By Tom Sandford on March 20, 2020

4 Principles for B2B content marketing during a crisis

What a week that was!

Before I get into the frivolities of corporate communication strategies, I’d just like to say what a fantastic job NHS and medical professionals are doing. 

We all need to play our part. And our job - as marketers, entrepreneurs and communicators - is to keep the wheels turning, keep people in jobs and prepare for demand to return..

When demand will return is an interesting question. One that McKinsey outlined neatly in their recent report on the economics of Covid-19. (TL:DR, Q4 looks promising)

Speaking of demand; we are seeing a massive spike in Linkedin traffic to our clients' content. So long as that content is done in the spirit of helping, not selling, then this is the moment for us all to step up our comms. It seems that social media use is spiking on all platforms. 

Clearly, few businesses will make a major purchase right now. But demand has not gone away. This, then, is the moment to refresh your content strategy. 

What I’d like to share with you are the principles that we’re following with our clients in the hope that it will help your efforts...

1. Stop business as usual.

If you haven’t already, switch off the social media automation. It’s jarring. Do review your editorial calendar. The plans you had no longer make sense. Covid-19 and all its consequences are going to be with us for months and your plans are worth less than a boarding pass to Wuhan. 

2. Be even more helpful

Quick quiz…

Q: What is the guiding principle behind inbound and account-based marketing? 

A: Be helpful

(Top marks. Have an apple 🍏)

What we all want right now is to be as helpful as we can... And your audience needs help too. Sadly, a career in digital marketing means I’m no good with a ventilator, but businesses around the world are freaking out and they are looking for information that can help them. Your business has the answers that someone is looking for. Give them what they need.

3. Stay in your lane

If you’ve written a book about remote working - as Basecamp founder Jason Fried has - then by all means give tips on remote working. But if you haven’t then stick to your niche. It just feels a little sad to see marketers pushing the wrong things.

4. Do things right (for once)

I need to thank a subscriber to this email for this one. (Thanks Mike!) 

Because business-as-usual is out of the question, many stretched marketing teams finally have a chance to do things well, rather than as-quickly-as-bloody-possible.

Does this sound like you? Please do consider a content audit. If you’ve been pursuing a punishing publishing schedule you will have some horrors lurking in the archives that will hold you back.

Read: Why you should conduct a content audit

Back to point 2 (help): This is a great moment to lengthen or rewrite your top content. Purchasers will move into the research stage soon for big ticket B2B investments. Get your content in order now.

With trade shows cancelled and weeks stuck at home, your audience is crying out for genuinely good content to consume. Make sure yours is up to scratch. 

Stay safe




Image credits: sweetlemons

Published by Tom Sandford March 20, 2020