You may have already heard about Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Customer (B2C) Marketing. Even though both of them refer to marketing, the marketing strategies employed in each case are different. When setting up marketing campaigns, the content that you publish has to be created in such a way that it maximizes return on your investments. The way you structure your content for B2B and B2C customers is very important as you have to keep in mind that B2C customers are driven by emotional triggers while B2B customers are driven by the value you are offering them, meaning that they like statistics.
As stated earlier, the way you market to B2B and B2C customers is not the same. So, let us look at a few of the core differences in the marketing strategies for each group.
The Characteristics of B2B and B2C Customers
The characteristics for each group are totally different. The content marketing strategy for B2B customers is focused and direct. So, if the service that you offer is geared towards big businesses, the content that you generate and later publish should have them in mind. On the other hand, the content marketing strategy for B2C customers is less focused and non-direct because you are selling to a wide cross-section of buyers within a specific niche. So, if you are selling weight loss products to overweight people, you have to keep in mind that each customer has different goals and objectives as it relates to weight loss, and one product that you sell may work for some but not for others. That means the content you generate has to take that into consideration, though it will not be as easy as it may seem.
The scenarios presented highlight the fact that the content marketing strategies that you create depend largely on the characteristics of each group, and as such the strategies cannot be the same for both. B2B markets demand targeted content, while B2C marketing requires a greater thought process since you are marketing to different types of customers. Based on that, the tone and emotional appeal of your content can be defined.
When to Report Facts vs. Use Stories
When marketing to customers in the B2C market, it is best to use stories that are strategically written because they serve as emotional triggers that are designed to move the B2C customer to action. Marketing to B2B customers is a bit different because you can use stories but they have to include facts that demonstrate Return On Investment. Some of these facts may include graphs, statistical tables, number charts, and any other material that will prove beneficial in appealing to your B2B customers. You can report facts easily on company blogs, online articles, and even website copy, all of which are great avenues to boost your content marketing strategies.
The use of advertisements can also help in boosting your content marketing campaign. Some companies create ads that are like short stories that pull at your emotions while still being informative and factual. Such ads can be directed towards both B2B and B2C customers, the latter group being emotionally affected while the former group benefits from the facts.
The Use of Emotional Appeal vs. Hard Data
Emotions, as discussed earlier, play an integral role when it comes to selling to B2C customers. That is why it is important to formulate your tweets, blog posts, and other website copy with that in mind. Hard data, i.e. facts, are what B2B customers are looking for. They want to see numbers in the data that you present along with any other tangible features that you have to offer them, helping them to see how they can get returns on their investment. When marketing to them, you have to keep that in mind.
Many companies that offer services and sell products do not appeal only to the emotions but they also state facts that appeal to B2B customers. So, what you find is that some of them appeal to both groups because it may be difficult not to use both data and emotions in their marketing strategy. They have to strike a balance in their ads so that the data-driven B2B customers who want demonstrable proof of ROI and emotions-driven B2C customers can both benefit from what is being offered.
Are You an Authority Figure or a Problem Solver?
B2C customers are always looking for product and service providers who can solve their problems. This is true no matter what size or type of industry that you are in. Industry leaders get good ratings from B2C customers who are generally satisfied with what they have to offer. B2B customers, on the other hand, already have many solutions to their problems being thrown at them. What they need now is an authority figure with a proven track record that they can trust and ultimately use to effectively solve their problems. Therefore, when marketing to such ones, your campaign must make your brand stand out as THE brand to buy. A lot of companies use blogs to help sell their product or service, using facts to show why they should be trusted to fulfill the goals of B2B customers.
The Real Impact of Social Media
Social media has become one of the single most effective means of not only selling goods and services but also amplifying the credibility of businesses. The impact that social media has on B2B and B2C markets are quite different, however, seeing that different things appeal to them.
Social influence plays a very small role when attempting to make sales to the B2B market. So it is very important that you include social media marketing with your content marketing strategy from the get-go so that it can have the most potent impact on those customers the first time round. That being said, all social media marketing strategies must have rich content that includes numbers and other metrics that the B2B market is looking for.
The impact that social marketing has on the B2C market is more or less equal to the demographics of the social influencers. The persons who share your content help to promote it, thereby increasing your sales, since potential B2C customers end up visiting your website and make purchases or use your services. The social influencers may be on Twitter, Facebook, or any other major social network. When they make thousands of likes and shares on those networks, it causes people to have a greater trust in your brand, thereby causing them to buy from you. This is regardless of where the influencers are from, their ages, backgrounds, ethnicity, and so on. All you know that, in the end, social media made a positive impact on your sales.
As you read and re-read this article, you will see the important differences between Business-to-Business and Business-to-Client customer marketing. Pay attention to the information and use your new-found knowledge to create effective content marketing strategies that will end up making better conversions for you in the future.
With over 12 years of experience, we’ve experienced practically every scenario and explored an extensive range of strategies for online marketing success. Our team of creative, driven and experienced professionals can help you get where you want to be.