User Experience

Key Considerations for Investor Relations Websites

Eleni Walters

Creating an Investor Relations page that grabs the attention of various shareholders and instills confidence in your business is a crucial part of your company’s website.

While most investors rely on specialized services their companies subscribe to (i.e., Bloomberg, Reuters, etc.), they still utilize corporate IR pages to understand what you're doing, why it matters, and how it will benefit them.  

Attracting investors to your site requires a perfect balance between clutter-free design and quality content.

Below are the  key elements of successful design and content execution that is important for your investor audience.

Designing Successful IR Websites

Designing successful user interface components is much more than establishing an eye-catching aesthetic. It calls for the ability to think like the user. The specific questions that you may want to ask users before starting on a design are as follows:

  • Who is your user?
  • What does the user need?
  • What problem are you solving for the user?
  • What would you like for the user to do?

Answering these questions will allow you to keep your user’s best interest in mind, rather than overwhelming them with a poorly designed layout and complex features.

Their goal is to quickly locate key information and avoid having to scroll through several pages to find it. Research shows that investors and financial analysts avoid glancing at dense text and typically do not want to ingest pertinent information (financial statements, stock charts, etc.) via large PDF files.

Building fancy features may seem exciting, but it can cause usability dilemmas. In design, less often creates more value for users. Additionally, the core HTML interactions that investors hope for include:

  • The ability to search within the document and search engine optimization
  • The ability to navigate to various sections throughout the site and click on links to access data or reports
  • The ability to copy and paste texts and images
  • Numbers presented in well-formatted tables
  • Clear calls to action for email sign-up, contact forms, newsletters, blog posts, etc.

Focusing on these elements of design will give you an opportunity to please current and potential investors, generate more positive attention in the media, and build a stronger identity for your company and brand.

Content for Investor Relations

Investor Relations pages are frequented by various user groups: financial investors, financial analysts and journalists. While each of these user groups are looking for varying types of qualitative and quantitative information, they all share one thing in common: they want to know who you are at a quick glance.

Essentially, they are looking to understand the company's past, present, and future summarized in a way that tells the story behind the numbers. They want insight into what financial software systems do not provide - brand personality and culture.

Transparency in how you communicate with your audience through your content is essential. Investors typically avoid corporations that fail to be transparent in their financial statements, business operations, or processes. They also steer clear from companies that include financials, reports or charts that are difficult to understand, as they are seen as riskier and less valuable investments.

Content for Investors, Financial Analysts, and Journalists:

Some users may want to know how to invest in your company. Others may want to see supplementary content, such as executive bios with pictures and brief videos that include tone of voice, facial expressions and body language, which can make an IR page more personal and give users a better feel for the company.

There are three primary user groups that utilize Investor Relations websites: Investors, Financial Analysts and Journalists.

They discovered that each of these user groups expect to see certain resources on your site.

Their findings concluded that:

Shareholders prioritize the following items when they are researching a current or potential investment:

  • Press releases (current news, business strategies, and acquisitions)
  • Company overview (the company’s purpose and its history, such as when it was founded and where it’s based)
  • Product information (innovative products, services, and research)
  • Stock information (current and historical share price, charts, and graphs)
  • One-page financial overview
  • Annual and quarterly reports
  • Dividend information

Financial Analysts prioritize the following items when they are drilling down financial data to make investment recommendations:

  • Press releases (current news, business strategies, and acquisitions)
  • Company overview (the company’s purpose, size, and markets)
  • Stock information (current and historical share price, charts, and graphs)
  • Annual and quarterly reports, and SEC filings
  • IR contact information (names, phone numbers, and email addresses)
  • Financials calendar (dates for events such as conferences, earnings releases, and reports)

Current and potential investors and financial analysts may be your target audiences and where you focus most of your engagement efforts. However, it is important to include information that serves others with less financial knowledge as well (i.e., the media).

Journalists are less likely to look through financial reports for the information they want. They typically collect highlights from press releases and contact financial analysts for their opinions on the company. They prioritize the following resources:

  • Press relations contact information (names, phone numbers, and email addresses)
  • Press releases (current news, business strategies, and acquisitions)
  • Company overview (the company’s purpose and its history, such as when it was  founded and where it’s based)
  • Stock information (current and historical share price, charts, and graphs)
  • One-page financial overview
  • Annual and quarterly reports
  • Executive information (management bios and previous positions)
  • Competitor information (who they are, how they’re performing)
  • List of analysts following the company
  • Latest speech from chairman or CEO (with quotes)
  • Pictures of executives

Here at PINT, we recommend determining which resources will solve a current problem and assigning a priority level to each in order to determine which of them to include on your site.

Conclusion

Focusing on a seamless user interface, staying true to your brand’s identity, and meeting your user’s informational needs will put you in a better position to attract and retain investors.

By looking at the “wish lists” of the three user groups listed above, it is apparent that elaborate features were not as desired as easily-accessible content and key information. Therefore, your users place more value in getting information quickly over the technology used to share it.

If you have Investor Relations goals, we can help you achieve them. Set up a call with PINT today.

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