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Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing: 8 Content Strategy Building Steps

6 Dec, 2020

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between B2B and B2C content marketing AND how it affects your content strategy?

Is your business a B2B, B2C, or both? Your answer will determine what your content marketing and your content strategy should look like.

 

Difference Between B2B and B2C CONTENT MARKETING_ Understand 8 content strategy building steps Infographic

 

By the end of this article, you’ll clearly understand the differences and why you need to tailor your content.

You’ll also learn what to include in your content strategy depending on whether you are a B2B or B2C business. If this all sounds good to you keep reading or watch the video below.

 

Watch the video – Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing

 

 

So here we go. First, we’ll dive into the main differences.

Take a look at this difference between B2B and B2C content marketing infographic for a quick overview before we get started.

 

Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing

 

What is B2B marketing?

 

B2B marketing means business-to-business marketing. The products and services of the business are marketed to other businesses.

For example, Salesforce boosts the productivity of other businesses so their target customer is other businesses. Or you might be a coach that directly coaches other business owners in your area of expertise.

In B2B marketing, the sales process is often longer than B2C and you’re dealing with rationally driven buyers.

 

What is B2C marketing?

 

B2C Marketing or business-to-customer marketing is very different. The final sale is direct to the customer.

It’s an emotionally driven purchase, where the customer is looking for goods or services to meet an immediate need. The B2C sales cycle is shorter.

For example, buying a new phone. You research phones, compare prices and make the purchase. Users typically complete their purchase within the first hours or days of becoming aware of a product or service.

Some businesses can be both B2B and B2C.

For example, Amazon, the world’s largest retailer is a great example of a B2C, however, it also has a B2B business.

 

B2B vs B2C content marketing: 8 core differences

 

So, now let’s dig a little deeper and look at the core differences between B2B and B2C content marketing.

Having an in-depth understanding of these 8 core differences can have a substantial impact on your content marketing success.

 

Difference #1. Intent

 

B2B: Focus on thought leadership

 

They use content to build brand authority and establish thought leadership

Their decisions are cold, hard, and logical, based on who can accommodate their needs and who they trust.

The brands that are doing it right focus on answering questions and producing substantive ideas for their audience rather than just pushing content for the sake of it.

75% of global business executives say the reason why they search for business content is to research business ideas.

 

 

Creating content with the goal of building your authority is essential to put yourself ahead of the competition.

If a potential customer recognizes your brand name and acknowledges your authority, they move through the buying process much more quickly.

They skip the research stages moving directly from ‘Need Recognition’ to ‘Compare Options’ making it a much quicker road to a decision. The right content marketing puts your business at the top of that list.

 

b2b buying process

 

B2C: Focus on emotion

 

Yes, thought leadership can play a role in the marketing mix, but if you think about it… did you decide to buy new Nike running shoes instead of Adidas because you think Nike has better industry knowledge? Probably not.

B2C buyers have different motivations and emotional drives. 

These customers tend to purchase with their hearts, not their heads. It’s an emotional response.

When they feel they can trust you, when the buying process feels natural and reassuring they believe buying will feel good, so they do it.

 

Difference #2. Audience targeting & personas

 

Both B2B and B2C businesses need to consider their target audience when crafting their content marketing campaigns.

 

B2B: Small set of personas

 

In B2B content marketing you are usually focused on a small set of personas that all value the same thing like trends, data, and ROI.

It’s not to say that you shouldn’t appeal to emotions or include storytelling, just back it up with some data.

 

B2C: Many different personas

 

In B2C content marketing, your audience targeting and your buyer personas are more complex.

You need to segment your content to appeal to each buyer persona and then create content that speaks to them and their emotions. 

This can be done by telling stories that are relatable and relevant.

 

b2b marketing Difference #3. Branding & messaging

 

B2B: Focus on relationships

 

While branding essential in the B2B marketing world, what’s more important is how you position your brand and relationship building.

The B2B marketing message is based on value, service, and trust.

To drive brand recognition a B2B business must have a clear vision, consistency of presentation, and reliable delivery of products or services.

B2B content marketing is done through avenues that businesses use like LinkedIn, industry publications, and trade shows (pre-COVID).

 

 

B2C: Prioritize your message

 

In contrast, in B2C content marketing, you need to prioritize your message.

B2C content marketing is about branding and creating a customer connection quickly. 

The number one priority is to emotionally connect with the customer to motivate them to buy.

B2C brands need to make a quality experience for the customer to have a chance at creating loyalty.

For example, if you have a bad online shopping experience with one retailer, next time you’ll choose someone else to purchase from. 

There are usually no second chances.

 

Difference #4. Channel


Deciding which channels to use to market your products or services will depend on whether you are a B2B or B2C.

 

B2B: Limited channel opportunities

 

A B2B brand needs to more carefully consider where their audience is to make the best use of their advertising spend.

LinkedIn Ads give businesses a way to get their messages in front of highly-targeted business buyers.

