility to your site. Remember to monitor this page so that it’s up to date.

 

Let’s recap

Relating with investors through your website can be strengthened with a good social media strategy. Other ways of enhancing this connection is by promoting your social media icons and adding a media coverage page on your site.

 

Get help

IRM can assist with a full website review to ensure your site strongly and relevantly relates with investors.

We’ve been helping ASX-listed companies with their online investor relations strategies since 2002. See a list of our clients through this link. Or check out our website here.

If you prefer to chat with one of our account managers, please call +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Use the share buttons below or on the left side of the page to forward this blog post to a friend.

 

Website design trends: bold and bright take centre stage

Website design trends

2018 is emerging as one of the most adventurous years in web design.

Just look around the Internet! See how vibrant colours and bold typefaces are stealing the web limelight.

To be sure, your website is the anchor of your company’s online presence. It’s an invaluable resource. Always available to educate your audience and interact with them.

But it isn’t a static medium that simply presents data. It allows your information to move. Enabling your audience to engage with you. Ultimately making an impact on them.

With this capability, your site’s design should be in line with what is current. Agree?

It should capture your audience’s attention span in just 5 seconds. It should communicate creatively, as it works intuitively and efficiently.

If you’re launching a new website or considering a revamp of your existing one, have a think through these present trends. These pointers are not just a matter of visual gratification. They’re sure to provide smooth functionality as well.

1. Striking visuals

We’re talking about bright and crisp colours. Not only for newer sites that want to attract (and keep) audience’s attention. But also for those that want to convey a strong and confident brand personality. It’s a step up from the traditional muted palettes.

These lively colour schemes go with big typography and impactful headers. Showing lots of personality for aesthetic effect and emphasis. Giving a dramatic impression but still minimalist and clean. These will keep your audience glued to your website.

Stunning real-life images are now preferred over generic stock photos too. Authentic photographs would express your company’s personality and tone. With a focus on being real and engaging.

Atlas
Atlas Iron features a big typeface and vivid images on its website.

2. Data illustrations

Websites are adopting user-friendly icons, infographics and animated graphics for high impact visual storytelling. These would draw your audience’s attention and make your site less static, more dynamic.

At a glance, these illustrations would effectively communicate and simplify complicated information. They’d put a dash of fun into your website. Presenting your company or brand as more approachable to your audience.

3. Video content

Videos would allow your audience to consume more content. Faster. To be honest , your audience would prefer to watch them over reading text.

Videos would also provide a human touch into your site’s static content. They’d enrich it with a great website experience around your brand. So it would make sense to integrate video content throughout your web pages. (Just like the site of Locality Planning Energy, or LPE, on the first image.)

Strandline
Strandline uses icons and real-life photographs on its mobile-friendly site.

4. Mobile optimisation

With most people using smartphones, it’s no wonder mobile browsing has exceeded desktop. Even investors read news, research companies and look at investor-related content on their phones throughout the day.

That’s why your website should be readily viewed on phones or tablets. Your web pages should deliver a great user experience in whatever screen size or orientation your audience prefers.

 

Wrapping up

Want to be relevant to your audience and engage with them effectively? Seriously consider these useful trends for 2018. Remember to utilise striking visuals and data illustrations in your site. And don’t forget to include video content and mobile optimisation for a great website experience.

 

A little help goes a long way

IRM is happy to work with you, using these current trends to create a new site or refresh your existing one.

As Australia’s leading investor website company, IRM understands there are different ways to improve your online presence. You may want a small refresh, a redesign, a technology transplant or a complete overhaul.

It’s easier and quicker than you think, and probably costs less than you think. And with IRM HQi technology, next time this happens will be further away and easier to do, giving lower long-term costs.

A number of our 170 clients have recently launched sites, while others revamped their previous ones. See some examples of our work in this page.

Chat with one of our account managers today on +61 2 8705 5444 or clientrelations@irmau.com for more details.

You can also visit our website here for further info.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

You can share this blog post too! Just use the buttons below or on the left-side of the page.

 

How to educate investors about your company

(This blog post is part of a series discussing 10 Success Factors for Online Investor Relations. Read the previous related post — “How to create a mobile-friendly website for investors” — here.)

Educate

How big is your industry?

How will you generate profit?

What makes your company a better investment compared to your competitors?

These are just some questions you’ll face as potential investors look into your company.

Investors want to be part of a successful company that gives a return. That’s why they take time to do research first.

And your responses to their questions will ascertain whether you’ll get the capital you need. Or if you’ll walk away empty-handed.

No worries! YOU are the expert on your company and your industry. All you need to do is understand the educational needs of your investors and support them.

As they choose to learn more about you, progression rates in their investor journey will improve. And the better the progression rates, the more you’ll eventually lead them to the final stage – becoming a committed shareholder.

Here are 3 suggestions for educating investors through your online investor relations:

1. Position your company in its industry

Investors love to classify companies in different ways. So you want to make certain your website provides the information they need to get your classification right.

Stakeholders will also be looking at peers in the same industry. It’s key to explain where you fit in the big picture. It ensures how you differentiate yourself from your peers.

2. Deliver industry information and news

Give educational materials that describe your industry in your site. Such as uses of products and services, market assessments, and the like. Include your company’s role in the industry too.

Consider geographical opportunities to educate. This means offering information on your projects’ locations. Particularly places that are not familiar to your audience.

3. Convey non-company news

Are there current industry or geographical news that are relevant to your company? Include links to third-party news or to your own blog in your website. This will help your investors have an overall view of your company and industry.

 

In a nutshell

Educating investors about your company is essential in the success of your online investor relations. Remember to position your company in its industry. And don’t forget to deliver industry information as well as non-company news. The better investors understand your business, the more confident they’ll feel about their prospective investment.

 

Open to some suggestions?

IRM can assist with a full website review to ensure your site runs smoothly on mobile and desktop devices.

We’ve been helping ASX-listed companies with their online investor relations strategies since 2002. See a list of our clients through this link. Or check out our website here.

If you prefer to chat with one of our account managers, please call +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Know someone who’d be interested in this blog post? Just use the share buttons below or on the left side of the page to send it.

 

10 key factors for successful online investor relations

Success Factors

Ever wondered what investors want online?

They are not just looking for your company’s financial information.

They want details on your business and your investment proposition. They want to know the latest happenings via your company news.

As investors progress in their journey to become shareholders, they will seek facts and impressions from your organisation through online touchpoints. These touchpoints are forms of communication that enable stakeholders to interact with your company.

That’s why your online communications strategy needs to perform well to maximise the progression rates of investors through the stages of their journey.

And how would you know your online IR strategy is effective? When it delivers the messages in the medium investors want, using the touchpoints they choose. If their needs are not met at that moment, they may not move forward or may just move away.

With these 10 success factors, you can be there for them and provide the signpost for the next stage. Here’s a brief run-through of the best practice principles:

1. Attract – Draw the right investor traffic to your touchpoints, such as your website, email alerts, annual reports.

2. Appeal – Use design, imagery and style to appeal to investors early in their journey.

3. Navigate – Deliver a seamless navigation to give investors a smooth access to your web pages.

4. Quality – Provide content that’s great quality, complete and up-to-date.

5. Mobile – Look great on every phone or tablet, landscape or portrait. And convey information quickly.

6. Educate – Understand the educational needs of visitors and take them further than they expect.

7. Relate – Blog, tweet, share, like and post. Encourage investors to respond and engage with you.

8. Engage – Keep investors informed as things change. Provide immediate updates and feedback.

9. Measure – Measure, improve and measure again to evaluate and adjust your strategy.

10. Maintain – Keep the touchpoint information always current, engaging and interesting.

 

Click on each of the factors for additional details on the principles. For a fuller discussion, read more about the success factors through this link. Or download our white paper here.

 

In conclusion

The success factors for online IR is crucial in the journey investors take in making investment decisions about your company. Making the most out of these best practice principles will enable you to be present for them at each stage. So you can deliver the facts and impressions they need, at the time they choose, using the touchpoints they want.

 

If you ever need some assistance

Since 2002, IRM has helped hundreds of ASX-listed companies like you with their online investor communications. As online investor communications specialists, we understand the success factors in best assisting investors to make their journey to a favourable investment decision.

Chat with us on +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com. You can also visit www.irmau.com for more information.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

You can also share this blog post through the buttons below or on the left side of the page. Thanks!

 

When is it time for a new investor website?

Slow website
A slow website is just one of the telltale signs that your site needs a refresh.

 

Let’s be honest.

You look at your website and you get disappointed.

It looks old and out of date. It’s slow and unresponsive. It doesn’t represent your growing business at all. And it would give investors the wrong impression, wouldn’t it?

Factors that may affect your site’s lifespan are related to changes in your business. Other defining elements may be related to modifications to the Web and in your audience’s expectations.

There’s actually no definite time frame for a website’s shelf life. Some experts say a site is good for 2-5 years. Others say upgrades are necessary when your website exceeds its third year.

However, time shouldn’t be the only reason for your site’s renovation. Your decision for a redesign should depend more on how your audience engages with your website.

And with resurgent investor interest, why not take advantage of giving your site a new fresh look? These 4 red flags could help you see if it’s time for a new investor website for your business.

 

Red flag #1: It’s been too long since you’ve restyled your site’s design.

When was the last time you gave your site a makeover? If you can’t even remember when, then a revamp is most likely due. Especially if you haven’t even upgraded after you launched the website.

Now, go through your webpages. How do they look? Contemporary? Old-fashioned? Do they still attract and appeal to all investors? Really?

Remember, an objective review of your website is an imperative step towards improving it.

 

Red flag #2: Your business has rebranded.

If your company has adopted a new name, then it must be reflected in your website, right? Your site needs to be consistent. How else would people know that the new name and logo belongs to the same company they’ve been working with.

Or maybe you’ve kept your brand but given it a new spin as seen in your latest annual reports or presentations. You can use those great design concepts on your website to make it more progressive.

 

Red flag #3: Your site is just slow and hard to maintain.

It goes without saying that design and technology advances at top speed nowadays. So it’s but natural for your audience to expect that same proficiency from your website.

If your site takes ages to load, that’s a turn off for your audience. If you can’t even update it with new content, you’re heading the opposite direction from giving your audience a great experience on your website.

A website migration might be your best recourse if technology is the issue. You’ll need the latest system to help your site work fast. The kind of tools that allow you to easily maintain your website as well.

This capability should enable your site to run smoothly on both desktop and mobile devices. So make sure your website not only looks appealing. It should be super mobile friendly too.

 

Red flag #4: You need investor tools and information to refresh your online investor presence.

Even well-designed websites need a face lift once every few years. Or at least an evaluation on certain periods because of technology changes and audience engagement.

Perhaps you need an interactive timeline or map to showcase your projects or operations. Maybe your share prices and charts need to be prominently displayed on your home page. Or you want to quickly send out ASX Announcements to investors simultaneously with posting them on your site.

These are just some ideas on how you can continue to enhance your investor communications through your website. After all, there’s always room for growth in a dynamic organisation like yours.

Audience engagement
Audience engagement is one of the best indicators of your website’s lifespan.

 

Some help on rebuilding your website

Each company is unique. And while these red flags may help you consider a website restructuring, there may be other factors that could influence your decision.

IRM is happy to work with you to review your current site. We can assist you on improving your webpages to help achieve your business goals.

As Australia’s leading investor website company, we understand there are different ways to improve your online presence. You may want a small refresh, a redesign, a technology transplant or a total overhaul. We’re well equipped to complete all of these. With your existing site or a new one.

It’s easier and quicker than you think, and probably costs less than you think. And with IRM HQi technology, a redesign would be further away and easier to do, giving lower long-term costs.

A number of our 170 clients have recently launched new websites. See some examples of our work here.

If you’d like to talk with one of our account managers, please call on +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com.

For more information, please visit our website through this link.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Would you know someone who’d be interested in this blog post? Feel free to share it through the buttons below or on the left-side of the page.

 

Introducing the Newsroom App – Manage your investor communications while on the go

Newsroom App

You won’t be needing a desktop for this.

Nope. Not even a laptop.

Because you can now send investors ASX announcements or company news from your phone or tablet through the IRM Newsroom App.

Newsroom App enables you to instantly tap into Newsroom from your mobile devices. Perfect for staying connected with investors even when you’re on the move.

It’s a much quicker alternative than mobile web browsing for Newsroom. Since it only takes a second to launch this app. No need to launch a web browser, type in a URL and wait for the site to load.

Once you’ve accessed your Newsroom account, you’ll be able to update your website with latest news for stakeholders. You can even transmit emails to your subscribers and tweet or post in LinkedIn with the click of a button.

You’ll have control over which messages are relayed in the channels you choose – website, email or social media. You can decide by type of news or an individual news item.

This application is free with the Newsroom Premium plans under the Newsroom Corporate or Enterprise Plan. The plans’ features include:

  • Email Alerts service, such as on-site registration, uploading distribution lists and more
  • Use of any number of separate web pages for the website, automatically updated by Newsroom Distribution channels
  • Provision of custom mailshots, email subscriber groups, auto publishing on social media accounts
  • Integration with WordPress blogs as well as third-party news sources, such as Boardroom Media, Proactive Investors, ABN Newswire and FNN

Newsroom App is available on both iOS and Android. For iOS, just go to the App Store on your mobile and search for “IRM Newsroom.” You can also use this link to download the app. For Android, look for “IRM Newsroom” in the Play Store or click here to download it.

 

If you’re new to Newsroom, you can get a free trial through this page.

You can also click here to check out our ASX-listed clients using Newsroom.

If you wish to discuss how to get the Newsroom App, our account managers would love to hear from you. Call us on +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com.

Please visit our website through this link for more details.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Feel free to share this blog post through the buttons below or on the left-side of the page too.

 

How to create a mobile-friendly website for investors

(This blog post is part of a series discussing 10 Success Factors for Online Investor Relations. Read the previous related post — “How to Have Quality Website Content for Investors” — here.)

Mobile

Ever opened a website on your smartphone and all you saw were jumbled words?

Maybe the images were not aligned, and everything just looked distorted.

That’s what happens when a site isn’t mobile-friendly.

So, if your website looks great on desktop but it’s not a responsive one, mobile users would have problems viewing it. Because it would appear askew on their phones and tablets.

Not an ideal scenario for your investor audience, wouldn’t you agree?

Optimizing your website for mobile isn’t just an option or a trend in this digital age. As mobile devices are more popular than ever before, so it’s your job to make sure your site can be accessed through these gadgets.

Here are 3 simple steps to provide a mobile-friendly website experience for your investors:

1. Make the main website fully responsive.

Investors use mobile devices to get information quickly and easily. That’s why your web pages should be readily viewed on phones or tablets. Your pages should deliver a great user experience in whatever screen size or orientation your audience prefers.

This level of functionality is a standard that investors expect when browsing on their gadgets. When your website promptly responds on mobile, it will look and function well no matter what device they use.

2. Make sure mobile menus are friendly.

Mobile devices usually don’t respond well to common navigation methods for websites. That’s why it’s important to present specific menu methods that go well with phones or tablets.

Menu methods for portrait and landscape modes on gadgets should be considered as well to better suit different form factors.

3. Provide all your information on mobile.

Use a responsive design on your full website to offer content through any device. With this setup, you won’t need separate mobile sites that are subsets of your full website. Less work, less cost for you too.

This would also implement a single method of updating your site’s content for both mobile and desktop. It would make your site consistent. Facilitating a seamless user experience on any gadget.

 

Final thoughts

In conclusion, your website should be fully responsive to give investors a great user-experience, whether on desktop or mobile. Your menus should be user-friendly and able to furnish all information on mobile format.

With your mobile-friendly website, investors will take note that your company is contemporary and legit. They will be encouraged to continue discovering your site to learn more about your business. Perhaps for a potential investment in its direction.

 

If you ever need some help

IRM can assist with a full website review to ensure your site runs smoothly on mobile and desktop devices.

We’ve been helping ASX-listed companies with their online investor relations strategies since 2002. See a list of our clients here. Or check out our website through this link.

If you prefer to chat with one of our account managers, please call +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Perhaps you also know someone who’d be interested in this blog post? Just use the share buttons below or on the left side of the page to forward it.

 

3 strategic features for your share prices and charts

Share price
As seen on Tesserent’s website, displaying your latest share price on your home page makes it handy for investors to refer to.

 

Can you guess one of the most frequently visited pages on a corporate website?

It’s the share prices and charts page.

Website visit statistics from hundreds of companies show that this page is among the top 5 frequently visited pages.

Yes, investors want to see your company’s share price. They enjoy a chart showing your recent performance too.

After all, your share price is often considered as an indicator of your company’s health. It reflects investor perception of your capacity to generate profits.

As your share price increases, so does the confidence on your company’s outlook. It boosts your market value as well.

And having a low share price doesn’t mean you have to hide this information from stakeholders. A low share price might just represent a buying opportunity for some investors.

So, why not put your share price data and charts in key places on your website. It will make it easy for your investors to weigh in on your business.

