Content marketing provides endless opportunities for a marketer to be creative and forward-thinking in a way that really makes the brand shine. However, content is not one-size-fits-all, so depending on whether you provide content for business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C) brands, you’ll need to hone in on the strategic approach that works best for them.
In this handy blog, we’ll explain the core differences between B2B and B2C marketing and how you can utilise these traits to create a bulletproof content strategy.
Similarities between B2B and B2C strategies
Despite the differences between B2B and B2C clients shaping the way we market them, it’s important to remember the similarities that link the two. As with all content marketing strategies, behind both accounts are real people and therefore you should always offer excellent customer service and an unmatched customer experience.
The sales process will need to be customer-centric for both, with a focus on hitting their pain points and solving their problems.
In the content creation process, both B2B and B2C clients will need both authenticity and credibility in order to develop a level of trust between them and their customers – especially as customers in all markets are more knowledgeable than ever in regards to quality.
What are the key differences between B2B and B2C marketing?
To state the obvious, the core difference between B2B and B2C marketing is the target audience. Although marketers will always have the same end goal in increasing a business’ reach and overall revenue, different audiences require different methods to capture their attention.
If you’re not sure how to distinguish between the two when tailoring your approach, there are a number of factors you can assess to keep your strategy on the right track.
B2B vs B2C: Consumer Motivation
Any purchase a consumer makes will always be driven by a specific motivation, no matter whether they’re a B2B or B2C customer. However, the difference between B2B and B2C customer motivation is stark and will define the approach you need to take within your content.
Typically, B2B customers want to be educated. As a B2B purchase tends to carry more weight than a B2C one, a customer would need to have the right knowledge in order to make the correct decision for their workplace.
As such, B2B content needs to educate the consumer in-depth on the value your product or service will offer to their business. Your mission here should be to help the audience think critically about how this will affect their business, or their role in the business, in the long run.
This includes displaying a level of authority that attracts a professional audience. As their goal is to be educated and equipped with the correct information, you should utilise statistics and case studies to your advantage.
In contrast, B2C purchases are less logic-driven and more fuelled by emotion. As these customers are not relying on the approval of a superior when making the purchase, the only person you’ll need to consider when creating your content is the reader and their emotions.
Often, content that converts can be as simple as telling an engaging story about a customer who benefited from the product. This method allows you to weave your offering into a story that plays on their emotions as well as hitting their pain points. Your business should always offer a solution to a problem they’re experiencing.
B2B vs B2C: Platforms
Regardless of whether you’re targeting B2B or B2C customers – your first port of call when tailoring your content to the correct audience is to deduce which platform you will be using most frequently. Different platforms offer varying rates of success for B2B or B2C brands, so you should dedicate time to finding where your customers are on the internet.
As B2B content marketing is more corporate-oriented and based on solid facts and results, your content will need to be focused on the tangible benefits offered to your customers if they were to purchase from you. As such, your content will need to present the correct resources, hard data and statistics in a way that engages your audience.
Conversely, B2C content marketing should tell more of a story about who your brand is, why customers should choose you and the benefits of your products or services on an emotional level.
B2B vs B2C: Target Personas
One of the key components of any marketing campaign is market research, as it’s important to be accurate in how you target your prospective customers. This is one of the most distinctive differences between B2B and B2C marketing, therefore making it a necessity to get right if you’re expecting success.
B2B content marketing is based on a much more narrowly defined customer base as your target audience will all be following the same sets of values. As a rule of thumb, businesses tend to appreciate evidence of successful results, so your content should be based on data, trends and ROI.
In contrast, B2C content marketing allows you to cast a much wider net during your consumer research, no matter how small the niche is. Any number of different personas could be interested in a single product – as an example, if you’re selling products for pets, you can target plenty of different demographics with a mutual interest in animals.
However, it’s important to remember that your product targeting all of these consumers doesn’t necessarily mean that each demographic will be interested in making a purchase. In your content creation process, you will need to assess each persona’s specific needs and pain points.
From there, you can categorise each persona so that you can craft the ideal content to generate an emotional response from them. This will create a much more precise content strategy.
B2B vs B2C: Purchasing Journey
When writing content for B2B or B2C clients, it’s important to consider how long the potential relationship is going to be.
For B2B purchases, you can usually expect the business to request an ongoing relationship with you. Their brand will be approaching in order to collaborate on long-term projects to aid their growth in their chosen industry.
Content marketing for B2B buyers requires a lot of preparation and long-term planning. You will need to consider the length of time it takes for the product’s features to provide value to the consumer – especially regarding their audience’s evolving needs.
On the other hand, B2C consumers are much more likely to experience one-off purchases as opposed to a close relationship with the brand. That’s not to say that there’s no potential for loyal customers.
Despite this, content can still be created with the intention of enticing customers to follow your brand who might not be ready to purchase. Brand identity and overall recognition is very important and will often generate loyal customers in the long term.
Looking for more help with B2B or B2C content?
If you’re looking for professional advice from a content team who really know their stuff, you’re in the right place. Our content marketing strategies have helped both B2B and B2C clients maximise their growth and reach their full marketing potential. Contact us today and a member of our team will be in touch!
For more content tips & tricks make sure you’re following our socials – @circulatedigital across all platforms – for our latest updates.