Why Your B2B Content Strategy Needs to Be Different from B2C
For years, B2B content was infamous for putting its readers to sleep. But times are changing. Companies now see the need to create fun, relatable and engaging content. More like what B2C brands do.
However, when B2B companies adopt B2C strategies, things don’t often go as expected. Selling directly to other businesses requires a different approach. One reason is that the audience is different. Also, the goals each company seeks to achieve vary.
In this article, you'll discover the clear differences between the content strategy of B2B and B2C companies. But let’s start with the basics.
What is a B2B content strategy?
B2B content strategy is the roadmap that businesses offering services or products to other businesses use to create valuable content for their target audience. It involves creating specific goals that a B2B company seeks to achieve through content and how it differentiates you from others within your niche.
How is a B2B content strategy different from B2C?
An effective content marketing strategy considers the nuances between the different customers in their ideal market. On that note, B2B content strategy differs from B2C in these 6 ways.
Aim and objectives
B2B deals with a longer sales cycle. The decision-making process often involves stakeholders who buy logically. The content you publish aims to gain customer trust and specify how your offering can make life easier for a business.
A B2B content strategy has to show in-depth knowledge and awareness of the specific industry you're serving. This helps boost your credibility in that industry. You need major stakeholders of your target customer company to see your B2B solution as an opportunity that deserves their commitment.
In B2B, people don't buy for pleasure. They buy to alleviate pain. Alleviating pain then brings pleasure –Tamara McLeary, CEO of Thulium.co
B2C, on the other hand, deals with a shorter sales cycle, so the content strategy centers on satisfying an impulse mostly driven by emotions. Most times, products offered by B2C companies are relatively cheaper compared to B2B companies which makes it easier for a consumer to purchase within a shorter time frame.
The target audience for B2B and B2C companies are not the same. With B2B most times, you're dealing with one employee assigned the task of researching the right products. More often than normal, these researchers focus on increasing their companies' ROI. So, they’re extra careful in the decision-making process.
The employee in charge of finding the right tool must also consider if the product can hurt their business in the long run. What are the chances that your product would be efficient?
On the other hand, the target audience for B2C companies is quite different. Consumers are usually driven by a personal desire and handle the decision-making alone. This means your B2C content efforts only have to account for one person instead of an entire team.
A typical B2B content is dry, lifeless and often too serious. Alternatively, your content should be progressive and incorporate some elements of B2C languages. Companies like Mailchimp and Slack are doing so.
Your writing doesn’t have to be boring just because it’s for other businesses. Businesses have people who read stuff. –Valeria Maltoni, Founder, Conversation Agent.
Although there's a need to show professionalism, it shouldn't be at the expense of creating a much-needed human touch that will resonate with the decision-makers in a business. Remember that organizations are defined by the people in them.
Nevertheless, when writing B2B content, there's a need to use industry jargon to connect better with your target audience, who are also industry experts. Be sure not to overdo this.
B2C content strategy is quite the contrary. Since the sales cycle is short, jargon isn't very helpful. Except you’re writing to technology consumers (e.g. gadget brands connecting with geeks). Languages that might confuse or discourage the target audience from purchasing are usually avoided when writing B2C content.
The decision-making process for B2B companies can take weeks or months. Your content strategy accounts for your target audience's needs and questions at every stage of their decision-making process.
During corporate meetings, stakeholders should be able to refer to your content when they need answers to questions about your products or need their pain points addressed.
B2C content strategy, on the other hand, usually considers a one-person decision-making council. And most times, the decision is made on the spot. While the content strategy for a B2C brand projects the deep-seated desires of the consumer, those desires are often fleeting, unlike the needs of businesses.
Every wise content strategist must identify where their ideal customers hang out the most. With B2B, you need to build solid relationships with other businesses. So, distributing your content through channels that make them visible to these business owners and decision-makers can help you a lot.
In the world of B2B, your professional network is everything. Because your business is about business, the potential of who you know and who they know is where powerful connections happen. –Amber Naslund, Enterprise Sales Leader, LinkedIn.
Although B2C took the lead in content strategy, B2B is gradually coming out of the shadows. Creating a solid content strategy as a B2B enterprise requires that you map out your goals, know your audience, understand the decision-making process, and use the ideal language and promotion channels. This way, you can create content that resonates with your target audience.
Paying close attention to the differences between both strategies will help you create more targeted content and campaigns that resonate with your audience.