We periodically update this article with the latest information relevant to digital marketing for security companies
Last update: July 2017
Security Marketing Strategies
We've learned a significant amount in the last few years generating leads and sales for our security alarm company clients. Some digital marketing tactics were extremely successful, and others, well let's just say, we've moved on from. One of our greatest learnings is that you have to constantly experiment, try new things, give them some time to gain momentum, religiously review the analytics and most importantly, talk to the client and determine whether their sales funnel is being filled with quality leads.
We recently presented a session "ROI Focused Digital Marketing for Security Providers" at the ESX Conference in Nashville. As part of the session, we polled the audience to gain insight into how they were marketing their security companies. Here are the results:
1. Average Marketing Budget - 10% of revenue
2. Currently advertising on Google or Facebook - 75% of respondents
3. Currently advertising on LinkedIn - 31% of respondents
4. Currently advertising on Google, FB & LI - 13% of respondents
5. Using content - blogs or social media (Blogs 44%, Social Media 81%)
6. Achieving a positive ROI from marketing - (Yes-75%, No-19%, Maybe-6%)
7. Using Email Marketing to reach customers & prospects (Customers-94%, Prospects-44%)
As you can see, most of the security companies are doing some form of digital marketing and seeing a positive return on investment from it.
What's the winning tactic for marketing a security company? We’ve had success with inbound/content marketing, social media marketing, e-newsletters, Google PPC & Display advertising, Facebook ads, and email marketing campaigns, but there is no one formula that works for all security and home services clients.
It’s important to try different things, track the results and adjust accordingly. To be successful, focus your energy on getting just one of these digital strategies right at a time. Many clients follow the natural progression we’ve listed below, but your company’s path may take you down a different direction, which is fine!
Getting your Alarm Company’s Digital Marketing Strategy Started
Immediately and ongoing, start collecting emails from all prospects and customers. Make gathering email addresses a company-wide priority and an imperative element of your culture, even if you aren’t ready to do email marketing. Take an inventory of the emails you have and don't have and create a project to obtain the missing addresses. You can utilize internal staff or temporary staff to call customers to request emails and say it's now a necessary part of their account to properly serve them. You should be able to get at least 80% of the missing addresses.
Ideally you're starting with a good online foundation, so be sure to have an easily navigable website with mobile responsive and blogging capabilities. When we say mobile responsive, we are referring to a site that “stacks up” and fits to phone screens. Although we recommend picking an attractive and custom design that puts what customers are looking for front and center, there’s no need to spend $30,000. New sites for medium size security companies with sales between $2 million and $10 million are generally in the $8,500 - $15,000 range.
Next, we recommend developing an effective marketing strategy for producing content, landing pages and simple call-to-action buttons. Providing potential customers with a continual supply of educational, relevant and interesting content is the first step to creating an impactful online presence. Coming up with content can be a challenge, so create a content marketing plan that involves regular and relevant content creation based on actual questions and issues you and your sales team have encountered in the past. Having these answers available on your website helps you build trust and educate your target market, and Google will reward you with higher search rankings.
Driving More Traffic to Your Security Company Website
So now, you’ve got this beautiful website and all this great content, but people still aren’t finding you. It’s time to find readers for your content. Social Media is an inexpensive way to get your content in front of your target market. Identify the social media platforms your target markets use and give them what they want, but do so with consistency that they can come to expect.
For home security marketing, Facebook is a great platform. Why? Because when someone is looking for a new security system, they ask their friends on Facebook. Even for commercial prospects, remember you are still marketing to humans, not companies, and we are having success marketing to commercial prospects as well on Facebook.
Paid Facebook advertising and “boosting” posts are a great way to reach homeowners, business owners, facilities managers and other employee personas responsible for their company's security. Facebook, Google and LinkedIn have stepped up their targeting capabilities including reaching company prospects on LinkedIn directly by uploading a list of those companies. This isn’t Field of Dreams, so don’t just sit back and wait for people to find you. Be proactive, interact with people and other companies and organizations, comment, like, share, to truly become part of this online community.
Using Paid Digital Advertising to Drive Alarm Interest Traffic
We recommend testing, experimenting, tracking results and adjusting any paid campaigns at least monthly. Although paid advertising is a great way to drive traffic interested in a specific topic, this arena can be a bit more challenging.
Paid digital campaigns that work for one security company may not work for another. With the right combination of trial and error, it’s possible to narrow down a campaign that reaches the customers you want within a desirable range, so don’t give up! We see the most success with residential security campaigns about specials, discounts and home ownership challenges. Including video (you can easily get videos from your security equipment suppliers) drives even greater interest in your digital ads and social media posts.
Despite the frequent adjustments needed, don’t forget to stay in touch with platform changes that may impact a campaign. Google is famous for making huge algorithm changes that alter how PPC ads are distributed without providing much guidance or warning to advertisers.
Email Marketing Strategies for Security Companies
The last piece of the digital puzzle is being able to reach clients by email, seamlessly, while bridging the gap between sales and marketing.
Our clients have used email marketing strategies to unveil new offerings, update customers with breaking news, alarm product or manufacturing changes and to keep them aware of unique situations like the removal of the 2G cellular towers and how this could impact their monitoring service.
While email marketing can help a security company stay in touch with customers, build trust and create raving fans, email can also be used to stay in front of new potential customers when they are ready to make a purchase. Arming your sales team with automatically generated emails saves time, helps close leads and educates potential customers to help generate more business and shorten the sales cycle.
Not new or sexy, email still has the highest open and click through rates and having customer email addresses will provide you with a greater opportunity to increase revenue by letting your customers know all of the products and services you offer and stay top of mind with them to reduce attrition. We've heard from several security business owners that their customers don't know about all their products. It drives them crazy when a customer says they bought a video camera from an online retailer!
With the plethora of new DIY security products and extensive marketing by those companies, your customers and prospects are better educated on video cameras, video doorbells, and lower priced monitoring.
Email marketing also allows you to keep a steady flow of prospects in the pipeline and enables nurturing them throughout the sales cycle. Remember to keep the emails short and focused on one topic. Those questions you are answering on your blog are perfect email topics. How much should you spend on email marketing? Read Spend this much for a 122% ROI and how to do it!
Remind Me Again – Where Do I Get Started Security Company Marketing?
The first two things to consider in your digital strategy are:
- Is my business easy to find and my website simple to navigate?
- Do I have the information people are seeking and am I capturing this person for future follow up communication?
Like any marketing or business plan, a digital strategy needs to be reviewed and updated regularly. Develop a written strategy, make following that strategy a job requirement and then adjust as needed.
Agree, disagree, or just have something to add?
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