Following are some advantageous features on your share prices and charts to make the most of the info you deliver:

1. The latest data

Interested investors may not be sure buying your company’s stock would be a good move. So, convince them with your up-to-the-minute figures.

Give your investors in depth price data with buy/sell depth, last sale, volume, peer information, indices and maybe even historical information.

Would also be great if you could highlight dates on which the ASX Announcements were made on your share prices.

2. User-friendly functions on your charts

Investors appreciate interactive functions that enhance their use of your share price charts. Give them an option to select the date and time range over your main chart. Or a section to add share price data from other tickers to compare with yours.

Allow your graph information to be downloadable in CSV or Excel. Or offer a calculator where they can compute the value of their shares at today’s price or at historical price points.

3. Mobile accessibility

Chances are your investors are never far from a mobile phone or tablet. Make sure your share prices and charts are quickly available within your mobile-friendly website.

It won’t matter how updated your share prices are or how smooth your charts function if your website won’t work on both desktop and mobile devices.

Share price chart
REA Group’s website presents the company’s share prices and charts showcasing its recent performance.

 

So…

Want your share prices and charts to stand out? You’ll need to provide investors the latest data, user-friendly functions as well as mobile accessibility. With these features, you’re setting the stage for investors’ favourable decision towards your company.

 

A little help on your share prices and charts?

With IRM, it’s now really easy to implement share prices and charts on your website. Whether you have a website built on our HQi content management system or on another platform. Our share prices and charts are customisable and seamlessly integrated into your website.

A lot of our 170 clients highlight their share prices and charts on their sites. Check out some examples of our work through this link.

If you’d like to discuss options or request a quote, our account managers would be happy to assist you. Please call on +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com.

Feel free to visit our website here for more details.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Would you know someone who’d be interested in this blog post? Please share it through the buttons below or on the left-side of the page.

 

Understanding the investor journey

understanding the investor journey

From not having a clue about your company to becoming one of your committed long-term shareholders who tells others about you.

That’s how an ideal investor journey looks like when making investment decisions regarding your company.

But it’s not such an easy process. There are several stages investors move through in their journey. Stages where they learn and make evaluations as they progress along the way.

That’s why getting a grasp of this journey investors take is important. After all, how would you be able to relate with investors when you don’t know the process they go through?

Here are 3 pointers to better understand this journey investors engage in.

1. Each investor journey is personal.  

No two investors will take exactly the same journey. Each will be different.

Some may take the freeway and advance quickly through the stages.

Others may wander the back roads and dilly-dally. Still others will decide not to continue or get lost.

So, the more investors you can attract in the initial stage, the better the progression rates between stages. And the better the progression rates, the more you’ll eventually lead them to the final stage – becoming a committed shareholder.

2. Investors will use touchpoints throughout their journey.

Touchpoints are forms of communication that enable investors to interact with your company. Investors will choose the touchpoints they want to use – offline or online. They’ll certainly decide when they want to access it too.

Online touchpoints are more commonly used nowadays. These include your company’s investor website, email alerts and third-party sources, like the ASX or broker websites. Social media is also becoming more widely used for investor purposes.

You’ll need to be effective at all your online touchpoints to improve investors’ progression rates. Whether these touchpoints are accessed through desktop or mobile devices.

3. Investors’ decisions are based on a mix of information and impressions.

You read that right. Facts and emotions, both.

Investors will research all the latest about your company to help them decide if they should step up to the next stage of their journey. They will expect you to be there at the time they’re ready. To deliver the facts and impressions they want.

It’s possible to meet this need. Just make your online communication strategy relate to them at each stage. Use messages, furnish data and be available at their chosen touchpoints, such as your website or annual report.

Because if their specific needs are not met at each stage, they may not move forward. Or they may just move away.

The long and short of it

In summary, the investor journey is personal for each individual. Investors will use touchpoints as they move through their journey. And their investment decisions will be based on both information and impressions.

It’s essential to know where and when investors might use certain touchpoints. And what they want to know and feel at each stage of their journey. So that you can be there for them and provide directions for the next stage.

If you need a helping hand…

Click the blue links for further discussions about “The Investor Journey” and “Touchpoints” used by investors. You may also want to read the “Success Factors” for best online investor communication here. Or download a full white paper on each of the topics on this page.

Should you need more assistance, please feel free to reach us. As online investor communications specialists, IRM understands the success factors in best assisting investors to make their journey to a favourable investment decision.

IRM helps with online investor touchpoints – websites, news, social media, reports and online tools – for around 170 current clients. Chat with us on +61 2 8705 5444 or clientrelations@irmau.com about your questions. You can also visit www.irmau.com for more details.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Know someone who’d be interested in this blog post? Please share it through the buttons below or on the left side of the page. Thanks!

 

How to Have Quality Website Content for Investors

(This blog post is part of a series discussing 10 Success Factors for Online Investor Relations. Read the previous related post — “How to Improve Your Website Navigation for Investors” — here.)

Quality content is important
Quality content will help stakeholders stay informed as they make decisions about your company.

 

Here’s the truth.

Your website is nothing without quality content.

You can have awesome images, great videos and a responsive design. But if your investor audience can’t find the info they want from your website, what’s the point?

Content is king. As it’s often been said.

Wait. Make that, QUALITY content is king.

Quality content is as important – if not more important – than an impressive website layout or configuration. It essentially defines your website’s success. While other elements provide support to it.

Quality content is your way of maintaining communications with stakeholders while you’re busy expanding your business. It’s what will help them stay informed as they make decisions about your company.

Investors want to see that blog post about your new project or exploration site. Or the latest copy of your annual report.

They want to monitor how your share price is fairing in the market. They want to learn from your CEO’s video interview about your company’s plans for the coming year.

Here are 3 ideas to make sure you have quality content:

1. Be up-to-date

Make sure your site is always current. If you stop updating your website after its launch, your audience will lose interest. Any one piece of out-of-date information creates doubt about everything else on your site.

You’ll also fall in search engine rankings if you don’t have updated content. This means your audience won’t find you when they Google your company, or anything related to your business.

A simple way to keep updated is to immediately post your ASX Announcements in your website. This way you’re hitting two birds with one stone. Using compliance measures to instantly relay news.

Show your headline news on your home page so investors can easily find your latest messages. Create fresh content, like blog posts or videos on your operations. This will prove you’re actively pursuing your goals. It will showcase your business expertise too.

2. Be authoritative

You are the authority on your business and your industry. So, share your industry knowledge, experience and expertise.

If you make your site rich with quality content, you’ll become an authority in your niche. And your audience would want to learn from you.

Just make sure your content is easy to understand. Skip the jargons and highfalutin terminologies. Keep it simple and relatable.

3. Be comprehensive

Make sure all key information about your company is available on your website. You wouldn’t want investors to be wondering where to find specific information and going back to a Google search.

A way to do this is to archive your historical ASX announcements so they can be easily found. You can even provide a download option for certain data. This enables your messages or reports to be accessed offline or shared with other interested parties.

Be up-to-date with your info
Being up-to-date with your website info is just one of the ways you can provide quality content.

 

Conclusion

Quality content means being up-to-date with information within your website. It also means being authoritative and comprehensive in terms of the data you provide there. Once you’ve got those covered, you’re on your way to stronger communications efforts with your audience.

What now

Ever considered a full website review? Just to make sure all areas in your site are running smoothly.

If you’d like some assistance, just let us know how we can give you a hand.

IRM has been helping ASX-listed companies with their online investor relations strategies since 2002. Feel free to browse through our client list here.

You can also check out our website through this link.

If you’d rather chat with one of our account managers, please call +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com. Let’s talk soon!

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Perhaps you also know someone who’d be interested in this blog post? Just use the share buttons below or on the left side of the page to forward it.

 

3 Easy Ways to Promote Your Social Media Accounts

It’s all about engaging your investor audience with valuable content. You probably already know this or have heard it a few times before.

That’s why you’ve made your debut into social media, just like other socially savvy businesses. You’ve started your company’s Twitter account or LinkedIn page. Maybe even Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Social media channels
Promoting your social media channels can help expand your investor audience.

 

Whatever platforms you’ve selected, you’ve determined they’re the right ones to best communicate with your investor community.

You understand being on social media can boost your investor relations. You see how it can amplify your efforts to reach a wider audience and grow your business.

You value how social media can push your brand as well as your products and services. You recognise how it can attract new investors and build stronger relationships with existing ones.

Now, how to promote your social media accounts so that investors know you are active on these channels? How to have stakeholders follow you so you can keep them connected and informed?

In this article, you’ll discover 3 simple ways to promote your social media accounts to your following.

1. Add your social media icons to your home page.

Place your social media buttons in the header or footer of your website. Those areas will surely be seen by your audience. And they’ll enable your social media icons to stand out so they’re quickly accessible.

Once readers are led to your profiles, following your accounts will be a cinch. They won’t have to search for your official social media channels because the links have taken them there.

Plus, linking your website and social media platforms may increase traffic to your site. It can help to generate brand exposure and awareness of your business.

2. Include links to your social media accounts in your email alerts.

When you send emails to your subscribers, don’t forget to put links to your social media profiles or build these into all email templates that you use. These will direct subscribers to your company pages or accounts where they’ll find more info about your business.

Use your tweets or posts to offer facts and figures usually given in other formats, such as formal reporting and press releases. As your audience follows your accounts, they’ll be able to interact with you, ask questions and engage in your business.

3. Set links of your social media profiles in your other accounts.

Having different social media platforms to serve varying purposes is brilliant! Just make sure your followers will be able to identify all your accounts. This makes your brand cohesive and strengthens its visibility.

For instance, if you have a YouTube account, you can insert links to your other social media channels in your descriptions. See our example below. As mentioned in the previous step, this will allow your audience access to more details about your business.

IRM social media accounts

That’s a wrap

Social media can enlarge your audience reach. And it can potentially help investors shape their investment decisions on your company. A way to promote your profiles is by adding your social media icons to your home page. It would also be advantageous to include links of your accounts in your email alerts and in your other social media platforms.

Next stop

Have you just ventured into social media and still making your way around it? We can help.

IRM can provide you with ideas on basic digital media strategies. And we can facilitate setting up your social media accounts and company pages.

We also have tools to instantly send news to your email subscribers and via social media. IRM Newsroom makes it easy for ASX-listed companies to have a basic presence on Twitter around their ASX Announcements and other news. Click here to get a free trial.

Prefer to chat? Please call us at +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com. You can also visit www.irmau.com for more details.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Perhaps you also know someone who’d be interested in this blog post? You can share this blog post through the buttons below.

Effective Online Presence for Your Business

Your website gives information about your company, like your products and services, corporate news and contact details, right?

But what if your site can upgrade to an effective investor relations tool too? One that would provide you a whole online investor presence.

Your online investor presence would focus on stakeholders and attract them to your website. This would then encourage them to move to the next steps. To potentially become a committed shareholder.

Website for investor relations
Your website can upgrade to an effective investor relations tool.

 

At IRM, we believe there are 5 steps to lead with a great online presence for investors. Here’s a brief run through on these essential components.

1. Create a good impression with your investor website.

You should be able to do this just at a glance. We’re talking about creative design, rich content and a solid content management system to support your site. These elements need to work together to deliver the goods.

2. Provide online tools for investors.

News is important to investors. Tools that instantly send news to stakeholders are some of the great online tools that can help them be informed when making decisions. You need to be able to relay information when it happens and to wherever they are online. Fast.

3. Deliver well-designed and effective annual reports and corporate collateral

Did you know annual reports are one of the main sources investors use to research about a company? And these reports need to be in engaging formats. They should be easy to browse, have search capabilities, and be downloadable. Boring PDF files just don’t cut it anymore.

4. Look good on all devices.

More and more investors are on mobile devices for quick access to information. That’s why your website should not only look good. It’s also expected to work well on both desktop or mobile platforms.

5. Build a presence on social media

Australian companies are now using social media to reach investors and other stakeholders, according to a recent study. Companies are catching the attention of stakeholders through Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms in this digital space. And as investors are engaged, companies are able to direct them to making positive investment decisions.

Online presence for investors
These 5 steps will help you lead with a great online presence for investors.

 

Why not take a minute to explore these other related ideas on the IRM website? Just click the links below to learn more:

The Investor Journey

Touchpoints used by investors

Success Factors for best online investor communication

 

Since 2002, we’ve been helping ASX listed companies better communicate with investors online. We can help you the whole way through the investor journey – from idea generation through to engagement. You’d be in great company, with our 170 current IRM clients.

Perhaps you’d like to chat with us today? Call us on +61 2 8705 5444 (Sydney) or email clientrelations@irmau.com.

You can also visit www.irmau.com for more details.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Maybe you also know someone who’d be interested in this blog post? You can share this blog post through the buttons below.

How to Improve Your Website Navigation for Investors

(This blog post is part of a series discussing 10 Success Factors for Online Investor Relations. Read the previous related post — “How to Appeal to Investors through Your Website” — here.)

uros-jovicic-320023
Your website navigation is like the road map of your investor audience to various sections in your site.

 

Hard to imagine life without handy GPS navigation devices. Don’t you agree?

Google Maps. Car GPS screens. They’re just some tools that make things easier when you’re getting around a new place. They save time. And enable you to reach your destination as quickly as possible.

It’s the same principle with websites. The navigation system within your site is like the road map of your investor audience to various sections in your webpage. It helps them track down information they need without much effort.

That’s why it’s important that your navigation is well organized and easy-to-follow. This will encourage your stakeholders to quickly reach vital segments in your site, like your Investor Centre or Annual Reports page.

Remember, the two-click rule applies in navigation. After your audience makes the first click, you’re not entitled to the next one. You have to sell the second click. (Btw, a “scroll down” is considered a click too.) So be sure you have clear messages in your site to sell the next click.

And as investors smoothly engage in your pages, their overall user-experience will be enhanced. They’ll linger to discover further details regarding your business. Eventually, this would lead them to make a decision on your company.

Check out these 3 areas where you can improve on your website navigation:

1. Organise your main navigation bar

Your main navigation bar contains all the links to the different pages in your site. It’s ideal to have this on the top or left side of your website. This way investors can easily locate it and use it for exploring your site.

Have clear categories in your main navigation bar for stakeholders to quickly obtain facts and figures. Avoid cluttering it, especially when you have many sections and pages.

It’s wise to include a navigation bar on your home page, on every internal page as well as in your sub-pages. For sub-pages, you can simply expand the navigation when moused over.

2. Provide internal page navigation

You wouldn’t want your audience to get lost within your website. It’s best to add full navigation in every internal page through a left-hand navigation column.

A right-hand navigation is not as easy to notice. And when investors won’t find things in your site, they usually won’t stay long. So keep it simple and obvious. This way they won’t have to click as much before they pick up the info they need.

3. Utilise promo boxes

Most investors don’t usually read everything on websites. They mostly scan the pages. That’s why you need to present data in an engaging format.

One way to do this is through promotional boxes with icons or images that catch investors’ attention. These boxes will have links that lead to the relevant messages you want to highlight. Like your latest AGM video, share price charts or email subscription.

Put these promo boxes on your home page, the investor welcome page and other key sections they frequently visit.

kaboompics_Woman working on a computer
As investors smoothly engage in your pages, they’ll linger to discover further details about your company.

 

In conclusion, there’s no point in having a corporate website if your investors will have a hard time searching for information they need there. Strengthen your navigation to ensure they effortlessly access essential pages. You can do this by properly equipping your site with a main navigation bar, internal page navigation and promo boxes. As investors linger in your site, they’re more likely to stay engaged and on board.

Next step

Maybe a full website review would be timely for you? We can help you check for any gaps or areas that need reinforcement in your site.

We’ve been assisting ASX-listed companies with their online investor relations strategies since 2002. You can click here if you want to check out our clients.

Feel free to also visit our IRM website through this link.

If you’d like to chat with one of our account managers, please call +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Was this article helpful? Click the Subscribe icon below to receive more thoughts, tips and tricks about online investor relations.

Perhaps you also know someone else who’d be interested in this blog post? You can share this blog post through the buttons below.

How Companies Use Social Media to Reach Investors

Social media is making an impact on Australian investment decisions.

Information ASX-listed companies relay through social media can “unintentionally influence” investor decisions, according to a recent study by Victoria University’s Dr. Maria Prokofieva.

In fact, more Australian businesses are now tapping into social media, Dr. Prokofieva noted in an ABC News article. Companies are catching the attention of stakeholders through this digital space. And as investors are engaged, companies are able to direct them to making positive investment decisions.

Social media for investors
More Australian businesses are now adopting social media to connect with investors.

 

Smaller companies stand to gain the most benefits in social media use, Dr. Prokofieva added. These businesses could draw on platforms such as Twitter to connect with investors. Helping make up for their lack of analyst and media coverage, unlike their larger counterparts.

Read on for some practical ideas on using social media, as your ASX-listed peers do…

1. Choose the social media channel that fits your business

Not all social media platforms are alike. Each has a specific design for relaying information. That’s why it’s important to get the right ones that serve your investor relations needs.

