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How To Use Compelling Graphics to Build Your Investor Base


Our series on using graphic design to illustrate data isn’t over yet. We took a look at the reasons graphics are easier to understand than simple figures, and some of the most effective ways companies are illustrating data. Invariably, some of the very best investor presentations use graphics to get their strongest points across. We’ve looked extensively at activists and their media assaults designed to gain support among shareholder bases as they agitate for change.

Today we’re going to examine ways to use the same concepts that make investor presentations effective to build your investor base and become a consistent part of the ongoing conversation around the company’s industry.


Using social media to effectively reach investors has everything to do with speed of comprehension. While the old adages about attention spans being short in the smartphone era aren’t without merit, the more accurate reason that earnings infographics have such an enviable conversion rate is that charts and graphs are catnip to investors. They’re a quick hit of data – a mini puzzle that’s easy to solve. They stimulate familiar schemas that satisfy the mind when put to use. They draw the eye. Charts stick out in articles. Images jump off of twitter feeds. A graphic will get the attention of the right people when pushed through the right channels. A good graphic will get them converted.


“If your best pitch is a fastball, don’t save it for Christmas! Throw the damned thing!”


Every presentation has a graphic that the presenter can be proud of. The tendency is to lead up to it with a contextual preamble. While this is effective at presentations where the audience is captive, in the audience building game you only get the one shot.

Pick the graph that the presenter can’t wait to get to – a scatter plot that has the company far and away from your competitors. Steadily rising quarterly earnings. A market bigger than anyone expected.


Don’t try and jam the whole presentation into one graphic. The idea here is to drive interested people to the presentation, where the full scope of the company’s enterprise will be discovered by inquiring minds. Let the data do the work. The investors’ brain is hardwired to look for outliers. A single bar in a graph towering above the rest, for example, invites a question: “Why that one?”. Promise an answer, and you’re more likely to get a click.


Good IROs know their audiences and are familiar with their habits. While some spheres of influence are very broad, they all generally have a few key epicenters that give stories very good coverage. If follower bases are built intelligently and diligently, then a consistent push of compelling content will work its way in to that epicenter eventually. If the data gets good enough and compelling enough (consistently), then becoming part of that epicenter is absolutely possible.


The number of re-shares and favorites that any given piece of content gets is only the tip of the analytical iceberg. The ultimate goal in IR is to drive qualified investors to the IR page (or another online asset) and get them following the company’s story. Good IROs are going to use software that monitors their visits, and ascertain whether or not they’re getting the type of traffic that they are looking for. While website visits don’t necessarily translate to greater market liquidity, an increase in overall traffic is considered a key indicator that something is going right.

The next step would be to compare key indicators with shareholder surveillance or inbound investor relations tools reports to ascertain whether this is new or existing traffic. If the current content push isn’t generating the kind of volume or quality that is expected, it may be time to change it up. On the other hand, if an IR department likes what their analytics is turning up, they may consider doubling down.

If you need help with monitoring or investor intelligence, schedule a consultation with IR Smartt.


Public companies are already producing excellent, consumable content. Using that data to gather investors by re-purposing it effectively as part of your broader investor content strategy is a matter of turning it in to shareable content, pushing it to profiled leads, and monitoring traffic to determine if and when adjustments are needed.

data visualization wins investors

Tim Howard

Tim is our CEO at IR Smartt Inc. He leads the strategy and business development teams, driving the company forward. Tim's previous professional experience included extensive work in Journalism and Online Publishing.