Selling to B2B clients is a completely different ballgame compared to B2C sales. While you can use similar resources in both cases, there are major differences in how you approach these two customer types. This is especially noticeable when creating a content marketing strategy.

Generally speaking, the B2B sales process is much more complex. It presumes a longer buyer journey, with the back-and-forth between two parties. Furthermore, digital marketers have to pay more attention to details, as they’re being scrutinized at every step.

In this article, we’ll talk about different approaches between B2C and B2B content marketing. We’ll also take a look at how they tie to your overall marketing.

B2B marketing characteristics

In many ways, a company’s B2B content marketing strategy is a reflection of its overall marketing approach. An organization should stay true to the brand’s mission and vision while trying to entice business clients to make a purchase.

The same goals and buyer persona applies to content marketing as to other marketing methods. It’s just that we’re using videos and articles as the driving force for generating and closing leads. That being said, here are some of the main characteristics of B2B marketing:

  • Long sales and marketing cycles
  • Long negotiations
  • Numerous touchpoints between the two entities
  • Higher value deals
  • Higher brand loyalty and lower churn rate

Although it’s very hard to entice B2B clients, it usually pays for it. Many businesses survive by having one or two large customers. Furthermore, business-to-business products usually cost more and presume longer buyer lifecycles.

In other words, while the initial marketing and sales costs are higher compared to B2C, they usually pay off in the long run.

B2C marketing characteristics

During business-to-consumer sales, a company usually tries to sell a high quantity of low-priced products. The customers are often interchangeable, and you can easily replace lost clients by quickly finding new ones.

Generally speaking, B2C focus is much better for companies that have strong marketing departments and bad sales teams. These brands can generate numerous leads via digital marketing and don’t have to engage clients directly. In other words, you can compensate for having bad sales performance by investing more money in marketing.

Here are a few characteristics of B2C:

  • Quick decision making
  • Short sales and marketing cycles
  • Usually no negotiations
  • Lower value deals
  • Lower brand loyalty and lower churn rate
  • More emphasis on marketing and less on sales

When using the B2C approach, your main goal is to build brand awareness. Furthermore, we can even say that B2C brands have more leeway in terms of product quality. That is, you can run a successful business even if you don’t have the best solution for the target market.

Individual consumers can easily be swayed through effective marketing campaigns. By simply putting more money into search engine optimization and social media channels, you might change the perception of potential users.

B2B vs. B2C content marketing

Given that you have a different target audience, it makes sense that the two marketing tactics will differ significantly. In fact, focusing on a specific client group will affect not only your marketing but daily operations as well.

Here are some of the key differences between the two approaches:

  1. Goals
  2. Target audience
  3. Content types
  4. Content creation process
  5. Buyer journey

Creating a B2B content strategy is usually much more complex. Unlike regular users, large companies can’t be swayed by a few well-crafted lines. Instead, you need to demonstrate how your solution can address their pain points.

1.    Goals

Your goals can be completely different depending on the target audience. While you can sell directly to B2C users, you don’t have the same option when selling to other brands. The main goal of B2B brands is to put potential clients into their funnels and slowly convert them from there.

There are also some differences in terms of scaling. A B2B content marketing campaign should be focused and involve a small number of leads. On the other hand, selling to individual consumers requires that you reach out to as many people as possible.

B2B goals

The main focus of B2B content marketing is to show expertise and build a relationship. You can also make a high impact by demonstrating product or service features and comparing them to other solutions on the market. Your main goal is not necessarily to sell on the spot but to transfer a lead to your sales department.

Keep in mind that sales don’t happen overnight, and every article you create should be part of a larger puzzle. Furthermore, you need much more consistency during B2B content marketing. Straying away from your message can easily lose you a client, especially if we consider numerous touchpoints between two brands.

B2C goals

Unlike the B2B content marketing strategy, B2C focuses on increasing brand awareness across the board. Regular users have shorter buyer cycles and don’t need that much information to make a decision. They often buy products based on their emotions, disregarding their functionality.

That being said, content marketing will focus on channels that can reach out to as many people as possible. Mass marketing is the name of the game, where you can make an enormous impact via search engines and social media. Furthermore, the content type and format will be applicable to the average user.

2.    Target audience

According to Content Marketing Institute, you can significantly boost revenues by digging into the ideal buyer persona. Addressing the right demographics can significantly reduce your overall marketing costs while increasing operational profitability.

There are some major differences between optimal B2B and B2C audiences. Organizations that use the business-to-business model have to be very meticulous when choosing their target. Associated acquisition costs tend to be much higher, so you can’t reach out to just about anyone.