For instance, Twitter is often utilised to share financial results and corporate news. This info is the kind that companies usually distribute in traditional formats, like formal reporting and press releases.

Want to see how some companies are doing it? Check out the following screenshots from our clients’ social media accounts:

Horizon Oil tweets
Horizon Oil’s tweet about their investor presentation and operations update.

 

LNG tweet
LNG’s tweet about an executive’s video interview on certain projects.

 

As we’ve previously discussed, Twitter has been an active touchpoint for investors in the country, and for overseas investors in Australian companies. Some brokers, journalists and news services have started using $cashtags to track stocks and companies.

LinkedIn is popularly tapped for staff recruitment. But just like Facebook, LinkedIn can also be employed for company updates and industry developments.

Of course, there are many other platforms you can take up, like YouTube and Instagram. Ultimately, it would be best to pick the ones that match your communication needs. YouTube feeds can now also be integrated in your Newsroom setup as an input channel, making it easier to instantly notify investors when you upload your new videos.

2. Select the news you want to share on social media

Investors put great importance on annual reports and other news companies provide. And they see corporate websites as the most valuable information source for these announcements.

So, it’s a good idea to share a line or two about your news, then include the link to the main source that’s posted on your website. That way investors could find your site and read your announcements there and you drive more traffic back to your site where a whole wealth of information about your company lives.

What are companies like yours tweeting or posting? A wide range of updates that would be of interest to stakeholders. Quarterly and annual reports. Appointments to the board or executive team. Developments on operations or projects. Industry regulations or advancements. Just to name a few.

Rent's LinkedIn post
Rent’s LinkedIn post shared current trends related to their sector.

 

4. Engage with your investors on social media

As you’re tweeting or posting updates, be prepared to engage with your audience. Followers may like your post, comment on it, or even share it with others. This is ideal as it facilitates growth in your investment community.

Don’t forget to add links in your posts to lead investors to your website. Once directed there, provide them sign-ups for subscription to your email alerts, or to register to your upcoming AGM. Perhaps you can point them to your Investor Centre for more facts and figures. Or to present a video of your latest exploration. Take advantage of these possibilities to connect and showcase who you are and what you do.

These exchanges could help give you an idea on how investors see your brand. It could boost traffic to your site too.

Admedus Facebook post
Admedus shared recent AGM photos on Facebook.

 

In conclusion, companies like yours are adopting social media to help investors stay informed. How to start using it? First, you need to determine the appropriate platforms to utilise. Next, you have to relay the right messages. Then, engage with investors as they connect with you.

Want to discuss further?

We’d be happy to chat with you about basic social media strategies. We can even help set up your social media accounts and company pages.

We also have tools to easily publish news to social media. IRM Newsroom makes it easy for companies like yours to have a basic presence on Twitter around ASX Announcements and other news. Click here to try it for free.

Let us know how we can help. Call us on +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com.

You can go to www.irmau.com for more information too.

 

 

Communicate with Investors in 3 Quick Ways

Investors today are more connected and more tech-savvy. They expect you to communicate more company updates regularly. And without delay.

Thankfully, there are many online tools now to meet that need. In fact, with the right tools, communicating with investors can be such a breeze. Here are 3 quick ways to connect with them:

IRM Newsroom will help you communicate with investors
Your website, email and social media channels are some of the key tools in investor communications.

1. Communicate via website

This is a no-brainer. You’re making all your announcements available here, right? Your webpage should be easily updated to include all your current news. It should be mobile friendly too. Remember, your tech-savvy investors are always on their phones and tablets. If you’re having trouble with this, we can help you with a framework that can be managed conveniently. Even without the help of a web developer.

However, you can’t be too sure all your shareholders go to your site regularly, can you?

2. Communicate via email

So send your announcements via email too. How many subscribers do you have? Hundreds? Thousands? This way you’ll get your news to all their inboxes. Hopefully, you’re able to manage your subscribers list well so you don’t miss anyone.

Just to make sure all your bases are covered, do the next step.

3. Communicate via social media

Why not? The number of businesses using social media is on the rise nowadays. You see, more companies are seeing a great potential in these channels when they’re used in the right way. Tweeting or posting your updates in LinkedIn or Facebook will expand your investor audience too. We’ve mentioned this before when we’ve spoken about touchpoints! Make sure you’re communicating with investors where they are, more on that here.

IRM Newsroom helps you easily communicate with investors
The IRM Newsroom can help you do all 3 methods in a click of a button.

 

So there you have it.

You must leverage your website, email and social media channels to immediately connect with investors. Pretty simple when you think about it.

Wait. What if there’s a way to do all 3 in one easy step?

Consider IRM Newsroom. It’s a powerful news and media aggregation and distribution tool for any company wishing to effectively communicate with its investor community. With this system, you can control which news items are published to your investor website, sent to email subscribers and posted on social media.

A free trial version of IRM Newsroom is available now. How about giving it a go? See how it will help you more easily communicate with investors.

 

Start Free Trial

 

Want to get the IRM Newsroom trial version?

Call +61 2 8705 5444 (Sydney) to start your free trial version of IRM Newsroom or for a demo on how it works. You can also email us at clientrelations@irmau.com or visit www.irmau.com for more details.

 

 

5 Ways to Build Your Digital Media for Investors

(This blog post was inspired by insights Peita Diamantidis shared at “Amplify Your News: Using Digital Media to Grow Your Investor Following,” a recent IR event presented by IRM and Computershare.)

 

Digital media can help you engage with your investor community and advance your business. Particularly if you’re an ASX-listed small cap company. This means of communication will provide you a unique opportunity for personal connection with your investor audience.

As previously discussed, websites, emails and social media platforms are just some examples of digital media. These tools can deliver the access and connectivity every long-term investor seeks from small caps.

The key is finding the right balance of digital media tools and putting them together. Following are 5 ways to set up your digital media to reach investors.

Digital media tools
Having the right balance of digital media tools is key to connecting with investors.

 

1. Review your website language

Have a look at your website. Try to see it from a third-person’s perspective. How are you telling your story?

Are you using industry jargon to talk about your company? Just because you’re communicating to investors, doesn’t mean they’ll figure out all your acronyms or terminologies. Keep it simple.

Get some help from your staff and go through each of your web pages. Identify terms that can still be clarified to get your message across.

You can also ask a copywriter or editor to help express what your company is all about. Words that are relatable and easy to understand are best.

Easy to understand website content
Make your website content easy to understand.

 

2. Enhance your website content

A great way to build your website content is through a corporate blog. This will get the conversation going with your audience. It will allow you to get feedback from them too.

Don’t know what to write in your blog? Provide a basic definition of your business. Talk about your vision. Share how your executives or operations team started working in your company. Or post recent interviews of them. These are just ideas of great content to feature. They’ll make your audience want to explore your site and know more about you.

Then optimise your site for Google with SEO techniques. It will improve your site’s ability to stand out in search engines and increase visits to your web pages.

Corporate blog
Start a corporate blog to enrich your website content.

 

3. Maximize your ASX Announcements

Turn this compliance need into a way to connect with your investor community. How?

Start by including links from your ASX Announcements to relevant content in your website. This way your audience will be reverted to your site where they can find more info about you.

You can also group key messages in your ASX Announcements and create blog posts on each topic. It’s part of strengthening your content, as we’ve covered on the second point.

Don’t forget to add a subscribe link in your ASX Announcements too. This will enable your audience to be added to your email subscribers list. More on that in the next step.

kaboompics_Woman working on the laptop
Adding links in your ASX Announcements can direct your audience to your website.

 

4. Build your email list

Begin with your share registry list. Download this list from your registry and update it a few times each year. Your goal is to keep adding to this email list, and remember, do not take anyone off your email list unless they ask. They may be a very satisfied shareholder who has sold. So add entries on old lists to new lists if they no longer appear.

Don’t be shy to put subscribe options in your website or ASX Announcements. Remember, your audience includes current investors, potential ones, as well as analysts and financial advisers. Offer opportunities for them to receive email updates from you. You can use services like Newsroom to segment your subscribers into various subscriber groups too, so you can send each group the info that’s relevant to them.

Keep them interested with your updates so they’ll want to stay informed through your emails. A way to do this is by presenting your messages in different ways. Perhaps through an infographic of financial results, a video of your projects or a Q&A with your management. This will enhance your content and increase traffic towards your website.

Speaking of traffic, social media is another way to help draw your audience into your site. Just make sure your tweets or posts have links that lead them there.

Grow your email subscribers
Your share registry list is a great foundation for your email subscribers list.

 

5. Keep investors engaged with your creative content

You don’t have to be stuck with basic facts and figures on your website or ASX Announcements. Give your audience a fresh perspective about your business. It will help them be engaged.

Get a GoPro or drone to capture how you do things in your exploration sites or offices. Share photos of your efforts to help out a social issues group or environmental organisation. Or dig up some uncommon history about your sector or industry. You’ll come up with a lot of other ideas for sure.

Give a fresh perspective
A fresh perspective about your business will keep your investors engaged.

 

Conclusion

Small caps have a unique opportunity of leveraging digital media to connect with investors. It’s essential to review and develop your website content to communicate well with stakeholders. And make use of ASX Announcements to build your email list. Then keep your audience engaged through your creative posts and shares.

Where to go from here

If you’re a newbie or consider yourself to be a bit “technologically-challenged,” take heart. There is a stress-free way to go about this.

We can help you with ideas on basic digital media strategies. And facilitate setting up your social media accounts and company pages.

We also have tools to easily send news to your email subscribers and via social media. IRM Newsroom makes it easy for ASX-listed companies to have a basic presence on Twitter around their ASX Announcements and other news. Click here to get a free trial.

If you’d rather chat with us, please call +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com. You can also visit www.irmau.com for more details.

 

 

How to Appeal to Investors through Your Website

(This blog post is part of a series discussing 10 Success Factors for Online Investor Relations. Read the previous post — “How to Attract Investors to Your Website” — here.)

kaboompics_Young Entrepreneur Working from a Modern Cafe
Learn about three elements that could help make your website more appealing to investors.

 

When was the last time you bought a mobile phone or laptop? Remember going through a decision-making process before buying it?

Like most consumers, you didn’t immediately buy the first thing you saw, right? You must’ve Googled the product several times to study its features. Compared it to peers. Or maybe checked reviews. What were others saying about it?

In the same way, investors go through different stages before making an investment decision. Maybe not exactly as you would buy an iPhone. But in some ways similar.

Before becoming committed shareholders, investors first identify their “need” for the investment. They move through discovery and evaluation phases. On to a buy decision. And later to hold and sell.

This engagement process — what we call the investor journey — is personal and each is different.

In fact, a considerable part of investor decisions to move forward in their journey are based on emotions and impressions. Not based on facts and logic. That’s why the emotional appeal of your website must be just as good as the information you provide there.

Here are three elements that could help make your website more appealing to investors:

 

1. Appeal through your site design

How does your website look? Outdated? Amateurish? This won’t give a favourable impression to your audience.

Your home page should reflect a modern corporate design. And this fresh clean look on the introductory page of your site should flow through all your other web pages.

 

2. Appeal through your hero images and tag lines

Hero images provide an instant impression of your company’s values, products and services. Images like these on your home page would sure catch the eye of investors.

To support these images, add tag lines or simple statements that are relevant. These would make your home page more engaging and informative.

Then carry through your theme of hero images and tag lines to the banner images in each section of your website to make it cohesive.

 

3. Appeal through your home page features

An attractive home page layout would invite investors to click on more of your web pages. Include promotional boxes that offer company info. And don’t forget navigation or links to key parts of your site.

You might also want to promote your latest news or corporate video on your home page to make it up-to-date and interesting.

kaboompics_Businesswoman uses her mobile phone at her desk
IRM can assist you with a full website review to help your site become more appealing.

 

To sum things up, we’ve discussed three important website elements that would add appeal to investors. Now it’s time to review your site design, hero images and tag lines, as well as home page features. With these elements fine-tuned, you’ll have more engagement with your investor audience. A potential expansion of your investor team!

 

Where to go from here

Perhaps we can assist you with a full website review? We’ve been able to help out numerous ASX-listed companies with their online investor relations strategies.

Chat with us on +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com for more details.

 

 

Grow Your Investor Audience with Digital Media

Digital media tools
Used in the proper way, digital media will help expand your investment community and grow your business faster.

 

What was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning? Checked your email? Twitter or Facebook?

Digital media, a combination of technology and content, is so much a part of our daily lives. Whether or not we choose to tap into it first thing in the morning, we turn to it one way or another at some point during the day.

Websites, emails and social media platforms are just a few digital media channels we often work with. These easy-to-use tools are engaging and produce results. Yes, even for businesses. Used in the proper way, these mediums would help expand your investor audience and grow your business faster.

In light of this potential, IRM and Computershare teamed up for “Amplify Your News: Using Digital Media to Grow Your Investor Following,” an IR event with selected participants on 14 November 2017. Held at Computershare offices in Sydney, the session aimed to take investor communications thinking to a new level.

Guest speaker Peita Diamantidis
Guest speaker Peita Diamantidis, Managing Director of Caboodle Financial Services, shared pointers on how ASX-listed small cap companies can engage with investors through digital media. Photo credit IR Department.

 

Peita Diamantidis, managing director of Caboodle Financial Services, led discussions as guest speaker. She is the winner of the Association of Financial Advisers Female Excellence in Advice Award for 2016. Just recently, she was named among Australia’s 50 most influential financial advisers in Financial Standard’s FS Power50 guide.

Peita presented an enlightening financial adviser feedback on potential investors in ASX-listed small cap companies. She noted that small caps have a unique opportunity to build a deep and personal connection to their investor following. And digital media can deliver the access and connectivity every long-term investor seeks from these businesses.

“What’s our aim with digital media? It’s to build a community. Start building an investor community. They’re going to resonate with your business. They’re going to resonate with your content. And then they’re going to want to share it.”

Moreover, Peita mentioned that finding the right balance of digital media tools and putting them together is important. This enables investors to receive news and relate at a time and digital place of their choosing.

She then worked through a step-by-step guide for building the storytelling gene into the DNA of a small cap company. Ultimately, the underlying goal of this process was to constantly add to an engaged list of current and potential investors.

“Storytelling is a great way to connect, it’s a great way to build that relationship with the public. And that opportunity is something that exists only in digital media…”

Q&A panel discussion
Jane Lowe, managing director of IR Department, joined Peita as one of the panelists during the event’s Q&A segment. Photo credit IR Department.

 

The challenging yet entertaining session concluded with a Q&A panel discussion. Peita was joined by Martin Spry, CEO of IRM; Simon Carson, general manager of CIS NSW at Computershare; and Jane Lowe, managing director of IR Department.

Our special thanks to Peita, as well as panelists Martin, Simon and Jane, for their time and great insights shared with us. Thanks also to Computershare for partnering with us for this maiden event. And not to forget, all those who joined us for this networking session over morning tea. Here’s to more IR get-togethers like this!

Guest speaker and panelists
Kudos to our guest speaker, Peita, and panelists Jane, IRM CEO Martin Spry and CIS NSW General Manager Simon Carson. Photo credit IR Department.

 

Need some help on your digital media tools?

IRM has been assisting various ASX-listed clients with online investor communications tools since 2002. Perhaps we can be of help to you too.

Chat with us today on +61 2 8705 5444 (Sydney) or clientrelations@irmau.com. You can also visit www.irmau.com for more details.

 

 

Upgrade your Online IR Presence without the hassle: IRM Online IR Suggestions

We guess you’re as passionate about your online investor relations presence as we are. Reaching investors online, at the touchpoints of their choosing and at the time they choose, is the main challenge of online IR activities. We’re happy to help with our suggestions, specifically tailored for you.

Perhaps your email strategies need a lift, or your social media presence needs to work harder for you. Does your home page help people like you, get the key messages through, and “Sell” the first click?

Maybe your Investor Centre could use more pages? You’d want your current dividends or capital structure to stand out, right?

IRM’s Online IR Suggestions
Boosting your online investor relations presence is easy with IRM’s Online IR Suggestions.

 

These ideas are just a few examples of how your online IR presence can be upgraded. We promise you at least five ideas you will be able to implement.

All you need to do is ask for our Online IR Suggestions. The result is a chatty helpful discussion, no long formal report, and it’s free. For IRM clients, the results of it can be recorded in HQi for you to look through and choose from when you are ready.

IRM’s Online IR Suggestions are recommended improvements to your online IR presence — email, social media, website and more — following a look at your company’s most recent announcements and developments. These varied recommendations aim to strengthen your online presence, capture excitement and highlight key business messages.

How to tap into this help?

Step 1: Request the Online IR Consulting Service

Clients on our HQi or IRM Newsroom Enterprise Website plans may request this service at any time as part of their plan’s 3 free consulting services per year.

Not on such plan, or not an IRM client? We can still help! Just ask us.

We’ll provide the results of the review, normally in an email which is designed to be approachable, informal and readable. It’s not a formal piece of professional advice, just at least five helpful suggestions.

