- Tips for building your cyber security marketing strategy
- Tips and tricks for marketing that works
- Actions you can take today
The market for cyber security products and services is highly competitive. So, to ensure that your expertise and solutions stand out from the crowd, you need an excellent cyber security marketing strategy.
The cyber security landscape has changed in recent years. In 2017, there were several high-profile cyberattacks on organisations ranging from Deloitte, Uber and Equifax, to the National Health Service in the UK – which was brought to a standstill by the WannaCry ransomware attack.
Business owners are beginning to wake up to the reality that their organisations are at risk and are seeking out ways to better protect their IT infrastructure. Cyber security is now being regarded as business-critical – a situation which has led to more opportunity for businesses selling cyber security solutions, as well as more competition than ever.
At Fifty Five and Five, we work with Microsoft Partners to help market a wide range of cyber security services and products. Over the years, we have worked closely with our clients to figure out what works and what doesn’t. In this post, we highlight four ways for Microsoft Partners to develop a cyber security marketing strategy which will generate leads and boost profits.
How to build a solid cyber security marketing strategy
Here are four key tips to developing a cyber security marketing strategy:
- Understanding your audience
- Providing education
- Gaining trust/showcasing expertise
- Creating a sense of urgency
1. Understanding your audience
Understanding your audience is essential, and should be the first step for all marketing strategies. To do this well, we recommend creating some marketing personas.
A persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. Personas not only put a face to your target audience but also provide actionable insights to help you decide which strategies will work best, including how to communicate, which marketing channels to use and what kind of messaging will have the desired impact. You can learn more about creating personas for marketing here.
For instance, if you mainly sell cyber security products to smaller businesses, you need to focus on the cyber security challenges faced by small businesses. All too often, IT companies write blogs which focus solely on the high-profile cyber security attacks affecting the Deloittes and NHS’s of this world, yet this may leave small business owners – your customers – thinking: “Well, my company of 12 people probably isn’t at risk”. On the other hand, messaging along the lines of: “43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses” will resonate with them more.
You also need to be clear about who your message is targeted at within these organisations. Create at least two or three personas to cover the different roles that you need to speak to. It is likely that you will need to target both the CTO and the CEO. But, at larger organisations, this may also include CISOs, risk managers and CFOs. All of these individuals will have different pain points and will need to be addressed in different ways.
Actions to take:
- Research your audience
- Create and use personas
2. Provide education
Every business needs cyber security, but few people outside of the tech world know more than what they see in the headlines. Education is therefore essential when it comes to a cyber security marketing strategy.
Many business owners read about cyberattacks in the news and are left asking: how does this affect my business? What are the dangers? How do I mitigate against the risks? Where do I start? A cyber security marketing strategy needs to answer these questions.
Another problem for marketers is that many businesses are complacent about the cyber security threat to their business. Part of the job involves explaining that the risks are huge and the dangers imminent.
Content marketing is key here. Create blogs and downloadable content (eBooks, infographics etc.) that seeks to educate your target audience.
Actions to take:
- Create informative digital content – blogs, downloadable content, webinars, video tutorials
- Use other types of content – flyers and brochures to hand out to customers at events or adverts/advertorial in print publications
3. Gain trust/showcase expertise
When businesses make decisions about cyber security solutions, there’s a lot on the line – the average cost of a cyberattack is £20,000. With the EU’s new data protection laws coming into play in 2018, there is a further consideration that non-compliance can be punished with huge fines (read our guide on marketing your GDPR expertise here). Aside from this, there’s the risk of reputational damage, which can be just as difficult to come back from as any financial hit.
With so much at stake, business owners are taking care to find solutions they can rely on. Therefore, they need to know that they’re in safe hands.
You need to build trust and showcase your expertise. This doesn’t mean producing text-heavy manuals full of jargon and technical language. It means providing easy-to-digest explainers about how effective your products and services have been in protecting customers from cyberthreats in the past. Testimonials from satisfied customers and case studies that showcase success stories are the way to go. Bringing your blogs to life with real examples of your services, product or team in practice can work well.
Making content data-led is a great way to do this. Accurate stats, facts and figures can be effective in communicating your expertise. For instance, use attention-grabbing statistics for headlines and social media content. For example: “We helped 200 organisations stay cyberattack free in 2017”.
Actions to take:
- Use stats, facts, figures, case studies and interviews with experts
- Create authoritative whitepapers
- Ask satisfied customers for quotes you can use on your website
- Don’t use jargon
4. Create a sense of urgency
Unfortunately, many businesses do not see cyber security as a priority. One of your challenges is to convince them that they should.
There may be many different reasons why businesses are reluctant to prioritise cyber security. It could be down to complacency; it could be because they don’t fully understand the threat; it could be because they believe their core work is more important and want to focus their resources towards that end; it could be simply down to the expense.
Your job is to use your personas to figure out what messaging will convince your target audience that cyber security is critical – you need to create a sense of urgency.
But, of course, you must get your messaging right. This shouldn’t be an exercise in scare tactics. You don’t want to create a series of blogs that ends up terrifying potential customers rather than educating them as to the risks.
Actions to take:
- Use your personas to find the right messaging
- Avoid scare-mongering and stick to the facts
- Use stats to outline the reality of the threat
Do you need help developing a cyber security marketing strategy? Fifty Five and Five are a full-service digital marketing agency. We combine great marketing with an innate understanding of the Microsoft Partner Network. Read how we help Consort.it produce a quarterly magazine aimed at small business owners which has, among other things, informed and educated readers about the current cyber security landscape.