How to Best Use a Datasheet in Cybersecurity

What is a datasheet?

A datasheet is a summary of a cybersecurity product. It identifies the key features, specifications, and other criteria that the reader must comprehend.

Think of the datasheet as the ID of your product. It serves as an important communication link between companies and customers who have diametrically opposed needs, i.e., between the seller and the buyer. The datasheet represents the company to a potential customer.

What a datasheet is not

It is important to remember that a datasheet is not a sales document. It is not a sales pitch. Datasheets are the last documents to reach your customers at the point of sale. They must thus have an excellent design, a detailed product description, and a compelling reason to buy. Providing customers with product information lowers buying barriers and gives you a professional platform to market your goods.

Purpose of datasheets

A datasheet’s purpose is to provide your readers with the information they need to decide if this is the type of product that will work for them. A datasheet lists all the product’s features, including both technical and nontechnical details, and explains them in simple terms. This means you must be clear about your intended reader and what they will do with this document.

How your potential customers use datasheets

If a datasheet is well written and laid out, technology buyers will read it. The key is to understand that the majority of buyers will scan it to get the main points and then skim the other content if they find it useful or interesting. If your datasheet passes the crucial scanning and skimming test, buyers are more likely to read it thoroughly. As a result, it’s critical to write good copy that gets to the point quickly and to use a highly readable layout.

The following tips and bullets can assist you in creating a datasheet that is actually read.

Focus on the most essential data

The majority of datasheets are brief—typically one page. Therefore, the number of words you have to describe your product is generally only a few hundred. Consider carefully the top three or four things your audience is most interested in learning. Examples of fundamental questions you should address in your datasheet include:

  • How does your product assist your customer in resolving their most pressing issues? Stay between three and four points.
  • What does your product accomplish? This is a point that frequently gets overlooked.
  • What sets it apart? Remember that the viewpoint here should be that of your buyer. What sets your product apart from similar products?
  • What is the technical functionality of it? How does it work? Avoid using jargon and avoid becoming overly technical. Just hit the highlights and keep it short.

The trick is to make each of these subjects reasonably succinct while considering your audience and what information they need about your solution. For instance, if the datasheet is intended for business managers, you probably do not need to go into detail on the technical aspects of the product. On the other hand, if the material is for security engineers, it might be crucial.

Define your product on the first page

At the top of the first page, include a succinct (two sentences maximum) product definition that explains how it addresses the main issue facing your target audience.

It introduces your product to the reader and sets the scene for the remaining information in the datasheet. Once customers are familiar with the product’s function, they can confidently skim the rest of the datasheet. Without this explanation, the reader must determine the technology’s function on their own; some readers won’t have the patience.

Summarize product benefits and features upfront

Give your readers a motivation to keep reading by providing a succinct list of advantages on the first page.

List the most important advantages at the top of the datasheet to address this. Remember, just the heavy hitters should be listed; not the entire list. You may include the less significant advantages in the narrative.

Depending on the design of the template, a common datasheet style involves listing the benefits in a separate left- or right-hand column.

Make sure to connect the features so that there is a natural development and use positive wording. Keep the writing concise, use bullets, and short action verbs. Write to be scanned.

Summarize your key points writing headings as questions

To reiterate your important arguments and guide the reader through the paper, use the headings and subheads. Ensure that each heading has a logical relationship to the next. Refrain from clever work play. Remain focused. Keep in mind that this is a material intended for education, not for sale.

Checking to see if your rough draft’s headlines and subheads adequately summarize your main arguments is an excellent test. Would the reader be persuaded to read the datasheet in its entirety if they only read those and nothing else?

Another great tip is to turn your headings and subheads into questions. Format your headings and sub-headings as questions and provide answers in the paragraph immediately following the heading.

Examples of headers with a question format are as follows:

  • How Does Product X Compare to Other Cloud Security Solutions?
  • How Does Product X Work?
  • Why is Product X the Best Choice for Identity and Access Management?
  • How Do I Learn More About Product X?

Include a testimonial in a call-out box

This is a brand-new, popular piece of content. References from recent clients have a significant impact on readers by boosting their confidence.

Include a brief, uplifting statement from one of your clients; ideally, place it on the opening page. Put the quote in a call-out box in the margin rather than in the datasheet’s main body of text, where it might get lost. It will be one of the sections that your audience will read first as they skim and scan the datasheet.

Write in second person

The third person is a common writing style used by cybersecurity and technology organizations, which appears formal and stiff. If you write your datasheet in the second person (“you”), it will sound more interesting and conversational. The goal of doing this is to make it simple for your readers to relate to the issues and solutions you are outlining by starting out with the pronoun “you.”

Include use cases

It is crucial to provide context for your solution and examples or use cases of how it might be put to use. The prospect will be perplexed as to how you can assist them if you don’t provide examples of how your solution may aid, such as preventing data breaches or locating slow web services that may have an adverse impact on client orders. In defining the use cases, you don’t need to go into great length (save that for case studies or a whitepaper), but you do need to provide instances of how your solution adds value in certain situations.

Choose a wise call-to-action

One of the most crucial elements of your datasheet is the call-to-action (CTA), which directs readers to the next action you want them to do. The best method to end your datasheet is not with a call to action that says, “For more information, visit our website.” Basic corporate contact information can be added in the footer.

Use the CTA to link readers to yet another resource that contains useful information. Include a link, for instance, to a technical whitepaper on the topic. Or incorporate a hyperlink to a video with client testimonials. The goal is to continue the conversation and engagement by mentioning additional useful resources.

If you want to learn more on how to draft an awesome datasheet for your cybersecurity product, feel free to contact myself or one of the Bora experts. We will be happy to assist you.

How to Best Use a Datasheet in Cybersecurity
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