Step 2: Consider the recommendations

If you’re an HQi or IRM Newsroom user, your online IR suggestions will be accessible from your HQi’s “Support Request History” tab, under “Support.” From there you’ll view a list of any proposed improvements that IRM can assist to implement. Each task will contain specific details on the intended work to be done.

Here you can edit the suggestion description to expand or add your own flavour to it.

If you’re not an IRM client, please let us know if there’s any way we can help with implementation.

Step 3: Approve the upgrades you want

If you’re an IRM client, implementing many of the suggestions is actually quick and easy.

In HQi, choose the suggestions you want actioned. All you have to do is approve (or decline!) each one. The IRM Support service will swing into action to get the job done.

Or just leave the ideas there for later.

IRM’s Online IR Suggestions
IRM’s Online IR Suggestions are recommended improvements to your online IR presence — email, social media, website and more.

 

Now wasn’t that simple?

Why not ask IRM for your tailored Online IR Suggestions? Then consider the ideas, choose your favourites, and before you know it things will start getting much better.

If you’d like more info on this new service, please call us on +61 2 8705 5444 or email support@irmau.com. We hope to hear from you soon!

 

 

How to Attract Investors to Your Website

(This blog post is part of a series discussing 10 Success Factors for Online Investor Relations. Read the next related post — “How to Appeal to Investors through Your Website” — here.)

So you have your website all set up and running. All the necessary elements are there — design, imagery, style and key messages. All the facts about your company and who’s running it. Your business summary and your investor proposition are in place. Got your latest news and reports. The works.

Attract investors to your website in three easy steps
Setting up your website wisely is key to attracting investors.

Now how to attract investors to visit your site? You’d want them to access all these info, right? That’s the first step. You’d want to draw in the right traffic to your website to get them on board.

Here are three suggestions to become better at attracting investors:

1. Smarten up your overall search

Most investors will search your site by your company name, website URL or ticker code. You’d want to make sure every variation of your name, including your ticker code or domain, get top ranks in Google search. You’d want the names of your senior executives and company projects to rank well too.

Next, review how investors search for your site. Do this regularly. Just think about the words they use when they Google up your company. This way you can update your content to respond to their searches. Then measure your search results and continuously improve.

Also, some investors get to your webpage through a related site. That’s why it’s good practice to publish links in your industry websites or those of your partner or broker. You can even add links in ASX Announcements and shareholder communications.

2. Offer unique and authoritative content

Talk about your company’s expertise in your website. Write in a way that’s unique and authoritative, yet reader-friendly. This will allow you to rank higher in search results. You see, Google search will give higher ranking for content that’s not easily found elsewhere in the internet. As long as its guidelines in form and style are met, of course.

3. Use the right keywords

What are the words or phrases investors use to search for your company on the web? If you put these same keywords in your content, chances are you’ll rank higher in search. So it’s ideal to develop a list of keywords, other than your company name and ticker code. Then use these keywords consistently throughout your site.

Your website setup is important in attracting investors
Investors will likely land on your website if you rank well in search results.

And there you have it! Three effective ways to attract more investors to your website. When you brush up on your overall search, content and keywords, investors are more likely to land on your site. This means more opportunities to get them on your team!

What should you do next?

How about a full website review from us? We regularly help ASX-listed companies with assessing the gaps in their online investor relations strategies.

If you’d like to chat more on this topic, please call us on +61 2 8705 5444 or email clientrelations@irmau.com. We’d be happy to assist you!

 

 

Setting up Links (URLs) in ASX Announcements

Setting up links
Clickable links can be added in the text of ASX Announcements that are released through the ASX Online platform.

Some guidance for writers of ASX Announcements

Some readers of ASX Announcements containing links to web pages (or email addresses) have been frustrated with an apparent inconsistency in whether the links are clickable or not. This note provides some guidance on a way to include links in a PDF document so that they will (almost always) work on the recipients’ technology.

The Issue

It is possible to put links (URLs) in the text of ASX Announcements that are released through the ASX Online platform, and have them clickable by the reader of the PDF.

The issue arises because the technology (in both creating and reading PDFs) is not uniform so in some cases it will be frustrating, in that it will appear that the links will work (i.e. can be clicked on to open a web page or email form) for some recipients on some devices / browsers, and other times they will just not work.

ASX Announcements
The links’ clickability depends on the technology of recipients’ devices or browsers.

The semi-technical explanation

Whether the link works or not depends on the technology on the receiving machine. This might be a new or old desktop or mobile device, running any of a wide range of web browsers and possible plugins to those browsers.

Any given browser has a default way of reading PDF documents, and most of them also permit the end user to “plug in” a specific PDF viewer.

The native PDF viewer in some web browsers (e.g. Google Chrome) are very clever, and will recognise a string of characters in the PDF that start with www, will work out that this is a link, and permit it to be clicked. Likewise, some browser plugins will do the same. However, many don’t, and over time with new releases of the software the picture will keep changing.

Hence, if all you do is write the website address as text in a PDF, then it will work sometimes and not others.

Unfortunately it’s even more complicated. There are a large number of ways to generate a PDF document (e.g. from a Word document). When you set up a link in a Word document, as a link (not just text) it will (probably) underline the link text and change the colour (e.g. to blue) to identify it as a link. Looks good, huh? But some of the pieces of software that create PDFs from word documents (particularly older software or older versions of Word) will strip out the information about the link, and leave the piece of (now raw) text still blue and underlined, still looking like a link, but not working.

BWP Trust's ASX announcements
Use these suggested ways to produce PDF files with “genuine” links that actually work.

Solutions

There are probably many ways to produce PDF files with “genuine” links in them. You could explore your own.

This way does work:

Use Save As (PDF) from Word 365 (see example below). This preserves clickable links when set up in Microsoft Word as links, or even when just typed in to the text.

Saving as PDF in Word

An alternative is to use Acrobat Reader Pro (not the free Acrobat Reader) and edit the resulting PDF to add in the link if it has been lost.

Editing links in Adobe Acrobat Pro

For example, this text www.irmau.com was simply typed into Word 365 (which identified it as a URL, made it a link, underlined it and made it blue) and the document was “saved as” a PDF. All browsers will see a clickable link in the resulting PDF, not just text.

(If a particular old browser still doesn’t work, the user of that machine has this problem with all links in PDFs and will be used to it. At least its won’t appear to be just your announcement at fault!)

To test whether your own method works or not, find a browser that does not intelligently examine the text for links (Firefox without any PDF reader plugin is probably a good one to use at the moment), open Windows explorer and find the file you want to test, and drag and drop the filename to a new browser tab to open it with the browser. Check if the link clicks. With a couple of tests you can satisfy yourself that you have a quality link in your PDF.

If you’re already doing it well, and your links are working, at least you have a way of proving it!

We hope this helps.

Going public, then being public

A few months after going public through an IPO or RTO, people responsible for investor relations learn how much effort is involved in being public. It’s probably harder to be public than it was to go public.

No longer are you surrounded by experts – brokers, advisers, accountants, lawyers – who were there at all times of the day and night to get you public. They have moved on to the next transaction. And the CEO is back running the business instead of doing the transaction. Not to mention the much lower budgets now available for investor matters.

Feeling lonely? Not only lonely, but it’s all new?

Being public means building and maintaining an ongoing relationship with the broader investor community. Build on the goodwill you worked so hard on during the IPO. Don’t let it sit and deteriorate for months after the IPO, and then wonder where they all went.

Don’t just focus on the current shareholders and the top few current shareholders. Those people are important of course, but sooner or later, if there’s to be a decent ongoing market in the shares, there needs to be a continuous stream of new buyers. Most of those you haven’t even heard of yet, and most of them haven’t even heard of you.

If you have ongoing broker analyst coverage that will help maintain and generate interest, but mainly among their clients. The rest of the world is still your problem.

IRM is in the business of providing a kit bag of online tools that helps companies maintain an ongoing relationship focus, not just a transaction focus.

Here’s our top eight suggestions:

  1. The Online Investor Presence

Online Investor Presence

Have a great online investor presence – more than just a great website – that attracts new investors by being there at the touchpoints they choose to use, particularly when you have news. Favourite online touchpoints are your website, an email alerts list, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and third party websites and news services.

  1. Be responsible for getting your news out. Immediately.

Assume that your ASX Announcement is lost in the clutter of the other 400 announcements done each day. Sure, ASX distribute it to people who happen to be watching at that instant. But it’s not enough. Some other online touchpoints you can control directly, others you can only hope to influence. But all online activity will usually be triggered by your announcements, so be there first with the facts wherever you can. If you publish your news long after the investor has seen it elsewhere, you just look bad. You have minutes, not hours or days, to get the news out yourself.

  1. When people show interest, embrace them.

Build your tribe of followers, initially and continuously. Wherever you can, capture the person’s contact details. email address, or a social media like / follow / connection. Capture interest on the website with a subscribe. Upload the boss’s business cards, and the share registry email addresses. Then do it again later. Connect, like and follow them, and have your key executives do the same. Then communicate directly with them. Regularly. Forever (or until they unsubscribe!)

  1. Elaborate on the news

It might be in the ASX Announcement, but did your targets see it? And read it. Some did. Most probably didn’t. Have a second or third attempt by elaborating on the news items. Perhaps there’s media coverage or trade news that’s not just an ASX Announcement. Provide more information in a blog post on your company blog and/or media coverage and latest news on the website (and share/email/tweet it).

  1. Extend the reach of your news

Use your website to showcase the important news, enhance your brand and communicate the whole story. Use links everywhere to drag people back to it to re-use the content. When you write something new, provide links to the related older material. Make it really easy for people to click. Even in the body of ASX Announcements, refer to what you said in earlier ones with a link to the earlier announcement on your website. Your blog posts should link to earlier posts, to the website page concerned, or to the announcement. Use twitter handles to reach more people, and links to drag them back to the website. People might use one click to learn more, but they probably won’t use five or six to go searching.

  1. Feed Google search

google search

People who don’t know you have to find you. With lots of interlinked material in blog posts and emails, on the website, in ASX Announcements on other websites, and in social media, your ranking on Google search will improve. Search loves data to be confirmed / collaborated with links. So do real people who want to find information.

  1. Drive your keywords

Understand what key words and phrases you want to be found by. Use them – exactly – on the website, in ASX Announcements, blog posts, social media, emails. The more you use them the more people will recognise them as yours, and the higher you will be on Google search.

  1. Use pictures and videos

Not everyone gets concepts with words and numbers. Pictures can convey impressions and key messages much more effectively than the written word. Use infographics, pictures and videos on the website and elsewhere online. Link back to them from other online media.

Yes, there needs to be great results from the business, and good communication of the messages. But it you don’t distribute the news yourself, others won’t do it for you for free. You’re mostly on your own, and the company’s relationship with current and future investors depends on it.

Welcome to being public, not just going public. Take a look at our Online Success Factors for more ideas on how to succeed with online investor communications.

Of course, as an IRM client, you’re no longer on your own. Contact us to discuss how we can help.

Online Investor Presence

From Investor Website to Online Investor Presence

Everyone has a website, right? But does everyone have a consider online presence for investors?

Whats the difference?

A website is a place where you put stuff. Brochureware, directory information, news, reports, contact details. So that when people turn up at the site they might be able to find what they want.

An online investor presence understands the online touchpoints used by investors in various stages of their investor journey. It presents different messages in different places, and pulls traffic to the website, where their information needs at that stage of the journey are fulfilled quickly, easily and on time.

It then encourages them to take the next step on their journey, to become a committed shareholder.

Investor Journey

Here’s some theoretical examples of the difference:

1. Let’s say an investor knows nothing about the company – not even that it exists – but is interested in say oil and gas in the Philippines. A website might have the information there if the investor can find the company, find the web site, and then successfully navigate to the page containing the information. A strong online presence has arranged the SEO (search engine optimisation) on the website to make sure that the projects page about Philippines oil and gas responds well to the keywords most likely to be used in searches this type of person uses.

2. Someone on Twitter sees a negative tweet. A corporate website might have the answer on it if the Twitter member bothers to look there and can navigate easily to the news. An online investor presence will have a timely earlier tweet with a link to the particular new announcement on the website, so there are facts to start the conversation, instead of the uninformed opinion of the critic.

3. A shareholder wants to change their address. A website might have the name of the share registry, or the shareholder might have to call the company to find out. An online investor presence will provide a great link directly to the registry’s online services, and maybe some downloadable forms.

4. A shareholder wants to know where and when the AGM will be this year. A website might have the ASX announcement of the date of the AGM somewhere in the announcement list. An online presence will have a calendar entry the responds to a google search of ticker-code + “AGM” and give a downloadable diary entry with date time and place of the meeting, or even a whole dedicated page about the AGM highlighted with a tile on the home page.

road-220058_1280

We can’t anticipate every possible need of every investor at every touchpoint at every stage of their journey. But we can seek to address the main ones first and then keep adding to the online presence as funds and technology permits. It becomes a journey in itself.

Or we can put up a few pages of brochureware on a website, guess, and hope.

And remember, investors don’t know whether they are supposed to behave differently because they are “retail” or fund managers – they are just people, almost certainly with a web connected device in their hands.

At IRM we have a deep understanding of the investor journey. We know which pages investors want, and why sometimes they don’t find them, and what companies have done in the past to make it better. We also understand budgets are limited, and can provide best value for any size budget.

We help listed companies deliver an online investor presence that reaches investors at the online touchpoints they use. We understand the success factors involved in making it work.

Contact us today to upgrade your investor website from “just a website” to an effective investor relations tool fitting with a whole online investor presence.

 

Investors are Customers too

Investors are Customers, too.

There’s a whole world of marketing experts focusing on helping businesses acquire new customers.

There’s a whole world of investor relations people focusing on helping businesses acquire new investors.

From the investors’ perspective, perhaps purchasing some shares is not much different to buying shoes, or a car?

money-card-business-credit-card-50987

The Customer Journey

A basic tool of marketers is a CRM system. A popular CRM system is SugarCRM (also used by IRM). I recently attended the annual SugarCon (Sugar CRM Conference) in San Francisco. It was a big event – about 1000 delegates, from over 20 countries, with about 30 vendors exhibiting.

There was a clear focus running through all the sessions, discussions and vendor showcases. It’s all about looking at the business “Inside Out”:

  • Taking the Customer’s point of view
  • Understanding the customer journey as they progress towards a decision to buy
  • Reacting individually to potential and actual customers’ needs as they progress on their journey.

One generally accepted conclusion is that even with B2B marketing, the end customer in the target company is a person. An individual decision maker or influencer. Companies as such cannot make decisions, only people can decide on behalf of a company.

Investor Relations

Investor Relation

I also recently attended the NIRI (National Investor Relations Institute) annual conference in San Diego. NIRI is the US peak body of investor relations professionals. It was a big event – about 1000 delegates, from over 20 countries, with about 30 vendors exhibiting.

NIRI-2016-AC-Brochure_001

There was a wide range of important issues being addressed in the sessions and by the vendors, including a number of ideas and tools to try to reach potential investor and influencers. But not a clear main focus, as at SugarCon

There was a great deal of focus on institutional investors, analysts, brokers. Institutions, funds, corporations. Much less focus on understanding the individuals within those organisations. No apparent focus on keeping track of individuals in an organised way as they move around.

The Paradox

As far as I can work out I was the only person at both conferences.

At no stage at the NIRI conference, in the sessions, or in the literature or discussion with vendors, did I see or hear either of the phrases “CRM” or “customer journey”.

No-one else has the job of marketing the company’s share to investors, it’s clearly the responsibility of the investor relations people.

What’s going on? Is someone else in companies responsible for marketing the shares to investors? Or do the IR people just not get it?

The Investor Journey

Investor Journey

Investors are customers, too. They go through a process to become shareholders, from identifying their “need” for the investment, through discovery and evaluation phases, to a buy decision and later to hold and sell. We call this the Investor Journey.

At IRM, we think that those investor relations people who can apply the investor journey thinking to their share marketing responsibilities will have a major point in time advantage, until the others catch up.

So what?

We have three white papers for download – on the investor journey, the touchpoints investors use as they progress on their journey, and the online success factors – how to perform best in helping investors progress through their journey.

We also have a range of online tools (beginning with investor websites and news services) to help you help investors through their journey, and to help you monitor and manage the process.

Finally, we have a clear understanding of the process. We are using it to drive the ongoing development of our products and services to continue to enhance the support for listed company clients who want to benefit from a clear understanding of the investor journey.

Use the advantage – ask IRM for help implementing the investor journey, and go on your own investor marketing journey with IRM.

Three Reasons for a Mobile Investor Presence

Is your investor website one of over 500 ASX listed company sites that is not yet mobile friendly?

Investors are mobile these days. We’ve all tried to look at that tiny print of a non-friendly site on our phones. It’s simply easier to look elsewhere. Your investors are mobile, too.

Now Google’s “Mobilegeddon” is punishing non-friendly sites by giving a lower ranking to them when searches are conducted on mobile devices. Smashing magazine talks about the mobilegeddon impact.

