Financial communication and digital: thoughts on successful web content
In the society of information, it is a paradox that, among the most important Italian listed companies, it is still not consolidated a structured way of engaging their own stakeholders through digital channels.
According to the latest 2015 Webranking research, conducted on 70 Italian listed companies, our Country’s firms are still today mostly devoid of a complete digital declination of the investment story, regarding specifically the future strategy of the company and its sustainability goals.
“Italian companies – the report reads – are particularly quick in providing past data and information, while they appear less capable of communicating a future vision so to attract capitals even from abroad”.
Some websites and social media – platform built on the immediacy of the information diffusion and on the equal interaction between users and companies – are as of today mostly used as a repository for past information reworked from offline and mostly textual sources, than platforms characterized by an original content strategy able to create value in the investor’s eyes.
If the era of websites mostly lacking a mobile responsive version seems to be over, content is still in most of the cases not designed to be experienced by mobile. It is clear that a recognizable “video strategy”, structured texts, images and videos designed to be vertically viewed on smartphone are lacking.
In details, on one side the most advanced projects of branded journalism are met with the approval of the community of information and communication professionals, on the other they still lack a focused distribution strategy: we are talking about SEO, investments in social media advertising and also that interaction component on which the web, may it be 2.0 or 3.0, is based on.
If the interaction component is in the minority on corporate websites and webmagazines, on social media is increasingly common, but is interpreted with a prevailing defensive and top-down look.
Twitter, for example, is still seen as an instrument of further diffusion of press releases and as a channel apt for answering immediately to nationwide crisis, while it seems that only a minority experiments with tools - even paid ones, such as sponsored trends - to tell in an effective way one’s own sustainability strategy, seizing the opportunity of anniversaries or events.
In conclusion, financial communication on digital channels is reaching fast the moment when the relative originality of the platforms will have spent its innovative quality: being on Twitter or Facebook, or owning a webmagazine, in the late 2010’s will not be an innovation on its own anymore, sufficient to cover for the lack of content and interactions.
The difference, on the medium-long term, will be made by one’s ability to add contents developed along the Company’s future expansion strategy and its most investors tantalizing vision, in addition to data on past corporate initiatives and performances.
The involvement of influencers active in the most technologically and culturally advanced sectors, the creation of original contents and stories aimed for the web and put in the web appropriate formats, the ability to focus the diffusion of contents, transparency and user-friendliness of information and the availability of key figures among the company’s management to “get in the ring” will be pillars on which to base one’s content strategy.
All this, leaving untouched a stringent measurement of the conversations and the ability to reply in a quick and coordinated way to inputs coming from the outside: on the web, like in real life, there must be at least two to confirm the validity of a message.