Cybersecurity solutions buyers are worn out by the constant barrage of stale content flooding their search results, inboxes and social media. 

Only brands that are willing to pause the content machine long enough to develop true empathy for their audience will be able to make any progress towards the mecca of trust and authority. 

97th Floor believes that Empathy, paired with Innovation and Profitability, produces Great Marketing—marketing that fosters relationships and ultimately sales. We unlock empathy for our client’s customers through an exhaustive process of in-depth persona research and customer journey mapping. 

Our customer journey maps reveal the questions, actions and touchpoints of an audience at each stage of the funnel: awareness, consideration and decision. Using these maps as a launching pad for every marketing campaign makes delivering "the right message at the right time" a reality.

The following are real persona customer journey maps created for our clients in and adjacent to the cybersecurity industry. They have been anonymized, but all other information is as-delivered to our clients.

Customer Journey Map for Machine Identity Management Download

Customer Journey Map for Cloud Native Observability Download

Customer Journey Map for Chief Technology Officer Download

Ready to take your marketing to the next level?

For marketers, and the unassuming user, Reddit can be a scary place. All those opinions and strong words and complex memes. Yet - all that community, word of mouth recommendation, and oh the audience self-segmentation!

Reddit is a goldmine for cybersecurity marketing, but most cyber companies haven’t unlocked its secrets.

Well, we’ve had enough. Using Sparktoro, we’ve analyzed audiences visiting seven major cybersecurity websites and audiences using “CISO” or “CIO” in their bio to find the subreddits your audience is hanging out in. 

Discover the subreddits below and then keep reading for a real-world application of cybersecurity marketing on Reddit. (We’re actually kind of giddy about this one.) 

*Affinity score: a score from 0-100 that estimates an audience’s likelihood of visiting a certain subreddit. The average affinity score is an average for audiences visiting seven different cybersecurity solution websites.

SubredditDescriptionMembersAverage Affinity Score

Affinity Score for audiences with “CISO” in their bio

Affinity Score for audiences with “CIO” in their bio


A reddit dedicated to the profession of Computer System Administration.


This subreddit is for technical professionals to discuss cybersecurity news, research, threats, etc.


/r/netsec is a community-curated aggregator of technical information security content. Our mission is to extract signal from the noise — to provide value to security practitioners, students, researchers, and hackers everywhere. ‎


A subreddit dedicated to hacking and hackers. Constructive collaboration and learning about exploits, industry standards, grey and white hat hacking, new hardware and software hacking technology, sharing ideas and suggestions for small business and personal security.


Welcome to your friendly /r/homelab, where techies and sysadmin from everywhere are welcome to share their labs, projects, builds, etc.


Everything DevOps


A community dedicated to all things web development: both front-end and back-end.

Being able to find your audience online is one thing. Being able to speak to them in their language is another beast. Fortunately, 97th Floor has gotten pretty good at this.

Chronosphere + 97th Floor

About Chronosphere

Chronosphere is a SaaS-based, cloud-native monitoring solution for enterprise businesses. Chronosphere’s platform gives companies the ability to remediate issues faster with real-time insight while getting data growth under control.


When Chronosphere approached 97th Floor, their primary focus was on target accounts and increasing brand awareness. They were experiencing high website traffic but were not generating enough leads. Their goal was to drive more traffic to their site, increase the number of demo requests, and reduce the cost per demo.


We knew from Choronosphere’s personas that we could reach their target audience of  engineers on Reddit and Quora. Combining Chronosphere’s existing personas with 97th Floor’s additional insights helped us nail down the right tone and unconventional messaging that would resonate with our ad-skeptic audience.

After launching the Reddit ads, we continually tested messaging, tracked conversions, and made adjustments or new tests to improve results. 


Our strategic approach and meticulous testing paid off significantly, with our Chronosphere ads achieving a remarkable 50% higher click-through rate (CTR) than Reddit's advertising benchmarks. In pursuit of even greater engagement, our teams embarked on an innovative strategy of amplifying organic posts within a "megathread" comment. This effort propelled the campaign's CTR to an unprecedented 0.6%, marking a staggering 200% improvement over Reddit's ad benchmarks. 

We know your audience. We know their interests and aversions, and we know how to talk to them so that they convert - on Reddit and everywhere else they hang out. Let us take the lead here. We’ve got you. Book a strategy call with us today.

Podcast advertising is a promising strategy for any marketing campaign, with 51% of podcast listeners agreeing that hearing a podcast ad made them more likely to make a purchase from that brand.

Cybersecurity marketers are in no drought for opportunities here, with dozens of long-running and far-loved shows capturing the ears of your audience.

We used Sparktoro and additional tools to find the top-listened podcasts from decision makers in cybersecurity; put a bug in their ear about you, yeah? 