B2B target audience

You need a well-thought-out strategy when targeting other brands. Given that B2B organizations have to reroute a part of their budget into sales, their marketing spending is much tighter. You can’t run massive campaigns as you would with B2C users, and every email has to count.

When deciding on the target audience, you should create a narrow list of potential customers. Even if you’re great at lead generation, your sales department might not be able to take a massive influx of new leads. Furthermore, it will be very hard to close leads that aren’t your ideal customers.

B2C target audience

B2C brands have much more leeway when targeting leads. They can search out anyone and everyone that is even remotely interested in their product. So, as a marketer, your main task is just to get your message to as many people as possible.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can create content that doesn’t fit the target audience. It’s just that you can use these posts to reach out to a wider profile of users compared to B2B organizations.

3.    Content types

Creating content for companies is much harder and more expensive compared to regular clients. You need a well-designed strategy, a content schedule, and numerous people working on the project.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can use just about anything as a B2C brand. It’s just that it’s easier to build trust and convert individuals than it is to sell to companies.

B2B content types

Traditional content, such as articles, usually doesn’t work that well for B2B. The chance that a top manager will give you a call after reading a random blog post on your site is slim to none. Instead, you make the most of your money through direct outreach.

LinkedIn messages and emails are the best methods for averting attention to your brand. If you wish to use blog content, you need to focus on white papers and studies that would show your expertise on the subject matter. Among others, this will separate you from the competition that’s still trying to gain leads with generic articles.

B2C content types

When reaching out to B2C clients, you need to use content and channels that provide maximum exposure. Social media platforms and articles are a good way to go about things, but you can also use traditional media such as TV and radio ads.

Your main task is building brand awareness and showing people you exist. As most business-to-customer companies usually don’t have a sales department, you need to do the most with the marketing funnel. The B2C buying process is significantly shorter, and you can try to sell with every post.

4.    Content creation process

The content you create for regular users is very different from that you create for brands. First and foremost, the language has to be more professional, and you have less leeway in the type of posts you create. For example, although entertaining viral videos can work for both audiences, they’re much better for B2C.

B2B content creation process

In the case of B2Bs, more than one person makes the executive decision. Aside from the procurement department, you might have to connect with higher management during the negotiations. In many cases, reaching key decision-makers is an arduous job, as you have to go through several gatekeepers on the way there.

So, when making content, you need to cater to all these different groups of people. The same article or email might go through several hands until it reaches the final user. Not only should you sound professional, but your offer needs to sound enticing to employees with different backgrounds.

Besides that, you should invest heavily in images and other digital solutions. Adding explainer videos to your landing pages can also help build trust. You should use perfect English in your copies, without any grammar mistakes.

B2C content creation process

With regular clients, you don’t have to worry that much about your language. In fact, you should create messages that would cater to different profiles of people with different education. It’s often better to create generic posts that everyone can understand than to use complex expressions and lose clients.

Furthermore, B2C content creation presumes more focus on entertainment. You need to juggle with users’ emotions and put them in a mindset of purchase. It’s more about style than substance and making yourself more enticing.

5.    Buyer journey

The buyer journey is completely different for B2B and B2C. As mentioned several times throughout the article, companies take their time making a decision. This makes sense, given the implications of every purchase and the size of certain deals. As such, they need much more time to be persuaded.

Common users might buy a product based on their temporary whim or a trend. In other words, a B2C brand can be successful by being in touch with its target audience, even if they don’t have the best product.

All of these things reflect on the user journey and how brands drive leads through the marketing funnel.

B2B buyer journey

The decision-making process for B2B takes time. Similar can be said for the way a company’s management consumes content. When you send the initial email to one of their employees, you’re not trying to send them to your landing pages. Instead, you’re just starting a conversation that will lead to a meaningful relationship.

That being said, most of the B2B journeys will go through direct messaging with your company representatives. They might require things such as product demos and to see videos of how your product works.

There’s no point in trying to send potential clients to your landing pages, as the B2B buyer journey often includes negotiation with the sales team. If they buy from you, they’ll do some after striking a deal, not necessarily through your website.

B2C buyer journey

Once again, the B2C process is much more straightforward. A seller can use interlinking and CTA to drive organic traffic to their sales pages and convert users on the spot. As deals usually have lower value, there’s little dissatisfaction risk for a potential user.

Many times, the whole process ends without the client ever contacting the company. Depending on the complexity of the product, a user might not even need customer support. However, you still need to make sure that your pages look professional and trustworthy.

Whether you need help with B2C or B2B clients, our SEO agency can help you create and execute a digital marketing strategy.

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