If you’re a marketing professional charged with marketing communications for an information security solution, your job isn’t easy. Information security is a difficult topic to communicate. The issues are pressing and immediate, the solutions are complex, and it’s a crowded marketplace. As data breach headlines become almost commonplace, your business customers are seeking solutions – from you and your competitors.
Here are five ways you can rise above the fray. They apply equally well to content marketing or traditional marketing collateral. We’ve learned this stuff from 20 years of providing information security marketing communications to leading companies.
1. Don’t belabor the challenge
While it’s ok to summarize the particular business challenge in the security field that your company addresses, don’t belabor the point. Business decision makers are aware of the adverse environment that they – and their customers – face. The cyber criminals are winning, and your customers need solutions. So move your content briskly through a brief discussion of the challenge.
2. Get to something innovative quickly
Your reader seeks to learn something new from your content. Give it to them early in the content to satisfy their craving. What’s “new” depends on you, of course. It could be the way that you pull together existing information to gain new insights – if so, tell your reader that’s the direction you’re going. It could be that you have a new set of leading practices to solve a particular type of security problem – if so, get to it in the first 25% of the content. Don’t wait. You might lose your reader before they get to your value proposition.
3. Be positive: No doom and gloom
Most business decision makers are tired of hearing that the world is about to end, and that a dark decade of despair looms. The consumer media are quite good at drawing attention to the success of cyber criminals and organized crime. Let them cover that. Instead, take the high road and provide some hope. We’re exaggerating a bit here, but you get the idea. Give your reader some positive practices that you have incorporated into your offerings and explain how they can help, in a useful, factual way.
4. Focus: Don’t try to be all things to all people
The information security challenge is an evolving, multi-faceted one. Different audiences are concerned with different aspects of the challenge. Clearly define your particular audience, and create your content as if you are in their shoes. What keeps them up at night? Focus on what will address their particular concerns. Audiences that feel that content is being tailored to their specific issues are much more likely to be responsive.
5. Use the power of example
Mark Twain once said, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” He was right. Readers empathize with examples. Examples make a story real. Even in content that is not explicitly a case study, weave in real-world (or even hypothetical) examples wherever possible. Sometimes, describing a simple example is the best way to get your point across to an audience.
What do you think? What has been your experience with information security marketing communications? Your feedback is welcome!
For the last 30 years, Hoffman Marketing Communications has created white papers, collateral, and more recently multimedia, on complex business issues and technologies. Sign up here to get your free copy of our White Paper on White Papers to learn the ten best practices for creating effective white papers.