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Inbound Marketing Insights

B2B vs. B2C Content Marketing: 4 Key Differences

Posted by Prism Global Marketing Solutions

Close up of hand with laptop and media icons-3While it may not be surprising to know that there are differences between B2B and B2C content marketing, having an in-depth understanding of their distinctions can have a substantial impact on your company’s growth. Figuring out how to make the best use of these 4 comparisons can not only help you strategize your content marketing effortsbut can also help you make better budgeting decisions.

1. Consumer’s Motivation

B2B: What drives the B2B clientele is the value you offer – your efficiency and expertise, as their goal for availing a product or service is to be educated and equipped with the expertise to help them in their decision-making. The B2B consumers are therefore driven by stats you can show. If you’ve presented stats in your content compellingly, you have made a significant part of the work – doing that establishes your trustworthiness and yourself as an authority on the subject for which the customer needs a solution.

Moreover, you are not only gaining trust but also, ultimately, sale. This is the very reason why blogs are highly valued by companies. They are part of their content strategy as they appeal to the B2B clientele and start selling even before the actual selling happens. That said, you should focus your content marketing efforts on establishing your brand or your company-affiliated personal brand as a thought leader instead of hard-selling.

B2C:  On the other hand, a B2C market, though likewise driven by value, is more driven by their emotions. They want to be entertained and satisfied with their purchase. That said, you can leverage, say, stories since they can easily pull emotional triggers – those that drive the consumption of a B2C customer. You can weave your product/service into stories that tug at their emotions.

At the same time, however, it must be noted that a B2C customer also looks for something that can solve his/her problem – and that’s what really matters. Your product or service should always have an answer for his/her particular need or concern. Bonus points if you are an industry leader.

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2. Content Strategy

B2B: In a B2B environment, the primary goal is ROI. Thus what matters is the concrete data, the numbers, the tangible features you offer that demonstrate that. The informative ads and promotional content are concentrated on the ‘what, why, how’ of business processes. Appealing more to hard data over marketing on emotions wins in a B2B environment.

Meanwhile, stories – though highly encouraged more in a B2C environment – can be beneficial as well in a B2B environment only if they are backed up with facts, numbers, graphs, and other materials that, again, boil down to ‘data’ and demonstrating ROI. This is applicable to website copy, blog posts, and articles that you publish as part of your content marketing strategy.

B2C: On the other hand, part of B2C’s content marketing efforts are blog posts, the copy on your website, the tweets you send out, and every other piece of content that you publish with the B2C market’s emotions in mind. An example of what’s simple and emotional would be Apple’s marketing copy for every new product they launch.

Also, the best content-based campaigns involve stories told strategically. Stories are the best platforms for emotional triggers, which drive the B2C market’s consumption, and they are easily relatable.

Disclaimer: It’s not often the case that one should strictly stick only to emotions or data. Both emotions and data play an important part in both environments. Think Apple which has the right balance of data and emotions. It’s just that the ratio differs for B2C (wherein you have to appeal more to emotions) and B2B (wherein you have to appeal more to data that reflect ROI).

3. Personas

B2B: In many ways, the content marketing efforts of B2B are linear and focused, meaning the specific businesses a B2B company caters to are only what it has in mind when it generates content ideas and publishes its content.

B2C: Unlike B2B, B2C is selling to many different types of buyers even within a small niche, meaning B2C requires accounting for different types of personas. For instance, if you’re selling protein supplements to body builders, you have to account for all types of bodybuilders there is – from the pros to newbies, male and female, young and old, etc. Your product catering to all of them does not necessarily mean your content will appeal the same to them all. When making content for them, you have to take into account each persona’s specific concerns and needs. You have to first categorize your customers into defined classes which identify the personas you cater to and find the right time, emotion, and appeal for each. Each will determine a unique content strategy unless your B2C market is extremely niche.

4. Decision-Making Process

B2B: B2B has a lengthier decision-making process since it involves a greater number of stakeholders compared to B2C. Selling B2B requires investing time in cultivating a relationship and pursuing a partnership with the potential buyer. This may mean offering multiple resources or making multiple phone calls to more than one person within a company or formally presenting a proposal. It is unlikely for a company to choose a B2B company on a whim. To land on your prospects regardless of who they may be, take the time to learn who the key decision-makers and do everything in your power to make it easy for them to say “Yes” to your pitch.

B2C: Compared to B2B, there is a relatively shorter time in the decision-making process of B2C sales since often, you will speak to one person, two at most. B2C will largely sell to customers who make their purchasing conditions in the moment. This, in return, makes your in-the-moment marketing crucial. You will have to catch the attention of your target market and generate immediate need and desire for your product. Given this, a large pool of prospective purchasers is a more intelligent and practical aim since there will always be a certain percentage of leads that decline.

Need help getting started? We invite you to speak with one of our inbound marketing experts today. We'll discuss your current campaign initiatives, strategy and even the process you have outlined to make sure it's a success. 

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Guest Blog Contributor: Nina Pineda has been on the depths of online marketing industry for 8 years. She’s easily amused by Tumblr memes, funny YouTube clips, and TV series, but keen and driven when it comes to achieving results and generating leads.  You can find out more about her work at Spiralytics.com.

Topics: content marketing