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May 10, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
No matter what industry you’re targeting, with content marketing, you’re always trying to engage, interest, and excite humans. You want them to read or view what you’ve put out into the world, find it valuable, and then return to you as a source the next time they have a question or problem to solve. But some factors make content marketing for B2B businesses different than B2C ones. We’re breaking down the key differences between B2B vs B2C content marketing today.
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing refers to advertising and selling products or services from one business to another. It’s often informational and straightforward and helps clients and customers understand how purchasing your products, services, or subscriptions can impact their company operations and return on investment (ROI). Common examples of organizations that may work in B2B marketing include:
Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing refers to advertising and selling products or services directly to individual consumers. Strategy for B2C marketing may focus less on how the product or service benefits the customer from a financial standpoint and more on how it makes them feel. B2C marketing also relies on stressing additional perks and benefits or the status symbol of a product for the consumer. Examples of B2C marketing organizations include:
There are some key areas where intent and execution for B2B and B2C content marketing differ. This is because the audiences and their goals and reasoning for purchasing products also differ. You can break these distinctions down into areas like:
Sales cycles for B2B marketing tend to be slower. This is because there are more people involved with the purchasing process and final decision to buy a product or service. B2B content marketing relies heavily on lead nurturing with different content types to sustain interest throughout a longer sales cycle.
In contrast, B2C marketing often has shorter sales cycles and impulse shopping is more common. This may not be true for every B2C company or product. For example, someone may be more likely to impulse buy an entertainment product, like a board game or a vinyl record, compared to something larger or more expensive, like a car or a kitchen appliance. But because there are fewer steps and players in a B2C sales cycle, you may not need as many different content types and strategies to get people from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel.
With B2B content, the value for the audience comes primarily from its educational impact or practicality. You’re more likely to find eBooks, white papers, or long-form content articles in B2B marketing because they cover industry-specific topics the audience already understands. B2B content may also use more jargon because of its niche audience.
B2C content often focuses more on entertaining elements that evoke emotion. The audience may put more value on B2C content recommendations from friends, family, or even strangers rather than taking what the company says at face value.
Social media may be a less influential content channel for B2B marketing. While having a presence is still important for brand recognition and promotion, B2B clients may be less likely to buy products or subscribe to your services directly from social media. In contrast, B2C companies have audiences more likely to engage with their brands on social media, especially those with eCommerce options right on the same platforms.
B2B content focuses on how to share that your product or service solves a company-wide problem or meets a team need. While it may have some benefits for individual use, the goal is often for the greater good of the company. For example, choosing CopyPress as your content provider gains you access to our proprietary content management system (CMS), Dante. We run this service in-house and can make updates and adjustments at client requests. B2B content marketing also focuses on the ROI of the product and may be more concerned with speed and clarity of information than the lowest-cost option.
B2C content often serves a personal challenge or meets an individual need. Your audience is more concerned that the product does what you claim and that it offers high level and quality customer service before, during, and after purchase.
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