Tailoring content strategies for retail investors

This article first appeared in the Spring issue of Informed Magazine via the IR Society.

Creating compelling content requires tailored engagement strategies in order to reach your target audience, and this is no different within the retail investment space.

 There has been a surge in the retail investment space since 2020, further amplified by the global pandemic, and the popularity of SPACs, IPOs and hype-driven investment opportunities such as GameStop.

For example, research conducted by Euronext found a large increase in ETF trading, with more than 3.1 billion EUR being traded in the first half of 2020 in comparison to a total traded amount of 1.1 billion EUR in 2019, primarily due to an influx of retail capital.

 Below we outline five key steps required to successfully tailor your content and engagement strategies for retail investors.

  1. Understand your goal and audience

 Retail investors lean towards a fundamental analysis, as opposed to the technical analysis favoured by institutional investors; therefore, they prefer narrative-led opinion pieces focusing on the big picture of a potential investment opportunity.

  1. Tailor the message, with a focus on ESG

Sustainable investing is a priority for retail investors, with eight in ten globally (82%) saying that they are interested in investing in companies that are socially and environmentally responsible, as evidenced by the increased popularity of the iShares Global Clean Energy UCITS ETF. We suggest developing a communication plan that highlights how the company is contributing to a more sustainable world and addressing big issues such as climate change.

  1. Optimise the IR website and make use of interactive content

 While in the minority, retail investors can take up a lot of an IRO’s time. To help reduce direct engagement, consider leveraging the capabilities of your IR website. Key retail investor content could include a clear and concise investment case section, a jargon-busting FAQ section, a downloadable factsheet and a dedicated shareholder centre to make researching an investment easier. Our research has also shown that retail investors want to feel an emotional connection with the companies in which they invest, so this is where more emotive content can help drive engagement.

  1. Create an online summary Annual Report

Retail investors prefer a skim-read, optimised for viewing on tables. Therefore, we recommend that companies produce an interactive HTML summary report to highlight leadership, strategy, business model and ESG.

  1. Create an investor-focused social strategy

 Retail investors tend to focus on the best-performing stocks, rather than opting for more diversified portfolios, with most consuming their information regarding potential investment opportunities via social media, so it’s important to place an emphasis on developing a well-rounded social strategy. Integrate your social feeds into your IR website to encourage follows, and build in key financial news and trading updates into your social calendar.

To hear more

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you to enhance your digital investor communications and reporting to meet the needs of retail investors, please get in touch with our Investor Engagement and ESG Director,  Stephen Butler