Today, fully engaging with your investor base requires a well-developed mobile IR strategy. Here’s what you need to know.
The fact that mobile penetration, and particularly smartphone use, will one day be universal is of no surprise to anyone who resides in the industrialized world as we know it today. We use our mobile tech to do everything — we order food, play games, establish relationships, book holidays and, of course, communicate on the devices.
And this phenomenon isn’t exclusive to the United States — in the world’s top 47 markets, smartphone penetration has already reached 55%, and is projected to rise to 66% by 2018, according to Zenith Optimedia. In total, 2 billion consumers worldwide currently own smartphones, and one-third of the global population will own one by 2018, as eMarketer explains.
While mobile devices offer a number of valuable features and functions, internet connectivity is the most widely utilized. Since 2014 in both the U.S. and the U.K., internet usage via mobile platforms has exceeded that of PCs. By 2017, 63.4% of mobile phone users around the world will be able to access the internet from their devices, according to Statista.
As the data demonstrates, information dissemination and media consumption is rapidly moving to the mobile platform — and that’s not just on the consumer side. Data from Nasdaq Corporate Solutions found that 11% of corporate website viewers are now on mobile devices, a 44% increase from the year before, and according to a study by Frost & Sullivan, more than half of U.S. and European companies already provide their employees with tablets for work. At the rate usage has proliferated, mobile will soon be the de facto platform for all business-related activities.
Creating a Mobile IR Strategy
IROs, then, must ride this wave of change, and focus their efforts on engaging shareholders on their mobile platforms. With a strategy developed with best practices in mind, IROs can implement new procedures with relative ease and at minimal cost.
IR Magazine provides a useful framework for IROs to follow when developing their mobile strategy. It’s based on three basic tenets: gathering relevant data, optimizing your corporate site, and developing a native mobile app.
Gather Relevant Data
First off, you should look for patterns in the online behavior of your investors — how are they interacting with your existing website? Gathering data on traffic to the corporate website and relevant IR destination pages (an analytic function that should be available in any standard website performance report) holds the key to answering this question.
Be careful to broaden their focus beyond pageviews, taking page engagement into equal consideration. Engagement is a clear indicator of where investors actually spend their time on the site, and it should guide you in formulating your mobile strategy around the most essential aspects of your website.
Optimize Your Corporate Site
In order to foster engagement between investors and your corporate website on a mobile device, the site must be optimized for ease of navigation. Even just one negative experience with a clunky mobile site interface might dissuade them from ever visiting again. IROs should be sure that the design is simple and easily navigable, making use of larger fonts, simple menus, and eye-catching graphics. Most importantly, all pertinent IR materials should be as easily accessible on the mobile platform as they would be on the desktop site.
Develop a Native Mobile App
The crux of any successful mobile IR strategy is the development of a native mobile app. After all, 52% of all time spent on digital media happens inside apps, regardless of the device, according to TechCrunch. Apps also account for 89% of all smartphone usage, so when shareholders and Board members are using their phones to access the internet, they’re most likely doing so via mobile apps, as Business2Community explains.
An IR app is no longer just a gimmick to lure in tech-savvy investors — developing a mobile strategy is now a necessity for IROs looking to communicate with investors on their terms, a reality which 88% of IROs recognized as early as 2013, as Bulldog Reporter explains. According to E*Trade, 49% of investors use investment apps throughout the week, so companies risk falling further behind the curve if they don’t roll out a mobile option soon.
By using a proven platform to develop a fully branded, customized app, IROs will be on the road to engaging with investors to the fullest.
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