Organizations that blog attract more customers than organizations without blogs. I have personally seen a 50% increase in leads as a result of my blogging activities. Blogging is one of the most powerful ways to connect with customers, open a dialog, boost search rankings for your website, and, most importantly, use the power of social media to expound upon your unique value proposition. This article will describe how security solution providers can use a blog to do all of these things.
Content for a computer security blog
As with a website, when it comes to blogging, content is king. Security practitioners and CEOs in my training courses often ask, “What should I write about?” The answer is quite simple. Write about current security news, technology trends, security how-to's, and other security topics that relate to your core business goals.
When organizations share their expertise via blogging, they win mindshare and customers.
The same goes for a computer security blog. A security solution provider blog can be especially effective if the blog’s pages are devoted to specific topics the solution provider specializes in. For example, if your business specializes in data loss prevention (DLP), you could create blog pages about specific breaches, data encryption, and file monitoring, topics that relate to or can be used to demonstrate the value proposition of DLP.
Recent security events in the news can also provide fodder for your blog. For example, if there is a security breach with a cloud provider covered extensively in the news, you might blog about how to prevent it from happening via key cloud security technology or process changes.
How-to posts help potential and existing customers see the value your business can bring to them. When organizations share their expertise via blogging, they win mindshare and customers. Showing a customer how to resolve a security issue yields value to them and potential sales for you.
Remember not to use “sales” tone in your blog posts as this will turn off readers. The last thing your readership wants is to read sales literature. Focus instead on helping customers with real-world problems. Blog content should open a dialog, encourage discourse and enlighten the readership. For example, if you sell and manage unified threat management (UTM) and proxy devices, your blog posts could relate to recent spear phishing campaigns in the news, social media malware or a drive by download. Each would offer an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, offer solutions devoid of pushy sales pitches, and ultimately attract the attention of customers looking for solutions to those very issues.
Use SEO to attract security customers
Writing a blog post is just the first step. To connect with potential customers, solution providers must implement effective search engine optimization (SEO). Generating natural or organic search traffic (traffic from search engines) is the sum of many factors, of which content is paramount. A simple focus on the keywords and topics customers are searching for can yield gains in search engine visibility. SEO is much more than this, but blogging can be a great place to start improving your SEO.
Search engines tend to rank active blogs well because their indexing algorithms account for up-to-date content, incoming links, linkbacks, images, etc. Blogs tend to build communities of followers and consistent user comments also boost rank or position in search engines. A blog post is an optimal place to promote social bookmarking and social networking, and build incoming links organically through your readership. The sum of these activities is more potential customers interacting with your brand.
As a security practitioner, marketer, and business person, I find blogging especially powerful as part of a mix of marketing activities to engage current and potential customers, build my business brand and energize sales. This has been borne out by my professional experience and it can be yours as well. You, too, can realize these gains; it’s all a matter of adding blogging to your marketing efforts. If your organization is not already blogging, it's time to reconsider.
About the author
Joseph Guarino is owner and senior consultant of Evolutionary IT, a Boston-based IT and business consulting firm. You may contact him through his website www.evolutionaryit.com or follow/connect with him on Twitter (evolutionaryit) or LinkedIN.
This was first published in January 2012