Cybersecurity content marketing involves two distinct but closely related activities: creating compelling and engaging content and marketing this content across social media platforms. LinkedIn is a platform that matches the cybersecurity industry. A community where professionals and companies get together to exchange views, share insights, and increase prospects. The question is how to get the maximum results out of your presence on LinkedIn.
Angelos Perlegkas, a LinkedIn marketing strategist operating out of Athens, Greece, says that cybersecurity companies need to establish and pursue a dynamic strategy that goes beyond merely sharing blog links with their audience.
A few days ago, I chatted with Angelos about all things related to a LinkedIn strategy. This blog is an edited version of our interview. I hope you will enjoy it just as much as I did.
Can you please introduce yourself briefly for our readers?
Angelos: I have been a social media professional for the last 10 years. I started by contributing to online communities as a teenager. And soon enough, I discovered my passion for the digital space and then for digital marketing. I was a social media manager for many years, and then I moved on to strategy and consulting. I have also been executing strategies for paid social ads for my clients for as long as I can remember. I’m also a content creator for the digital marketing community. I contribute a lot to the discussion around digital marketing in many communities, as well as my own community on LinkedIn, which is currently my base as far as social media channels are concerned. Last but not least, I started sharing my experience on TikTok as well.
We often mention social media strategy or LinkedIn strategy when it comes to digital marketing. Can you define these terms a little bit?
Angelos: LinkedIn is a social media platform specializing in B2B content. It’s a social media channel mostly populated by professionals and companies. Social media strategy includes the content, planning, and tactics you use to reach your audience on a specific social media platform. A LinkedIn strategy involves creating a plan for the content and tactics used to connect with the desired professional audience on a LinkedIn company page and professional profile.
A corporate social media strategy is something much more complicated than a LinkedIn strategy. The LinkedIn strategy should be an integral part of those corporate strategies. By the distinction that I made between a company-based and professional profile page, I meant to say that a company, a corporation, could deploy its own LinkedIn strategy at the company level for its own LinkedIn company page, as well as specific tactics that that the company executives can deploy to promote the corporation’s interests through their own personal profiles in LinkedIn.
Unfortunately, I see a lot of companies making the mistake of not actively pursuing such strategies. They usually just use the LinkedIn company page at a very basic level, and they do not take into consideration the personal profiles of their executives.
Can we say that Employee advocacy is a marketing technique whereby an organization's staff act as spokespeople for the brand. Employee advocacy is a marketing technique in which an organization empowers and encourages employees... More is a crucial element of a successful LinkedIn marketing strategy?
Angelos: Yes. If we mean to explore the full potential of a LinkedIn strategy for a company, then we have to incorporate employee advocacy. The platform is not defined by its audience per se but by its contributors, its creators. LinkedIn is its people; it is a community. Since professionals and executives are all included in this platform, they all make up its DNA, and you must include them in your own strategy to be immensely successful at the company level.
This is much more important in LinkedIn than in other platforms because LinkedIn is a professional network. If a company has a clear vision and strategy for its own executives, this can elevate the efficacy of the strategy executed for the company page.
Do you think those elements of a successful LinkedIn corporate strategy are also an indication of the culture that the organization has?
Angelos: Yeah, of course. It’s part of the culture. This is actually a fair point because if, for example, someone hires me to establish a LinkedIn strategy for their company, and it’s not in the culture of the company to include its people in the process, this will greatly diminish the results and the efficiency of the strategy. A successful strategy always includes a company’s people, at least as far as LinkedIn is concerned as a social media channel.
In cybersecurity, we say that it is about people, processes, and technology. Should we say that it’s the same also when building a LinkedIn strategy?
Angelos: Of course! The technicalities are very different, but the essence is the same.
Do you think there is a one-size-fits-all approach to LinkedIn strategy, or does the strategy vary according to the industry, the company, or the environment in which the company operates?
Angelos: There are some elements in a LinkedIn strategy that are the same across markets and industries. For example, the way that you engage with other accounts and other company pages and the way that you teach your people to engage. But content-wise, every market and every industry is totally different.
For example, in the cybersecurity space, a company should work on its content marketing strategy and, therefore, its LinkedIn content planning with a goal to increase its authority and credibility to gain the trust of the industry and its potential clients. In another industry, perhaps someone would aim for a more fun and relaxing way to pursue its strategy. Hence, there’s no one-size-fits-all in every aspect of the LinkedIn strategy for every company in every market. But there are some elements that are the same because people are the same; their psychology and behavior are the same across social media.
Do you think that the LinkedIn algorithm is a major driver behind the strategy?
