Different businesses have different needs and different assets to put in front of customers. Content marketing strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. This is especially true when it comes to writing content marketing for B2C versus B2B businesses.
Content has to be crafted effectively to work, so here are four content marketing tips for writing great content for these two very different types of businesses.
Audience Targeting: The Individual vs. The Representative
The audiences for B2C and B2B content differ substantially. In fact, there are usually two completely different mindsets at play on the part of the customer. The appropriate mindset has to be taken into account early in your content marketing strategy because it will inform your content goals, the content you create, and the way you market that content.
For the B2C customer, their purchase decision is usually their own. Perhaps a wife or child is involved in the purchase decision, but certainly not a whole corporate board. Purchase decisions for individuals are typically very personal and based on emotional fulfillment.
On the other hand, B2B customers are often shopping for a product or service on behalf of their company. There may be many people involved in the purchase, and the key customer contact may have a lot riding on this purchase adding value to the business. Should she make the wrong choice, it could harm the business and cause professional embarrassment to the customer.
Content Goals: Customer Relationship vs. Lead Generation
Content marketing goals for B2C and B2B are also quite different, and this will again result in drastically different content pieces and content marketing strategies.
For B2C customers, the keywords are brand awareness and brand engagement, two strategies that are a must to achieve the goal of building long-lasting relationships with your B2C customers. Whether you’re marketing disposable razors or luxury sedans, B2C marketers want customers to return and buy again and again, as well as to tell their friends and family.
For B2B customers, lead generation is typically the primary goal of your content marketing efforts. That’s because B2B sales tend to have a longer funnel and a higher average customer value (ACV). Purchases are a big decision, even before the C-Suite gets involved, thus lead gen. becomes important to make sure businesses are buying the right solution from you.
Content Calendars: Holiday Sales vs. Trade Shows
The content marketing plan for these two types of marketing couldn’t be more different, other than, you need to be prepared with a content calendar strategy for both.
For B2C companies, such a calendar has to appeal to customers on a personal level. That’s not to say that B2B firms wouldn’t buy because you had a Halloween sale, but it certainly wouldn’t be the determining factor. That’s not the case for B2C, where holidays, promotions, offers, and special events become a central focus of marketing efforts.
For B2B firms, marketing doesn’t have to be drab and joyless. Your customers are just focused on more industry-related events. Marketing efforts focusing on important industry events, conferences and trade shows, product updates and new releases make the biggest impact with an audience, as well as long-term content that establishes your firm as a thought-leader in the industry.
Key Strategies: Community Building vs. Client Testimonials
There are some key content strategies that are especially suited to each niche, but only that niche. For instance, your CTO most likely would not like to be a part of your Ruby on Rails community-building content strategy, but he might give you a great client testimonial to use in promotional materials.
For B2C, these key content strategies are personalized, like your customers and their buying decisions. Customer engagement campaigns that fulfill emotional needs via your product or service, such as contests, quizzes, etc., can do well. Customers love these when they’re well executed. Fans and followers often form an identity related to a particular brand or product, and so they’re often keen to participate in online communities about your brand. Multi-channel efforts are another content strategy that works well in this niche and shouldn’t be overlooked.
For B2B, key content strategies are more professional. These customers appreciate different things, like subject-matter expertise from your content, in the form of white papers, industry infographics, or product demos. Now here is perhaps one way you might get your B2B interested in a community — consider a product demo and tips message board. Such ideas would help your customers find solutions to problems. And of course, client testimonials, narratives, video or other multimedia content, are very well suited to this niche.
To be sure, content marketing can help all sorts of businesses improve conversions and sales. How you go about this is going to depend on the nature of your business. Don’t assume that a strategy for an e-commerce shop is going to work for your SAAS startup or vice versa. Take the time to study what your content marketing needs to do for your business and plan accordingly. With proper planning, you’ll see a big improvement in your business operations.
Still have questions about the difference between content marketing for B2C versus B2B? Call 313-566-4849 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how our full-service digital marketing agency can help you reach your content marketing goals.