Have you ever thought about what a strategy accessing online investors looks like? Can it be an effective method or should you just stick with the old school approach? You know, the fifty page pitch decks, brokers, the big NYC investor conferences, stuffy press releases and whatever else the world has been telling you to do for the past one hundred years. Grinding out minimum conversions to actual shareholders, because you know, “that’s the only serious way to do it”.

There is a smarter and more effective way to attract investors of all sizes. Engage with them in the way today’s investors want and need to feel comfortable with you and more importantly, convert to shareholders.

Here are some things you should take into serious consideration if you are trying to compete in today’s world for investors, capital, and market share.

As of 2013, the three largest online brokers Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and E*TRADE, collectively have over 17 million active brokerage accounts. Etrade, $201.2 billion in customer assets, TD Ameritrade, $472.3 billion in client assets and Schwab, $1.95 trillion in client assets.

With $2.6235 trillion in the top 4 online brokerage firms as of 2013, you can safely say that most individual investors and brokers are literally investing online. They do their research online and make their decisions to buy, online.

Maybe you’ve got your eyes set on institutions. NASDAQ recently said “with more than 84% of institutional investors accessing a company’s IR website during their research process prior to making an investment decision, the IR website remains a crucial part of your IR program”. Are you sure you have what they’re looking for online?

What about SEO? Do you know that according to Search Engine Journal “SEO leads have a 14.6 close rate, while outbound leads (such as print ads or mailers) have 1.7% close rate”? Do you know how many potential investors are searching for keywords you could be ranking for? Do you know where you rank? Are you trying to improve? Do you think you could benefit from hundreds of potential investors on your site because they found you in search? Would you convey a compelling enough story that they would convert into shareholders?

What about content? Are you writing content on your site to help you address your SEO needs? Or to help establish yourself and your company as thought leaders? What is the story you’re telling to put to all your numbers? Is it easy to understand who your are, what you do and why you do it? Can they figure it out in 8 seconds or less? Because that’s the average attention span in humans right now. How about a blog to help connect with potential and current shareholders? Does your content convert? Does it have a purpose? Is it written with a favorable flesch-kincaid score or is it written for the MIT graduate?

What about your press releases? Where do you think they are being viewed most? In the past, press releases were meant for just that. The press. You put it out in hopes a reporter would see it and report on it because more exposure meant more investors, right? That is still most certainly the case. If you get coverage that is great; however, most press releases are being bypassed by the media and viewed directly by investors online. Press releases can be powerful tools if you keep that in mind. They help attract investors to your story, which will entice them to visit your website, especially if you close with a call-to-action, like “for more information, visit our blog”. This could result in all kinds of great engagement and conversions on your site.

There are many reasons why your online investor strategy matters, maybe even more than any other method you are currently using. Why? Because any method of reaching investors will most likely have them doing more research online. The biggest question you need to ask yourself is, when they do, what will they find?

This isn’t a job for just anyone. I have more than 15 years communicating with investors online. I have studied how online investors consume information and how they convert. For a full audit of your current online investor presence or to start a partnership, register today.