The most successful security companies are the ones that have figured out how to do marketing effectively. But for most of us, the ROI on marketing is just a big headache. Where do you start? What are the sure-fire methods? What does a smart marketing strategy look like? What tools should you invest in?
The good news is, you can often gain noticeable ROI just by investing into some basic marketing tools. And chances are, you’re already using most of them. Here’s a quick set of guidelines on basic marketing tools to help you gain more traction for your security consulting firm.
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Your most important and most valuable marketing tool is your website. Think of it as your most powerful salesperson—it works 24/7 to help you win sales, and it costs you practically nothing to maintain.
There are four critical components to an effective business website. Make sure your security company’s website has each of these bases covered:
- Content. Your content should address your customers’ pain points and their questions. Think about what you would want to know if you were in their shoes. Don’t just rely on your main website pages—use a blog to address these questions.
- Design. Your website is the face of your company. If it looks unprofessional, you’ll look unprofessional. A cheap or outdated site can actually drive customers away.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Hire a professional who can optimize your site for getting discovered by search engines. Otherwise, your site is like a needle in a haystack.
- Mobile-friendly. Most people are accessing the internet from a mobile device, not a computer. If your website only looks good on a desktop, you’ll miss out on reaching most of your audience.
Pop quiz: what part of an email has marketing value for your business?
- The body of the email
- Your email address
- Your signature
- The recipient
If you said “Trick question!” you’re right: EVERY aspect of your emails has important marketing value. Many security professionals only think about the body of their emails, and neglect the rest. That’s a mistake, and here’s why:
Your email address says a lot about yourself. If you’ve got a gmail.com address, you’re likely to look like a hobbyist, not a professional. A no-reply email tells recipients you’re not really interested in talking with them, and you make it difficult for your potential clients to connect with you. Addresses like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org are less personal, and recipients can feel like you’re treating them as a number rather than an individual. Send emails from a real person’s account, such as email@example.com to make your prospects feel like you actually care.
A sharp, professional-looking signature line at the end of the email reinforces your brand. It also makes it easy for people to contact you in other ways besides email. And if you’ve got something you want to promote—a recent award, or a special offer—it’s a great place for a short sound bite with a link.
Who you send an email to is just as important as the email itself. Make sure you’re communicating with the right people, and NEVER purchase an email list. You’ll get blacklisted by email servers and your emails will get sent straight to the Spam folders. Purchased email lists can ruin your brand reputation—it’s just not worth it.
By the way, you’ll get a lot more value from your marketing emails if you invest in CRM software (such as HubSpot or Salesforce) and an email marketing platform (such as MailChimp or Constant Contact). Often you can start with free versions and scale up as your business grows.
The quality of your email tells prospects a lot about your company. Don’t cut corners on this critical piece of marketing!
Social media can be an effective way to build connections and your reputation—if you use it appropriately. Otherwise, it just becomes a huge time suck and waste of effort. For security consultants, the best social media platform to use is LinkedIn, because it’s designed for professionals to build their businesses. If you do nothing else on social media, use LinkedIn.
What should you do on LinkedIn? Good question. Start with these activities:
- Fill out your professional profile page.
- Create a company page.
- Post articles on your company page, and from your own profile. Select articles that your ideal client would find helpful.
- Join professional groups that your ideal client is likely to be a part of. Remember, you want to get in front customers, not other security professionals. (There’s nothing wrong with joining groups for security pros, but don’t use them for marketing purposes—they won’t be buying from you.) Join group discussions, but DON’T be the guy who can only talk about themselves. People are on LinkedIn to learn, not to be sold to.
(If you do want to join a LinkedIn group for security consultants, check out the Enterprise Security Risk Management Group!)
What about other social media platforms? Facebook and Twitter are probably your next best bets, but don’t bother with any others. You won’t get anywhere with Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest.
Circadian Risk’s threat and vulnerability assessment software could be one of your most powerful marketing tools. Paper reports don’t cut it anymore. As digital technology continues to give companies meaningful data and analysis tools, your customers are looking for digital dashboards and reports. The security consultants that ditch paper are the ones risk assessment customers will choose. By offering Circadian Risk to your prospects, you give yourself a marketing advantage over the competition.
Successful Marketing for Dummies
Successful security consulting companies are smart marketers, and they make the most of their marketing tools. If you’re not ready to go down the never-ending rabbit hole of marketing, you can get a sizeable ROI by focusing on these basic marketing tools.
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