How to Establish Cyber Security Thought Leadership
Marketing is often about making a splash. The best material sets itself apart with thought-provoking ideas, sensational visuals and language that tells a story. But setting a cybersecurity firm apart from others requires a careful balance of promotion, conversation and brand formation.
The best way to set forth in a crowded environment is to establish cyber security thought leadership. To prove your cybersecurity company or client stands out, prove they are capable of thinking intelligently, originally and innovatively. Prove that you’re an industry leader with credibility, visibility and relatability.
Defining Cyber Security Thought Leadership
“Thought leadership” is one of those marketing terms industry professionals throw around, but often can’t define. Before you can establish cyber security thought leadership, you must understand what it means.
Cyber security thought leadership is a combination of a few important factors, which are expressed through content, voice and brand. These include industry knowledge, communication skills, expertise, experience, news generation and public image.
Demonstrating a company’s awareness, research and developments in an effective presentation, gives a healthy public image that your client or business matches it’s ambition with capability. The creation of new ideas, content and solutions shows leadership potential. The best leaders shape the industry with a few important, positive strategies.
Cultivate a Credible Conversation
Artful leaders don’t just speak, they also listen. Valuable industry discussions require participants who are willing to join in, listen and actively think about the work. However, the most successful industry conversations have participants who are knowledgeable, eloquent and trustworthy. To cultivate these types of mutual listening and sharing spaces, start them. Check all facts, credit all sources, conduct original research and communicate all ideas in a straightforward, but creative way.
Don’t just contribute content, take it all in, generate feedback, respond and react. Giving other industry professionals a place to distribute their own ideas and learn from others, develops company-to-company harmony. Sometimes the most efficient way to gain insight is directly from your peers.
Disruptive Notions with Guest Bloggers
Blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, social media posts – have all flooded the content marketing industry with messages of wide range, intent and tone. To rise above the heavy waters, you must swim against the current with disruptive notions about the cybersecurity industry. Proposing out-of-the-box ideas for mitigating cyber attacks, examining an issue from a hacker’s point of view, going beyond headlines like “Biggest Data Breaches of 2015,” are some of the things that catch readers’ attention and disrupt the average flow of cybersecurity content.
If curating your own content has become tedious, the ideas all seem to be the same, and the language has a very pale pallor, it might be time to invite a guest blogger to write for your marketing team. These types of posts infuse a breath of fresh perspective into content strategy.
The types of guests to look for are individual cyber security thought leaders, experts, authors, panelists, professors or even customers. They can write anything from a blog post to an opinion piece, or even conduct a question-and-answer session on your social media accounts. The key is to look for authentic voices with an established body of work and reputation.
Bury the Promotion
Cyber security thought leadership is not a sales pitch. It is not this content’s job to outright sell a product or service for its value, but to delicately underline that value. Therefore, instead of pushing a company’s offering directly, it’s better to bury the lead. If you mention products or services at all, do so near the end of a blog post or whitepaper. The mention should be brief and clear to avoid sounding overly promotional.
Readers will appreciate a piece they can thoughtfully consider and ponder without being pressured into learning more or making a purchase. Content should be informative and refrain from explicitly explain products or services. Subtlety is powerful, underused and always welcome.
Form a Thought, Take the Lead
To move in front of other companies simply watching the content rush by, take the initiative to establish your company or client as a thought leader. Thought leadership is rewarded by increased conversions, better awareness and improved market reputation. Customers respect professionals and marketing copy that provides insight and new ideas.
Thought leadership might seem like a hefty task, but all it takes are small adjustments to an existing content strategy. If approached with patience and are, gradually, your cybersecurity marketing will stand out among the crowd.
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