Marketing strategies for public companies

These days, I hear it all the time from CEOs of small-cap companies when they talk about marketing to investors: “Nothing works!”

They’ve thrown in the towel.

And yet, there’s 50 to 75 companies that haven’t missed a beat, managing to suck up the lion’s share of liquidity on Canada’s small-cap markets. 

What’s their secret? Their story is strong, but, let me set the stage first by going back a couple of years…

The Easy Days of Liquidity

Gone are the days of easy liquidity for TSX Venture companies. The heady times of 2020 and 2021, with excess capital and eager at-home investors, are over. Today's market sees just a fraction of that volume, and public companies face the stark reality of having to earn investor attention.

How do the successful ones do it? With thoughtful, targeted marketing that connects directly with investors. 

The old playbook of outsourced ad spend programs won't cut it anymore. Investor relations teams must leverage platforms with ready-made, engaged audiences ripe for their story. Marketing is not just about breadth, but depth — finding niche channels where passionate investors dwell… 

Finding these audiences requires your investor relations person to commit a few hours every week to exploring YouTube channels, newsletters, podcasts, and other social platforms that your story will connect with. It’s helpful to remember all these channels are essentially small businesses, and they look for stories like yours. Heck, they need sponsors like you to remain in business and grow. 

Before You Commit To Marketing, Know The Pitfalls of Third-Party Ad Spends

Over the last decade, many publicly-listed venture companies have relied on third-party firms to orchestrate broad ad spend campaigns, but these are becoming increasingly ineffective. Here’s why:

Ad Fatigue: Inundated with ads, investors have developed resistance. The conversion rates from such campaigns have plummeted as investors seek more authentic, engaging interactions rather than one-off ad impressions or generic landing pages.

Lack of Targeting: Generic ad spends scatter efforts too widely. Many who see the ads may not be the ideal audience for your venture, leading to inefficient use of marketing dollars.

Low Engagement: Ads created by third parties often need more depth and resonance to engage sophisticated investors looking for compelling, in-depth stories.

Algorithm Uncertainties: With platforms constantly tweaking algorithms, the visibility and reach of ads can unpredictably dip, resulting in lower-than-expected performance.

The Advantage of Built-In Audiences

Conversely, marketing directly to built-in audiences (podcasts, YouTube channels, newsletters, etc.) offers several compelling advantages:

Relevance and Engagement: Platforms with dedicated followers offer a pool of investors already interested in topics related to your business. This relevance increases the likelihood of engagement.

Trust and Credibility: Credible podcasts, channels and publications don’t allow sponsors that don't fit their content theme. There is a level of DD involved, and that’s important. When a respected channel or newsletter shares your company's story, it resonates because it's on message. Followers of these platforms trust the curators and pay more attention to who they work with (sponsors).

Higher Conversion Rates: Engaged and interested audiences lead to higher conversion rates from marketing efforts.

Cost Efficiency: While the reach might seem smaller, the focus on quality over quantity often results in a more efficient use of funds with a better ROI.

For instance, a lithium mining venture featured in a niche market analysis podcast focused on global lithium news and developments will provide a much larger bang for the buck than broad ads. 

Find channels with audiences already keen on your sector, no matter how big their following may be. We know the value an additional 300 to 500 shareholders can bring to a small-cap in Canada today.  

Our Approach

We've built one of Canada's most extensive networks of retail investors by understanding and respecting our audience’s interests. We don't just broadcast stock market-related messages to grow our following, and we avoid bombarding investors’ inboxes with daily blasts. One of our approaches is to create content, based on subscriber sectors of interest, that informs and visualizes the goals and business objectives of select ventures.

We’re not here to give investment advice... instead, we bring business stories to life by getting boots on the ground at company operations with our cameras rolling. And when we share a venture's story, it's heard by a community eager to watch and listen.

Time for a New Outreach Strategy

To the CEOs and IR professionals: The playing field has changed, and so must our strategies. It’s time to move away from outdated, scattergun ad campaigns and embrace the power of direct engagement with interested audiences.

In summary, it's not just about getting your name out there — it's about getting your story in front of the right people, at the right time, in the right way. And that's precisely what we excel at.

To building a stronger shareholder base,