What's the Difference Between B2B & B2C Content Marketing?

Kendall | October 19, 2021 | Content Marketing

If inbound marketing was a kingdom, content marketing would be the king that runs it — and I’m not just saying that because it’s my job. No, seriously y’all. I’m not!

Content marketing is a powerful inbound marketing tool that helps all kinds of businesses build brand awareness, connect with users, drive website traffic, and, in turn, generate some seriously qualified leads. However, depending on whether you work for a B2B or B2C company, content marketing could look a little different for you. In this article, I’ll give some detail as to why.

5 Main Differences in B2B vs. B2C Content Marketing

B2B and B2C companies are two very different business models that serve two very different types of customers. Therefore, there are also a bunch of discrepancies between how each of them has to approach content marketing. In order to make content marketing work effectively for your business, you’ll want to be aware of the five following differences:

01. Different Goals

The overarching, fundamental difference between B2B and B2C content marketing is that each of their content marketing strategies is created with a different goal in mind.

B2B Goals - If you work for a B2B company, the goal of your content marketing strategy is to connect other businesses with your products or services. Your priorities are, and probably always will be, lead generation and lead nurturing.

B2C Goals - If you work for a B2C company, the goal of your content marketing strategy is to identify a consumer need, then demonstrate how your product or service fulfills it. You primarily focus on increasing brand awareness and engagement to promote what you have to offer singular people.

02. Different Buyer Personas

One of the reasons content marketing is so important is that it builds trust by answering the questions of your ideal audiences, or buyer personas. But when it comes to B2B vs. B2C content marketing, those buyer personas aren’t the same, and their questions aren’t the same either.

B2B Buyer Personas - A B2B buyer persona is usually an employee. This employee may be working individually or within a team of employees, but either way, he or she is responsible for making a decision to help the company grow. They’re looking for a personal, trustworthy relationship with a company that has proven knowledge, expertise, and results in the industry, so they’re likely to ask questions like:

  • What type of projects has this company done in the past?
  • What were the results of those projects?
  • How much will this product or service cost, and is that cost worth the value it brings?
  • How will this product or service maximize my company’s ROI?
  • Will recommending this product or service help me or hurt me in my career?

B2C Buyer Personas - A B2C buyer persona is usually an individual customer, looking to fulfill a personal need or want. They’re mainly shopping for themselves, so they have a little less on the line in terms of proven results data, cost comparisons, and making an entire team of people happy. Thus, their relationship and purchasing decisions are based a little more on emotional ties to the product, service, or company:

  • How will this product/service help me solve my need?
  • How does this product/service make me feel?
  • Do I like this brand and what it stands for?
  • What have I heard about this brand/product/service?

03. Different Buyers' Journeys

All consumers follow the same three steps of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. However, with B2B vs. B2C content marketing, that buyer’s journey progresses at different speeds.

B2B Buyer's Journey - The B2B buyer’s journey is long. It takes a while for a B2B consumer to recognize their business needs, identify products/services to fulfill those needs, evaluate all their options, compare all their prices, consult with their teams, and so on — until they finally reach a decision. Therefore, if you’re doing content marketing, you’ll need to work harder to maintain a relationship with and nurture those leads to stand out among the rest.

B2C Buyer's Journey - The B2C buyer’s journey is much faster. It operates on short, impulsive, emotional decisions. Consumers will identify their need or want, find a product/service they need to fulfill it, and make a purchase. There’s much less consideration and deliberation, which is why B2C brands focus so much on brand awareness and positioning. If your brand is the first one consumers think of when they need to fulfill a certain need or want, you’re in a very, very good spot.

04. Different Tactics

From blogs to case studies to good ol’ social media posts, a good content marketing strategy includes many different tactics. Although both B2B and B2C companies can use them all, some are particularly useful when catered toward each one.

B2B Content Marketing Tactics - B2B content marketing should be primarily focused on what the product/service is, how it can work for a business, and why you’re a trustworthy source. The best way to communicate all of these things is through content that provides helpful resources, hard data, and proven results. Try tactics like:

  • Blogs
  • Content offers
  • Case studies
  • Email nurturing campaigns

B2C Content Marketing Tactics - B2C content marketing should be primarily focused on what your brand is, how it makes consumers feel, and why it’s better than competitors. You need emotional content that tells stories in order to communicate the ways your product/service can solve their needs. Try tactics like:

05. Different Language

Content marketing involves a lot of writing — but you can’t just write willy-nilly. Instead, your vocabulary, style, and tone should all align with the audience you’re trying to communicate with. And since those audiences are different for B2B and B2C companies, your language should be too.

B2B Language - Bottom line: when you’re talking to professionals, you have to fit in with the professionals. You should understand all the industry lingo, including the terminology and processes that your target audience experiences on a day-to-day basis. You’ll also usually use a more formal tone to demonstrate your expertise and professionalism.

B2C Language - With B2C content marketing, you’ll need to use more straightforward, simple language. Your ideal customers probably vary a bit in age, education, and background, so you need to make sure all of them can understand your brand’s messaging. You’ll also want to capitalize on emotional language that pulls at their heart strings or eases their pain points because, as I’ve mentioned before, that’s the key to success when purchasing decisions are often impulsive.

Let's Talk Growth!

Content marketing is an incredibly effective tool for both B2B and B2C companies — but it can require quite a bit of work. If you need help creating and executing a great content marketing strategy for your business, reach out to the Evenbound team. We're happy to recommend, produce, and promote content marketing tactics that will help you pull in more qualified leads.

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