It’s no secret that in recent months cybersecurity brands have had a surge in demand for their products.
The sudden increase in remote working led to an unprecedented number of cyber attacks involving malware attacks and phishing attempts.
Yet despite the opportunities for growth, the cybersecurity landscape is increasingly turning into a graveyard for startups.
“I have never seen such a fast-growing market with so many companies on the losing side,” says David Cowan, a partner at Bessemer Ventures (a heavy investor in cybersecurity startups).
Many new cybersecurity firms are struggling to communicate their unique value to their target market.
And that’s where cybersecurity content marketing comes in.
Cybersecurity content marketing aims to address such issues by helping brands find ways to connect with their customers.
In this article we’ll reveal five strategies that can help you do just that.
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What is Cybersecurity Content?
The importance of creating specific content for time-specific problems is self explanatory: your customers need to understand the unique solutions to their unique problems.
But your cybersecurity firm has a greater need to build trust with your prospective customers than any other industry.
You’re being entrusted with your user’s security and personal details, after all. Your products are also extremely technical, which regular users won’t understand.
Your customers also struggle to appreciate their own vulnerabilities and can fall prey to phishing and cyber attack through email and social media.
Cybersecurity content strategies, therefore, need to take all these factors into account. Here are five such methods to help you forge better relationships with your customers and drive growth through content.
Strategy #1: Take Your Tradeshow Material Online
Cybersecurity trade shows like RSA, Cyber Risk Forum, and Troopers20 are highly sought after events. They are great places to demonstrate new technologies and forge new relationships.
However, the new normal brought about by the coronavirus pandemic means that putting tradeshows together will be hard.
Virtual events are taking over as we learn to live with social distancing. Events like Domopalooza and IBM’s Think have already gone 100% virtual and others will follow suit.
Instead of waiting for your favorite trade shows to come back on, it’s best to focus your efforts on digital cybersecurity content. There are plenty of cybersecurity templates to help you create the content in no time.
So, instead of discarding all content and strategy you created for live-events that won’t happen, why not take them online to start a dialogue?
Remember, the people you were going to meet still have the same problems. They’ll want to know how to work safely.
And your technology can be demonstrated just as effectively online as it could in person (if not more effectively).
Your keynote speeches, brochures, and product demonstrations make ideal material for videos, blog posts, listicles about cybersecurity movies and shows, and webinars. You can also scour through the event attendee lists and invite thought-leaders to take part in Q&A sessions.
The content intelligence platform Pathfactory, for example, decided to start a conversation after IBM’s MBX event was canceled. They created an online keynote speech by their cofounder, a Q&A section, and articles on how marketers can survive the pandemic downturn:
Some ideas for your cybersecurity business to try:
- Online webinars and talk shows with industry experts.
- Repurposed speeches on how to promote endpoint security, network security and protect personal information.
- Video product demonstrations.
Strategy #2: Create an Educational Series
Since the new normal has pushed us all into unfamiliar territory, many people are likely to make costly cybersecurity mistakes. These can be avoided if they are shown how to work safer.
A great way moving forward will be to create an educational series focussing on cyber security wellness. Your series can focus on:
- Benchmark data: Collection of cybersecurity statistical data.
- Educational content: Blog posts, guides, and templates on managing a cyber threat.
- Live events: Digital events with industry leaders for insights and Q&A.
The emphasis here will be to help your customers negotiate with cybersecurity risks on their own. This will be important since your tools can only handle under the hood security issues.
You can start by conducting a survey of your clients and prospective companies (in your target market). Internal surveys of employees can uncover potential problems and solutions too.
The information can be used to establish your own benchmarks and inform cyber security content creation.
The second pillar of your content strategy can be an educational series that helps CSOs counter their most pressing challenges.
Consider publishing blog posts, whitepapers, and ebooks on the best remote working habits/practices, industry trends, and emerging cyber threats.
Finally, webinars and Q&A sessions with industry experts can allow you to answer specific questions your audience has.
Webinars are likely to become a popular online medium in remote work spaces, so be sure to use them here.
A word of caution. Too many times companies try to use content to score sales by being pushy and fail.
The emphasis of content marketing is on creating trust through educating and helping people rather than securing immediate revenue.
It’s best to use your content to build credibility and relationships first. If you do a good job at that, then the sales will take care of themselves.