Note that this audience is extremely sales and advertising averse. They don’t appreciate self-promotion. While you can of course pay to sponsor the show and get a host-read ad in front of your audience, be extra thoughtful about your messaging and position as you do so.

8 Podcasts that your cybersecurity audience loves

Darknet Diaries

Darknet Diaries has amassed a cult-like following for its deep-dive episodes exposing true, first-hand stories about “hackers, breaches, shadow government activity, hacktivism, [and] cybercrime.” Host Jack Rhysider, whose own background is in security operations, makes staggering stories accessible and captivating for both technical and non-technical audiences. The show brags over 90 millions downloads and received praise in The Guardian, Vulture and The New York Times.

Format: Guest Interviews

Update Frequency: Every first Tuesday of the month

On Air Since September 2017

Opportunities: If you happen to know someone or know someone who knows someone with an insane cybercrime story to tell, the connection may be worth making just to get your company’s name floating in Jack’s network. Otherwise, you can contact the team by emailing to inquire about sponsorship. See the complete list of active sponsors here. It includes a number of personal and professional security solutions and IT solutions. 

Click Here Podcast

Hosted by former NPR investigations correspondent Dina Temple-Raston, Click Here brings listeners audio stories from the “shadowy characters behind ransomware attacks, disinformation campaigns, and hacks and … the people trying to stop them.” Show topics range from “peek inside a North Korean malware lab” to  “how hackers settle their disputes – think People’s Court without all the robes.”

Format: Guest Interviews mixed with investigative reporting and narration from the show host

Update Frequency: Every Tuesday and Friday

On Air Since August 2017

Opportunities: Click Here belongs to an ecosystem of cyber-related news produced by The Record from Recorded Future News. The publication sends a daily newsletter to its audience of “hundreds of thousands” via a mobile app.If you have a news tip, and perhaps an expert to lend, about cybersecurity startups, cybersecurity attacks, or policy surrounding privacy, disinformation or cybersecurity policy, you can pitch your story by reaching out to The show also has in-show advertisements, maybe one per episode or so.

2.5 Admins

“2.5 Admins is a podcast featuring two sysadmins called Allan Jude and Jim Salter, and a producer/editor who can just about configure a Samba share called Joe Ressington.” The show covers tech news and answers listener-submitted admin-related questions.The show’s audience is well-educated high-earning IT professionals.

Format: Conversational 

Update Frequency: Weekly

On Air Since April 2020

Opportunities: The show welcomes interested sponsors to get in touch at

Late Night Linux

Late Night Linux is a family of seven podcasts, including 2.5 Admins, all about "Linux, open source software, and systems administration.” Late Night Linux was the group’s first show, and covers all things free and open source software.

Note that the show contains explicit content. 

Format: Conversational, doesn’t appear to host guests

Update Frequency: Weekly

On Air Since December 2016

Opportunities: To advertise on any of the Late Night Linux shows, contact

Open Source Security Podcast

Hosted by Kurt Seifried and Josh Bressers, Open Source Security Podcast delivers weekly conversations on all things IoT, application security, operational security, cloud, devops, and security news.

Format: Two hosts

Update Frequency: Weekly

On Air Since September 2016

Opportunities: You can email the hosts from their website. Both Kurt and Josh are active on, part of a decentralized social network powered by Mastodon. Sounds like a good place for some audience research, at the very least.

Smashing Security

Hosted by cybersecurity veterans Graham Cluley and Carole Theriault, Smashing Security offers a “helpful and hilarious take on the week’s tech SNAFUs.” Winner of the "Best Cybersecurity Podcast" in 2018, 2019, and 2023, and the "Most Entertaining" in 2022 and 2023, Smashing Security has had over nine million downloads. 

Note that the show contains explicit content. 

Format: Two hosts, occasional guest interviews

Update Frequency: Weekly on Wednesdays

On Air Since December 2016

Opportunities: Smashing Security has generous options for sponsors, including opportunities “for sponsors to appear in 15-minute featured interviews included within the podcast.” To learn more about sponsorship, email Smashing Security also conveniently features all past episode guests on a nice list. Pursue it and let ideas flow: who in your organization would fit here? Guest list.

Security Now

Running for nearly twenty years, Security Now offers weekly conversations on security topics such as malware, ransomware, and hacks; digital identity, data privacy, and policies; hardware and IoT security concerns; software and plug-in security patches and updates; and many more. The show hosts are cybersecurity authority Steve Gibson and technology expert Leo Laporte, each bringing “their extensive and historical knowledge to explore digital security topics in depth.” 

