7 Great Examples of B2B Content You Can Publish During a Crisis
Updated: Apr 16
While many companies are putting a hold on their content during the crisis, smart companies are doubling down and publishing relevant and appropriate content. So what is appropriate?
If you are selling something that people need right now, it's not just okay to let them know it exists; I would say it's your responsibility to do that. Just be sensitive. If you sell POS systems to restaurants, now may not be the time to try to sell them something. Now is the time to provide them with helpful advice. You want to produce content that helps your customers and prospects get through their day and manage their own personal crises.
As for the theory floating around that no one has any interest in reading email right now, I just don't think that is true. It all depends on what you're sending. I subscribe to a few newsletters, and I cannot wait until they arrive each week. As soon as they hit my inbox, I drop everything to spend time with them...especially during these stressful times.
These winners include the Creative Mornings newsletter, Austin Kleon's newsletter, and Dense Discovery. I love them because they contain all sorts of fascinating things the author or organization has discovered throughout the week. There may be some links to their own work, but mostly there are links to content that delighted them, and they are taking the time to share them with me.
Isn't that what everyone hopes for when they send out a newsletter or an email. That it will arrive in a prospect's or customer's inbox and they will drop everything to read it. Okay, maybe just that they read it, period.
Now, imagine how thrilled I was when my Dense Discover newsletter turned me on to a similar style newsletter for engineered products and industry! The Prepared is a weekly newsletter filled with fabulous fun content around engineering and manufacturing. Booya! And now I'm sharing it with you. Isn't this wonderful?
Now, you don't have to put together a newsletter like this (although…why not????), but you still can land in your customers' and prospects' inbox with something that won't be ignored, or worse--annoy them.
So how do you catch people's attention during a pandemic?
Let me show you a few examples of content that landed in my inbox, and I found it valuable.
Venture Cafe is a worldwide phenomenon with a local Philly chapter. Every Thursday, smart, inventive entrepreneurs get together and hang out and chat with one another. There are mini-presentations, vendors showing off their goods and services, and breakout sessions. The whole point of it is "to meet more individuals with ideas and a drive to connect."
So what does an organization whose mission statement actually includes "Isolation is the enemy of innovation: relationships are a critical success" when everyone is in isolation?
Instead of just pausing everything until they received the all-clear, they turned their live weekly event into an online event. Venture Cafe Philly didn't worry about waiting until they had everything perfect; they did their best and continue to learn as they go. It's a very different event, but still a great experience.
ATLATL 3D Product Visualization Platform
ATLATL Software was selling something. But it's something their customers desperately need, so why not? Their press release says…
"With much of the world facing economic uncertainty, it has never been more important for companies to streamline expenses and drive efficiency. As physical storefronts continue to close, businesses must race to find avenues that allow them to continue serving their customers. Many businesses are quickly recognizing the need to create real value through their website and their digital presence. What they need is Visual Commerce."
Their 3D product visualization platform "replaces in-store experiences…and keeps business operating in uncertain times."
Not just appropriate, but also incredibly helpful if you're a brick and mortar store that relies on people being able to touch and see your wares.
Being Boss Podcast
Being Boss, a podcast for freelancers and small businesses hosted by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon, proved they have what it takes to get shit done by quickly pulling together a fantastic emergency webinar. It was a collaboration with Freshbooks (freaking brilliant Freshbooks). Here is how they pitched it...
Knowing what to do is hard right now, but we're here to help.
Our friends at Freshbooks have put together an "emergency" webinar with a goal of helping freelancers and small businesses get and keep revenue coming through the door.
Join me (Emily here) along with Mike McDerment, Freshbooks CEO, and John Jantsch, Author + Founder of Duct Tape Marketing as we talk about creatives ways to keep you and your business making money.
Talk about being helpful in a time of crisis…this is some amazing content!
Stitcher reminds us that women are amazing.
Here's another one I love. Yes, the thing that is on everyone's mind is the pandemic. But it's not the only thing going on in the world. It just seems like it.
Stitcher didn't forget March was Women's History Month.
This is a reminder of their Amplify Women campaign…
March is Women's History Month and we didn't want to leave March without honoring women in podcasting. We partnered with Wonder Media Network to highlight the women behind and beyond the microphone on the Stitcher app homepage.
We challenge you to listen to a show you've never heard before, that looks interesting to you. And if you love it, share it with a friend!
Also, in case you missed this, we've turned this into a weekly newsletter in hopes that we can provide additional entertainment during this unprecedented time.
Your friends at Stitcher
I like this because they made it all about me and they give me something to celebrate, which let's face it…we could all use a little bit of that these days.
Selfless Promotion by FreeConferenceCall
Here's one that I would never have attempted, but FreeConferenceCall managed to pull it off. They promoted what they did to help those in need but gave the credit to all their customers.
Last week was one without precedent. I want to send a thank you to everyone in our FreeConferenceCall.com community. The Work From Home industry was given the ultimate test last week as audio and video usage soared past record levels. All in the industry worked tirelessly to meet that challenge. The difference for us was you.
Most Importantly, Thank You: Many companies in the industry dealt with customers expressing displeasure when there were service disturbances. Our community on the other hand was beyond incredible. You gave us patience when you could have given frustration. You gave us support. You are the best part of FreeConferenceCall.com and we want to thank you.
A Shocking Number Of You Made Contributions: We're able to offer free communications because of you. When people choose to pay us what they think is fair for our service it helps us build the infrastructure needed to make sure everyone has access to world class communications. This week that infrastructure was tested. We are adding to it. Your contributions help make that possible. If you're interested in learning more, click here and login.
CEO and Founder of FreeConferenceCall.com
DNV GL Helpful in a Time of Crisis
Here's another one to file under necessary in times of crisis. While everyone was communicating their crisis messages of still open for business, keeping employees safe and being there for their customers even though they are working from home or else they aren't, but they are disinfecting their offices every night...(deep breath), DNV GL goes a step further and directs its clients to useful resources. This crisis is impacting the shipping industry hard, and they need to know they have access to the proper paperwork when they get to port.
Let Kids Do the Talking
And finally, if you are ever in doubt whether your message will be welcome, just have cute kids deliver it. It's a shame puppies can't talk, because they are even more adorable than kids…amiright? Center City Film Studios isn't just selling their services, they are begging for work, and yet they pull it off.
You may be wondering what landed in my inbox that I found offensive. Well, I'm not going to share that. Everyone is just trying to figure this out and they are doing the best they can while under a lot of pressure. Sometimes you are going to mess up. I think the last thing anyone needs right now is public shaming, so let's keep it positive.
Does anyone else have any great examples of good content during a time of crisis?
Do you need help writing or editing your content? Let me know what industry expertise you're looking for, and I might know someone who can help.