Cybersecurity content marketing is hard.
There are reasons that cybersecurity content marketing is challenging:
- Cybersecurity is a saturated market.
- The people that security brands are selling to are often ultra smart – and always ultra sales resistant.
- The solutions being sold typically cost a lot of money.
That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, though.
In more than five years of building content marketing plans and lead generation assets for cybersecurity vendors, I’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t when marketing to the people within this industry.
These lessons apply to any business in pretty much any sector.
In this article, I’ll discuss five key cybersecurity content marketing lessons I learned and why they matter for any brand that wants to succeed.
Let’s dive in and discover how to overcome cybersecurity content marketing challenges.
Important Cybersecurity Content Marketing Lessons
If you’re not optimizing for keywords, your content won’t be found
When I first got started in cybersecurity content marketing, I was 100% focused on helping brands produce “amazing” content. Content that was relevant to readers, offered something new (i.e., not just a mash-up of the first 10 results on Google), was backed up by tons of research, and fit the brand’s tone of voice.
And yet, despite the effort I put into every piece of content and it being objectively good (i.e., other people thought so), it didn’t necessarily perform.
The key reason why was that it wasn’t being found — and read — by people. No one knew it existed, and the ROI was, frankly, not great.
Sure, the brands would share the content on social media. But they didn’t necessarily have a lot of reach, and in a few days, the content would fade into obscurity.
Having spent hours thinking about and writing that piece of content, it seemed like a waste.
Then I started spending more time researching and incorporating keywords.
A lot of people will tell you that keywords don’t matter. Write to your audience, and they will find your content. Google is getting smarter by the minute – it can understand your content’s context without your help.
I found out from experience that keywords still matter, and optimizing for search engine optimization (SEO) is still important. Yes, Google is getting smarter, but it still needs a little bit of help.
Use keyword tools like Semrush to find keywords that are relevant to your industry.
If you don’t optimize your content for keywords, it might as well not exist.
Tip: Use keyword research tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to find keywords that are relevant to your industry and audience. Opt for keywords with high traffic and low difficulty first. Once you build up your domain authority, you can start ranking for more difficult keywords.
Related Reading: SCO Marketing
Stuffing your content with keywords is bad for conversions
SEO is important, but that doesn’t mean you should stuff your content with keywords.
This strategy worked back in the day, and I’ve also seen it work for people in 2023. But in general, this practice is outdated, and Google is getting more serious about penalizing websites that do this.
More importantly, stuffing your content with keywords can hurt your conversions. To follow the best SEO practices, you should know how many keywords to add on the website page.
If your content is overly optimized, it probably doesn’t read well. And if it doesn’t read well, it is unlikely to convince your readers. It might even deter them from your site.
Remember, you want to show up on search engine results so that readers can see your content. But at the end of the day, you’re writing for the reader, not Google. Google won’t buy your services/products. Your reader will.
Tip: Use your primary keyword in the title, opening paragraph, and one or two headings in an article, plus a few times throughout the article (naturally!) Consider also using tools like Clearscope, which help you find related keywords that you might want to incorporate into your blog post.
Know your target audience
As someone who works in cybersecurity content marketing, I have some knowledge of cybersecurity, but I am far from an expert. To get insights, I constantly interview subject matter experts (SMEs).
I have to – otherwise, the content I produce will be generic at best, and the people the content is intended for won’t take it seriously.
If I give a client content that is riddled with inaccuracies or uses terminology that clearly exposes me as an outsider, it might deter readers from the brand for good. And that would be catastrophic.
Unfortunately, in cybersecurity content marketing, this kind of thing happens constantly. I cringe when I read content that was clearly written by a writer who knows nothing about this space. I’m sure cybersecurity pros do too. There’s a reason many of them turn to forums like Reddit for questions rather than brand blogs.
This happens outside cybersecurity content marketing too. Google a topic you’re well versed in, and see if the results you get back a) make sense and b) actually add value.
This is particularly true for product or service reviews – many of them are written by people who have never used the product or service in question. Again, there’s a reason why so many people add “Reddit” to their search query when they’re looking to buy something.
People are increasingly turning to Reddit to find answers to their questions.
Tip: Create customer personas to better understand your target audience. What are their biggest challenges? How problem-aware are they? To find answers to these and other questions, interview your existing readers or buyers, talk to your sales team, or see where your audience hangs out online.
Don’t duplicate your efforts
One of the worst feelings in the world of content is finding out that you’ve just spent hours creating a piece of content that already exists on the site you’re writing for. This is a waste of effort, even if the piece you create is markedly better.
Often, duplication like this happens because the existing piece doesn’t rank for any keyword.
To avoid duplication, a content audit is critical. A content audit is the process of finding and analyzing all the content that a website currently has.
A content audit ensures you don’t accidentally create another version of a piece of content that already exists.
Even if the content isn’t ranking, you don’t need to create a new version of it. You can just re-optimize it, i.e., refresh the talking points within it, add new stats and facts, make sure it has a keyword, etc.
Tip: Trying to rank multiple URLs for a single keyword can lead to what’s known as “cannibalization,” where Google can’t figure out which URL to rank higher. Instead of several content pieces ranking for the same keyword, write one in-depth article/page instead.
There’s more than one content distribution channel
Creating a piece of content is just the first step in cybersecurity content marketing, and it’s not even the most crucial one. What comes after is just as important.
So what comes after? In many cases, nothing.
Brands publish a content piece on their blog, and that’s it. Sometimes, they’ll share it on social media. Rarely do they do anything else with it.
Which is a shame.
There’s more than one channel to publish and promote your content.
For example, a blog post can be promoted on LinkedIn, via email (through a newsletter you may already have or as part of the cold email), and on Medium, your own brand page, or on relevant publications that accept guest posts.
You can also:
- Rewrite the blog post to have a slightly different angle and pitch to a third-party publication.
- Use the content within the blog post as talking points for a webinar or podcast.
- Copy and paste snippets from the blog post to be shared on industry forums.
- Use stats/facts from the blog and turn them into an infographic.
- And so on.
Cybersecurity Content Marketing: FAQ
What is a content marketing strategy for cybersecurity?
Optimize your content for keywords, avoid overstuffing keywords, know your target audience, don’t duplicate content, and use more than one distribution channel.
What You Can Learn from Cybersecurity Content Marketing
Cybersecurity content marketing is hard, but this is true for almost any industry today. Despite the fact that marketing is getting more difficult overall, it’s still possible to make your brand stand out with great content.
Start by optimizing your content. If it doesn’t exist in the eyes of Google (which is what happens if you don’t optimize your content for a keyword), then no one will ever be able to find it.
Just don’t overdo it. You need to find a balance between ranking and satisfying your readers. Knowing your target audience can help.
To make the most out of cybersecurity content marketing (or really any type of content marketing), you have to be smart. Don’t duplicate your efforts, and make sure to distribute the hell out of your content.
If you do the above, you’ll be ahead of most brands.
Laura is the co-founder of Content Visit, a content marketing agency for cybersecurity and tech companies. Her experience spans writing, content planning, and B2B SEO.
Readers, please share so marketers discover how to overcome these cybersecurity content marketing challenges.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Do you have more ways to solve cybersecurity content marketing problems?