Format: Two hosts

Update Frequency: Weekly on Tuesdays

On Air Since August 2005

Opportunities: Security Now belongs to the TWiT faTmily of podcasts, a group that amasses a yearly audience of 25 million downloads. TWiT’s podcasts have built a relationship with listeners over several decades, which is great news for you; not only is 88% of TWiT’s audience tech or IT decision makers, but 88% of listeners have actually made a purchase based on a TWiT host-read ad. Get started by emailing

Risky Business

Risky Business Media was founded in 2007 by cybersecurity journalist Patrick Gray. A rotating group of hosts including Patrick and others publish multiple episodes each week for their audience of cybersecurity professionals.

Format: Host conversations

Update Frequency: Weekly 

On Air Since February 2007

Opportunities: Risky Business’ audience is “top heavy,” meaning that a majority of their more than 25,000 weekly listeners are CISOs or information security decision-makers. View Risky Business’ media kit for more information about their audience, and contact for pricing. You can also reach out with editorial opportunities. Note that Risky Business Media also publishes two cybersecurity newsletters. 

Tips and best practices for podcast advertising

Reaching your audience: Baked-in/title-by-title vs Dynamic insertion/audience network

There are two ways to target your audience vis podcast advertising. The first is with baked-in or title-by-title targeting. Baked-in ads are added to the podcast audio file itself, making them permanent. This means that all listeners will hear the same ad when they listen to that episode of the show, regardless of their location, demographic or when they hit play. These ads can appear anytime in an episode and can be longer than thirty seconds.
Dynamic insertion or audience network podcast advertising inserts ads into ad spots (pre, mid, or post-roll) which can be targeted to the person listening. This allows podcasters to keep the advertising on their shows fresh, and it allows advertisers to select contextual targeting and third-party segments. The ad is then inserted in whatever shows that audience is listening to.

Host-read vs pre-recorded

Host-read ads are created and voiced by a show’s host, and are usually read in the style of the show. Because of the host’s narration, these ads seem like a personal endorsement to audiences. 

Host-read ads are a great choice for most cybersecurity podcast ads because the target audience aligns closely with specific podcast shows, like those listed above. We can select a show or a few shows and have host-read ads for cyber solutions during those shows.

PRO TIP: For host-read ads, it’s best practice to give the host bullet points instead of an actual script. This way you can make sure that what you want covered gets said, but the host has the opportunity to make it seem more authentic to them.

PRO TIP: Make the host your advocate. Build a relationship with them. Let them experience your product as best they can so that they can speak authentically to their trusting audience.

Pre-recorded ads are scripted by an advertiser and then recorded by a voice talent before being added to the podcast pre, mid, or post-roll. This type of podcast ad is best if your podcast advertisements won’t be on one specific show.

For example, using a title-by-title approach doesn’t sense if your targeting requires a geographic restriction.

Here, we can pick contextual targeting so the podcast episode has to be about that topic. Then, we can also layer on third-party segments, such as the user interests or experiences. Finally, layer on location targeting.. 

A voice talent will read the pre-recorded ad that can then be dynamically inserted whenever a podcast listener meets all of those requirements.

Is it best to purchase pre, mid, or post-roll ad spots?

It all depends on your budget, goals and even the length of your spot. Compare each spot below.

Where do podcast ads fit in a full-funnel strategy?

Podcast ads aren’t clickable in most cases, so they are definitely a top-of-funnel awareness play. However, you can drive action from a podcast ad by having a great offer. Most podcast ads have a very enticing offer such as saving a certain percent on a product or a first month free. 

PRO TIP: Longer campaigns outperform short ones. Run ads on at least 5 episodes of a podcast to improve recall by 39%. Make each spot different to prevent audience tune-out.

Measuring success beyond impressions

While counting episodes downloads will tell you impressions, use these four tactics to get better success metrics from your podcast advertising.

  • 1. Promo codes: Use a show-specific promo code with your offer to attribute sales to the podcast ad. Use a different code for every show! Ex. DARKNET
  • 2. Vanity URLs: visit Use a different URL for each show, and if you really want to wow... build out a custom landing page for each show's visitors.
  • 3. Checkout survey: How did you hear about us? Listeners are willing to answer the question to help out their favorite hosts. Combine this with promo codes or vanity URLs.
  • 4. Pixel-based attribution 

How do you think about messaging and audience differently when you are making audio ads vs visual ads?

Story-telling is essential for podcast ads. You don’t have a visual component to draw people in, so you’ve got to hook them with words.

And remember, the offer is so important. Podcast advertising isn’t the most straightforward journey. It’s not like clicking on a LinkedIn ad. We’re asking the user to go to our website manually, so we better offer them a good reason why they should!

© 2024 - 97th Floor. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Proudly founded in Utah. Growing businesses worldwide.
© 2024 - 97th Floor. All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy.
Proudly founded in Utah. Growing businesses worldwide.