B2B vs B2C Content
Content marketing is one of the most popular forms of digital marketing, but B2B marketers often struggle to create and share content that is appropriate for their industry and brand.
There are two places where B2B and B2C content truly differ- purpose and message.
Depending on the industry or brand, B2C content marketing can work to further several goals, but B2B marketing is often focused on industry leadership.
While B2B content can still be used to increase brand recognition and attract new leads, the main goal for 85% of B2B content creators is to establish their brands as thought leaders in their industries.
Being an industry thought leader signifies to users engaging with your content that you are a reputable, professional, and well-known source of information in your particular industry.
Your message is also important, though it is equally important in B2C content marketing, too. When creating B2B content, you have to tailor your message to readers from that perspective.
According to Katie Rosehill, writing for Chron’s Small Business page, “different marketing tactics are used in B2B and B2C, although the methods of advertising, promotions, and publicity are the same. If the final customer is a business, the marketing message is based on value, service, and trust. B2C marketing is focused on price and the emotional satisfaction of obtaining the product.”
Ultimately, the type of content your share, why you share it, and what the content tells the reader all depend on the goals of your company. In the end, it’s helpful to focus your message on the value of your B2B company.
B2B Content Strategy
Although there are many moving parts to B2B marketing strategy, you can simplify by checking that your strategy has three key characteristics- it is attainable, consistent, and original.
To make sure your marketing efforts are making a difference, it’s important to measure your progress. By collecting and reviewing analytics you can track your progress and make changes to improve your strategy.
To start tracking your progress, use SMART goals– Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
If you don’t set realistic goals for yourself, you will not have an effective campaign. Setting SMART goals creates a plan of action that will bring you closer to achieving your goals without overwhelming or discouraging your current efforts.
If you have worked to create a brand identity for your company, then you understand the importance of consistency. Just like you want a unified brand to represent who you are as a business, you also want your content to reflect your brand identity.
Consistency does not mean you have to always share the same type of content. Part of maintaining consistency while still engaging audiences is finding ways to expand your content without sharing irrelevant information.
Content marketing always comes down to relevancy and value. If you are sharing information that is of interest to your target audiences and provide something of value to users, then your content is effectively engaging your audience.
Original content is more impactful in this sense as it reinforces your brand as a reputable source of information. You can always switch things up by sharing content from other sources, but the quality of the content you create will speak volumes to readers.
B2B Content Channels And Media
Just because B2B and B2C content marketing is different doesn’t mean B2C gets to have all the fun! B2B content marketing can be professional, informative, impactful, and engaging- you just have to know your audience.
First, let’s start with where your content will live. There are many options, but the best B2B channels can differ from favorite B2C channels.
Though social media is a more casual arena for engaging audiences, it is still a great place for B2B marketing to engage and attract leads while also networking with industry leaders.
LinkedIn is the go-to B2B social channel. With it you can target your content based on your buyer personas and test what content and CTAs are most effective.
Utilize the LinkedIn paid promotion feature to increase the number of prospects you reach.
A classic and favorite social channel, Facebook is used by most businesses both B2B and B2C.
With billions of users logging in every day, your target audience is guaranteed to be on Facebook. It is also a great medium to engage mobile users, which is becoming more and more important for marketing to all audiences.
Besides simply paying to boost a post, Facebook also has Lead Ads, specifically intended to drive leads. This feature simplifies creating attractive content that works on all devices, assists in and simplifies filling out contact forms, and can even be synced directly to Facebook CRM.
Your website is where your content lives. Having all your content available on your site is important for a couple of reasons.
First, it makes it easy for readers to go back and find older content. If you are trying to establish yourself as a thought leader, you don’t want your content to get lost in a sea of social media posts.
Second, this content can do wonders for your SEO. Including relevant keywords and inbound and outbound links can improve organic traffic and visibility.
When your website becomes a database of important information, visitors are more likely to make repeat visits as you continue to share valuable resources.
Email is one of the most direct ways to engage a prospects and leads. It is one of the most frequently checked channels and is a preferred means of communication among consumers.
When you send out an email blast featuring content, you are able to specifically target segments of your audience based on what content you are sharing. This means you can send relevant information to different groups of consumers, making your email blasts more engaging and effective.
There are many forms of content that can be supported on all the above channels. To find the right medium, know your audience and what content engages the best.
Blogging is a popular medium among content marketers because the format is simple but the content can be totally customized for your audience and goals.
With 77% of internet users reading blogs, it is no wonder that 72% of B2B companies have a blog.
Blogging is one of the most diverse media for content marketing because it can be shared through any channel- social media, email, website, etc.
No matter your brand, you can always find blog topics that will be relevant and of interest to your readers. Blogs are also easy to produce and share, making it a sustainable form of content marketing for all industries.
For those leads who are less frequently engaging your brand, newsletters can re-engage cold leads and keep you at the front of consumers’ minds.
Emailing out newsletters gives you the opportunity to interact with a reader on their own time; most people check their email at least once a day, so you have many opportunities to catch their attention when they are ready to give it to you.
Newsletters are also simple to put together and A/B test, and email templates make creating attractive and engaging newsletters simple, so you can focus more on the content and less on how it looks.
Videos are quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of content. Like blogs, videos can be highly customized to fit your needs and audience.
51% of marketers worldwide believe video is the content with the highest ROI and marketers who use videos grow revenue 49% faster than those who don’t.
It is easy to overthink B2B marketing as these companies are often involved in more complex industries. Luckily, content marketing can be customized to fit your needs.
No matter how big or small your business is, you can create a content marketing plan that will promote your brand, establish you in your industry, and generate leads.
Thanks for reading,
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in April 2019 and has been edited and updated in March 2022.