IRM research, conducted in May 2016, found 40% of ASX listed companies* with a market cap over $5m do not have websites that are regarded by Google as “Mobile Friendly”.

Overall Results

As At Count Friendly Not Friendly Percent
Nov 15 1176 613 563 52.1%
May 16 1305 772 533 59.2%

The total is down from 48% six months ago. In only six months, 8% of all listed companies have made the move – one sixth of the previously unfriendly companies are now friendly.

mobilefriendly-sizechart

It’s time to plan to move now.

Here’s our three reasons to make the move to a mobile friendly site sooner rather than later:

  1. Increasing investor interest. The trend will continue, and within a year or so non friendly sites will be around 25% of companies or less. Investors will have no incentive to struggle with your non-friendly site and will go elsewhere.
  2. Attracting more new investors. Fewer potential investors looking for investment opportunities will find you on Google search.
  3. Showing that you care. If existing investors see you don’t care about their viewing experience, they may assume you don’t care about the rest of their investment experience.

A great mobile online presence is a key Success Factor in online investor communications. You can read more about success factors or download the Success Factors White Paper.

IRM website services cover the full range of mobile website solutions. Here’s two suggestions:

  • A new build. If you are ready for the work and benefits of building a new website, IRM has some suggestions here about how to go about a new build.
  • Migrating the existing. If you’re happy with the current messages and content and prefer to avoid the work of a new site, but you need a technology transplant, IRM has a website migration strategy for you.

Either way, it’s not as difficult or as costly as you probably think. Within two months you can have a mobile friendly website.

Contact us today to discuss the likely cost and effort of moving to friendly. It’s becoming urgent!

* It’s not just the small companies. 32% of companies with a market cap over $500m were not mobile friendly, and 33% over $5b.

IRM client websites outperform the industry on mobiles and desktops

responsive-design

IRM client websites outperform the industry on mobile websites and desktops

IRM tested 1305 ASX listed company websites (with market cap over $5m) in May 2016.

We are pleased to advise that IRM developed websites outperform the ASX averages in all categories. This is just one more way the IRM assists its clients to stand out from the crowd.

Google Mobile Tests

The measures used here are the Google mobile tests and the Google page speed insight tests. We used the published URL of the website (as provided by the ASX) as input to the tests.

The tests indicate whether tie web page is mobile friendly, the Mobile Speed, Mobile Usability Experience (UX), and the Desktop Speed – the last three expressed by Google as a percentage score.

Mobile Friendly Sites

This data refers to 772 ASX listed mobile friendly websites, compared with IRM’s mobile friendly websites.

  • The average mobile speed of listed company sites is 56.4. IRM clients scored 62.4.
  • The average mobile UX of listed company sites is 96.9. IRM clients scored 97.7.
  • The average desktop speed of listed company sites is 67.4. IRM clients scored 74.3.

The average market cap of the ASX listed company sites tested is $1,391m. The average market cap of IRM clients’ mobile sites is $376m. This shows that you don’t need to be a large company to stand out from the crowd.

All Sites

All IRM clients scored

  • 63.5 on mobile speed vs 58.9 for all companies
  • 89.9 on mobile UX vs 85.0 for all companies, and
  • 74.8 on desktop speed vs 68.8 for all companies.

IRM has an above average number of smaller market cap clients. The average market cap of all IRM clients, both mobile friendly and not mobile friendly, is $296m, vs the average of all ASX listed company sites of $1,235m. IRM’s few remaining non mobile friendly sites (above $5m market cap) average just $75m market cap.

Other issues

These tests, courtesy of Google, apply to the website page tested. However, there’s a lot more to an effective mobile online presence.

Your email alert templates, newsletters, annual reports and all the investor tools need to be responsive as well. At IRM, how else would we do it?

Best news of all?

What do you need to do to have an IRM online presence that is fully responsive and a website that performs well in all these tests?

Do nothing special, just leave it to IRM.

All IRM websites built since 2013 are responsive to all devices.

How to get to Responsive

We understand the redeveloping a full website might be a daunting process. Many companies doing this choose to re-think their messages, images, and content generally across the site. This can be a large and time consuming exercise.

To get to responsive, you don’t need to do all that, though if you do need to, responsive becomes a by-product of the project.

A site migration to IRM’s HQi technology can preserve your existing investment in content and messages. It’s a “technology transplant” of the content to the IRM responsive platform.

Explore a site migration on this page of the IRM website.

When you’re with IRM, we leave you to concentrate on your investor messages, and we look after all the technology.

More information

The details of the IRM May 2016 mobile friendly website research results are in this blog post.

There is more information at www.irmau.com about mobile websites an site migrations. There is a blog post about the importance of responsive design here, and the importance of “Mobile” as a Success Factor in online investor communications is explored in our website page on success factors here and in our Success Factors White Paper here.

Would you like to stand out from the crowd? Talk to IRM about a fully responsive online presence. Contact us, call Danny Hunt on +61 2 8233 6168, or email him at Danny.hunt@irmau.com.

Is your company website un-friendly?

AUB-iPhone

As mobile service providers improve their networks and mobile phone giants continue to push out new devices, customers are now browsing the web more from their smartphones and tablets rather than traditional computers. It is also becoming important for businesses to tailor-fit their websites to mobile users to increase and improve search engine ranking results.

We measured listed company websites against the Google “Mobile Friendly” criteria in November 2015 and again in May 2016. We selected for this analysis only companies that had a Market Cap over $5m (as at May) and were listed as at May 2016.

There are 533 ASX listed companies over $5m which are NOT mobile friendly!

Over 40% of listed companies at May 2016 do NOT have Mobile Friendly websites. This is down from 48% in November 2015.

Congratulations to the 159 companies that improved their website visitor experience in the six months.

Wolf-PrimaryMobileResponsive

However, the total number of un-friendly websites has decreased by only 30 in the time. This means many new listings, or companies growing their market cap, are not facing this issue.

 

Overall Results

As At Count Friendly Not Friendly Percent
Nov 15 1176 613 563 52.1%
May 16 1305 772 533 59.2%

 

This shows the percentage of Mobile friendly sites over time:


Size counts, but not much!

Naturally, smaller companies are bigger offenders. Almost 50% of companies under $50m of market cap are not mobile friendly.

BUT – one third of companies with a market cap over $5B are NOT mobile friendly! And this group is the only group that did NOT improve the percentage in the period. Nineteen companies in this group were not mobile friendly in November, and 22 were not mobile friendly in May.

 

By Size Mcap Nov 15 Count May 16 Count May % Friendly Nov % Friendly
>$5 B 57 64 65.6% 66.7%
$1.5 – 5 B 64 73 68.5% 56.3%
$0.5 – 1.5 B 96 97 69.1% 60.4%
$50 – 500 M 398 422 64.5% 56.0%
$5 – 50 M 561 649 52.5% 46.0%

 

mobilefriendly-sizechart


By Industry

This chart illustrates the percentage of sites that are mobile friendly as at November 2015 and May 2016 by GICS industry code:

mobilefriendly-byindustry


Industry Progress over Time

During the six months from November 2105 to May 2016, not all industries have made positive progress. Presumably where an industry has gone backwards it’s because the new companies coming into the sample have had a lower percentage of mobile friendly sites than the earlier group:


Commentary on largest industries

The largest industry groups, showing the number of companies tested (at May 2016) and their percentage mobile friendly are:


Less than half (47.7%) of Materials and Energy companies (539 companies) are mobile friendly, and the sector as a whole is a drain on the average. At least their percentage of mobile friendly sites has increased in the last six months from 41.5%.

Is this because some of them have made an effort, or simply because those that have failed are more likely to have not been mobile friendly, and those succeeding are?

Software and Services companies should know about this – and 84.2% are mobile friendly. Surprisingly, though, 16 companies in this sector still don’t seem to have worked out some basics of their own industry! They are pipped at the post for the best sector prize by Consumer Services with 84.8% friendly, and only 7 companies in that sector not friendly.

Capital Goods companies are the worst performing sector, with just 44% mobile friendly, and 38 companies not passing the test.

Sample Data

The sample is 1176 companies in Nov15 and 1305 companies in May16.

Our data indicates there are 1509 companies with a market cap of over $5m as at May 2016. Market Cap is as published by Yahoo Finance. The website tested is the website in the ASX data. Companies not tested either have no recorded website in the ASX data, or there was an error running the tests, or they are currently suspended, or their GICS code is “Not Applicable”. Not all companies (only 1275 at May 16) are included in the “by industry” comparisons as GICS codes are not all known.

Follow Up

We will re-run the tests in another six months and update the results.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to know where a particular company stands, please ask us. Get in touch with Danny Hunt at IRM, who can discuss your needs. Reach Danny via email: danny.hunt@irmau.com or phone: +61 2 8233 6168, or see www.irmau.com for more detail.

The benefits of blogging for business

In this post we will get to know what a blog is, what blogging for business could mean for your business, and how ASX listed company peers are blogging now..

First and foremost…

blog text under magnifying glass

A blog is an easy-to-use platform for connecting with and sharing relevant information with your audience. It is a simple direct communication channel.

Why blog?

Here are 5 reasons to consider adding a blog into your communications mix:

  1. Blogs are a great place to talk about things that are occurring around your business that aren’t necessarily material, but are of interest to shareholders.  For instance, you could discuss more detail on business wins, share insights, tips and ideas, promote your products and services, recap events and discuss other industry news – such as whitepapers or reports that have been written by a third party, but would be relevant to your audience. Blogs effectively act as free public relations and a great way to attract, appeal and relate to your audience. Each time you publish a blog post, you produce one more opportunity for your site to rank with search engines and to be shared within your company’s social media channels or by other readers.
  2. Search engines love content and blogging is one way to gain further online visibility for your important projects and news. Blogs contribute positively to search engine optimisation.
  3. If your blog is properly embedded within your main website, it will have the added benefit of boosting your overall website traffic.  You can then use the blog to redirect visitors to other parts of your site, where you can influence a buying decision as part of their investor journey, or further educate them on points of importance.
  4. People need to see your website for it to be a valuable marketing asset.
  5. By keeping a close watch on your blog and website analytics, you can form a good picture of the kind of content that your audience likes to consume. Not measured is not managed – in our recent post we talk about the success factors of an IR focused web presence and Measuring your efforts is an important part, you can learn a lot from your traffic.


IRM and Blogs

Blogging is one of the most valuable online tools that businesses can use to engage with stakeholders

If your business is not blogging yet, but you’re curious about the idea, it’s relatively simple to get set up, and once you start, you’ll find stories all around your business.

IRM started its blog late in 2014, and blogging has now become a regular part of our thinking. Via this blog, IRMatters, we write about our company updates, new projects that our clients have completed, thought leadership topics relating to investor relations and communications, and we seek guest blogs from experts around our business.

Since we started blogging in earnest, our website traffic has increased markedly, and we’ve had more engagement with our clients. The engagement was really our primary goal – we wanted to ensure that in between visits to or phone calls with customers, we had a means of keeping everyone up to date on things that might be of interest in our relationship. The strategy has been working well, and we’ve enjoyed receiving feedback from customers along the way – it helps us to focus on what’s relevant.

Getting Started

Installing a blog that seamlessly integrates with your main or corporate website is a fairly swift and simple process.

We install blogs as a subdomain to your main site – eg. blog.yourcompany.com, which provides your audience an easy way of remembering how to get there, and provides you a direct address to use on your ASX announcements, email signatures and other documents.

We would typically use an existing blogging platform, such as WordPress, for your blog. Using this approach means you can access all the smarts you might be used to from a prior blogging experience, and you also gain the benefit of WordPress’ search engine optimisation plugins.

We can style the blog to look just like your existing site, or can make it look a bit different, depending on your preference.

In the example of NZbrokers below, we’ve integrated the blog within the existing site.

URL: http://blog.nzbrokers.co.nz/

Austbrokers-laptop

In the example below, we’ve worked with Austbrokers to deliver a similar solution – a good looking blog, which seamlessly fits in with their existing corporate site.

Austbrokers

URL: http://blog.austbrokers.com.au

NZBrokers-laptop

To make the blogging function even more valuable, we can link your blog in with a latest news category on your main corporate website.

For example, with our blog, IRMatters, as soon as blog posts are published, we automatically publish these to pages on our main website. This acts as an additional way to drive traffic to our blog posts, but also enables people looking for news on our conventional news page to find our latest updates.

We also take it a step further – to get the most out of our posts, we share them via our social media channels. Where we’re blogging about listed companies, we include corresponding hashtags and cashtags. Finally, we note articles of interest when we send emails out to our valued customers – again, our primary goal is to keep in touch, keep our relationships fresh and remain engaged.

Thinking about setting up a blog?

We’ve been enjoying keeping IRMatters up to date and the feedback from customers, and we know from working with a few of you that it’s fairly simple to get going with blogging.  We’d encourage you to consider a blog, and if you’re thinking about setting one up get in touch with Danny Hunt at IRM, who can discuss your needs. Reach Danny via email: danny.hunt@irmau.com or phone: +61 2 8233 6168, or see www.irmau.com for more detail.

Success Factors for Online Investor Relations

Understanding the key success factors for online investor relations will assist companies to make sure their online IR strategy is best helping investors move through their investor journey.

In earlier posts in IRMatters, we discussed the Investor Journey, and the touchpoints investors use.

Here we present a high level discussion of the success factors. If you would like to take a little longer to examine our thoughts on it, feel free to download our fuller discussion in the white paper, here.

Understanding what works best online and why, leads to “best practice online investor communications”.

“Best” practice is budget – based. Every marketing campaign has a cost-benefit. Investors expect larger companies to be better, and smaller companies to be more circumspect. There’s no absolute measure of best practice, but the same principles apply to all.

 

Success Factors for Online Investor Relations

Here we discuss ten success factors for online investor relations – to be more successful in helping investors through their journey to becoming a committed recommending shareholder.  Progressing through the stages of their journey – a progression rate at each stage.

You can also think of them as best practice principles.

  1. Attract

Maximising progression at the early buying stages means drawing the right traffic to the website.

Many potential investors don’t even know our name. If they do, then make sure every variation of the name, ticker code, domain etc ranks at or enar the top of Google search. Also names of projects and senior executives.
Where to bury a dead body? Page 2 of Google search.

Much harder is attracting relevant investor traffic that don’t know us. What’s in their mind when searching? Measure search results, and improve. Every marketing campaign is about beating competitors. Where else can investors go? Look at how competitors rank on our keywords, and beat them.

  1. Appeal

Appeal to the emotional or irrational side with the impressions left by the messages. Design, imagery and style are key for about half of early phase visitors. Details, facts and numbers are for later.

Make the style confident, approachable, knowledgeable and up to date. We know the subject, say so. Make it better than they expect. Make it consistent across all touchpoints, all media, desktop or mobile.

Make sure the website home page says what we do, easily understood, within a few seconds. Remind visitors on subsequent pages.

Make your social media posts informative, easy to read, and interesting.

Use images, videos, infographics, maps and thumbnails throughout to reinforce messages. Include an image / video gallery on the website, link to it from other places.

Make messages great, deliver them well. Have a powerful investment proposition, clearly presented.

Avoid clichés, corporate speak, motherhood and meaningless trendy icons.

  1. Navigate

Investors arrive at the website knowing what they want. They have only two clicks for us. And we have to sell the second one, we’re not entitled to it. A “scroll down” is the same as a click. If the site doesn’t deliver here, it’s a bounce. They’re off, no progression.

Navigation is critical, particularly on the top part of the home page. Provide a link to every page right there. A “hover over” doesn’t count as a click. Don’t be cute about navigation. Investors have been to plenty of other sites, and “know” how to navigate. If it’s too different, they just won’t find it.

On internal pages, remind them where they are, provide full nav, a breadcrumb trail, accessibility and more.

Know which pages are most visited. Provide additional ways to get to what they want and what we want to promote. Use promo boxes or infographics as nav buttons. Everywhere, clear messages will sell the next click, and progression.

  1. Quality

Content needs to be great quality, complete, and up to date. Well written, well presented and easy to understand, regardless of touchpoint and media. Deliver value for that second click, try for another.

Ensure ASX Announcements are on the website and posted to social media immediately they are released. Ten minutes later worsens progression rates. Provide the share price and a chart. Show headline news on the home page.

Appeal strongly to the utilitarian, logical mind. Be the authority on all of the company information, good bad or indifferent. This invites respect. Provide all of the historical ASX announcements, easily found by type on multiple pages, nicely archived, and searchable. Also access them in sections. For analysts, have a download centre. Address specific needs of other target audiences.

Fully explain the business. Don’t expect searching the latest quarterly report to be how to really understand.

  1. Mobile

A website that is not responsive is putting off around half of its visitors. It says we don’t care. It’s just too hard to look at.

It must look great on every phone or tablet, landscape or portrait, and on any screen size. Don’t compromise. Mobile also means fast, without huge downloads.Provider all website information responsively and the need for an App becomes secondary.

