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Jun 09, 2021

It’s a small world: How retail IR is changing

Forty-five percent of small-cap companies have seen an increase in their retail shareholdings in the past year, according to IR Magazine research. We look at how some companies are adapting their IR for the Reddit generation

‘Corporate communications is changing,’ declares Galina Meleger, director of IR at Endeavour Silver and winner of the rising star trophy at the IR Magazine Awards – Canada 2021. Meleger says that while the traditional approaches to IR, including ‘trade shows and phone pitching’, remain effective, in the Covid-19 era and particularly when it comes to attracting the attention of younger retail investors, she felt a different approach was needed.

Today she has a ‘digital everything’ approach and credits it with delivering a record year across all IR metrics. ‘I realized that digital marketing allowed me to cast the net much wider, if I put it all together,’ she explains. Her approach is not just about posting press releases and filings to Twitter once a quarter, of course. It is a thought-out, paid social campaign that has been hugely successful.

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When IR Magazine looked at the retail landscape in a dedicated report earlier this year, almost three in 10 companies reported an increase in retail investment in the past 12 months, with a heavy emphasis on small-cap companies. In fact, 45 percent of small-cap firms say they have experienced an increase in shares held by retail investors in the past year. And communicating with these shareholders was noted as a particular challenge for smaller companies.

Meleger, who says Endeavour Silver’s shareholder base is 70 percent retail, decided that Facebook was the right fit for her campaigns, though she adds that it’s a seemingly overlooked channel for much of the IR world. ‘I’ve had a tremendous amount of success with Facebook targeting for new investors,’ she says.

Facebook, she explains, is ‘really effective for its simple and easy business model of $1 per like or follow, and has partnerships with Google, Experian and Oracle for data mining.’

To make it work, Meleger says ‘you need a well-planned advertising strategy, you need to be able to continuously create in-house content to pump out posts on social, and you need to be good at photography because it’s a visual experience.’

To have access to enough information to create the volume of posts she wants, she ‘deconstructs content’ from news releases verbatim, promotes upcoming events, shares industry news and repurposes content from the firm’s sustainability report to drive visibility around what the company is doing on ESG.

Meleger says making social a success is not difficult – and it has certainly been a success for Endeavour Silver.

Listing a string of KPIs that have seen a significant boost off the back of her social campaigns, Meleger notes: ‘Since I started the program, I have seen a 300 percent increase in my website traffic. I do pixel drops [to track traffic] on the investor section, so I know that is now the most-visited area of the website – it was previously the careers section.’

She adds that before her paid social campaign kicked off, the firm used to see 3,000 downloads of the investor deck per year. ‘Now there are 12,000 downloads,’ Meleger says. 

Endeavour’s virtual outreach is translating into new stockholders, and Meleger’s interactions with investors highlight the reach of these campaigns. ‘I get phone calls from investors in cities or areas we’ve not marketed in, who tell me they heard about us through social or digital outreach,’ she says. ‘They tell me our social campaign allows them to see deeper into the company.’ She adds that ‘many investors that have not met us face to face, only through virtual outreach, have purchased stock this year.’

And all that for what Meleger estimates is currently a campaign spend of around $1,000 a month.

This is an extract of an article that was published in the Summer 2021 issue of IR Magazine. Click here to read the full article.

Garnet Roach

Garnet Roach joined IR Magazine in October 2012, working on both the editorial and research sides of the publication. Prior to entering the world of investor relations, her freelance career covered a broad range of subjects, from technology to...

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