5 Ways Video Enhances Your Investor Relations Website
There are many reasons why we meet others in person when the option is available. It allows us to look the person in the eye, get a sense for who they are and then make a judgment about how worthy they are of our trust, confidence, and even friendship. In our current period of fiscal restraint, most of us have had our travel budgets cut, which has limited our ability to do this. But rather than ratchet up our long-distance phone plans or increase the frequency and volume of our emails (as if that were possible), many of us have taken instead to video as a communication tool, both in our personal and our professional lives. Whether it’s Skype or Google Video Chat at home, or video webcasts, conferences or telepresence at the office, video has emerged as our best alternative when we can’t be everywhere we’d like to be in person.
Now think about this in terms of your investor relations program. You and your management team spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on the road meeting with current and prospective investors. When it comes to an important stakeholder, the first choice is always to meet them in person. But even in boom times when budgets are generous, you can’t be everywhere you want to be. Fortunately, we live in the video age, which is one of the reasons why it’s a great time to be an IR Officer (IRO).
If you haven’t used or considered incorporating video into your IR website, you are close to being left behind. Here are five ways video can uniquely enhance your IR website:
1. Builds trust and credibility.When you’re trying to establish credibility and create a sense of confidence in your words, it’s important for the other person to be able to look you in the eye, read your body language—basically, to size you up in a way that helps them make a decision faster. This type of trust is difficult to establish through written materials, or even over the phone. And to really drive the point home, recent research has indicated that video can impact perceptions of accountability and influence investment decisions.
2. It’s all about REACH.Video enables you to reach more investors than you could ever possibly do through a series of one-to-one meetings, or even the occasional investor conference. In-person meetings will never go away, but it is critical to get out of the one-to-one mentality and start thinking in terms of one-to-many. Not only can you reach more investors with video, but you can do it in a cost- effective way, with technology that has advanced to the point that it’s easy to use even for the least technically inclined.
3. Engages investors. Video allows you to tell your company’s story in a much more compelling fashion, using a medium that is increasingly becoming the standard for consuming information. A recent study by Forbes Insights indicated that 75% of senior executives said they watch work-related online videos at least weekly. And the investment community is using video more today than ever before—a 2010 IR Magazine study found that close to 50% of buy-side respondents viewed videos from companies’ IR websites when conducting research. The numbers were lower for sell-side respondents but higher among retail investors.
4. Portrays your company as innovative.What can I say? Perception is reality and all companies want to establish themselves as innovators and leaders to their customers, partners and, importantly, investors. This is not to say that you should grab on to every passing technology fad to show that you’re on the cutting edge. But let’s face it folks—as much as you can use video to say something about your company, the absence of it on your IR website may say a lot more.
5. Differentiates you from the competition. We all know that in many ways, investors are customers, and companies must compete for their dollars the same way they would a client’s. It’s likely an investor researching your company is also researching your peers. Your IR website will be their first port of call, so it’s important to provide them with a unique, engaging experience that they may not find on other companies’ sites. The great thing about video is that you can make it uniquely your own—it’s all about how you weave it into your overall investment story. So even if your competitors are also providing video content for investors, the level of engagement that the technology affords enables you to leave investors with a unique impression that aligns with only your company’s story.
Leave a comment below and let us know how you’re using video in your IR website (or what is holding you back).