  1. Educate

We are the expert in the industry and the company. Understand the educational needs of visitors and take them further. If they choose to learn more, that improves progression rates.

Make offline contact easy if they want it. Then be sure to respond.

  1. Relate

Blog, tweet, share, like, and post. Provide capabilities for visitors to do the same right there from our content. If they are inclined to share, help them. Show the twitter feed and blog posts right there on the website.

Other online touchpoints sooner or later come back to the website. Provide the content the social media relates to.

  1. Engage

Progression to the final phases means being kept informed, right when we have something to say. That’s immediately an announcement is released. Invite “registration” through whatever touchpoint they choose, provide immediate updates and invite feedback. Email alerts are essential, and social media is becoming as important. Make sure email alert messages are responsive.

  1. Measure

Not measured is not managed. Examine analytics and SEO results. Wonder why, and respond to trends. Refine messaging, navigation, images, and style. Then measure again.Compare the website with peers by these measures.

  1. Maintain

Make it easy to update and maintain and move to new technology. Update content navigation and messages using admin people. Remember the typing pool? Now everyone does their own. Get rid of the website typing pool, update it just like a document.

A website which is hard to maintain will fall behind, and progression rates worsen.

IRM and the Success Factors for Online Investor Relations

At IRM, we are online investor communications specialists. We understand the investor journey and touchpoints, and the success factors for online investor relations to pull it all together.

We know how to help listed companies with the touchpoints and message distribution.

Each company has its story and its messages. Understanding the success factors reduces the cost and improves the efficiency of the IR communications strategy.

IRM has prepared a white paper on Success Factors. Read more about success factors on our website, here, or for a full discussion download the white paper, here.

If you would like to chat about this with our CEO, Martin Spry, be cautious – it’s his favourite subject, and the conversation might not be short! He does coffee on the subject, and can be reached by email on martin.spry@irmau.com, or by phone on +61 2 8233 6168.

Online Touchpoints in the Investor Journey

Information and impressions gained at various online touchpoints is used by investors as they progress on their journey from identifying needs to becoming a shareholder that will recommend the stock to others.

In an earlier post in IRMatters, we discussed the Investor Journey and how it is important for the IR communication strategy to understand the journey the investor takes, and the touchpoints investors use.

All touchpoints (such as the company website) will deliver a variety of messages that will communicate both facts and impressions about the company.

An effective online IR strategy delivers the messages in the medium investors want, using the touchpoints they choose.

In today’s post, we present a high level discussion of the touchpoints. If you would like to take a little longer to examine our thoughts on it, feel free to visit our website to download our Touchpoints White Paper, here.

Online Touchpoints in the Investor Journey


Different Messages

Messages are usually a mixture of facts and impressions. Sometimes a great fact, delivered poorly, can be less effective than an ordinary fact delivered well.

This is because investors don’t always make entirely rational decisions – particularly when they are in the early stages of their journey and know that they haven’t yet attempted to consider all the facts.

Those facts and impressions will be interpreted differently, by different investors, different types of investors, and investors at different stages of the journey. This detail will help investors make decisions, both rational and emotional, about whether or not they will move to the next stage of their journey on the buying process.


Different touchpoints at different stages

Some touchpoints will tend to be used earlier in the investor journey, others later. Some touchpoints are suited to some types of media, others best suited to different types.

At any stage of the investor journey the investor can choose which touchpoint they want to use. They will base their decision to progress to the next stage based on what they find at that time at that touchpoint.

Investor Journey Timeliness and Consistency
Consistency and timeliness of messages and impressions given is therefore very important.

We don’t know what stage an investor is at when a message is delivered to a Touchpoint. So impressions matter at every Touchpoint, and quick navigation to successively more detailed facts is needed for later stage investors.


Early Stage Touchpoints

At the early stages of the investor journey, the potential investor may not even know our company name or ticker code.

The touchpoints they will use are places where there is general information about the industry or the opportunity. They may look at a list of recommendations from a broker or adviser, an article in an online newspaper, membership of an online forum or industry website, a tweet on a related subject, or a post in an online forum.

The big one is Google search.

Once they know our company name or ticker code, they should be easily able to find us on page 1 of Google search – preferably sitting at the top of the page. If achievable, other search terms relating to our industry, the executives’ names, the names or geographical regions of projects or services, should all rank highly.

Online Touchpoints in the Investor Journey

The investor website

The investor home page should create a great impression (for first time visitors) and provide simple and effective navigation to what investors want (for returning visitors).

The investor website should be the authority on everything relating to the company. Easily and readily searchable.

It should be up to date to the minute.


Mobile and responsive

Investors are participating in this trend as much as others.

The entire investor website should respond well to all different form factors. It’s called Responsive Design.

Having said that, the desktop version is far from dead. Around 70% of investor website visits are still from desktops. Investors might have a glance on their phone, but they will do their deeper thinking at a desktop or laptop.


Notifications and Alerts

Investors will not wake up in the morning and rush to your website to see if you have some news.

Investors need to be alerted to your news. Many third parties have notification services, that suit their objectives not yours. Most investor websites offer the ability to subscribe for an email notification service.

It’s up to the company to embrace investors wanting a notification to provide it as soon as the announcement is released.


Social Media

Investors are increasingly turning to social media. Twitter seems to be the main one, probably driven by the trend in the US for companies to make their earnings calls on twitter.

Online Touchpoints in the Investor Journey

Other social media channels to consider are LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Slideshare, Flickr, Wikipedia and others.

Social media strategies range from “hide” to “fully embrace”. Few companies can afford to hide, particularly with Twitter which, with the advent of $Cashtags, provides nowhere to hide.


Budget impact

Different media types, delivered through more touchpoints, come with increased effort and resulting cost.  Automation of processes can help, and can also help improved timeliness.


Summary

Many online touchpoints, and third party touchpoints, are transitory. News comes and goes, sometimes before it’s noticed.

So we relate the content back to the investor website. The investor website is the baseline. The rock. The source of truth. The pervasive, responsive, complete, and up to date repository for all information about the company.

Where we are in complete control of the messages, if not the audience.


Success Factors

What does all this mean for an online IR strategy?

Success is when the IR communications strategy delivers the appropriate messages through the right touchpoints to suit the investors’ needs for their current stage of the investor journey.

On our website, and in more detail in a separate IRMatters post we present IRM’s views on the ten best practice principles.

Online Touchpoints in the Investor Journey


IRM and the Touchpoints on the Investor Journey

At IRM, we are online investor communications specialists. We understand the investor journey and how the online touchpoints work, particularly the online touchpoints that are available to listed companies.

We help listed companies with the online touchpoints and message distribution.

Of course the company needs a good story and good messages. IRM helps deliver them to the touchpoints that investors are using at the time that they need to see them.

IRM has prepared a white paper on Touchpoints. Read more about touchpoints on our website, here, or for a full discussion download the white paper, here.

If you would like to chat about this with our CEO, Martin Spry, be cautious – it’s his favourite subject, and the conversation might not be short! He does coffee on the subject, and can be reached by email on martin.spry@irmau.com, or by phone on +61 2 8233 6168.

The Investor Journey – explored and explained

Investors go through a buying process as they decide whether or not to invest in a particular company. This article explores the similarities between the investor journey and the consumer buying process and outlines our thinking on how to engage for better success.

Consumers who are buying a product go through stages of engagement before their buy decision. Similarly, when making an investment decision, investors take a journey.

Listed companies should assume this applies to the buying process for investors.

Investors move through a number of stages as they change from not knowing the company at all to becoming a committed long term shareholder.

Their journey is personal and each is different. Some investors make progress quickly through the stages; some dawdle, while others never make it.

In today’s blog, we present a high level discussion of the Investor journey. We’ve expanded on today’s thoughts in a downloadable white paper, accessible from our website here.

Investor and Consumer journeys

Why is an investor journey similar to a regular consumer buying process?

As listed companies, we’re continually marketing a product – our shares – to a largely unknown audience of potential investors through a largely online process, worldwide.

Share trades are the immediate and direct daily results of ongoing investor marketing efforts. The marginal trades are the ones that set the price.

derivatives-of-forex-currency-trading_1
It’s a daily competition, it’s a worldwide online competition, and there are plenty of other choices for investors.
Those that do this job better and more consistently will likely achieve more interest in their stock, more competition for it, and a better share price.

Relating the Investor Journey to the online IR strategy

There’s plenty of research about the propensity of investors to access company data online before looking to offline means. If we include newspapers, for example, as a predominately online medium these days, there’s little dispute.

While offline methods – calls, meetings etc – are extremely valuable at different times of the journey, when they happen we generally know who they are and where the target investor are and will often have some insight into where they sit in the buying process. So almost the entire focus should be on how the online IR strategy fits with the investor journey.

Key to success with online IR is understanding the components of the investor journey – the stages investors go through as they learn about, engage with, become and remain shareholders in a listed company. The online communication strategy needs to relate to them at each stage of their journey, using messages, providing data, and being available at the touchpoints they choose.

In the 2015 summer edition of Listed@ASX magazine, IRM CEO Martin Spry discussed the investor journey and the resulting ten principles for online communication. Read more about the Listed@ASX article in this IRMatters blog post.

Stages of the Investor Journey

Because no two investors will take exactly the same journey, and we can’t explain exactly what the journey might be, we are left to address the generic concept as a basis for the online IR strategy.

To examine the starting point for a journey, we need to define a potential investor as someone who has funds to invest and a mandate (or potential mandate or preference) that could include our particular stock. We don’t know who these people are, and they might not know who we are. We just know that there are people out there with a potential need to invest in our stock.

So the investor journey starts with Needs.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have a subset of our existing shareholders who are committed long term investors and will happily recommend the stock to others. So the final stage of the investor journey is Recommend.

The stages in between are similar to a normal consumer buying cycle, and might be something like this:

The Investor Journey

graphic2

Making the Investor Journey

In practice, the world is never so simple or regimented.

Investors will wander back and forth through the journey, and will find side tracks to take, some of which are dead ends, or they get lost.

Investors make decisions to progress to the next buying stage

crossroad
At each stage of the investor journey, some will decide not to continue with the journey for us. These are lost sales, lost investors. The remainder progress to the next stage.

Clearly, the more investors we can find in the Needs stage, and the better the progression rates between stages, the more will eventually find their way to the final Recommend stage.

It’s a numbers game.

Messages and Touchpoints

Each decision to progress or not is made based on some information given in messages, which is collected somehow through what we refer to as a “Touchpoint”.

Online touchpoints include the company’s investor web site and third party online sources (e.g. the ASX web site, broker web sites, online media and many more). Social media is becoming more widely used for investor purposes. Email alerts sent by the company are a useful Touchpoint for the middle stages of the investor journey.

Online touchpoints are desktop and mobile, phone or tablet, at the investors’ choice. We need to be effective at all of them to improve progression rates.

reagroup

The messages delivered at each Touchpoint can be text, images, voice, video, ASX Announcements, tables, reports and many more. Short tweets or long detailed explanation and analysis. Investors at different stages at different touchpoints will expect – or simply prefer – different delivery mechanisms for the messages. The wrong format of message for that particular stage might lose an investor.

An effective online IR strategy delivers the messages in the medium investors want using the touchpoints they choose.

A fuller discussion of touchpoints is presented on the IRM website here, and in another IRMatters post here.

Success Factors

What does all this mean for an online IR strategy?

Success is when the IR communications strategy delivers the appropriate messages through the right touchpoints to suit the investors’ needs for their current stage of the investor journey.

In this page on our website, and in more detail in a separate IRMatters post we present IRM’s views on the ten best practice principles.

IRM and the Investor Journey

At IRM, we are online investor communications specialists. We understand the investor journey and how the touchpoints work, particularly the online touchpoints.

We help listed companies with the touchpoints and message distribution.

Of course the company needs a good story and good messages. IRM helps deliver them to the touchpoints that investors are using at the time that they need to see them.

IRM has prepared a white paper on the Investor Journey. Read more about the investor journey and download the white paper our website, here.

If you would like to chat about this with our CEO, Martin Spry, be cautious – it’s his favourite subject, and the conversation might not be short! He does coffee on the subject, and can be reached by email on martin.spry@irmau.com, or by phone on +61 2 8233 6168.

Martin Spry covers Online Investor Communication in Listed@ASX

In the recently published summer edition of Listed@ASX magazine, IRM’s CEO, Martin Spry contributes thoughts on what makes an effective online IR communication strategy.

Cover
 Key to success with online IR is understanding the investor journey – the stages investors progress through as they learn about, engage with and become shareholders in a listed company. The online communication strategy needs to relate to investors at each stage of their journey.

Investors make decisions to progress to the next buying phase

graphic2

The corporate website is king, and almost everything else leads to it, but investors will choose many other online touch-points as they make their discoveries and reach an investment decision.

Its more than just a website. Far more.

IRM’s Listed@ASX article goes on to explore ten principles to consider to make your online IR program most effective.

graphic3

A PDF copy of the article can be viewed or downloaded here.

Listed@ASX app

Download the free Listed@ASX app from the Apple app store or Google Play to receive the full magazine. The app also includes the regular ASX Compliance Updates, Listing Rules, Guidance Notes and reporting calendar, all stored conveniently for reference in your app library.

We’d love to hear your thoughts

In later blog posts IRM will explore these issues in more detail. Meanwhile, if you have comments or ideas about this please contact Martin directly at IRM via martin.spry@irmau.com or +61 2 8233 6168.

Visit IRM at www.irmau.com for more of our thought leadership and how-to articles.

Are you ignoring a core part of your audience?


English is now a minority language. To attract the large set of potential investors whose first language is not English, companies must not only reach them with news and investment propositions, but also express themselves in the language that those people prefer to use. Here Tim McKinnon, founder of ABN Newswire, poses the question –  if you’re not talking in the native language of your target audience, can people be expected to really hear you?

tim_mckinnon_google_presentation_20100714t_thumb


Did you know, that in a world driven by communication, the need to express oneself is clearly vital? As the interconnectedness of the international community becomes much more intertwined and close-knit, the possibility of needing to communicate to someone in a language other than one’s own becomes highly likely. This need is even more pronounced when it comes to company communications.

With the surge of the internet and the rapid growth of social networks and communication tools, individuals, groups and companies are now able to reach further and with greater impact into communities they may have never before been able to connect to, let alone envisage doing business with.

As our reach extends so does the desire to provide services to a wider market, along with demand from extended markets. So how does a company with a product or service ensure that it’s capitalising on a business in a target market? It needs to communicate. However, communication is constantly evolving, as is the means by which we can communicate.

In the context of a shrinking world, communication requires that companies adapt and accommodate strategies that help them assimilate or integrate with their target markets.

While an ‘online bridge’ which now connects once distant markets globally has reduced communication capability to virtually seconds, there is still, for many companies, an immense chasm separating them from exponential growth, a result of a significant oversight in their “corporate communications strategy”. Many companies who are trying to generate increased company interest, increased market value and general company exposure are lacking an integral component in communication, particularly those with global aspirations, and that component is translation.


“While content in English still dominates the web, “billions of people don’t read English at all or well enough to make buying decisions,” concludes a survey by Common Sense Advisory, a business research consultancy.”

is-your-english-good-enough

While content in English still dominates the web, “billions of people don’t read English at all or well enough to make buying decisions,” concludes a survey by Common Sense Advisory, a business research consultancy. In reality, businesses must translate and localise products into a host of different languages, and that requires translation.

Take for example the inventor and the invention. You may have the greatest invention in the world, something that could revolutionise the way we operate, yet, if you have no means to communicate or lack the means to communicate in an appropriate format, the value of the invention is fundamentally worthless. The ability to express the value of a product or service, in a manner understandable to a target market becomes the ultimate test of success.


“The ability to express the value of a product or service, in a manner understandable to a target market becomes the ultimate test of success.”

onlinemarketing

This has become even more apparent in the lack of multilanguage strategies. While access to target markets in faraway lands has become accessible, to many companies, the strategic building blocks are often not in place, resulting in lost opportunity.

Think about how to attract investors outside of your existing portfolio. Is English their first language? Can you expand your communications strategies to include this large set of potential participants in your company’s dialog?

It is worth thinking about, after all, English is now a minority language.

Considering your approach to translation?

Tim McKinnon is the CEO of ABN Newswire, the leading Pan Asian and Global Business Newswire offering offering translation services and global distribution of press release and company announcements and an electronic network for broadcasting important corporate information, video and multimedia, to local and foreign media, investors, analysts and financial institutions.

If you’d like to speak with Tim, please contact him via tim.mckinnon@abnnewswire.net or +61-2-8205-7353.

IRM can assist with multi-language websites or translated key pages on English language websites.

Many thanks to Tim for this thought-provoking post.

Think you’re not on Twitter? Think again…

Some time back, following the trend set by #stocktwits, #twitter introduced a $cashtag.  For those daunted by the concept of Twitter (let alone the $cashtag) we take a moment here to demystify the cashtag feature and provide some simple tips on how to be more across what’s being said about your company on twitter, because despite whether you’re participating in social media conversation about your company, it’s most likely occurring anyway.

