Is B2B content marketing really that different from B2C marketing?
They both have the same ultimate goal. To get a person on the other end of the marketing to buy something.
They also have a few other things in common:
- Both need to understand their customers
- They both need to create copy and content that convinces people to buy
- They use a lot of the same marketing channels
- Social Media
- Videos etc
And they’re always judged by the same ROI metric – sales.
So they’re the same, right?
What’s B2B content marketing?
Business-to-business (B2B) content marketing is about selling products or services between businesses.
This could be selling marketing automation software to an IT company.
Or accounting software to an accounting firm.
You get the idea.
What’s B2C content marketing?
Business-to-consumer (B2C) is selling products directly to the end consumer.
Things like TVs, clothes, video games etc.
So what’s the difference between B2B and B2C?
In B2B, the sales process is longer, usually more considered, and involves a lot more people.
Yes, you’re selling to people at the end of the day.
But you need to convince more than the person you’re selling to. You need to also convince:
- They’re boss
- The finance department
- The CEO
- Department Heads
Because B2B purchases tend to be higher value and expected to last for longer – people need more information about what they’re buying.
Getting a B2B purchase wrong can be a costly mistake. Both in lost time and money.
In B2C, consumers are more willing to take a risk on a purchase, because it’s not as expensive.
Spending £5 on a t-shirt isn’t quite the same investment as spending £150k on a new piece of software.
Many consumer products also have return guarantees and warranties.
If something goes wrong, they can just get the product replaced.
Plus, you’re only marketing to the individual. Yes, they’ll be influenced by other people. But they don’t need authorisation from their Mum before buying your product – most of the time anyway.
B2B content marketing
Let’s take the accounting software example.
Your end user is the accounting team in a business – or an accounting agency.
These are ultimately the people who will be using the product you sell.
These people will want to know that your product makes their life easier. Will it automate the boring bits of their job? Will it give them more time? Will it stop their boss from nagging them to complete reports by making it all easier to do?
But behind them is a department head, finance director, MD who also need to be convinced about your product. Not about the individual benefits. But the wider business benefits it’ll have.
How much money will it save them? How much money will it cost them? Is there a contract involved? What support is available if they go with?
These are all questions that need to be answered as well.
To answer all these questions. You need content. And content for every stage of each person’s buyer journey.
That’s blogs, videos, guides, eBooks, reports, social media posts explaining every benefit and outcome the entire business can expect from your product.
That’s a lot of content. A lot of people to convince. And a complicated buying process.
B2C content marketing
B2C is more immediate.
For the most part, consumers don’t spend ages deciding whether or not to buy something.
Even a big consumer purchase like a TV or laptop doesn’t the take the six months to two years it can take a business to make a buying decision.
They also don’t have to get the purchase past someone else who is scrutinising every penny being spent. (Or they usually don’t anyway).
You still need to create content for consumers.
But it’s not as in-depth or technical. No-one needs to read a 3,000 word eBook before deciding whether or not to buy a pair of jeans.
So your content needs to be more urgent.
Usually, B2C content is trying to make a sale there and then.
Whether it’s emails. Sales pages or website copy. The messages are trying to get across why consumers should buy the product now.
Where B2B needs a bigger run up.
The misconceptions about B2B content marketing
Now that brings us to the biggest thing people get wrong about B2B.
They think it’s boring.
They think because it’s more technical, more considered and more business centric, that it’s not as fun or flash as B2C.
Now. Some B2B content seems to go out of its way to prove this as true. It’s dull.
But the thing B2B and B2C have in common, is that they’re both targeting people.
And while B2B might be a bit more considered, the people are still drawn to the same things.
And that’s how their life will be made better by buying your software or service, or whatever it is.
They’re still drawn to interesting marketing. New ideas. Things that you might have thought were more “B2Cish”.
It’s all selling to people at the end of the day
This is what it all comes down to.
Call it B2C or B2B, you’re selling to people in both.
The difference comes down only to the complexity and length of the buying process.
You still need content and copy that focuses on the human aspect.
It’s a horrible cliché in business that (business is all about people) but like most clichés, it’s true.
If you can tap into the same urges people have in the B2B sales process as you would in the B2C game, you’ll go a long way.
It’s just all about giving people an excuse to make their lives easier.
Want to start selling more to consumers or businesses?
Start making more money for yourself by getting in touch with one of our content marketing experts.
You’ll find out how to use content to start getting more people to your website, and turn them into customers.