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May 4, 2017

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How content marketing is boosting web traffic and engagement in the security industry

With 88% of B2B marketers investing in content marketing, how is the security industry responding? And which manufacturers are getting the best results?

A recent report by TFM highlighted that in B2B, content now ranked second only to marketing strategy and planning as the most important skill for modern marketing teams.

Why has content become quite so important to marketing?

One explanation is how quickly the media landscape has changed over the last decade. Print has fallen as customer behaviours have changed, with budgets and attention shifting online.

The transition from print to online isn’t straightforward shifting of advertising.  In 2016 some 615 million plus consumers were using ad blockers and programmatic advertising has introduced further uncertainty about the return clients get for banner ads.

In response to this, savvy brands have developed their own content to build relationships directly with customers:

  • Content marketing is the major driver of website traffic growth, with content marketing leaders experiencing 7.8 times the year-on-year growth of non-leaders (Source: Aberdeen).
  • Content marketing is often cheaper than traditional marketing methods (62% cheaper according to  DemandMetric) and is three times more effective at generating leads.
  • It is also one of the most sustainable and measurable forms of marketing. Content often continues to deliver leads for many weeks and months beyond initial publication and distribution/promotion.   
  • This focus is prompting a shift in budgets. According to TopRankBlog, the most effective B2B marketers are spending 39% of marketing budget on content marketing.

For more on ‘the Science of Content’ this free report is a good starting point.

Content marketing in the security industry

To understand how content marketing is being used in the security industry, we have  have taken overall website traffic for several major vendors and compared it to the volume of shares the website generates on social networks. This is one of the strongest indicators of how engaging an audience finds the content.

From an analysis of 30 manufacturer websites, we found significant variability in both traffic size and social engagement.


Most of the 30 security websites analysed are clustered in the bottom left corner, which indicates relatively low traffic and social engagement when compared to those who are leading the way with their content marketing:

  • FLIR are leading the way with social media engagement, with their website responsible for 26% of shares in the market.
  • Honeywell has the largest website in the market and a high level of social engagement with their content
  • Axis Communications’ sophisticated content marketing encompassing regular articles, videos and infographics
  • Hikvision and Dahua stand-out as brands with high levels of traffic driven by search (particularly in the case of Hikvision, which is the most searched for brand in video surveillance) but with low levels of social engagement when they get onto the website.

Methodology: Traffic estimates are from SimilarWeb, based on the month of March 2017. Social sharing stats are based on Buzzsumo analysis of the last 12 months. The analysis excludes websites that are are also used to service markets outside of security, including Panasonic, Canon, Seagate or Sony.

How content is shared in security

Looking deeper into the social data using Buzzsumo, we can see that Linkedin is the most popular social network for sharing security-related content, followed by Facebook and a little sharing on Twitter. Neither Google+ or Pinterest feature at all.


The most shared content from these websites was longer form articles of between 2000-3000 words.


The best performing content types were ‘how’ and list articles, suggesting that practical advice is the most valued content in this sector. Sharing of videos is significantly lower on average than in other industries, suggesting that the video being produced by the security industry is less engaging than it might be.

The best days of the week to publish appear to be Wednesday and Thursday, with the lowest number of shares coming from content published over the weekend.

Four content marketing case studies


To understand what works well in the security industry, here are four case studies from the manufacturers leading the way in content marketing.

1. FLIR content hubs and local heroes

FLIR is dominating in social due to a two-pronged approach to content marketing.

First, they have created a visual, information-rich content hub about their biggest products. The Flir One landing page provides comprehensive information anyone finding out about the product, and contains video, quotes, user reviews, and questions and answers.

Particularly effective at positioning the FLIR One as a desirable consumer electronics product, the design is more akin to a page promoting a smartphone launch than one promoting a traditional security product. It has clearly worked, with this single page generating 3,000 shares on Facebook alone and more that 130 inbound links.

An example of one of the videos that form part of the hub:

Taking a different approach, FLIR has also created a successful series of articles celebrating ‘Local Heroes’.

“ Every month, we recognize a heroic act by the customers who use FLIR’s technology. “

For example this popular article about how Firefighters in Oregon rescued of a victim from a burning house in September using FLIR technology. Combining human interest stories with how the product was used, the series is proving a popular way of spreading the word.


2. Honeywell Newsroom

The Honeywell.com ‘Newsroom’ is a resource that combines factual news releases about the brand with interesting content that showcases their deep expertise in engineering. Clearly signposted on the main website and presented in an interesting tiled style, it is a great example of how content can form part of a corporate website.

Along with big press release announcements, top performing content from the Newsroom includes articles that demonstrate Honeywell’s expertise in engineering such as How to Tell if Someone Works in Aerospace  and  What Do Engineers Really Do.

3. Axis ‘Secure Insights’

Axis have a sophisticated approach to inbound marketing. They regularly produce extremely well  designed videos, infographics and ebooks, many gated to bring them in a regular supply of new business leads which can then be nurtured as part of their marketing automation efforts.

Axis publish their content on their ‘Secure Insights’ microsite, a content website they have built in WordPress, with articles published in both English and German.

Axis have also developed a suite of online tools, including Axis Site Designer, which bring together 20 time-saving tools and installation guides.

4. Assa Abloy ‘Future Lab’

Future Lab is part of a content marketing initiative from ASSA ABLOY “aimed at observing and analyzing the trends and the future of the security arena.”

The website takes a similar approach to Axis, with a content site built in WordPress. Visitors can sign up to become a member and opt-in to regular communications from the brand.

The Future Lab has its own Twitter account and Youtube playlist


Content marketing represents a big opportunity for the security industry, with the relatively few manufacturers adopting these techniques currently getting first mover advantage seeing significantly increased reach and lead generation.

If you would like to discuss how content marketing can be applied to your business then please get in touch or download this free report.





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Each month, the IFSEC Insider (formerly IFSEC Global) Security in Focus podcast brings you conversations with leading figures in the physical security industry. Covering everything from risk management principles and building a security culture, to the key trends ahead in tech and initiatives on diversity and inclusivity, the podcast keeps security professionals up to date with the latest hot topics in the sector.

Available online, and on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, tune in for an easy way to remain up to date on the issues affecting your role.


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