Strategy #3: Be Human
Not everything you need to be doing right now has to be work-related. Remember, your clients are facing personal challenges besides work-related issues. And this can affect their cybersecurity as well since attackers can exploit their weaknesses.
Start by asking your employees what they are facing. Create focus groups to discover underlying issues.
Alternatively, you can also use anonymous surveys of both employees and clients to get a better idea of what challenges they are facing.
Now, try and find ways to help them. You can add solutions to your educational series. But why stop there?
For instance, you can try virtual team-building exercises to increase camaraderie between your employees.
Quizzes, work-themed bingo games, and employee home tours are great ways to get everyone to know one another a little better.
Finally, it’s a good idea to support a charity or public health initiative as part of your overall strategy.
For example, SAP created an online experience in which employees and their kids can tune in together to see how they do what they do.
The event included everything from home tours of celebrities, athletes, and influencers to special 10-minute sections on art, sports, and fashion.
Their efforts paid off, and the virtual event was a huge success. Segments like “at home with Brent Burns” and “math lessons with Sharks broadcaster Dan Rusanowsky” were particularly well received.
SAP also partnered with No Child Hungry as part of the program to help provide homeless kids with meals.
Strategy #4: Create Your Own Digital Events
As we said, live events are in all likelihood on a downward trajectory. While we have shown how you can take your live presence to established digital means, you can go further.
You can create your own digital event and use it to build your brand. Brands look to cyber security companies for solutions and content that shows them how to operate safely.
However, creating the perfect online event is easier said than done.
Thankfully, the good people at On24 have created a guide on how organizers can take their events online without needing to negotiate any steep learning curves.
Their content covers:
- How to convert seminars into interactive webinars.
- Creating digital tradeshows and conferences.
- Creating hybrid physical/virtual experiences.
- Deriving data and insights from virtual engagements.
You can emulate On24’s strategy by creating content about how your company handles security while working from home.
An even better idea will be to create similar webinars with industry experts on security best practices to follow while working remotely. Some webinar ideas we suggest:
- How to keep your VPNs safe from hackers
- How we work from home
- 5 CTOs share how they make work from home work
- Managing phishing attacks against your remote workforce
- Eliminating shadow IT from your organization
- Improving Nation’s Cybersecurity with Zero Trust
Strategy #5: Use Psychological Inputs
Now will be a good time to reiterate that humans are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain.
Why now? Because we are — our psychology dictates it. We are easy to trick and deceive, and we make mistakes, especially when feeling down or stressed.
A cybersecurity attack can target our vulnerabilities and steal sensitive information like company and personal data through a phishing email.
Such situations are perfect for a cyber attack like identity theft, ransomware and corporate espionage.
As strange as it may sound, mental health is very much a part of cyber security. This is why your cybersecurity content strategy should take psychological inputs into account.
Mental health content should be included as part of the educational content directed at instilling good information security practices.
Readers won’t make the association between mental health strategies and cybersecurity on their own.
You will need to create training material that helps them understand the association between cybersecurity and psychological well-being.
You can use Psychology and the Good Life by Yale professor Laurie Santos for inspiration here. The course was created in response to heightened stress and anxiety amongst students.
The course quickly became the most demanded in Yale’s 300-year history, and for a good reason, too.
Yale offered the course for free on Coursera following COVID-19 in order to help as many people as possible. Since then, its popularity has only increased.
Psychological insights from the course can serve as the basis for your content strategy. Try to find issues that are more likely to result in cybersecurity issues. For example, how can stress affect a person’s online presence?
Clearly, there are many dimensions to cybersecurity and each one of them is just as important as the other. While it may be hard to unplug from “selling-mode,” that’s precisely what’s required today.
Your cybersecurity content should focus on helping and educating your readers on how to solve the challenges they are facing right now.
So, here’s a quick recap of all the strategies we covered:
- Turn your live-event marketing collateral into digital content.
- Create highly detailed educational courses on cybersecurity threat and solutions.
- Understand the personal challenges your employees and clients are facing. Provide them with an avenue to share them on.
- Start experimenting with virtual events. They are the future.
- Don’t ignore mental health. It’s as important to cybersecurity risk management as a firewall or a VPN.
Have content ideas or strategies that have worked for you? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.