According to the Ponemon Institute, the average annual cost of cyber attacks worldwide is about $9.5 million. There’s no shortage of potential victims, with gullibility, human error, and lax practices still rampant as ever. And with the technology and resources available to them, opportunities for hackers and cybercriminals continue to expand.
Little wonder, then, that the cyber security sector is thriving. A Cybersecurity Market Report published by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that worldwide spending on cyber security products and services will surpass $1 trillion between now and 2021.
But the cyber security business continues to have the reputation more as a fire-fighting or emergency services industry than a purveyor of desirable commodities or business-enhancing services.
How Can Marketers in the Cyber Security Business Change This Mind-Set?
With the prevalence and cost of data breaches and cyber attacks, it’s tempting to make scaremongering the basis of your promotional campaigns – “Buy AntiVirus X, or you WILL suffer a data breach just like millions of others”. The “hard sell” simply won’t work if what you’re selling is doom, gloom, and despondency.
Rather, your job as a marketer should be to communicate to your consumers the nature and scope of the threats they face, and the role that cyber security in general – and your cyber security offerings in particular – can play in managing these risks.
To foster a greater understanding of what cyber security is all about, and what it and your products have to offer to the buying public, a different kind of promotional strategy is called for.
Content marketing fits that bill.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic approach that ditches in-yer-face promotion and the hard sell in favour of creating and distributing valuable and relevant material – i.e. content – to existing and potential consumers from your target audience. Rather than directly pitching your products and services, with content marketing you provide information and resources that educate customers and provide solutions for their issues and concerns.
Besides being relevant and valuable, the content you produce also needs to be:
- Interesting and engaging enough to hold their attention
- Able to instil enough urgency in the consumer that they take on board what you’re saying – and act on any recommendations that you make
Content Marketing for the Cyber Security Industry
Cyber security is a serious business, dealing with serious issues that can impact the digital health and profitability of individuals or corporations alike. Malware, data breaches, hacking, and crimes perpetuated through social engineering practices are drivers of the cyber security economy. For solution providers, it’s easy to focus only on the problems and dedicate your marketing message to stressing the need to be concerned.
The end result may be factually accurate – but as an attractor for buyers and subscribers, promotional campaigns that simply state the problems fail because they present consumers with an uninspiring and ultimately passive view of the market – more doom, gloom, and horrifying statistics.
What’s needed to inspire consumers to heed the warnings and sign up for that terrific service you’re offering is a call to action. And your audience can’t act if they’re paralysed with fear.
Content marketing gives you the power both to acknowledge the very real dangers that cyber security operators have to deal with on a daily basis, and to present your cyber security business as a knowledgeable and trustworthy organisation that’s capable of delivering the advice and technical solutions that will enable your consumers to meet these challenges head on.
Use Blogs to Chart the Customer Journey
There’s a lot going on in the cyber security world that your prospective and existing consumers probably won’t know about. News on the latest threats, mitigation techniques, emerging technologies, or basic principles – these and other topics are worth discussing in order to raise your customers’ awareness to a level where they can better appreciate the solutions you have to offer.
Blogs are a terrific way to provide information and guidance to consumers at every stage of the customer journey. While establishing your cyber security business as a trustworthy source of expertise, they can project your image as a leader in the field – with the resources to back up that knowledge.
Topics like “What is Ransomware?” or “What is Anti-Malware?” can provide basic definitions and principles for customers who are relatively new to cyber security.
Articles relating to recent cyber security news (“Why the Internet Crashed Last Night”) can establish your credibility or thought leadership and attract new leads.
“How to Recognise a Phishing Attempt” or “Best Practices for Email Security” are titles that would suit consumers who are further along the sales funnel and have a greater understanding about cyber security issues.
For prospects who are on the point of making a commitment, titles like “Why AntiVirus X is the Solution for Your Malware Problems” can clinch the deal.
In content marketing, there’s a standard protocol for these things. You begin by discussing the topic in more general terns, leaving yourself out of the equation. But you end with the useful knowledge that your cyber security business offers Product X or Service Y – which specifically addresses some or all of the issues that the customer has just been reading about.
Using relevant facts and figures to make your case is always a good idea. But don’t blind them with science, drown them in meaningless statistics, or switch off their brains by using complex technical language or jargon.
Offer Takeaway Content for Visitors to Study Offline
Reports or white papers that visitors to your website can download to read later are a useful way to package longer form content that you might otherwise have to stretch over a series of blogs. You may need to create a landing page for the content, which showcases the high points and gives a brief summary of they will learn within.
In addition, your landing page will require visitors to provide a name and email address before they can gain access to the file, giving your marketing team contactable leads to nurture and follow up on.
Use Case Studies to Illustrate Techniques and Establish Relevance
The Content Marketing Institute regards case studies as one of the most important promotional tactics for B2B companies. They can speak directly to consumers who already know what their problem is, and what the available options are, but could use a final push before settling on a particular solution.
(Image source: SlideShare)
Case studies are particularly relevant to chief executives, who will ultimately give the go ahead for purchase or subscription. To sway them toward you, make sure to include plenty of data that illustrates how your cyber security solutions have impacted positively on your client’s bottom line.
Educate and Create Immediate Impact Through Video
CEOs and other C-level executives are also particularly receptive to video as a means of communication. Inbound marketing experts at HubSpot reckon that 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week, while 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text.
(Image source: Taylor Made Computer Solutions)
You can create video content to explain how your cyber security solutions meet specific challenges, or to simplify more complex discussions on larger cyber security issues and statistics. Video is also a great medium for adding visual impact to your case studies.
Use Content to Enhance Your Other Marketing Efforts
You can incorporate all of the content marketing avenues described above as part of your other digital marketing efforts. For example, you can include extracts from your blog in email marketing messages in order to sustain and nurture long-term leads. Elsewhere, case studies and video clips can form part of your presentation during webinars.
Ultimately, providing information and resources via content marketing is a better way of connecting with consumers than doom and gloom or the hard sell. Just be sure to use relevant facts and statistics to create an appropriate sense of urgency, then provide access to your cyber security products and services, as a solution to these concerns.
If you need the highest-quality content for your cyber security business’s lead generation, nurturing, and sales strategies, markITwrite has a dedicated team of skilled and professional writers ready to put their talent to work for your business.
Get in touch today form more information and insights.