Case Study:

A high-tech financial marketplace connects with new audiences

Website by CarbonFIve

Website by CarbonFIve

The end result was a clear value prop that appeals to multiple user groups.
— Keith Farley, Product | Analytics | Data, SharesPost

Redesigning a website for many audiences

SharesPost wanted to redesign their website to create a content-driven platform to attract new investors interested in buying and selling private securities. At the same time, SharesPost was ready to introduce new trading capabilities—cryptocurrency—in their marketplace.

In 2018, brought into the project by our long-term design and dev partners Carbon Five, Wordland started working with the SharesPost leadership team to prioritize the key audiences they were trying to reach. They educated us about SharesPost’s history and deep expertise as we refined the financial services branding attributes and competitive positioning together.

A clear new architecture

Once target audiences had been established, as well as the business goals for the site, we focused on restructuring the information architecture of the new site, which needed to address many audiences and bridge the gap between investors already interested in trading cryptocurrency and large conservative financial firms who were less interested.

We collaborated with SharesPost and CarbonFive to reflect the financial services brand strategy in every element of the site: from the marketing pages; to the global navigation; to thought leadership; to the content investors see when they’re signed into SharesPost.

What do people get for signing up?

While determining how best to restructure the site, one of the main challenges to navigate was the issue of a content “paywall.” Membership in the SharesPost Marketplace is free. The question was, how much of SharesPost’s content (articles, reports, and more) should be viewable without signing in? What content should be available only to registered users or accredited investors?

Wordland tackled this challenge by creating a strategy and member benefits grid for tiered content, with calls to action for funneling visitors through the site, encouraging them to sign up to get research reports and more information.

Content to attract and retain new customers

Another issue that needed to be addressed was the amount of content on the site. It was rich with useful information: SharesPost has fantastic research, analysis, and marketing teams. The challenge was that there were no organizing themes around SharesPost’s content. It was especially noticeable on the blog and articles pages, which felt cluttered due to the volume of content and lack of an obvious hierarchy.

After defining shared topics through a series of collaborative card-sorting workshops with different SharesPost teams, we recommended a clear set of content themes. You can see these tags reflected in the filter drop-down on their Insights page, and in every article and report across the site.

We heart conversions

With proof points to reassure at every step, the new site gives SharesPost a platform to reach investors who will love the private market insights and analysis available in the SharesPost marketplace.

SharesPost has reported back that the strategy is working: monthly membership sign-ups via the new site have increased by X% over the old site. (We’d love a stat from you Mark.)