Defining Content Marketing Goals: B2B VS B2C, What’s the  Difference?

B2B audiences base their purchasing decisions on facts and logic served to them consistently enough to build their trust. B2C audiences, on the other hand, use emotion to drive their decisions.  

And that’s not all that differentiates the two.

For your content marketing campaign to succeed you need an in-depth understanding of the differences between the two.

How else do you intend on answering the problems your audience is asking, narrowing down their list of who to trust and guiding them towards making a purchasing decision?

Sure you could wing curating content that’s half the time factual and the other emotional. But that will tarnish your brand identity and even worse, won’t yield the results you’re looking for.

So, what is the answer? 

Understanding what both B2B and B2C are, and what each aims to do for the audiences they serve.

B2B and B2C: The obvious difference

It’s the “B” and “C” in business-to-business and business-to-consumer that set each apart. One letter either sends your content marketing strategy in the direction of building trust with a business audience through establishing yourself as a thought leader or, crafting content that the consumer feels driven to act on.

This very slight alphabetical difference influences the personas you create, the content they consume and which direction they take on their purchasing journey.

The difference in marketing personas

Imagine eliminating the guesswork and expense that comes from marketing campaigns that miss the communication mark without a clear idea of who they’re talking to.

That’s the power of a marketing persona.

A marketing persona is a virtual mock-up that represents your ideal audience. Created from actual demographic and psychographic data it’s designed to anticipate how your audience consumes the content that you create and tailor for them.  

Because B2C targets different types of people, personas should be broad enough to encompass a host of different consumers. Take Coca-Cola as an example.  Can you remember when last you saw an ad that seemed to target a specific niche? You don’t, for the most part, because for B2C content marketing to be effective, it needs to appeal to a wider audience; widening the net so to speak.

B2B personas are usually more clearly defined than B2C with the majority of the audience focused on purchasing products and services that provide a definitive return on investment.According to the 2021 11th Annual B2B Content Marketing Report by the Content Marketing Institute, customer journeys change. Keeping a finger on the pulse of what may affect how your audience responds to the changes around them will influence the content you create for them.

Why all content is not created equal for B2B and B2C audiences

When you’re creating content that attracts, engages and delights, it should fit in as part of a bigger plan that directs your audience along their buyer journey.

Due to how both B2B and B2C audiences make decisions, the content you create for them needs to speak to what motivates them.

B2B content

As the logical, cold fact sleuths that they are, B2B audiences need content that tells them that whoever they invest their money and time in, has the experience and authority deserving of it. That means that blog posts should speak to their specific problems, frustrations and interests, in order to build and win their trust. 

Nothing says thought leader quite like a white paper that addresses industry problems only to offer the solution.  This type of long-form content demonstrates how knowledgeable you are.  

When businesses are too busy focusing on the other aspects of their business, an e-book attracts them to businesses looking to connect with them.

Lastly, LinkedIn’s sponsored content feature is the ideal social media platform for attracting the kind of following your niche is built on. 

That’s not to say that B2B content marketing doesn’t make use of other social media platforms but rather that, LinkedIn fits into the overall content strategy for B2B.

B2C Content

Consumers thrive on social media.  Don’t believe us? According to a study conducted by Statista internet users spend 147 minutes a day on social media. That’s almost 3 hours!

The content marketing strategy you use to target consumers should first identify which platforms they use first and structure your content to leave footprints that lead back to why you’re who to buy from.

The purchasing journey: how B2B and B2C reach their purchasing decision

Consumers make up their minds about what they want a lot quicker than businesses do – if it feels right in their heart, consider it in the cart. 

Businesses don’t have the luxury of going on how an article made them feel and by the time they’ve decided to purchase it should first convince other stakeholders involved in the purchase process.

Content marketing should nurture what could be a long relationship with a prospective business with an understanding that not every piece of content leads to a hard sale.

Conclusion

When it comes to killer content marketing, it all boils down to strategy. One that defines and delivers the right message, to an audience that’s been clearly defined and in a way, they’ll appreciate and understand. Once your content caters to the right audience, you’d be able to add value at each stage of their buyers’ journey.

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