I am frequently asked what the difference is between B2C (Business-to-Consumer) and B2B (Business-to-Business) marketing, and if there is any difference at all.
And while there are actually quite a few similarities between the two, there are still some VERY important differences.
One of those key differences involves content marketing, which has an impact on your social media marketing, email marketing, search marketing, landing pages, SEO, and more.
Before we look at content marketing specifically, let’s review some of the main differences between the B2B and B2C markets.
- The B2B buying cycle is usually longer than the B2C buying cycle.
- The B2B buyers are usually looking to establish a longer relationship with vendors than B2C buyers.
- B2B buyers spend more time researching alternatives than B2C buyers.
- B2B audiences tend to be a lot more skeptical of content created by vendors.
- B2B buyers are looking for a reliable and trustworthy vendor.
- B2B purchase decisions are based more on logic, while B2C purchase decisions are based more on emotion.
In B2C content marketing and communication, the key is to focus on “entertainment” (think emotional and entertaining video content) over “education,” while for B2C content marketing the focus in on “education” (think ebooks, white papers, press releases, and webinars) over “entertainment.”
And the reason for this is simple: consumer purchase decisions are usually much more emotional while business purchase decisions are much more logical.
This can be a tricky point because some consumer targeted content marketing involves education (such as the history of the company, product ,or service, how the product is made or who makes it, etc), but it is usually designed and delivered in a way that is meant to entertain or generate an emotional response in a buyer or prospect.
However, when it comes to B2B content marketing you want to make sure the focus is squarely on educating your prospects. Sure, you also want to generate an emotional response, but it is secondary.
That’s not to say that B2B prospects don’t want to have any fun, it means that the focus needs to be on learning about your product or service and how it can solve a problem, improve their business, and make the buyer look like a hero within their organization. Entertaining them along the way will keep your content from becoming like a boring lecture and keep your prospects consuming your content on the way to becoming a loyal customer.
So keep this important difference in mind whenever you are crafting content for either your B2B or B2C channels and you will help ensure that you are appealing to your prospects in the right way.