IR professionals all have an opportunity to set new goals for 2019, regardless of whether you bounced triumphantly or strolled meekly past the 2018 finish line.
Crucially, however, understanding what message you’re trying to convey and how you’re trying to convey it through your business’ digital communications strategy is imperative. Speaking to IR Magazine, Arash Adnani, IR digital communications expert at Blender Media, shares his recommendations for 2019.
1. Analytics give a true indication of website performance
‘Whether your business is a small-cap or large-cap organization, knowing your audience, knowing exactly what it is looking for on your website and how it wants to use it is the first and most obvious place to start,’ Adnani notes.
‘There is a bit of a void among IR professionals in terms of understanding analytics. These help businesses to understand their website performance, where the traffic is coming from, what pages are getting the most views, the average time people are spending on your website and the bounce rate. These things allow businesses to get a more detailed idea on what areas need to be improved.
‘They basically give a business a true indication of the website’s performance. The results can be used to make decisions and measure ideas the business has been working on. An analytics tool will help the business to identify opportunities in the IR strategies in order to reach specific business plans.’
2. Eliminate any guessing
‘Once you understand who your audience is and what it is doing and add that to your analytics in terms of what your audience behavior looks like, you have enough information to come up with half your plan,’ Adnani continues.
‘The other half is to develop a strategy of which information the company would like to convey to the audience and what it should learn more about and spend more time on. Using an analytics tool will help the business to eliminate any guessing. As an IR professional you would then have a better idea of how to spend money or increase your budget.’
3. Make sure your website is device-agnostic
‘Make sure the website is optimized for all devices,’ Adnani adds. ‘You want to make sure the structure of your website isn’t holding you back because your plan can change from time to time.
‘It is extremely important to remember when building a website that it should be scalable. If, for instance, it needs to change significantly six or 10 months down the line, you should be able to add new elements and sections that are seamless. It shouldn’t ruin the overall user experience of your website.
‘This has been an ongoing theme for IR professionals as a lot of investors use their mobile devices or tablets to look at information. You need to ensure the parts of the website that are getting the most hits are mobile-optimized.’
4. Invest in short, sharp, regular videos
‘Sometimes it can be difficult to convey your message in a press release and short videos can provide additional information,’ Adnani concludes.
‘Research shows that if you have a video on your website, users are more inclined to click on it than go through [a document] and read it. It is important that videos are web-optimized as part of the communication strategy. This is often overlooked but shouldn’t be ignored. For instance, videos should be short snippets of the overall message and should use language that is easy to understand. And they should not be 30 minutes long!
‘A big part of this is consistency, and it doesn’t need to cost the earth to produce a good video – so every month or two, or every quarter, a video can be uploaded. They can be branded, be a series of interviews of senior management, they can talk about the business’ areas of expertise or things coming up at the firm, or show every KPI the company uses to measure its growth and success.’