In a market glutted with fear tactics, cheap tricks, and buyers craving authenticity and honesty, cybersecurity vendors need a way to consistently connect with prospects without blowing their credibility. When done well, content marketing offers cybersecurity firms the ideal path to effectively communicate value with messages that really resonate with the intended audience.
But coming up with a content marketing strategy takes time, effort, and a lot of planning. Simply dashing off random blogs or throwing up occasional whitepapers on the company website rarely nets many results, and sometimes can even hurt a company if they’re not well written or targeted correctly toward the audience it needs to engage.
So, before cybersecurity vendors start pumping out content, it’s worth investing time on the front end to develop a clear strategy. This starts first by figuring out the right content marketing tack that will support the vendor’s business goal. Start first by orienting around business intent. What are the top goals for the content? For example, is the goal to:
Obviously, there will rarely be a singular goal, but when starting out it’s best to prioritize. Pick a couple of targeted goals and let that lead the strategy so that you can maximize impact without spreading content so thin that it doesn’t make a difference in any direction.
Once you’ve set the goals, ‘listen’ to your audience to find out how they gather data and what they need to make a decision. This will most likely include prospects on the buyer journey, which is why it’s important to spend some time establishing buyer personas to define and break out who the biggest influencers are during the journey.
But don’t forget that the audience could also include investors seeking to put money into your company, analysts who might be defining new security categories, or acquisition executives figuring out how a niche technology or services could fit within their greater solution portfolio. Understanding all of your potential content marketing audiences will influence the tactics you eventually develop to amplify your message.
When zoomed out on big picture strategy, focus less on topics and creative execution, and take some time first to plan in two key areas:
Messaging: Start by nailing down your foundational messaging. Be clear about your value propositions (differentiation), benefits, and elevator pitches so that these can be drawn upon and woven into in all the assets you produce. As a part of that, figure out what your corporate tone will be as you speak to the market and stick with it.
Content Mix: Decide and plan on the appropriate mix of asset types you can realistically develop within a given strategic timeframe that will support and tie into the business needs you defined at the earliest stages of planning. This is where you’re starting to think tactics, so you’ll need X number of webinars, X blogs, X whitepapers, X drip campaigns, or X conference speeches or contributed articles during 2020.
With those strategic tools in hand, you’ll be ready to start thinking more about creative execution. But before you do that, remember one other important element. Don’t forget to establish some sort of analytics or tracking mechanisms that will make it possible to measure the success of future assets. This information can be crucial in adjusting strategy as you begin sending assets out into the wild.
This last point is important to keep in mind, because a content marketing strategy is not a one-and-done affair. Content development is an ongoing process and it is crucial to create a framework which can be adjusted as your technology changes, as your market shifts, and as your customers evolve. Security firms never want to stop communicating and always want to seek greater connection with their prospects. So make your content count by carefully deciding on where you want it to take you in the end.
Need to build your content map? Here’s a template to help you get started.