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August 20, 2021

The Ultimate Public Company Newsletter

A public newsletter, when written well, will create engaged audiences which can lead to paid subscribers or to investors. With an engaged audience, of whom a percentage are paid subscribers or investors, your public newsletter will maintain retention rates, if not increase them. Newsletters industry benchmarks can earn an open rate anywhere between 20-30% on average with some newsletters such as 1440 Media reaching 50+%. Greater open rates paired with well-timed re-targeting and re-engagement campaigns will lead to higher audience retention.‍When it comes to creating a newsletter that is engaging (or any type of public content), it must simply provide value to the reader. The value that your newsletter provides will vary depending on the industry and topics that you work in however there are three key areas which you should aspire to achieve each release - entertainment, education, and opportunity. Achieving two of these will lead to higher engagement though ideally your newsletter provides all three to your audience.‍Delivering a newsletter to your audience which is entertaining, educating, and provides opportunity, requires a deep understanding of your products/services and your target audience - your existing users/consumers, your future users/customers, and the broader industry community. Your audience - users, consumers, and followers - are your loyal fans and must be the priority. As a public company you have an obligation to inform the public of any significant news and changes, and traditionally this was straight forward with only a few channels. Nowadays, companies build cult-like followings by building a unique brand that resonates with people all over the world. Such companies are able to engage with millions of people globally through omni-channel presence including public newsletters.‍The content within the newsletter, once you've determined your product/service and your target audience, becomes the third piece of the puzzle and ties everything together. Content via email newsletters can be consumed for time periods up to 80% longer than from other channels meaning that the reader needs to be engaged for longer than a social media post and while this can be hard to achieve, the rewards are more than worth it as you're much more likely to convert a subscribing consumer than a social media user scrolling past your ad. Your audience will look forward to your publishing and as a result will organically grow. ‍The style of your newsletter now becomes somewhat irrelevant so long as the layout is simple and the reader can navigate from top to bottom with ease. For example, if your newsletter looked amazing but had content without value and good copy, you would likely unsubscribe soon after. Conversely, if the newsletter wasn't the prettiest, however was easy to navigate AND had killer content with loads of value, you would be compelled to read it all and soon be looking forward to the next issue. ‍So, the key point here is, you must think about what your audience wants to know. As a public company, here are some examples of topics which could be included within a newsletter in order to address all audiences:● Company News: Highlight things such as new hires, leadership changes, acquisitions/mergers, new investments, awards won, job openings etc. Other such news can include recent discoveries, new projects, and if you're an early stage company, open financings. This is information which is engaging and drives reader-ship. The audience will feel that they are part of the company and this can lead to interest from investors, or even new talent for the business. ● Events: Highlight any events which the company has sponsored or taken part in. Tell a story here. How was the company involved, did it benefit the community? Have you made any charitable donations recently? Perhaps an employee did something memorable, such as ran in the London marathon for charity. Local community highlights really resonate with people, and will highlight the company values to people externally.● Projects: What projects is the business currently working on or recently completed? It is essential to be proud of the work which is completed and external audiences often want to see and appreciate the work that you do. Showcasing projects, and creating case studies of projects recently completed will take readers along for the journey too. When displaying your projects, it is important to use visual aids more than written aids. This means plenty of professional video content (emphasis on professional) and photo content.● Stories: Storytelling is an art, and something which benefits business a lot when implemented correctly. Covering stories of your employees outside the workplace, whether that be their personal stories or events on behalf of the company can draw readers in. Perhaps employees went to a fun destination for the day on behalf of the company, or an employee won an award for bravery. The possibilities are endless. But this encapsulates the business as an emotive object, rather than an inanimate business - it evokes emotion from your readers and creates a colorful picture of the business when viewed externally.‍Writing an external company newsletter allows you to share the company’s work, community involvement and accomplishments with the world. At times it may not seem like the hard work could benefit the business, but often the best ways of marketing to potential investors or customers is to not really market at all. Individuals can tell when they’re being sold to, and it often puts them off. So, a well planned and curated newsletter, with a majority share of engaging content rather than being sales based, is an authentic way to connect with the audience to build followers, consumers, investors, and more.

