TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Watch the video – Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing
- What is B2B marketing?
- What is B2C marketing?
- Difference #1. Intent
- Difference #2. Audience targeting & personas
- Difference #3. Branding & messaging
- Difference #4. Channel
- Difference #5. Format
- Difference #6. Content strategy
- Difference #7. Customer relationships
- Difference #8. Decision-making process
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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