Are you a business owner looking to develop an effective content marketing strategy?
Or maybe a content marketer looking to broaden their industry knowledge?
Bottom line if you’ve come here looking to (completely) understand the critical difference between B2B and B2C content marketing — you have come to the right place!
While B2B and B2C companies have a lot in common, there are a few underlying differences — that make their content marketing strategy VERY different.
In this article, I talk all about B2B vs B2C content marketing and additionally breakdown a B2B and B2C content copy to show you exactly how and why the content process is significantly different.
By the end of this article, you will have a firm understanding of this topic and — have a good idea on how to develop (or fine-tune) an effective content marketing strategy for a business. Sweet!
Let’s get started!
“B2B” is an acronym for “business-to-business,” while “B2C” is an acronym for “business-to-consumer.”
Although both a B2B and B2C business ultimately sell a product (or service) to another person (read: target market) or — this person is NOT the same!
The bottom line the target-market for a B2B and B2C business — varies significantly. Both have different goals, interests, and aspirations, and thus — content marketing for a B2B business differs considerably from that of a B2C company.
For instance, GetCodeless, a content agency has created a podcast, Copy Weekly. This podcast is tailored towards their audience (which you could say is B2C audience).
Source: Copy Weekly
Similarly, they have a webinar which comprises to help their clients (business owners) improve their content.
Source: Webinar Training
Pay attention to the copy and wording of each page, and you'll see how the two content examples vary. If you don't get it, don't worry! We'll dive further below.
Pro Tip: A quick way to tailor your content if by using an advanced Grammar checker tool like Grammarly. These tools can be set up in a way where you can include your persona's (B2B, B2C) voice and goal, which will work great to tailor your content.
Source: Grammarly Tone
You'll need to get the pro subscription to get the full benefit of it, but there are several ways to get it for cheap. I recommend checking it to save up to 60% off your subscription.
Now that we've established the fundamental differences between a B2B and B2C business let's dive into the fun stuff — understanding how their content marketing process is different!?
To make things simple, I will first use Flywheel as a reference.
Flywheel is a WordPress hosting company with a broad target market ranging from freelancers and professionals (consumers) to agencies (businesses) — making them both a B2B and B2C business (and a perfect example for reference, no?).
Flywheel is being the SAME hosting company, should have the SAME hosting services (and marketing) for its target market right?
Of course not!
Why? Because they are entirely different target markets with completely different goals, motivations, and needs.
Let’s compare Flywheel’s landing page copy(s).
Unique Selling Proposition:
The target market of this copy is an agency(a business). This agency most likely has a goal to scale it's business, maintain efficiency, and increase ROI(thinks logically). As you can see, flywheel defines its USP around this goal further positions its brand as a platform that helps a business achieve that goal.
Unique Selling Proposition:
The target market of this copy is a freelancer. This freelancer most likely wants to have a streamlined workflow so that he can spend more time landing new clients.
As you can see, flywheel defines its USP around this problem and positions itself as a workflow tool so that freelancers can get what they want — land more clients!
Imagine this: You're an agency, and you're looking for hosting what would you pick?
A hosting company that offers to streamline your workflow and get you, new clients?
A hosting company that offers to help scale your business, collaborate with your team and increase revenue streams?
Of course, the latter!
(and likewise for freelancers)
This is why, although Flywheel is essentially the same platform — it is built and marketed completely differently towards agencies and freelancers.
In both cases, Flywheel is creating content for real people with real hosting needs, but there is a big difference in what they are looking for from their hosting.
Similarly, a B2B buyer is fundamentally different from a B2C buyer. One is a business with commercial needs and the other — a consumer with personal needs.
There is a fundamental difference in their goals, problems, and objectives. Hence content tailored towards a commercial business will not connect to a general consumer (and likewise).
This is why every bit of Flywheel’s copy is right the hero header to the CTA button is significantly different for freelancers and agencies.
Talk about personalized marketing done right!
Now, let’s take it home and summarize the key differences between B2B and B2C content marketing. ?
|Criteria||B2B Content Marketing||B2C Content Marketing|
|Goals||Brand awareness and Lead generation||Generating buzz to generate sales|
|Focus||Logic: expertise, efficient and economical||Emotion: curiosity, status, brand appeal|
|Content strategy||Authoritative, detailed and Data-intensive approach||Friendly content packed with emotional triggers and stories|
|Conversion cycle||Long with thorough research and due diligence||Short impulsive purchases triggered by emotions|
Pro Tip: Create guidelines and content SOPs to help with consistent content creation. No matter B2B or B2C, you'll need a process to consistently produce good content.
The true essence of content marketing for B2B business is beyond the scope of this post, but this section should help guide you in the right direction.
A Content marketing strategy for a B2B business focuses on marketing the logic of the product concerning the business it targets. It focuses on what real value is being passed on through its features and attributes — because that's what business owners care about!
As a B2B content marketer, your primary goal is to market the following message effectively:
“How this product or service is logical (read: rational, sensible, profitable) to another business.”
Emphasis on “another business” because that's precisely the focus of a B2B content marketer — the people using the product rather than the product itself.
Let’s go back to Flywheel’s B2B copy.
B2B buyers are more inclined to value a product/service that is logical to their business — increases revenue, maintain efficiency or save money.
This is why Flywheel positions its business NOT as a standard hosting but instead as a tool to scale businesses and streamline projects.
A B2B business transaction involves many buyers and developing content that works for all is practically impossible!
This is why it’s a good idea to develop B2B buyer personas and have a firm understand of the target market — before even trying to market to them!
Remember: In B2B content marketing you position your product/service around the value of the concerned business.
Content marketing for a B2C business is about striking the right balance between emotions and problem-solving. B2C buyers care about their problems and value things that help them or more importantly — what they think helps them!
As a B2C content marketer, your primary goal is to market the following message effectively:
“ How this product is a solution to the consumer's problem.”
Let’s go back to Flywheel’s B2C copy.
Now, while a freelancer is business-oriented — they value tools that directly improve their lives.
They also strive to land more clients and seeing a tool like a flywheel that helps them “book new business” triggers an emotion that drives them to opt-in.
The right emotional words can capture your targets' attention and give them a reason to do business with you. This is why emotions are super crucial in B2C content marketing strategies.
This is why Flywheel’s B2C content strategy is geared more towards solving the problem of the freelancer — managing workflow.
Remember: In B2C marketing, you solve a personal problem of the concerned target and market around the emotion and feeling that comes from using that product.
What's more, tools like Grammarly can help you check your content's tone and even emotion.
There’s a common expression that business isn’t personal — so it’s only natural to have differences in B2B and B2C content marketing.
Someone purchasing luggage or a smartwatch isn’t going to be thinking the same way as they would when they’re choosing payroll software for their business.
At the end of the day, you are creating content for real people with real needs, but there is a significant difference in their needs — and this is why content marketing for a B2B business is different from a B2C company.
Have you marketed content for both B2C and B2B brands? If yes, I’d love to hear about your experiences below.