Publicly traded companies naturally experience investor ebbs and flows. With a properly constructed digital marketing campaign, you can use these annual trends to your advantage by appealing to potential investors’ wants.
Examining these trends and considering the behavior of potential investors resulted in a four-part campaign strategy intended to guide users through each stage of a customer’s journey. The campaign strategy also has answers for challenges that arise, like the fact that these campaigns are notoriously difficult to optimize due to an inability to track conversions. By structuring this campaign according to the ebbs and flows of investors, you can drive the highest quality leads, often leading them to purchase stock.
Many Public Limited Companies (PLC) still invest heavily in traditional advertising and trade shows. However, a thorough digital campaign that guides users through each stage of a customer’s journey can work wonders of increasing their share sales. Not only is it because these campaigns stay with the potential consumer throughout the decision-making process but it provides a company with valuable insight on their target market. Companies can discover the specific messaging that resonates with this market, the locations they can be found in, or even where they drop off in the path to purchase.
If you’re marketing a publicly-traded company and notice a correlation in web traffic spikes and the release of the company’s quarterly earnings — keep reading.
Knowing your target market
The sales cycle for your possible investors can range from several weeks to months. Purchasing shares in a company is similar to purchasing a house, as your investors will look to fully educate themselves on the company before making a decision.
Your clients will research as much as possible on the asset before making a purchase decision. For publicly traded companies, users will typically look into industry trends, market trends, and a company’s market capitalization before investing in it.
One key piece of information they will be looking at is your company’s published quarterly earnings. Because of this, publicly traded companies may identify a trending spike in website traffic when they release their quarterly earnings. Here is our four-phase marketing campaign blueprint to increase the number of investors in your company by leveraging this spike in traffic.
The company objective is clear: to get people to invest in your company’s stock. The industry challenge, however, is that companies are unable to identify who has bought shares. Users will either invest themselves or through a broker, and the only thing your company knows for sure is that shares have been bought. Without being able to track conversions, optimizing these campaigns becomes very difficult.
With this objective in mind, the goal of your campaign should be to identify qualified leads and provide useful information for them to make an informed decision in their investments. Capitalizing on the trends surrounding your quarterly earnings publication will help you to overcome the conversion-tracking challenge we identified.
To do this, it’s important to raise awareness before the earnings are released and then retarget from past website traffic and lookalike audiences. Not only is this a great way to re-engage potential investors, it does so in a way that is valuable to them, rather than bombarding them with generic, irrelevant ads.
Phase 1: Awareness
The campaign should begin by focusing on brand awareness. During the period before the anticipated peak, prospecting ads should focus on getting the message of what the company does across quickly. The purpose of these ads is to encourage brand recognition and awareness while educating the user. For our clients, we run HTML5 ads to enable animation. This allows us to provide more information about the industry and company through the ad’s interactive nature.
Ad placements depend on the company; thorough analysis of the campaigns can be refined to improve your ROI. A strong place to start is through in-market, affinity and Google Display Network (GDN) placements on the websites that investors use to gather relevant information. Geo-targeting is also highly recommended, basing placement on areas your company sees the highest traffic from your current campaigns.
Avoid common mistakes like starting these campaigns too close to the publication of your reports. Instead, you should look to increase the campaign’s budget at least a month before the quarterly earnings are released, or longer depending on industry standards.
Phase 2: Consideration
When the quarterly earnings reports are released, the budget should be moved further down the funnel. As a result of increasing the budget for the awareness campaigns, you will be able to build a sizable and qualified retargeting list from website traffic. The data gathered from the prospecting campaign will help you determine and craft your lookalike audiences as well as serve for the main source of your remarketing campaign. Here, the purpose of the ads is to serve valuable information to help further educate the user. This can include information on the quarterly returns, for instance, boosting a post on social, or more about the company and their USP.
To improve the campaign’s lead quality, the consideration ads should be retargeted to qualified users who have visited your website.
How to identify qualified leads:
Qualified leads can be identified by their behavior on your site and with your ads. The specific behavior that is needed to qualify a lead may differ between businesses and industries. Often, users who have returned to your site, interacted with an ad, or visited web pages that are deemed high-value all tend to be strong indicators of a qualified lead.
Phase 3: Conversion
When to begin the conversion stage depends entirely on your consideration campaigns. Once the traffic begins so slow or is starting to become less qualified (characterized by a high bounce rate), it’s time to switch over to the conversion phase. The focus here is to encourage users to sign up to the email list so that they receive the quarterly earnings report as soon as they get released. Since we are not able to measure whether users actually invest or not, the conversion phase is simply dedicated to getting these users to sign up for future quarterly earnings, providing insight about the quality of the lead, and increasing the chance for a future investment.
You have a few options for executing this strategy. One is to add a pop-up bar once a scroll benchmark has been achieved. This will once again qualify your leads and then offer relevant additional information if they join the mailing list. Depending on how the company is set up, you can also offer users an investment package that provides relevant information about the direction of the company moving forward. For a timed popup, try using 60% of the average time on page.
Phase 4: Optimization
Optimization should always follow implementation.
Once the campaign is complete, it’s time to analyze your results and identify ways to refine it in time for the next cycle. First, identify the main source of qualified leads in the consideration phase. To do this, you can look at bounce rates and average pages per session, then look to refine the most qualified lookalike audiences. Once these are identified, you can redefine and budget accordingly on your different campaigns.
Additionally, assess the length in time you assign for your website retargeting traffic. If you extend the time period too long, the user might have lost the brand recognition. On the other hand, if the timing is too short, the user might feel bombarded by the ads. For campaigns focused on quarterly earnings reports, we suggest 30 days as the standard. Each case is unique, however, so it’s worth considering other time lengths such as 15, 60, or 90 days, depending on industry events and company news that is released during that time. To be sure, you may want to experiment with the length of your consideration phase.
Noticing the annual trends in consumer behavior will allow you to create a well-structured campaign that you can follow each year and continue to refine. Following this strategy will allow you to capitalize on the natural ebbs and flows of the company and more efficient qualify leads with retargeting techniques. This is because you are proactively supporting your education-seeking users by offering valuable information, helping them with their investment decision.
Working with many publicly traded companies, we’re well-experienced in tailoring these campaigns for their specific business needs and environment. If you need any support in creating campaigns to capitalize on your own annual trends, feel free to get in touch with us.