Hubspot and LinkedIn have created this guide to help businesses create ad campaigns that convert. 

 

B2C: Unlimited channel opportunities

 

Advertising and native content on social media networks, popular websites, and geo-targeting apps will all reach your target audience.

The challenge is to narrow it down to which channels your audience favors and focus on that.

 

B2B marketing channels

 

Difference #5. Format

 

The format of content that needs to be created really does differ between B2B and B2C businesses.

 

B2B: Create content that educates

 

It’s no surprise B2B buyers prefer content that is useful and relevant.

70% of B2B buyers first source content through a brand’s website, 67% via internet search, 53% social media, 47% publications, 41% email, and 33% work of mouth.

 

how content is sourced

The takeaway here is to focus on providing information on your website that addresses all stages of the buying journey.

The content should include whitepapers, infographics, blogs, and videos.

 

B2C: Planned and real-time marketing

 

B2C brands will more likely appeal to their target audiences by using social media, user-generated content, and real-time marketing. 

This is the type of marketing where your business reacts, instead of planning or strategizing for months.

 

Difference #6. Content strategy

 

B2B: Think data

 

B2B businesses need to think about data and ROIs. 

What matters to buyers is the numbers and tangible figures you can provide.

Your content should answer the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of your business processes. 

What wins in a business environment is hard data. Not emotions. 

But don’t forget that storytelling is also beneficial, especially if it is backed up by testimonials, facts, and numbers that demonstrate ROI.

When you’re developing your content marketing strategy consider including data in your website content, on your blog, and in your social media.

 

B2C: Think storytelling

 

In a B2C environment, you are appealing strongly to your buyer’s emotions. 

In your content marketing, consider how you can appeal to your target audience’s wants and needs.

Everybody likes to feel special, think about how you can create that for your customers.

Watch the video Long-term YouTube Channel Growth Strategy: What is Evergreen Content?

 

 

Difference #7. Customer relationships

 

B2B: Establish one-on-one relationships

 

In B2B content marketing it’s about building and maintaining personal, one-on-one relationships.

The road to establishing trust in the B2B buying process is not getting any shorter.

Businesses need to focus on building personal relationships that drive long-term business.

A top priority for B2B businesses is generating leads, as well as repeat business and referrals.

To do that you need to develop honest and meaningful relationships with your customers.

 

B2C: Build transactional relationships

 

On the other hand, B2C businesses build relationships based on getting to the end result – the sale.

The content marketing strategy focuses on selling the product, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have a relationship with your customer, it just less personal.

 

B2B decision-making process

 

Difference #8. Decision-making process

 

B2B: Lengthy process

 

B2B businesses rely on a small group of decision-makers, often it’s a specific individual.

You need to get your content marketing in front of the right individual who has the power to decide whether to do business with you.

The sales process is often long and they’ll conduct significant research before purchasing.

In the B2B decision-making process, the stakes are high.

 

B2C: Quick process

 

In contrast, the B2C marketing process is quick, you often have one chance to catch their attention.

Depending on the cost of the purchase, after the research phase, they move quickly to buying.

B2C customers are more likely to purchase quickly after seeing an ad, while the B2B customer will take longer.

 

In Summary – Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing

 

So there you go.

I hope I’ve cleared up some of the main differences between B2B and B2C content marketing and how valuable it is to really narrow down and target the people who are most likely to buy from you.

While some of the processes and methods used to market to B2B and B2C are different, there’s also some overlap, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new styles of marketing to generate more leads and sales.

I’d also like to hear from you — Do you target your content marketing strategy depending on whether you are a B2B or B2C?

Answer Yes or No in the comments.  I’d really love to hear from you.

Also, make sure to download my Vital No-Cost Marketing Tools for 2021 guide. It’s free and the link is in the box below. 

 

 

Worksheet

To download the Difference Between B2B and B2C CONTENT MARKETING: Understand 8 Content Strategy Building Steps worksheet click here. It’s free, there’s no need to sign up unless you want to.

If you’re looking to revamp your content marketing strategy or require regular SEO content for your blog reach out to Simone and the EWA team and let’s get your brand seen by the right audience!

Hey, I’m Simone.

 

For 20 years, I’ve been creating compelling content and marketing for entrepreneurs, big and small businesses.

 

I’ll help you turn your traffic into loyal customers and return visitors. As well as create valuable content your audience will love!

 

Let me show you how to manage it effectively, create authority, and generate leads.

 

I have also created courses and resources to aid you in this journey.

 

Also, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot.

 

As always, thank you for dropping by, for reading my blog posts, and for subscribing to my YouTube channel. Thank you too for watching my videos. I feel the love.

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Simone Cunningham

Simone Cunningham

Director & Content Strategist

Simone is a content marketing strategist, and the Director and Founder of eWords Agency. For 20 years she’s been developing communications and marketing strategies for written and video content, and partners with businesses, government, and not-for-profits as an industry authority.

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