Angelos: The LinkedIn algorithm is a very dynamic beast, and it’s constantly changing. I’ve been the “victim” of the algorithm myself. I have seen how it promotes content from creators such as myself, and then I’ve seen the diminishing returns it provides after a while because it’s constantly changing. As professionals, we have to take its whims into consideration.
But all in all, it comes down to the audience. It comes down to your content planning, and to the value that you provide to the community. Everything comes down to people, and then the algorithm changes depending on what LinkedIn wants to achieve in a specific amount of time. We have just to roll with it and tweak our content a little to align with the algorithm. But just a little bit.
Allow me to ask you a question that is about the cybersecurity industry. What are the peculiarities of a LinkedIn marketing strategy for the cybersecurity industry?
Angelos: I’m very cybersecurity aware as a person. I’m very sensitive to security issues, especially concerning my digital identity and my digital tools. I feel that cybersecurity should be equal to trust, credibility, and authority. If I trust a company, I will spare no expense on security. Therefore, a LinkedIn strategy for a cybersecurity company should focus on creating trust.
And to create trust, you have to work on your credibility and authority by every means possible. And that means providing content to your people that resonates with them and creates credibility and authority for yourself. For example, post a PDF on LinkedIn with instructions on how to secure a cloud-based solution that your audience wants. Or create infographics with statistics that are valuable for your audience. Another example would be to create a connection with your audience by creating a poll asking them direct questions that resonate with them. Although it might sound easy and obvious, I don’t see many companies working on it.
Yes, I know what you mean. Many companies try to communicate with their audience by using fear and not positive messaging. Do you think that’s a real problem?
Angelos: Negativity and potential “shock and horror” are easy to spread through social media and touch people’s minds. If you deliberately focus on fear and use it as a medium of spreading your message without working on the elements of credibility and authority, it will hurt your brand in the long term. Whereas if you focus on solutions, on positive messaging providing value in contrast to fear, you will be regarded as a “savior,” as the credible source of information, and a credible partner.
How often should companies revise their social media and LinkedIn marketing strategy?
Angelos: The social media strategy is on a higher level than the LinkedIn strategy because you have more channels and more issues to consider. Therefore, the social media strategy should be revised annually to see what has changed, what other platforms are available, and if you can spread your message through other means.
With your LinkedIn strategy, you should be ready to revise your strategy at least every six months. This is when you’ll have enough data to support such a decision, and maybe the algorithm has changed a bit. I think that anything less than that can be detrimental to your long-term planning.
Do you think that the hype around generative AI tools in the content marketing industry will create a different landscape in the following years?
Angelos: The hype is real, and we see everyone’s exaggeration. I have also exaggerated as a professional through my content. But we use them daily. And the fact is that this is not some kind of boom and bust because we have been using those tools every day, literally! We use them to boost our productivity and increase our results.
What we are trying to figure out is what are the most consistent tools that can enhance our work. I see people using them on social media to create content where it is very easy to distinguish the original content from the AI-generated.
I don’t think that AI is the next big thing, because it is already here, and we have to learn to use it. We have to learn to maximize our work and our productivity with it, or else we might lose ourselves. We might become obsolete to those tools. I think this is the riskiest aspect of generative AI, becoming obsolete due to the infinite possibilities that it provides. We must learn to incorporate them into our content creation efforts.
Would you like to share some tips on building an effective LinkedIn strategy?
Angelos: Yeah, of course. Companies should try to mix more content formats in their LinkedIn content strategy and stop just linking their blog to it. In addition, they should encourage employee advocacy, and encourage their people to share and create more content for LinkedIn as individuals because this is going to promote their company and their own personal brand. It is a win-win situation for every professional out there.
The employment arena is already very competitive. The value that you get by creating content and by using social media channels like LinkedIn is the distinction. It distinguishes you as a professional, and you become a prominent member of the community and each space. Businesses that have active LinkedIn company pages should actively encourage their executives to use the platform much more.
What would you say to a company executive to persuade them to use LinkedIn as a platform to promote business growth opportunities and not be reluctant?
Angelos: Apart from specialized communities such as Reddit and GitHub in the cybersecurity space, LinkedIn is probably the one social media platform where you can discover your B2B audience, your clients, your next potential executives, your next potential partners, and your next potential employees. This is LinkedIn’s biggest unique proposition. And this is why a company executive should really look into crafting or hiring someone to craft a LinkedIn strategy for their company.
Thank you very much, Angelos, for the insightful interview about LinkedIn marketing.
Enjoyed reading this interview about LinkedIn marketing? You may be interested in our blog identifying five cybersecurity groups to join on LinkedIn, which can be found here.