How a Content Strategy Can Help Cybersecurity Firms
A content strategy is the most effective way for an organization to communicate with customers in the current media landscape. It’s essential for building a brand identity and even more important for generating leads.
Whether we like it or not, content is king.
Without a forward-thinking content strategy, cybersecurity marketing quickly becomes bogged down in technical and fear-based language. It’s not any one marketer’s fault—that’s just the nature of cyber security. It’s technical, and the consequences are scary.
Those limitations result in cybersecurity marketing materials that are just long explanations (or worse, lectures) instead of effective advertising.
The good news is that business leaders already know why cybersecurity is essential. It’s 2023, and we no longer have to make a business case for security. Decision makers understand the weight of online security risks, and most are engaged in finding solutions.
In today’s climate, business leaders need to educate themselves on the specifics of how cybersecurity can help their businesses.
With a well-crafted and consistently executed strategy, you can move the focus toward the value of your organization’s work and away from lectures on systems configurations and unpatched vulnerabilities.
The winning solution won’t be the one that makes those decision-makers feel most educated, overwhelmed, or scared. The winner will humanize the issues organizations face and highlight the upside of cybersecurity.
How to Market an Abstract Concept With a Goal of Nothing
An effective cybersecurity strategy prevents things from happening. That’s the best-case scenario in cybersecurity: Nothing happened.
How do you advertise that? “Pay us, and nothing will happen.” That sounds like mafia extortion.
The abstract nature, the complex and technical tools, and the fear factor all contribute to the fact that most cybersecurity firms rely on overexploitation, overpromising, and a little bit of fear mongering to sell their products.
Other than fear, it’s hard to create a human connection with customers. There isn’t a great marketing alternative because cybersecurity aims to prevent incidents from occurring. When the best outcome is no outcome, it can feel impossible to communicate ROI.
But it’s not impossible. Think about Allstate: We all want to be in good hands.
What if, instead of explaining hypothetical syllogisms and misaligned firewalls, you could connect with your audience on a human level?
You can. Simply offer your audience concrete solutions for their existential fears.
Use a Content Strategy to Eliminate Barriers to Entry
Cybersecurity is existential, digital, conceptual, and hypothetical. It is not simple. That’s why you’re the expert—so everyone else doesn’t have to be.
But cyber threats are real, no matter how abstract the concept of cybersecurity may be.
The Most Complex Content
The complexity of cybersecurity leads to a lot of noise in the marketplace, which serves as a barrier to entry. Most cybersecurity organizations try to explain problems and solutions with dense, technical jargon that alienates the uninitiated.
The battle to be the most complex solution leads companies to overpromise on their service outcomes and software solutions.
Overpromising on your organization’s services leads to suspicion, and overwhelming your audience or relying on fear-based content discourages your audience from making confident buying decisions.
Sure, it can evoke emotion, but you can quickly lose control of the narrative. A stressful environment is not a suitable environment for marketing or messaging. Instead, you must invite your audience into a human-to-human conversation.
Right now, there is a hole in the market for a cybersecurity firm that speaks in plain, comprehendable language. You have an opportunity to fill it.
Connect the Story of Cybersecurity to a Human Audience with a Content Strategy
Stop looking for new ways to explain the intricacies of your particular cybersecurity offerings. Instead, think about your best or most profitable customer. What do they need? A lecture? A warning? Some advice?
If a friend asks for advice, do you offer them a line of code? Do you prey on their fears? No, you give them advice.
Start by looking at your audience’s needs. They probably found your website because they need help. So be helpful. Be a friend.
Help People Understand Complex Issues
You’re probably here because you used a search engine to answer a question about content strategy for cybersecurity companies.
Likewise, if you’re a cybersecurity organization, the people who find your website are there because they have questions about cybersecurity. So answer their questions.
People are actively seeking answers to their security questions. Answer them in simple terms, and you’ll generate more social media shares and website traffic.
Start with your most common questions or list some practical, proactive tips. Here is some free content just for you:
- What are the things your front-line employees see every day that most companies could take care of themselves?
- What are the simple tasks that your organization would rather not have to do for every client?
- What do small business owners ask at parties when they find out you work in cybersecurity?
Write a “Top 5 Cybersecurity Hacks Business Owners Need to Know” or “7 Cybersecurity Tasks You Can Handle Yourself.” Have someone read the blogs on camera or have a designer style a quote to share on LinkedIn.
These are opportunities to be helpful and expand your brand awareness. As an upside, most of the answers to these questions will imply or address the high cost of doing nothing while slowly exposing your audience to the complexity of these issues.
Ease them in. Show them how helpful you are. Once they have a better picture of their cybersecurity needs and opportunities, they’ll know they need to hire an expert. And what expert is better than the one who has been guiding them this entire time?
Own the Conversation
Express VPN does a great job of distilling the complexities of internet privacy into digestible chunks of information. They’ve brought the VPN discussion into the mainstream through a combination of straight ads, paid explainer ads produced by third parties, and Express VPN’s own internally produced privacy content.
The ExpressVPN blog publishes content (text, infographics, video, etc.) about security and privacy, ranging from quick tips to deep technical explanations. Each piece of content represents an opportunity for ExpressVPN to be helpful. VPNs have become a mainstream topic because Express VPN started the conversation.
Cybersecurity company Axonias recently partnered with Simone Biles, which had a lot of folks (including Simone) wondering, “What does an Olympic gymnast have to do with cybersecurity?”
Since Axonias is a cybersecurity company, they addressed complexity head-on. The company searched for popular figures who have publicly dealt with complex situations, and didn’t have to look far to find Biles. Partnering with her, Axonias was able to own the conversation around “complexity” without engaging in overly-complex explanations of its products.
aThe people encountering these pieces of content are typically those already interested in the products and services ExpressVPN or Axonias are offering because of search engine and social media feed algorithms.
A blog post answers their question. A social media video piques their interest. An ebook provides an overview of a complicated topic. An effective strategy uses social media, owned media, and search engine optimization to bring your best audience to your doorstep.
A content strategy is the difference between showing pages one and three of Google search results for common cybersecurity questions. The websites on page three don’t get traffic. The website on page one gets brand exposure even if it doesn’t get clicks.
This is your opportunity to start a human conversation with your audience before starting the sales conversation. Connecting with people is the only way to drive success, and starting a conversation is the best way to connect on the human level.
Does Your Cybersecurity Firm Need a Content Strategy?
Content creation is also existential, digital, conceptual, and hypothetical. But you don’t have to be a content expert to tell your story better. Content creation is our field of expertise. We build and execute content strategies so that you can focus on being an expert in your field.
Our team of strategists, writers, and content creators work with cybersecurity firms to build a content strategy that strengthens their brands, grows their audiences, informs potential customers, and, most importantly, generates genuine leads.
Check out our cybersecurity specific services as well!