Mar. 7, 2023

YL Ventures Team Focus: Ayelet Slasky

By Ayelet Slasky

Meet Ayelet Slasky, Marketing Specialist at YL Ventures, responsible for leading our social media value-add program to help both the firm and our portfolio companies stand out in the digital landscape.

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Meet Ayelet Slasky, a Marketing Specialist at YL Ventures who leads our social media value add program to help YLV and our portfolio companies digitally shine! Ayelet works with our companies to build their social media strategy from day one, and continues to provide hands-on support as they grow, focusing on setting and reaching critical brand awareness and digital presence benchmarks. 


What’s the best part of your job?

I’m fascinated by the sheer power of social media and the effect good social media marketing can have on a company’s success in bringing in leads. The metrics are incredibly validating! It’s my job to help our portfolio companies keep up with and make the most of the latest tech developments, headlines and opportunities in public forums. These efforts pay off in spades by generating interest in the company itself. 


I also really enjoy the multifaceted and dynamic nature of social media and the idea that different types of social content aim to accomplish different objectives. There are so many creative processes involved in building a strategic social media plan for a company at its most embryonic stage and working with the founders on a daily basis on implementation. Social media provides a direct look into the brand in a milliard of ways including news, long-form content, announcements, milestones and product and team updates. There’s never a shortage of ways to express yourself on social media, and the high-stakes nature of cybersecurity means there’s never a dull one, either!


What drives your passion to work with cybersecurity startups?

I love working with our companies to really understand what they do and help them develop their own unique voice and value propositions without losing their humanity. Gone are the days when buttoned-up, corporate jargon was the ideal style of professional b2b marketing communication. People tend to viscerally react to marketing tones, feeling them to be inherently untrustworthy. Instead, I strongly believe that a company’s social and digital presence should be engaging, relatable and—dare I say–fun? 


How do you accelerate the marketing performance of over 10 companies, each with its own specific offering?

The creative flexibility required to juggle so many brand personas at once! It takes a lot of focus and versatility to help each of our cybersecurity portfolio companies stand out from the crowd and develop each brand’s unique ‘personality’ and tone of voice on social media. There is SO much noise to cut through, especially in cybersecurity. Thankfully, the cybersecurity community has a playful side to it. While dealing with a pretty serious subject matter, the field doesn’t take itself too seriously in the process, allowing us to have a bit of fun and inject some individuality and creativity into the marketing process.


Also, never forget that social media moves fast and it’s important to stay up-to-date on what’s hot and what’s not. This is critical to ensuring that our portfolio companies’ marketing is seen as relevant, fresh and on the ball. 


How does your value-add work change over the course of a company’s lifecycle?

My value-add work starts pre-launch with an overview of social media. I love the first meeting with our founders and their G2M hires to discuss social media strategy from the get-go and build out a vision. Social media has become such a critical and valuable tool and it’s important to explain that, as well as its nuances. 


For the launch itself…well, there’s nothing like the thrill of launch day! Hype is the name of the game and we hit the ground running as soon as the news embargo lifts! It’s quite the adrenaline rush and such a thrill to be a part of. I help prepare content across all of the platforms to break the news as well as the founders’ social media profiles. I’ll also orchestrate posts and comments by team members and everyone else involved to continue to spread excitement and promote the news. 


Once we’ve had a moment to catch a breath, we immediately start implementing our strategy to maintain an active and consistent presence as the company grows.


Why does a VC need a dedicated marketing team?

We get this question all the time! There are two main reasons why YL Ventures has the largest cybersecurity-focused, early-stage VC marketing team in Israel. First, though we may not sell a product or service in the conventional sense, we are still competing with other investors to meet and work with the highest tier of cybersecurity entrepreneurs. To do this, in addition to the funds invested, we also offer sector-specific knowledge, connections and value-add services to accelerate the journeys of our portfolio companies. My job is to help get the word about these services out there!


The second reason is, of course, to actually provide the value-add services we promote! At YLV, our team acts as an extension of our portfolio companies’ teams before they have one of their own. We really get in the trenches together–I’m talking logo design, SEO strategies, press releases. It’s worth remembering that, as early-stage investors, we’re investing in companies that are often just made up of founders (often with little marketing experience). To that end, we provide hands-on services across all of their marketing activities–from branding and content to digital–until they’re ready to build out marketing teams of their own. Even then, we remain on standby to help with the transition and continue providing support. 


Share one marketing tip that many cybersecurity entrepreneurs are missing.

How about 3? 😉

  1. Your employees are your greatest marketing asset. Promoting them on social media is a wonderful way to increase brand awareness and visibility–both in terms of producing content and as brand ambassadors.
  2. People love to champion other people. When promoting a blog or article, swap a generic thumbnail image for a photo of the author–the metrics will speak for themselves. This concept is perhaps most poignantly encompassed by the Israeli term, ‘LeHarim’! 
  3. Read the room. Each social media platform has its own practical and creative nuances. It’s important to understand them, leverage those differences accordingly and adhere to the parlance of each platform. Meet people where they’re at, and consider the context of the medium you’re utilizing for the text itself, the format of the post and its tone of voice.