Many ASX listed clients of IRM are already actively engaging with investors through Twitter, using IRM Newsroom to publish their announcements there.

However, even if you “don’t  use Twitter” – you most likely are already on the forum. This is because if you’re a publicly listed company, with interested shareholders or under the scrutiny of media, you’re probably already being discussed.

cashtagpic
 

Checking Twitter conversations

One way to find references where your company is being discussed is to look for a Cashtag, – a little symbol, where a ticker code is preceded by a $ sign. In the case of IRM client, Primary Healthcare, their cashtag would look like this: $PRY. The cashtag is like the conventional hashtag, where users insert a hash, or pound symbol: # in front of an important term or phrase – eg. #primaryhealthcare or #investorrelations, and the cashtag is used to specifically highlight news about particular stocks.

Many financial users are now routinely tweeting using cashtags. For example, Commsec tweets several times a day and every time they mention a stock they give it a cashtag. So almost certainly, a search of an ASX listed company’s cashtag on Twitter will reveal a number of posts. In the pic below, we searched Twitter using the code $PRY and found a list of references to Primary Healthcare, including one from Commsec, where they’ve used the cashtag to highlight and categorise their post:

cashtagpry
Note how the top two posts actually relate to a company called Prysmian SpA, an Italian entity with the same ticker? This is a relatively common problem, where duplicate tickers are used across multiple exchanges. One easy way to differentiate between companies listed on different exchanges is to use the exchange convention when posting your cashtag. For example, here the posters could have used $PRY.AX to indicate that they were referring to Primary Healthcare, listed on the ASX.

If you are posting about your own company, and know that your ticker is shared with other companies on different exchanges, we’d recommend applying the .AX extension after your ticker – so it reads $XYZ.AX.

twitter
 

Why use cashtags?

Twitter introduced this functionality in July 2012 as a means of tracking investor- focused updates and it has since been used by the investor community online to save time when searching for updates regarding specific listed companies. This is what Twitter said when announcing the use of “cashtags”:

“When you’re talking about a publicly-traded company on Twitter, make sure you remember to use their new clickable stock tag. It’s also being called a “cashtag,” by some Twitter users. Whatever you call it, Twitter’s new hashtag functionality for stock symbols means that users can view streams of tweets about certain companies’ stock with ease. The cashtags work like hashtags in that they are highlighted blue and clickable. Instead of the “#” that precedes normal hashtags, “$” precedes the cashtags.”

 

Cashtag fast facts

  • Cashtags were created so that users could more easily categorise and find stock news for a specific company or ticker symbol
  • Cashtag tweets can be used to derive new insights about stocks and companies if we know how to mine the data correctly.

Essentially, cashtags are a distinct way of listing updates regarding news and financial data for a specific company and making these posts easily searchable for quick review.  You can search for and click on ticker symbols like $BHP or $BHP.AX within Twitter, to see search results about stocks and companies of interest.

 

Want to include cashtags in your Twitter posts?

Here are some suggestions on how you can do so:

  1. Set up or activate your Twitter account
  2. Choose a cashtag to use – eg. $PRY for Primary.
  3. Set up IRM Newsroom to post your (selected) ASX Announcements to your Twitter account using your cashtag
  4. In tandem, suggest to your contacts (such as analysts / reporters), who might be tweeting about you that they use the cashtag.
  5. Take a look at your cashtag every so often to see what your overall voice looks like on Twitter.
    You may also like to consider encouraging investors to use your cashtag by noting it within your ASX announcements and other investor materials

Including cashtags to your Twitter posts as a default is something IRM can quickly and easily assist with via settings in our Newsroom product.

 

Get started today

Need a hand getting started?  Get in touch with our Client Relations Team via email: clientrelations@irmau.com or phone: +61 2 8705 5444. Or visit www.irmau.com for more detail.

 

 

Online annual reports – three ideas for listed companies

Here we look at the value in online reporting and the variety of online annual reports that IRM clients provide for their investors.

Its that time again
 

In our previous annual reporting posts, we provided some tips on how to best plan for the annual report process, and the important checks and balances to consider when creating reports.

In today’s post, we consider the value of online reporting, and the different sorts of reports IRM clients are choosing to adopt.

Reporting trends

Since ASIC changed the rules on annual reporting several years ago, more companies have chosen to publish their annual reports online.

For listed entities, as a PDF copy of the report needs to be lodged with ASX, an electronic copy is generated for that process, but the question is – with more and more shareholders reading reports online, does just providing the flat PDF file, with no other viewing options, provide shareholders with a good experience?

In our view, the answer is no.  Here is why.

There are two major reasons:

  • Increasing use of mobile devices means that many investors are still short of both the bandwidth gobbled by large PDF’s and the time the download takes on slower connection, and
  • Once the PDF is downloaded, it’s still tedious to page through it to find the information sought.

Most investors know what they want to read about in the Annual Report – whether it’s the financial highlights, the Chairman’s report, or just the remuneration report. They like to go straight to the right section.

IRM can assist you to provide a better Online Annual Report viewing experience, whether you are an IRM website customer or not.

Here are three ways that IRM clients provide investors a better experience through the online annual reports process:

The Bronze Online Annual Report

A simple, but important revision to the flat PDF file.  With our bronze online annual report package:

  • IRM breaks out each section of the annual report into a separate, smaller PDF file, with a table of contents, and
  • The report is highlighted on the Annual Reports page of the corporate website.

The benefit for investors is that they don’t need to browse through a long, heavy PDF file online.

Bronze annual reports are a great option for companies that want to provide shareholders with a good usability experience at a minimum cost, but don’t need the bells and whistles that come with the silver and gold packages below.

See examples of bronze reports at Cue Energy and Cape Lambert corporate websites.

annaulreport-iphone-imac
annaulreport-laptop
annaulreport-laptopipad

The Silver Online Annual Report

With the IRM Silver Online Annual Report package we provide a PDF page turning option:

  • Annual reports are displayed in a PDF page viewer for a book-like usability experience
  • Investors can use a range of interactive facilities, such as page turning, zoom, full screen mode, advanced search and text selection tools
  • Contents are broken out down the left of the reading pane, and the reader can choose to view as text or thumbnails
  • A bookmarking facility is also available, and reports are easily downloaded as individual pages, sections or full PDFs
  • Sharing buttons are integrated into the viewer, allowing investors to easily share parts of, or the whole report with peers, and
  • These reports are created in responsive design, allowing them to be viewed across mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone, Android, etc. 

See examples of silver online annual reports at Treasury Group and Northern Iron websites.

SilverAnnualReport-iPhone
treasury-macbook-ipad
SilverAnnualReport-iPad

The Gold Online Annual Report

The Gold Online Annual Report package is an excellent option for companies that want to bring their reports to life. Featuring the Annual Report in a mini-website, this annual reporting option:

  • Is a fully customised, user-friendly, micro site, which works across all devices
  • Allows companies to customise key highlights and financial messages, showcase images and case studies so that investors and analysts can digest the report with key messages in mind
  • Can incorporate video, audio, webcasts, AGM data and a range of other assets, such as image galleries and downloads of financial data
  • Includes search, sharing, download, print, and full accessibility, and
  • Is mobile friendly and comes with full tracking statistics, allowing clients to evaluate how important each section of the report is to investors.

View an example of a gold annual report at the AWE website.

AWE-multistage
 

Integration into the corporate site

To ensure that online annual reports are well noticed and used by shareholders, IRM works with clients to ensure they are well integrated into the corporate website.  We often suggest:

  • Promotional buttons for the corporate site’s home page
  • Buttons directing investors to the report from the investor centre landing page or other parts of the site, and
  • Special purpose email alerts which are sent seamlessly on lodgement day, and other promotional tactics.

Selected the best option for you?

We appreciate your choices early so that we can make sure we schedule the high quality result you need at the same time as the release of the PDF document. Just let us know which option you prefer and leave the rest to us. Contact Danny Hunt via: email – danny.hunt@irmau.com or phone: +61 2 8233 6168.

Need support with your printed annual report?

Along with online annual reporting, the IRM team develops engaging, printable annual reports at competitive prices.  To speak with us regarding print, online reports or both, please contact Matt White via: email – matthew.white@irmau.com or phone: +61 2 8233 6168.

Listed Entities Enhance their Online Presence to Improve Investor Communications, according to AIRA

Earlier this year, the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA) released the findings of a major survey it had conducted into online investor communications. Here, we cover some the survey highlights, with thanks to AIRA.

AIRA CEO, Ian Matheson
AIRA CEO, Ian Matheson

The biennial AIRA Benchmarking Survey has revealed that 72% of companies are now either using social media or may do so in future.

Core social media delivery channels

LinkedIn is the favoured site companies are using to communicate with investors, with numbers growing fivefold compared with the 2010 survey.

Facebook and Twitter are the second and third most favoured services. Companies revealed that they also monitor what is said about them on social media, with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and HotCopper ranking as the services most mentioned.

Another highlight of the survey was the rapid expansion in the use of IR apps, which allow investors to receive company information on their mobile devices. Some 30% of respondents said that they either had developed an app or were looking to provide one in the future, in a sevenfold increase since the last survey was published in 2012.

AIRA’s CEO, Mr Ian Matheson, said:

“Leading Australian and NZ listed companies are embracing technology because it is a very effective way of engaging with investors. People want to receive timely information, and online communication channels are the effective way of achieving that. Clearly, we have reached a tipping point and I would expect that many more listed entities will upgrade their communications.”

Choice is important

Choice is important
Choice is important

Apart from giving investors greater access to information, the survey also highlighted the importance of giving investors a number of choices in how they are communicated with.

While email is still the primary means of shareholder communications for 87% of respondents, most companies have optimised the investor information on their websites for Apple devices and nearly half make webcasts available on mobile devices.

The trend shows up also in the delivery of annual reports. Some 83% of respondents said that fewer than 20% of shareholders were now opting for printed annual reports.

Other key findings

Other key findings
Other key findings

Other significant findings from the survey include:

  • On the sensitive issue of earnings forecasts, 66% of companies derive and maintain their own version of consensus and update it monthly, but most use it only for internal purposes. Sixteen percent are considering publishing consensus estimates or lists of broker forecasts over the next 12 months
  • Forty percent of CEOs and CFOs are spending more than 15% of their time meeting on IR matters. Most boards spend 1-10% of time on IR
  • Boards are also engaging more with IROs, with 63% of Australian respondents regularly attending board meetings and 23% of NZ respondents
  • The primary responsibilities for IR are shareholder and analyst meetings, shareholder communications and share register analysis
  • Investor Relations Officers now assume more responsibility for crisis communications, transactional and M&A communications and site tours
  • Almost 75% of respondents engage with the Australian Shareholders’ Association
  • More than 75% of respondents have a black-out policy for meeting with analysts and fund managers, and most have aligned that policy with their share trading policy
  • The most popular time for releasing major periodic reports to the securities exchange was 8.00am – 8.30am.

Read the full version of this article

This summary came from an original article written for AIRA members – our sincere thanks to the AIRA team for allowing IRM to republish it.

To access the full article, as well as a range of other resources, please visit www.aira.org.au or contact Melissa Wheeler at AIRA, via administration@aira.org.au or +61 2 9872 9100.

#livewirelive investor forum with commentary from industry greats

In June 2015, we managed to secure an invitation to an exclusive and entertaining investor forum, hosted by Livewire – a packed room of investors gathered to see industry experts engage in lively debate around various topical investment themes.

Thanks to the Livewire team for allowing us to repost the video from the event, which features Geoff Wilson, Ben Griffiths and Anton Tagliaferro, with moderation from Matthew Kidman and introductions from Tom McKay and Arnie Selvarajah.


Check out livewiremarkets.com

The #livewirelive panel covered many of the key issues facing investors today.

In this lively discussion, the panel debates the global macro setting, the ‘yield trade’ versus growth, sectors that will perform best as the US starts raising rates and the places you should not be investing.

To access the broadcast and full event program, including three high conviction stock ideas, click here or on the image below. (NB: You will need to log in or register for free to access the broadcast)

Video timestamps:

• Introduction from Tom McKay, Co-Founder, Livewire Markets
• Disruptive technology – Arnie Selvarajah, CEO, Bell Direct (starts at 7:03 minute mark)
• Panel session (starts at 12:40 minute mark)

Livewire panel #livewirelive
Livewire panel #livewirelive

Keen to know more about Livewire?

Founded in 2013, Livewire is Australia’s first social media platform for experienced investors and market professionals. Livewire brings together the market’s most relevant and informed insights from leading fund managers and investment professionals to one platform.

From macroeconomics and market trends to stock-specific commentary and investor strategy. Every piece of content shared on Livewire offers real insights direct from the industry.

For more, check out www.livewiremarkets.com

The easy way to upgrade to a smart corporate website

More and more lately, we’re meeting companies that are having trouble keeping their investors updated in a timely manner. They have nice looking websites where something like WordPress is being used for content management. Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor sends ASX Announcements by email. The websites look ok, and have all the generalised tools behind them to keep the content up to date. And they are really cheap. But….

…It’s labour intensive to keep these sites up to date. The investor relations people and company secretaries that we deal with find it hard to keep those websites up to date and keep them looking and sounding right. They often have to rely on third parties or technical people to make changes. They have to be design and content experts themselves, specifying things in minute detail, and checking and correcting them afterwards. And with the immediacy of news from ASX Announcements – investors want and expect the site to be updated immediately – its a time management problem. When there’s corporate activity on, they are just too busy to get to doing those site updates straight away. The website often fails to reflect the very latest position, just when investors want to see it.

They start to realise that all this is just not really good enough for a professional corporate website.

Then things change. They find their software options difficult to manage and, quickly, the corporate website goes from being an active communicator to a management issue.

Site migration

Migrating your website across to IRM is a simple process - you'll end up with a best practice website that can be an active communicator

Image source: forbairt.com

During the past few months, we’ve had a number of clients migrate to IRM after hearing about our HQi content management and IRM Newsroom systems. They’ve been looking for the ease of management and automation that they weren’t able to achieve with their previous approach. They can see that the IRM tools mean that ordinary people can keep the website up to date and fresh, quickly and reliably.

Then they discover that the total cost of managing the site is probably actually less when using IRM. Their time savings and improved quality add more value than the IRM service costs.

Why is life so different?

The IRM product suite has many features that are been specifically designed to support ASX listed (and dual listed) companies with specialist investor relations functions.

Once migrated, your corporate site will be supported by the power of the IRM HQi content management system. You will be able to edit pages, add new pages, restructure the navigation, provide share price data, and news feeds. And much much more. As easily as updating a Word document. And HQi maintains the overall website style with your changes. No more strange looking fonts and colours in the extra content you just added. It also protects you from mistakes, with authorise, review and go back options. With an audit trail of changes, there’s good governance as well.

Included in HQi is the IRM Newsroom product. It automatically updates the site immediately once ASX announcements are released, permits multiple views of selected announcements on the site, and sends an alert to investors through a variety of channels (email, and social media). It all just happens, and our clients love it. And their investors can get an instant reminder and see the very latest news, just as soon as it has happened.

Then there’s the technology proofing. New browsers, new ideas, new tools, faster computers, better investor information tools, better service models. IRM just does all of this for you. Future proofing, part of the service.

IRM can take usually all the content from an existing site and migrate it to HQi. It’s easy stuff.

If you think it worthwhile, we often also recommend a “re-skin” at the same time – freshen up and modernise the look and feel, incorporate some new design techniques, add some IRM investor relations special pages, ensure the site is fully responsive (ie works on all devices), and update the images. But keep the messages and content just the same.

A great advantage of this approach is that the migration project doesn’t need to take much of  your time. When IRM focuses just on a migration, its a low impact sport for you.

“The migration and re-skin project is swift and simple.  When it’s done, you have the power of HQi to future-proof your corporate site for many years to come.

Migrate to an IRM corporate website or investor centre today - it's a breeze
Migrate today – it’s easy

Migrate today

If you make the decision to migrate your site, you’ll end up with a shiny new corporate website or investor centre.

You will have a first class, high functioning, fully responsive website with IRM Newsroom integration and many other features from the IRM portfolio.

One recently migrated site is Wolf Minerals. The site now includes a refreshed look and feel, which works across the full range of mobile devices, and is powered by IRM’s suite of smart investor tools.

Wolf Minerals, fully responsive site migration
Wolf Minerals, fully responsive website

Discuss a migration

To discuss migrating your site and check out IRM’s specialist IR tools, contact Danny Hunt at IRM via +61 2 8233 6168 or danny.hunt@irmau.com. We could have you up and running in no time, with an automated, best practice website and set of investor-focused, productivity increasing tools.

Innovation, with a bit of help from Sydney’s TEDx 2015

Brimming with inspiration from the recent TEDx talks in Sydney recently? Us too!  In case you missed the event, shared below are a couple of wrap-up articles that caught the eye of the IRM team.

