Interviews and Reviews

Influencer Marketing for the Cybersecurity Vertical: Interview with Yoel Israel, CEO of Cyfluencer

Today, some 40 influencers and 15 companies operating in the cyber niche use the Cyfluencer platform to help with content distribution.

Launched in 2019, Cyfluencer is a curated marketplace where cybersecurity brands can promote content with the help of niche experts who are influential in the vertical.

The initiative is the brainchild of Yoel Israel, a tech entrepreneur who originally hails from the United States and currently resides in Pardes Chana, north of metro Tel Aviv. Having operated WadiDigital, his own digital paid media agency since 2012, Israel conceived of Cyfluencer when he realized that influencer marketing is precisely what his growing stable of cyber clients had been missing. By adding third-party credibility and audience diversification in to the mix, he has been able to provide new types of value to this tech sector.

Today, some 40 influencers and 15 companies use the Cyfluencer platform to help with content distribution and, ultimately, lead capture, with 85% of campaign activity taking place on LinkedIn, Israel says. The platform pays out to influencers according to the number of clickthroughs to content pages that the influencers are able to drive.

How did you get the idea for Cyfluencer?

I had three cybersecurity clients ask for influencer marketing within six months. After searching for a solution every time I was asked, I decided I was going to build it.

Influencer marketing for B2B is broken. I wanted to solve it. In the current model, people will work with an influencer for six months. That means they post daily, write white papers, attend trade shows, host webinars, etc.

This leads to two huge disadvantages for influencer marketing. One, you post so much about one company that you come off more as “in-house” and “paid” than a real influencer. And two, the same influencer is hitting up their audience again and again, and you reach the laws of diminishing returns faster.

Cyfluencer was our solution to this issue.

When most people think about “influencer marketing,” they might imagine Instagram models peddling cosmetics and nutritional supplements. What do the tech and marketing communities need to do so that B2B influencers get the respect they deserve?

Don’t treat them like Instagram influencers. Have them use their brain and add value to what they are promoting.

If they are sharing a blog post, recommending an on-demand webinar, or trying a demo, they need to add value and explain why specifically to their audience it is a solution for them and their company.

Instagram appeals to the lizard brain. B2B appeals to logic and reason, as a purchasing decision takes months, not minutes.

The difference between B2C and B2B influencers is indeed vast, but even within B2B, you’re trying to reach a particularly skeptical niche. Cybersecurity professionals get paid to trust no one and to put up defenses against everyone. How do you ensure that your campaigns with Cyfluencer are received well?

We only work with real cybersecurity influencers who truly care about cybersecurity. When relevant, we filter out which cybersecurity influencers can see what content.

We do this using tags and filters. This ensures that only relevant influencers will share and promote content.

We also do extensive due diligence on both the influencers and the cybersecurity companies’ content.

What types of content perform the best when it comes to engagement among the cybersecurity community? What types of content convert the best?

Those with the best engagement rate, are mass-market, or news-related.

The type of content that converts best is very specific, technical, and shared with by relevant influencers who are well known in their cyber niche.

With your other business, WadiDigital, you drive traffic to your clients’ content using advertising and SEO. How do B2B audiences engage with each type of content promotion differently?

If it is Google Ads, there are better quality leads because they are searching and have intent. The same goes for SEO. Advertising on LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit, etc., is very different from one another, because each platform is different and attracts a different audience and way of consuming content.

We are experts in each platform, so we can ensure that content is most relevant and most likely to convert.

Between Cyfluencer and WadiDigital, you have access to a great deal of data about your clients’ acquisition funnels. What have you learned from this data about the ideal mix of organic and paid content promotion at various phases of the buyer’s journey? Any insights or anecdotes that were particularly surprising?

We also collect data from our cybersecurity newsletter, Cyber Intel Mag. We’ve learned that all parts of the funnel are imperative. Cyfluencer and influencer marketing is the best touchpoint in B2B, because people you trust – not an ad – are vouching for you and your product.

Ensuring you maximize all platforms and use them together is key to helping build, expand, and optimize a funnel that will lead to many opportunities.

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