August 20, 2021

The Importance Of Omni-Presence In A Digital-First World

Social media has evolved from a pure social engagement platform to an incredible, multi-levelled tool for many uses in the online space. One key business function that social media now plays is the development of brand awareness and the attraction of customers and investors. It is a powerful tool that needs to be harnessed correctly in order to get the most benefit; it can make or break a brand when it comes to consumer insights, changes in political views, viral movements, and more.‍So, which is the best social media platform to use when trying to attract investors? Well, the answer is all of them!‍Omni-presence is the ability to be present anywhere and everywhere. If you're religious, this would be your "God". A scientist, oxygen. A politician, my tax dollars. But if you're a brand or in marketing, this is your product, service, or otherwise offer, pushed across as many mediums that you can possibly control. The more mediums that you control, the more messages and advertisements you can run, leading to order of magnitudes of more eyes on you. The more omni-present you are, the greater the power your marketing will have.‍The strength of your marketing power will effect your company's exposure to customers and investors which will directly impact your ability to attract and sell. As such, having a strong digital omni-presence is going to greatly increase the power of your marketing. Most companies and individuals will have a preference as to which social media platform that either they use or expect to be best for their business. But unless it is incredibly obvious which platform your potential investors are likely to use, it is best to develop robust strategies for several and be strong in all of them. ‍As we continue to evolve through the digital age, more and more social platforms are being created and it seems the ability to go viral is increasing with each new platform. Social media platforms most common for businesses today include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and YouTube. There are others that also exist that I haven't mentioned. So to answer the question I know you're asking yourself, it's very difficult and time consuming to be completely omni-present unless your team is large and your budget is a blank cheque. However, as mentioned, you should be aiming to be as omni-present as you can achieve successfully so find out where your target market is (pick 3 social platforms to start if possible) and always be there - do interviews, post comments, send and respond to private messages, attend conferences and speaking events - be everywhere!‍There are many core benefits to establishing an omni-present approach to social media and two of which are extremely important to the success of your brand:‍Providing Social ProofWhether it be obtaining funding, or providing news and details to current investors - being able to provide social proof is something that the success of many businesses is built upon today. Social media is ideal for delivering social proof. You can display proof of concept, as well as the feedback and engagement you are receiving from customers. This can show investors that you’re really building traction as a business.Sharing the Company StoryStorytelling is the number one way to hook someone in to your business, and social media when used well can make the storytelling process compelling. People can easily follow your journey and see your progress each day from the snippets through your social media campaigns.‍One such way to achieve this is by sharing your back story along with your current and future journey. Your current journey shared in near-real life time is extremely effective. Share any achievements and any setbacks. Generally speaking, the more genuine and open a social media platform is, the more drawn in potential individuals will be. Authenticity in social media is becoming more and more valuable, finally. But don’t let that stop you from experimenting with other more promotional type posts. After all, as content types and algorithms change, it is essential to monitor what you post and have review processes in place. What one person may see as funny or a good post, may be perceived differently by others. That is the beauty and challenge of creating effective, omni-present social media campaigns.‍Social Media Quick TipsOne thing which should be considered is who is going to manage the social media accounts from identifying target market, to creating content strategy, to executing the campaigns. Technically, you can employ any digital savvy person to do this but it would be unrealistic to expect anything better than average results. In order to get the best reactions, to successfully build your brand, you will likely need an experienced social media professional to lead this function.‍In addition, be sure to put a lot of focus on your brand identity and the message that you’re portraying to customers and investors. You want this to be seamless and there be no misunderstandings on what you do, and what your message is. Every piece of content produced should in someway or another, relate back to your identity and theme/content pillars. Being consistently aligned will these pillars will help ensure that you're providing value to your target market. When you provide value, your brand grows. ‍‍‍

August 20, 2021

A Public Company Website Built For Investors

In the middle of trying to develop a product, produce effective marketing, build the business and all other aspects which are involved with creating a successful company, it isn't uncommon that the company website becomes less of a priority. Unfortunately, what is misunderstood is the key role that websites play in many aspects of your company's success. If you are looking to become a successful public company that attracts people (ideally investors and users), and one that others strive to replicate, than you need a very effective website - modern, engaging and easily navigated. ‍The objective of your website is to engage the reader and funnel them through to a call to action (CTA). Simply put, when I visit your website, you want me to act on something before I leave. That could mean I enquire for more information, or I subscribe to your newsletter or for company news updates, or I download the investor presentation. Whatever my action, it should lead me to wanting more and increasing my interest in buying your product/service or investing. For this reason alone, a first class website is very important.‍Here are 10 things to consider when it comes to making sure your website stands the test of time, and the scrutiny of potential investors:‍1. Be sure the site is professionally designed and visually appealing to hook viewers. Remember that there are different investor audiences, so tailor the message to each investor segment.2. Keep it short and to the point.3. Use only the essential tabs to tell your story and invite interest: Home, About Us, Products/Projects, News, Research, and a separate tab for Investors.4. Consider including testimonials that appeal to the heart and not the head.5. Investors want to know about the size of the opportunity, the risks, the benefits and the management team.6. Be sure the information you give conforms to local and national private money raising rules and regulations.7. Be sure to make an appropriate call to action and respond in a timely fashion.8. Include a one-page executive summary to download as well as a longer, more detailed investor presentation with no more than 10-15 slides which describes your opportunity (problem you're solving, technology, property/resource you're exploring, product you're selling, whatever it may be) that a 6th-grader could understand. The use of images and animation is encouraged!9. On the Home page, include a video that is no longer than 3 minutes to tell your story. 10. Get a story teller on your startup team to do this right.‍The pages within your website can also be essential to providing investors with the correct information in a succinct and informational manner. The following is not a comprehensive list however would be a great start to achieving a first class website:‍‍Dedicated Investor’s PageHaving an investor page is common practice for most public companies. It is also just as important to include if you are a private company who is looking to take on new investors or has the goal of going public in the future. This page should be set up in order to provide the essential details to current and potential investors alike. It acts as a source of information, but also an advertising platform.‍‍Investor FAQ PageMany investors will have a wide range of questions and queries which come up time and again. As such, it is wise to create a 'Frequently Asked Questions' page on the website where potential and current investors can find answers to common questions quickly. A good FAQ page should address the most commonly addressed questions in an easy manner.‍‍Video PresentationsThe world revolves around video in this day and age. Having video content for current and potential investors is a medium which they will likely appreciate, as many visitors to a website would prefer to watch a video than read a wall of text. It also allows the viewer to get to know key leadership (voice, appearance, etc.) without actually getting to know them. The viewer feels closer to the company and it's people even though they may not have actually met them.‍‍Press Releases & NewsInvestors often like to have a one-stop-shop for all important news related to the business. This allows them to keep on top of everything without having to surf all over the internet. Providing a page which can easily be filtered to find specific news releases for each investor would be a great addition to any website looking to future-proof themselves. Additionally, including a free subscription to email readers the latest news releases and updates not only keeps them informed but also allows you to link the reader back to your website.