The adage, “Strike while the iron’s hot” is very applicable when it comes to marketing in today’s easily distracted world. People are intensely focused on one news story, then another shiny object comes along, and they move to the next trending hashtag.
If you can take advantage of news headlines as they’re still in the public eye, it can act as a catalyst for your content marketing and bring you more leads and sales.
I’ll touch on several headlines that have been in the news recently below and go through ways you can convert those into timely targeted marketing for your IT business.
Marketing in the Moment to Convert Leads
News stories have a much bigger impact nationwide than they used to thanks to the internet. One story that might have been relegated to a town’s local TV and news media, can now get picked up as a trending hashtag and have the entire country talking about it.
It’s estimated that people now spend an average of 40% of their waking lives on the internet, and much of that time is spent scrolling through news headlines on websites.
If a small business owner has just read about the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack when checking out the news on Twitter, they’re typically going to be more concerned about a breach than they were before they read that headline.
While that topic is fresh in their mind, and they’re worried whether their company has enough protection it’s the perfect time to market cybersecurity services to them. If they next scroll down and see your ad for a ransomware security audit, there’s a good chance they’ll convert.
You’ve got their attention and because you tied your message to the headlines, they’re willing to start the path down your sales funnel because the need feels urgent.
So, how do you hop on those headlines and turn them into impactful marketing?
We’ll go through several ideas below on marketing that you can tie to the latest technology-related news.
Colonial Pipeline & JBS Ransomware Attacks (How to Market from This Story)
A big story that’s been in the news since early May is the prevalence of ransomware and how impactful it can be. The Colonial Pipeline attack on May 7, 2021, caused major gas shortages along the entire East Coast due to panic buying when a large pipeline was shut down due to the attack.
This attack was then followed by another one just a couple of weeks later, hitting JBS, the world’s largest producer of beef and pork. Both companies had to pay the ransom. Colonial paid $4.4 million and JBS paid $11 million.
Some MSPs would just be happy to see the new focus put on cybersecurity. It’s been a topic on both local and national news networks. But, if you just sit back and hope that’s going to bring new business, you’re missing a big opportunity.
Instead, you can rev up your marketing engine by doing the following.
Get the Facts That Will Help
Identify a few of the facts from the news story that can help you sell your services.
In the case of these attacks, you have three key points you can make in your marketing:
- Both companies had to pay the ransom, meaning they did not have a good backup strategy with rapid data recovery in place.
- The Colonial Pipeline attack was believed to be caused by a hacker getting in through an unused cloud account (VPN) that was not protected by multi-factor authentication.
- Companies that think they’re protected (even large ones like these) often have a basic vulnerability they’re unaware of.
Promote Backup & Recovery
Promoting your backup and disaster recovery solutions is a given when talking about ransomware, but you really want to push home the point of fast recovery.
While it wasn’t expressly noted in these cases, in many other ransomware attacks, a company had a backup but paid the ransom anyhow because that backup took too long to restore. In the case of being completely down, getting operations up and running as quickly as possible is critical.
You can differentiate your solution by promoting the fast recovery component and potentially throw in an annual or twice a year incident response drill with full backup recovery with your service.
Promote Access Management
The Colonial Pipeline breach was a classic example of poor access management. The company had an unused cloud account that hadn’t been deactivated and that account wasn’t protected by MFA.
Emphasize that your access management services could’ve prevented that type of breach. You can promote any single sign-on solutions you resell or cloud service management services.
Promote a Ransomware Prevention Audit
Since ransomware is in the news, switch up the name of the cybersecurity audit you might already do to be more specific, and call it a Ransomware Security Audit or Ransomware Prevention Audit.
Highlight the fact that even large companies like Colonial Pipeline that think they’re secure enough, often aren’t.
Marketing Activities You Can Do
So, how do you “promote” all those things in a way that’s going to be impactful and gain you more sales?
Here are several things you can do:
Dedicate Some Blog Posts to the News Story
There are several angles you can take on this news story. You can go into what ransomware is and why it brings operations to a standstill. Another blog post could highlight why a backup and recovery strategy is so important.
Because your blog is a foundation for all your content marketing, once you have it up on your site you can drive traffic there from social media, email, PPC, and more.
Do a Ransomware Webinar
Most people only have a cursory knowledge of ransomware, what it can do, and how it differs from other forms of malware.
Holding a ransomware webinar while a hot news topic is still in the headlines can get you more signups than you get at other times.
You could couple your free Ransomware Prevention Audit with your webinar, offering it “free for attendees.” This gives you a hook to attract more leads and a great way to follow up with webinar attendees.
Promote Ransomware Tips in Your Email Newsletter & Social Posts
Tie a series of ransomware prevention tips to the news story. You could even add a “Tips Pulled from the Headlines” section to your newsletter and then use that to give timely advice.
Highlight statistics that help you make a point and tie them into a link to your products/services to learn more. Here’s an example of a few tips you could use based upon the Colonial Pipeline and JBS attacks:
- Ransomware attacks grew 485% in 2020. Tip: Get an audit of your IT security defenses at least once a year to ensure you stay protected. Schedule yours today.
- 56% of ransomware victims pay the ransom, which encourages more attacks. Tip: If you have a tested backup & fast recovery strategy, you can avoid paying attackers and mitigate downtime. Learn more.
- Colonial Pipeline was hacked due to an unprotected cloud account: Tip: Enabling multi-factor authentication stops 99.9% of cloud account compromises. Get a simple MFA solution here.
Spell Things Out with an Infographic
With today’s short attention spans, sometimes content as simple as an infographic can be incredibly impactful for driving leads and getting quality backlinks to your site.
Create an infographic that highlights facts about the attack and the solutions you provide.
For example, you could highlight that Colonial Pipeline paid $4.4 million and JBS paid $11 million in ransom to attackers. Then add an image for backup and recovery and estimate how fast you could recover data to a server.
Here’s an example below that I made in just 10 minutes using Canva’s infographic maker (which is free!).
What Other News Stories Should You Look For?
Cybersecurity is typically the “sweet spot” for IT providers and those news stories can be considered low-hanging fruit when it comes to marketing activities.
Here are a few other recent news headlines and ideas to tie them to your products and services:
“The Global Chip Shortage Could Last Until 2023” (CNBC)
There’s a major chip shortage brought on by the pandemic. This makes it more important than ever for companies to plan ahead when making technology purchases.
Emphasize the need to order hardware way in advance of need, to ensure they’re not left waiting on much-needed computers or servers.
“Your Internet May Soon Be Available to Anyone Nearby. Should You Be Worried?” (The Wichita Eagle)
Amazon’s much anticipated Amazon Sidewalk service was enabled on June 8th, meaning that unsuspecting Echo smart speaker users could be sharing their internet with strangers and not even realize it.
This is a perfect story to use as a launchpad for IoT and smart gadget security services marketing.
“Security Flaws Found in Samsung’s Stock Mobile Apps” (Tech Crunch)
A mobile security firm recently found seven security vulnerabilities in Samsung’s pre-installed mobile apps. It’s reported that this could allow attackers to get to a victim’s data.
Use this to emphasize the need for mobile device management and improved mobile security policies for devices used for business apps, email, and data.
Pro Tip: You can find the most recent technology headlines by searching a technology topic on Google and clicking the “News” tab.
Being Timely Can Pay Off Big Time!
Paying attention to what’s happening and sending out timely content marketing can be a great way to rev up your volume of leads and sales.
What news stories have you seen impacting tech recently? Share your thoughts in the comments!