If your business is B2B, B2C, or some combination of the two, it is important to understand how these terms differ and how they relate to your overall content marketing strategy. B2C companies can speak more directly to the feelings and emotions of a buyer, while a B2B company can’t necessarily have the same approach. A company trying to reach decision-makers at another company requires a different mindset and content strategy altogether.
So, what are the other main differences between B2B and B2C content marketing?
They start by having differing intent. B2B marketing is used to position your business as a thought leader within your industry, so that if someone is looking for information on a specific topic, they may already know and trust your brand’s position. And as such, the research you have done helps make their buying process easier. B2B marketing becomes more about selling yourself than selling your product/service and creating the right environment for them to make a purchase decision.
For B2C marketing, the motivations are much different and there is less focus on thought leadership. Brand image and recognizability are still some of the most important parts here, but there are a lot more external factors that go into a B2C purchase.
So, what really makes a B2C customer choose one product over another?
Customers generally look for familiarity with a product, as well as feeling honestly informed by the brand about their products. But beyond that, sometimes these purchase decisions can be somewhat random, relying on the whim of the buyer at the moment. Social media is a great way to target customers to make these types of purchases.
Some research suggests that B2B buyers will engage more strongly with certain types of messaging, while B2C customers will respond more positively to campaigns that target specific benefits. That being said, it is important to think about this when you are crafting content for your business.
If you’re a B2B content creator, begin with a message of value, service, or trust as the focus of your content piece, and then adjust your voice as needed to serve your target market or audience.
If you reach a B2C audience, instead focus on proving your price and demonstrating emotional and purchase satisfaction.
Brand Identity and Identification
Although there are many differences between B2B and B2C, they both have brand identity at their core. For B2B businesses building brand identity and associating your products with your company is incredibly important. Make yourself recognizable within your industry and the industries you serve. Your goal should be to make yourself recognizable within your industry before they might be looking for you. Create a trail of valuable content that leads back to you.
For B2C businesses consumers who are exposed to certain brands are more likely to gravitate towards them. They should hopefully see your brand and value it. B2C business have much more direct ways of marketing their products and appealing to customers emotions. Online advertising and content, as well as Social Media can easily drive customers to buying your products. By comparison, B2B businesses are often much more limited by their advertising options.
Establishing Value vs. Emotional Value/Impact
B2B businesses need to establish value with the content they produce. White papers, case studies, articles, blog posts, industry research, and other in-depth resources provide potential clients with useful and actionable information. When people are looking to make B2B decisions they want facts and data to support their decision making, therefore this should be the focus of your content marketing strategy. Position your company as a thought leader in the industry and identify industry pain points to create valuable and relevant content.
As we have mentioned previously, B2C has more of an emotional appeal, this is where the Emotional Impact/Value of your brand or product comes in. Compared to B2B content writing, B2C has a lot more demand for creating entertainment value and connecting with consumers emotions. Customers will make B2C buying decisions on a whim because they are relating with a brand. Social media has become a major content sharing platform because of this emotional and social connection, as individuals are more likely to engage with content and share their feelings on certain topics online.
Developing Trust vs. Enhancing Value
For B2B content marketing it is all about getting decision makers to trust you; it’s important to show them that you not only understand your own products and services, but that you also understand their industry, business and their specific set of needs. Developing content around the needs and interests of your client base will further show your dedication toward their business and allow them to gain trust in you as well as create meaningful leads through proper targeting.
On the B2C side, one way to enhance value is by recommending additional items that will help them get more out of their original purchase, which is essentially a form of retargeting. If they think you are offering them better value, then they will buy the products. If they bought running shoes, offer them insoles or sneaker protector to protect their nice new shoes for longer. The sky is the limit with this really, but also be careful not to over-do it and over-market to your customer.
At some point, as a content marketer you need to profile your target audience to determine the kind of content you will generate for that particular user. In regard to B2B and B2C marketing, understanding the target’s interests and needs may be key in determining whether to generate content in a particular format or medium, and what the message itself may be.
Regardless of what types of content you use, as a B2B content marketer you will have to provide expert knowledge about a particular product or service. The business needs to be able to trust you and your company and look at your product as the solution to their problem.
B2C, on the other hand, is generally about appealing to emotional connections and drawing emotional connections to your products and brand. You are finding ways to make the consumer feel like they can relate with you and feel good about that relationship when they buy the product or enjoy the service.