It’s easy to distinguish between B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2C (Business-to-Consumer) marketing. B2B involves transactions between two or more businesses, whereas B2C means companies sell to the end consumers. So, the way a business would communicate with another enterprise would be different from how it would interact with a consumer. How? Let’s jump into it.
Whether you’re looking to land contracts with a trading company or encourage an individual to buy your product, the way you present information is of paramount importance. Your content marketing strategy should revolve around the persona you’re targeting.
Before we delve deeper into the subject, let’s understand the key difference between B2B and B2C content marketing.
Speaking your customer’s language
B2B is a term used to define a business relationship between two or more companies. The relationship they develop is unique to a professional and industrial setting. Hence, when you’re marketing your idea to a business, you’d have to use business jargon associated with your goods or services. For instance, if you’re a software company that caters to, say, a real estate enterprise, you must speak the business language of your customer. How can your software save them more time and costs? How well do you understand their pain points? How efficiently can your product solve their troubles?
In the B2C world, your language needs to cater to the consumer. Technical jargon is more likely to be a hindrance than an advantage. The mantra should always be to keep it simple, silly (KISS).
For example, when Royal Enfield advertises their bikes (B2C), they focus on rider sentiments like comfort and utility. On the other hand, when Tata Consultancy Services pitches their expertise in outsourcing business processes (B2B), they explore an angle that complements their client, which is another business.
Now that you have a basic idea of what B2B and B2C marketing strategies entail let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
1. Types of stakeholders: In B2C, you’re likely to address people on a more personal level. Even if the decision involves a family member or a friend, their conversation will not be based on long-term revenue or statistics. They would like to make a decision based on what is practical. Your goal is to sell your goods or services in a way that an individual would find appealing.
On the other hand, in B2B, you’re likely to sell your goods or services to a group of stakeholders (like CXOs, CEOs, CMOs), in which case the tone you choose reflects your professionalism and an aspiration to engage in a long-term business relationship with many other professionals. This means that you’re not just selling your goods and services but a concrete plan that would benefit multiple stakeholders of a business.
2. Detailed vs broadly descriptive: In traditional B2C, you can offer broad descriptions of the product you’re selling that may attract customers’ attention. An example would be selling shoes to individual buyers.
In B2B, your description of the goods or services should be well-organized and more informative for a business to invest in your idea. Much like endorsing a racing tournament with an energy drink company. You may have to answer questions like, what makes your energy drink a race car driver’s best asset?
3. Emotional vs rational perspectives: Traditionally, selling products or services to B2C markets requires generating an emotional response. That’s because individuals are interested in advertisements that are relatable to them on a personal level. When popular brands use sports stars and movie icons to endorse products, people are inspired to make a purchase. That’s how customers can be nurtured by eliciting an emotional response.
In B2B content marketing, your goal is to create a rational response to promote your goods and services. The goal of your content is to urge a practical solution. Essentially, when IBM endorses high-performance machines and technologies for businesses, their focus is not just on the end-consumer, but on the overall function of an enterprise. They use technical documentation, whitepapers and case studies to offer clients exclusive insights into the high-performance solutions.
4. Understanding the psychology of scalability: While gauging your solution’s scalability, examine how well it applies to your readers’ daily lives. For a consumer, your product may be meant for personal use or for a friend. There’s not much in the way of their purchase decisions because their relation with your content is more immediate.
In B2B content marketing, psychology is linked to the scalability of the solution you’re offering. Most goods and services may be for large-scale use, where the marketing mix requires more information about every aspect of your business. To convince a corporation about your idea, you have to pitch your software’s scalability as a secure asset for its business growth, not just the immediate satisfaction of knowing that you have a solution. And, the solution should have proven results.
5. Educational or fun?: The basic idea behind your content marketing strategy is to generate interest and engagement among viewers. While most businesses consume educational content, individuals spend more time engaging with entertaining content online. However, this is not a rule, rather a reflection of your brand tone and how you’d like to promote your goods and services. Nevertheless, choosing the right brand tone is essential for both B2C and B2C marketing. You just have to study the audience persona well enough so that your content reaches them at the right time and with the right message.
The internet is a vast playground for B2B and B2C content marketing. In cyberspace, users come from various professional and social backgrounds, and you have to consider every aspect of your audience.
Here are a few similarities between B2B and B2C content marketing strategies.
- Behind both B2B and B2C content marketing, real people are involved. Your marketing strategy must always encourage a human touch to your messages.
- Trust determines the relationship of your audience with your content. You have to provide reliable information.
- Both forms of marketing require clear solutions to specific problems.
- The purpose of both is to get people to contact you via different channels.
- Both B2B and B2C prospects require continued after-sales support.
- Content marketing should be well-defined in both cases to meet business objectives. While addressing your brand as the solution to a customer’s or business’s problem, you must convey your unique values that separate your expertise from the rest in the industry.
- People in businesses and consumer markets should be recognized as individuals.
- Potential customers should be nurtured to make the purchase and eventually become advocates for your cause.
- You must identify and define the audience persona before drafting a content marketing strategy.
Usually, content creators draft fictional representations of their B2B or B2C personas to get a general idea about user behavior. This information is used to draft compelling content that grabs a user’s attention and nudges them towards taking action.
The fundamentals of your content marketing strategy should change with the new information you gather about your market. Whether B2B or B2C, you have to use insights and analytics to assess your content marketing strategy’s performance. That being said, never be afraid of trying out your creative flair and getting inventive with your words.