While metrics are important, the right cybersecurity influencer [and in most cases, influencers] for your corporate cybersecurity brand may not be widely known. They may NOT have a million followers. And that’s fine. Why? Because your need is to identify influencers that your customers have determined to be thought leaders and trusted experts across your communities, regardless of their peak popularity score. So whether you’re looking to build brand awareness or drive conversions, identifying the right ones for you, specifically, can make all the difference.
Influencers: Recognizing the Three Major Categories
- Global / Mega-Influencers: This group is mostly composed of celebrities and social media stars. They have over 1 million followers and are best for brand awareness and impressions. Engagement rates are generally quite low.
- Niche / Macro-Influencers: This group is comprised of specialists, professionals, thought-leaders, and others that are well-versed in a particular area. Influencers in this group usually have between 10,000 to 1 million followers. They do tend to have higher engagement rates than mega-influencers. This group is best for engagement and awareness.
- Local / Micro-Influencers: This group is composed of consumers and employees. Those in this group generally have 500 to 10,000 followers. While they reach a smaller amount of people, they usually have the highest engagement rates. This group is best for engagement and conversions.
Let’s look at this example. You work for a company that just had a significant data breach. Determined to recover the brand in minimal time, you are putting your influencer marketing needs into motion. To begin, you are looking for that one, special, social media influencer to help communicate your cybersecurity brand message and encourage affected customers to visit a dedicated website to access additional and ongoing information (aka – YOUR message).
Determining which influencer(s) to consider:
- Influencer 1 is a customer that has 10,000 followers. He/she has a strong interest in your brand and has previously posted on more than a few occasions about your cybersecurity status.
- Influencer 2 is a celebrity that has over 108 million Instagram and 58 million Twitter followers. This influencer mostly posts lifestyle images.
- Influencer 3 is an established writer on information security with 214,000 Twitter followers. He/she regularly posts blog articles, news articles, tips, and breaking news about cyber security and technology.
Narrowing the Field (by example)
While it may be tempting to go and target the individual with the largest following in order to reach the most people, Influencer 2 would not be the best choice for your brand in this situation. There is no indication whatsoever that the celebrity has either a cybersecurity or technological background. As such, it is be clear to their audience that this candidate is simply being handed a message to distribute to the masses. Clearly, it’s unlikely that his/her followers would have significant interest in the messaging.
Surely convinced by you that your company is on the right track and have a message that is valuable to his/her audience, Influencers 1 and 3 would be the best options.
- Cybersecurity Influencer 1 is ideal because this is a brand loyal customer. He/she can share their experiences as the company communicates much more closely with them during this breach event.
- Cybersecurity Influencer 3 has a broader connection across your target audiences. He/she could seamlessly blend your brand message with their original content and thoughts.
Mapping and Engaging:
Now we are down to determining which influencer persona(s), or what combination thereof, would be best to work with in order to achieve your marketing and brand goals.
- Identify Brand Goals: Begin by identifying whether you are looking to build awareness, gain impressions, increase engagement, and/or drive conversions.
- Research Potential Influencers: Search through social media networks, blogs, media sites, and competitors’ websites to compile a list. And then keep doing that for as long as it takes.
- Evaluate Their Online Presence: Don’t just look at the number of followers. Dig through the blogs and social media of the best cybersecurity influencers to see what they have said about other brands and how they said it.
- Reach Out: Begin reaching out directly with a summary of your brand message, analytics, and a proposal on how you could mutually benefit the other. Just be very careful how you do this, or it can backfire quite spectacularly as they go on to post your “talking points”. This is one of the cases where a direct message to get on a phone call is more often than not the best way to make that initial connection. If its really critical, let them know that you will be in their town (pick a day) and would love to meet up with them over a coffee, beer, dinner… It’s worth the cost of the trip.
Finding the right influencer for your brand is really not optional when it comes to enhancing your cybersecurity reputation. The right ones will become a champions for your brand and can give you direct access to your target audience at a level of scale that cant be achieved without running ads (we’ll cover that in another Academy post). This is all about intelligently managing resources, especially during a cyber crisis. And of course huge bonus points to any organization who can map out their cybersecurity influencers ahead of time.
For more information on how to utilize content marketing to enhance your brand and lower business risk, download our free Marketing Playbook for Cybersecurity Breaches.