Sydney TEDx - image source: benojo.com

TEDx is the local variation of TED, the world-famous, not for profit speech series, devoted to spreading ideas.  Last Thursday, the Sydney TEDx event for 2015 was held at the Opera House, with a full program of interesting and insightful speakers.

While we didn’t make it on the day, it didn’t take the IRM team long to seek out highlights from the program.

TEDx Sydney 2015!
TEDx takes over Sydney!

In this neat Mumbrella post, Five lessons from TEDx Sydney are explored, along with the video clips from:

  • Tom Uglow, creative director of Google Creative Labs:
  • Hamish Skermer, billed as the ‘King of the Compost Toilet’
  • Dylan Alcott, Paralympic gold medallist, Order of Australia medal recipient and motivational speaker
  • Tega Brain, Artist, and
  • Tony Fry, Design theorist and philosopher

Meanwhile, over at Business Insider, Alex Herber explores how corporate Australia sat alongside “along side the usual hipsters, startup reps and academics” in order to drive their own thinking and innovation.

We hope you enjoy viewing and reading through the pieces from TEDx.  Like our clients, at IRM, we’re always looking for ways to innovate to improve our business.  If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to save costs and make your business processes more efficient, check out these posts that we shared recently through our blog, IRMatters:

Here’s to innovation and great ideas!

IRM - supporting innovation

Responsive design – why it’s important

We live in a mobile, web enabled world. By the day, the number of people who are accessing websites using smart phones or tablets is increasing.  Watching this trend, good web developers sought to deliver a better experience for people using mobile devices, and “responsive web design” was born as a result.

So what is responsive web design?

Responsive web design is the process of creating websites (and all other online material, eg email messages and newsletters) that provide an optimal user experience regardless of the type of device used to access the site. The desired outcome is an easy reading and navigation experience across all devices with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling.

When applied properly, responsive sites work automatically across a wide range of devices – including traditional website views on desktop computer monitors and laptops through to mobile phones, tablets and other devices.

What does a responsive site look like?

Responsive sites work well when being viewed either in landscape or portrait mode.  In the image below (thanks to Google Australia), we show the difference between a site that has been created responsively, and one that uses an older, non-responsive and therefore non-mobile friendly design.

Responsive sites are important for business as we become more and more dependent upon smart phones and tablet devices
Image courtesy of Google Australia

Why is it important?

Responsive web design is important to provide visitors to your website or investor centre with a usable web experience.

IRM’s statistics of investor website views over the last two years clearly show the rising trend towards mobile website access. Investors are on the move! We’re doing some specific research on the numbers and will publish them in a later blog.

Now the stakes are getting higher. A few weeks back, Google updated its search algorithm to favour sites which are mobile-friendly.  Now, when a Google user searches for a term, Google notes whether the sites that land in the search results are “mobile-friendly” or not. So unfriendly sites will rank lower in Google searches.

IRM’s approach to responsive design

For the last 18 months or so, all new or redesigned IRM websites have responsive design. It’s just part of what we do at IRM.

For most existing clients, we’ve changed them over to responsive. Those who aren’t changed over yet, we know who you are! Its been a challenge for us to make sure our 170 client websites have kept up. But that’s why clients are with IRM, to leave these problems to us.

We’ve included a few examples below.

REA-group.com website on an iphone     rea-group.com site on an ipad

THORN-IPHONE-VIEW    THORN-IPAD-VIEW

To see how the sites look on your own phone or device, pull out your phone or tablet and have a look at these sample IRM sites – try landscape and portrait:

www.rea-group.comwww.wicet.com.auwww.thorn.com.au

 

Nailing your annual report – tips for IR teams

As year end continues to approach at a rapid rate of knots, Art Director – Matt White covers some more of the common questions that clients have been considering when formulating the best content and structure for their reports.

This is a second post in a special Annual Report planning series – view our first post here.


 

IRMatters: Annual reports are usually long documents – how can you avoid your key points from getting lost in the detail?

Matt White: To avoid the trap of losing your key messages, it’s good to preface each section with a summary paragraph recapping strategy and outlining results… and language must be kept simple.

Benthan IMF - 2014 printed annual report
Benthan IMF – 2014 printed annual report

IRMatters: How important is including a mission and vision statement?

Matt White: Including these statements up front in an annual report is usually a favourable approach – here’s why:

  • Readers need to understand quickly and simply why you did what you did and the difference you made. Recap your mission, vision and values and allow your achievements to shine.
  • One of the best ways to get your message across is through vision.
  • To go with your vision/mission, a relevant, well captioned, photograph helps depict an outcome and reaffirms achievements. Infographics work well, too, as do pull quotes and eye-catching headings.
LogiCamms - 2013 printed annual report
LogiCamms – 2013 printed annual report

IRMatters: How important is attention to detail?

Matt White: Attention to detail is absolutely vital to the whole annual report process. Here are some basic principles to keep in mind during the proofing process:

  • Ensure you have proof read your document.
  • Remember that when you’ve been looking at the same document for a long period of time, glossing over things becomes easier, so it’s a good idea to have a second (and sometimes third) pair of eyes who can proof read for you.
  • More often than once, companies have made errors with their financial statements due to lack of attention to detail – work to ensure that all figures in the financials add up.
  • Check that names of staff, donors or partner organisations are spelt correctly – and that they are spelt in full in the first instance, before applying acronyms.
Northern Iron - 2014 printed annual report
Northern Iron – 2014 printed annual report

IRMatters: What sort of options are available for companies planning annual reports?

Matt White: These days there are many options available to clients – from less complex annual reports, which incorporate a well-designed, colourful cover alongside a basic print and table structure; through to full colour, image and graphic-rich reports. IRM works with clients across the full spectrum.

It’s also important to note that where we design a print report for a client, we also recommend including an online report, so that investors can read the report in the format that they prefer. See some examples of our online annual reports here.

Ainsworth Gaming - 2014 printed annual report
Ainsworth Gaming – 2014 printed annual report
Acrux - 2014 printed annual report
Acrux – 2014 printed annual report

Special offer available with every annual report ordered before 30 June

Contact us today to get a no-obligation quote on your annual report.  All clients that order an annual report prior to 30 June will receive either a discount off the price of the report, or a free Silver online annual report to accompany the printable version.  To request a quote, please fill out your details here.

Alternatively – if you’d prefer to discuss your requirements, please contact Matt White via: email – matthew.white@irmau.com or phone: +61 2 8233 6168.

We’ve packed up our servers and moved to AWS

Once upon a time we had to own, configure, run, update and back up expensive servers in a complex hosting environment.

As a Christmas present to itself and clients, in late 2014, IRM transformed its hosting environment: moving from the original complicated server setup, to a cloud based solution with Amazon Web Services. We are delighted with the result – here’s why…


IRM is now gratefully powered by Amazon Web Services
Yes we are!

IRM was a cloud computing provider before such catchy words existed. We have always hosted and supported client websites and our content management system in a managed services environment. Back in the day, the infrastructure that we provided meant we were referred to as an Application Service Provider, or ASP.

Shared service data centres were the best way to do this when IRM started. We hired a rack in a data centre, and populated it with our own servers. The data centre provider looked after the physical environment, delivered internet capability via a dedicated set of lines from multiple ISP’s and offered 24/7 monitoring and support for the machines. IRM used a shared service like this for 12 years. We delivered very high availability of websites for clients, suffering very few unscheduled outages.

Despite all this, our whole service had physical limitations that were not easy to improve. So we constantly had to capacity plan. We were still responsible for upgrading the operating systems and hardware in our rack. Infrastructure growth was in discrete lumps, and each upgrade was delivered with considerable effort from expensive IT people. And then there was the capital cost of the hardware itself.

Use of infrastructure in the cloud completely changes the management requirements and risk profile of the IRM service. We now don’t own a server, and we don’t have Microsoft server software licences. We buy on-demand server capability, including all the licencing, by the hour. We have no limitations on our internet demands. There’s no dedicated access, we just share the AWS capacity in a fully secure way, which delivers appropriate capacity in peak times and when there are troughs.

We created fresh new versions of all of our servers, with the latest operating system software, on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) service, using one of their Sydney datacentres. Your website data is still hosted in Sydney. We migrated the client websites and databases one at a time to the new servers. We helped each client change their DNS entries to point to the new servers. Overall it took us five months. We ran duplicate infrastructure for that period, and for the most part, things went smoothly.

In the cloud, the new servers are as familiar as our IRM-owned servers – once we log on, they look just like they always did. But if we want to expand the disk space, run up another server, upgrade a server to a bigger one – more memory, more processors etc – we just go to the AWS console and do it there in a few minutes. No mess, no fuss – access in minutes.

Server hardware might still fail. It hasn’t happened yet, but if it does we just re-start the server, and it will seamlessly switch over to running on different hardware. Backups? We still do all our file level backups as before. We can choose to store them in a different datacentre just by specifying the volume location on the console. We do volume backups and take machine image copies. All from the console.

Hardware has become software. And by the way, many of the console functions are available on an AWS mobile phone app. We can run up another server from the bus on the way to work with more ease and confidence now than ever before.

The benefit for clients is that you can even more confidently expect that the IRM service will respond quickly, reliably and will grow seamlessly as your demands change and as IRM’s client base grows.

Out with the O-ld, in with Dropbox for Business

Late in 2014, the old O:\ drive, which was considered our trusty old, in-house file server was laid to rest, in favour of Dropbox for Business. While we remember O:\ drive fondly, we’ve not looked back as Dropbox has provided speed, efficiency and reliability at roughly the same cost as the energy bill for our old friend.


IRM moved across to Dropbox for business - Image courtesy of blogs.dropbox.com
Image courtesy of blogs.dropbox.com

In this IRMatters post, we summarise our experience for the benefit of other small businesses considering their options.

Prior to 2014 IRM had been sharing files amongst its team using the kind of shared disk drive, hosted on internal servers that is common to many businesses. The ubiquitous O: drive. It held everything we needed to know about our clients and ourselves.

Of course, after 10 years or so the folder structure was a bit of a mess, the processes followed by successive generations of staff were not always consistent, and the physical disk it was on never seemed to be big enough. A separate, different drive sprung up for archived files, and our Graphic Design team seemed reluctant to share some of their bigger art files, for reasons of speed and accessibility – so another separate disk seemed a good idea.

We were worried about backup, so there were various backup copies kept around, though no-one was really sure or trusted that, so we all kept private copies of important stuff – on our C: drives of course, insecure and not backed up. Of course the shared drive was not available as soon as you stepped outside the office (unless you logged on through the VPN, but that was a whole ‘nother story). The IT staff kept on top of this and could keep it going – when they were in the office of course, and not at meetings or busy with other projects.

There really did have to be a better way.

Enter DropBox for Business!

Yes it did take a while to move our terabyte of data to the cloud – but it really was less than a month of part time activity. We did it section by section and tidied up the file structure while we were at it. We now have 14Tb of space, only 7% of which is being used right now. And for a couple of hundred dollars a month, it’s less than the electricity bill for the server on which the O: drive sat!

Each individual staff member decides which folders are automatically synched to their computer’s C: drive. Fast moving files are available locally, and the full file set is accessible through the web browser or by adjusting syncing. Clients can access their shared folders. We can provide subsets of working file folders to consultants, meaning we can give them more file management accountability, which results in less version control issues. Once again, we’re freed from the office and life is better!

Backups? We forget about that. Dropbox runs on Amazon Web Services and there is simply no concern about lost files. Accidental deletion? Never mind, Dropbox for Business keeps all historical versions of every file. Yes, all – the lot, for ever. No extra charge.

It’s not without its issues, but they are easily managed and will no doubt improve over time as Dropbox upgrade their software.

With no effort from us, we’re in good company and can leave them to their business while we run ours.

Top takeaways from the AIRA annual conference

In late 2014, IRM attended the annual conference for the preeminent industry body for investor relations in Australia – the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA.) Here, AIRA CEO, Ian Matheson summarises the key takeaways from the conference that IR people should know.

Ian Matheson, CEO of AIRA
Ian Matheson, CEO of AIRA

Following the 2014 annual AIRA conference, Ian Matheson summarised the top nine takeaway tips that IR professionals should be aware of.  We were particularly interested to think about the ones that affect the way IRM tries to assist with online investor communications.  Thanks to Ian for allowing us to share four of his nine tips below:

1. IR on the road

Management cannot do every roadshow. It is perfectly acceptable for IROs to present at roadshows. Some companies take the approach of always putting IR out first to deal with tyre-kickers and to give the initial 101 briefing to new investors and then bring in the management team the next time.

IRM idea: Ahead of the roadshow, lodge the investor presentation and make it available on the website. When following up, send the link to the presentation and let your investor contacts know they have been added to your email alerts list.

2. DIY roadshows

Expect to spend more time organising roadshows. “The next decade we will spend more time directly interfacing with offshore investors and building our own roadshows,” predicted one IR specialist.

This is being driven by recent regulatory changes in the UK that stop brokers from claiming back the cost of corporate access within research fees. This means that IR teams are taking on more of the burden of arranging roadshows.

Companies can hire third parties to organise roadshows—this was noted as a potential business opportunity—although this can cost between $2000 to $7000 a day. Another option is to go to the larger international industry conferences and speak with investors there.

IRM idea: Did you know that you can build your potential roadshow contact lists in an IRM Newsroom custom list, and use the Newsroom invitation capability to invite investors to your roadshow?

3. Shareholder activism is on the horizon

Most shareholder activism is located in the USA, however IR teams should expect it to arrive in the local market. Activist shareholders are estimated to control US$200bn of assets and are willing to take on the largest companies in the world. In addition, institutional investors—that used to view them as a pest — are now willing to collaborate with them.

The best way to head off shareholder activism is to know your shareholders and understand that activists only succeed with the tacit support of long-term shareholders.

IRM idea: Build defences through regular targeted communication to long term shareholders by regularly and personally updating them immediately as announcements are made. IRM Newsroom reaches your contacts by email or through social media.

4. Super-sized super funds

Super funds will keep getting larger and more influential. On the institutional side the larger super funds are building up their own corporate access facilities. Meanwhile SMSFs now make up one-third of all super assets, own 16 per cent of the local equity market and have a particular thirst for yield. These funds are fragmented and potentially difficult to engage with.

IRM idea: Super fund managers are not glued to a Reuters terminal to get the news when professional investors receive it. Embrace this group by capturing their communication preference, then using targeted alerts to send them your news, away from the whole market clutter, and immediately it is relevant to them.

Read the full version of this article

We’ve included here four of Ian’s nine key takeaways from the conference, which came from an original article written for AIRA members.

To access the full article, as well as videos of the conference presentations from which these tips were derived, contact Melissa Wheeler at AIRA, via administration@aira.org.au or +61 2 9872 9100.

Coming AIRA events

20.04.2015 MELBOURNE
Mid-Cap Dinner

28.04.2015 SYDNEY
Mid-Cap Dinner

See more at www.aira.org.au

To the cloud!

IRM critically examined its business support software and infrastructure in 2014, and made the decision to move to cloud-based services for a range of needs. In this IRMatters article, CEO Martin Spry discusses the positive impact the move has had on the business and provides some tips for companies considering making the move.


IRM has moved its servers into the world-class Amazon Web Services, cloud based system

To the cloud!


One of IRM’s key areas of focus is the provision of cloud computing services for its clients. All our client websites are hosted by IRM “in the cloud”, along with our email servers and the content management system that supports the websites.

Why would we not extend that idea and use cloud computing to support our own in-house, day-to-day activities?

The move to cloud computing for a range of services gathered pace in IRM in 2014, as we critically examined the old ways of doing things and found opportunities in the cloud. We implemented the Xero accounting system, Dropbox for Business for file sharing, and Gmail for Business for emails. All these choices replaced equivalent systems that had previously run on our dedicated office servers. Then we reviewed the software we were using for our Customer Relationship Management, and settled on SugarCRM for management of client information, tasks and workflows.

Cloud computing has liberated us from the physical office. We no longer need access to our Microsoft Small Business Server – in fact we’ve turned it off. This reduced (or almost eliminated) the need for the IT people who supported it. Our desktop platform now relates directly to the cloud for all our shared services. With a dedicated 10Mbps link to our office, when we are there, it’s as fast as it was with a local server, and provides a far higher level of redundancy than what we had previously.

When we’re anywhere else, we still have all the same capabilities we have in the office. And our mobile phones provide some level of access as well. Traveling interstate, working from home, meeting with clients in their office or in a coffee shop – we’re always in the office.

We thought a lot about security. With our in-house server, there was physical security issues we had to manage. In the cloud, someone else looks after that. We didn’t check that they do it properly, relying instead on the big brands and their thousands of existing customers. Access security – well, we have our suite of user names and passwords, much as before, and all these systems use secure browsing.

It’s not just the cost reduction and convenience benefit. No more hardware upgrades, hardware outages, windows server updates, software updates. We just get on with the business.Using cloud computing lets us focus on our business while our suppliers focus on theirs, so they continually improve our business and keep us ahead of the curve, without requiring us to be infrastructure experts.