If You Think B2B & B2C Have Same Content Marketing Approaches Then These 5 Points Will Prove You Wrong!
Content is king, and will be forever! The success of content marketing falls in different league altogether when it comes to B2B or B2C.
The definition lies itself in its word CONTENT + MARKETING. To write a story in-short, we can say ‘to create an engaging content to drive the target audience for defined goal’.
If you want to attract and retain your customers, you have to provide high value and crafted content as per your targeted customer’s interest.
Different Definitions Different Approach
Business to Business
Business to Business refers to a transaction that is conducted between two companies, rather than between a company and individual consumers. It may involve transactions between a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer.
Business to Consumer
Transactions conducted directly between a company and consumers who are the end users of its products or services is the characteristic of Business to Consumer type of relationship. Here there is no wholesaler or a retailer involved in between the consumer, as they sell directly to the consumer and it is the consumer who directly consumes the product or service.
Let’s see how you can manage B2C and B2B content marketing strategy for your businesses.
1. B2B Is Data Driven Approach. B2C Is Emotion Based Approach
If you are dealing with B2C business module, the emotions of the consumers play an important role in both marketing and sales. Your every marketing communication must have the same high-end emotional value. From tweets to website, from hoardings to your audio-video presentation, every piece of content must reflect the same ideology and marketing goal that you want to achieve.
Best example of this would be Apple’s marketing copy for every new product that they launch, and on dissecting this we would find that it’s at the very core simple and emotional.
However, as far as B2B business module marketing is concerned hard data is given the first priority and takes the upper hand in every purpose.
Companies like MailChimp don’t just rely on the emotions since they know that they are selling their services to other businesses, where the primary target is the ROI.
Your content marketing strategy should revolve around the idea of crystal clear data in order to appeal to B2B customers.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to apply these techniques in isolation and they can be used in combination with each other. And always remember that never ignore both data and the emotions altogether completely while writing a business copy.
2. Story Narration vs Factual Copy
Stories are the best way to trigger an emotional response. In a B2C market, the best content marketing practice involves strategic storytelling. The consumers can relate to the well-narrated stories easily and instantly. If they relate with your story partly or fully it will definitely make them relate your product and service and will make them take positive action in favor of your goal.
The best way in which this point has been incorporated is of Nescafe. The way they have narrated the story in their ad is beautiful and highly engaging.
On the other hand, in the B2B scenario, stories can be beneficial, but only if they are backed up with facts, numbers, cold data, and other figures that generate clear information and demonstrate a crystal clear and a high ROI.
In B2B the goal is simple dealing with content marketing. The main objective of product or service is going to help the businesses in generating the maximum profit or eliminate the problems that stop them from making maximum profit. That is the main goal that you have to convey.
3. Linear B2B Approach vs Segmented B2C Approach
In a number of ways, if you look at a B2B content strategy, you will find that it is linear and focused on one singular goal. For example, if your product or service is serving small business, your point of actions would more or less in its entirety revolve around small business and all your content strategy and ideas would be presented to that point only.
However, in a B2C content strategy, you have a vast base of consumers, and thus the scope of consumer personas is vast and in such a manner, the strategy for B2C can never be linear and focused, even if you are serving to a particular niche of customers.
4. Social Media Behaviour for B2B & B2C
In both types of markets, i.e. B2B and B2C, social media presence and content plays an important role in promoting your business to the consumer or to another business, but the manner in which social impact influences sales works in quite different ways in both of type of markets. Let’s have a look in detail how social media impacts both of them.
When it comes to handling social media for B2C companies it doesn’t matter how many user they have on their social media platforms. For them, it matters the people who share your content and the kind of activity it generates plays a major role in promoting your sales in B2C market. You must remember that if your content is shared by a social media influencer, you get bonus points for it, but it is not a necessity.
However, on the other hand, things work completely differently in the B2B type of marketing. Your social influence and impact rarely play a significant role in influencing businesses to buy your product or service. This is where the importance of tying your content strategy with your social media impact right from the start comes into the picture.
So, if you have a B2B business, your social media strategy should be very much content rich, and should include numbers and info that matter to your target market.
5. B2C Strategy Solves Problem, B2B Shows Authority
It doesn’t count, you are small or big what counts in B2C is are you solving consumer’s problem or not. If yes then what you need to do is to play around the problem customer face without using your product or service.
If you are already a leader in the market you get the bonus points in your content marketing efforts, because people listen and ready to follow what you say.
In this scenario, what matters most is that you deliver the problem and solution with right attitude and right message to get consumer use your product or service.
However, in the case of B2B businesses, things are totally different. In the B2B world, the businesses have many solutions about every problem they may face. So which one to choose becomes the main point. It helps them define the potential service provider in the market.
In this kind of scenario, it is up to you to define and demonstrate your trustworthiness and authority on the subject for which the customer needs a solution.
That’s why your content marketing strategy should talk more about :
- Team Capabilities
- Leadership Attitude
- Expertise over the domains
If you market around these points in your content, you will win the race. Here is the excellent example that proves the stated point.
Kings of Content Marketing Strategy
IBM for B2B
IBM, the leader of electronic technology since World War II is capitalising the marketing with its educational content marketing strategy. It has helped them to maintain their position of leadership in the tech arena. Except this, IBM has also tried its hand in different types of content to generate leads and nurture relationships with their customers.
Here are some of the campaigns and approaches they have executed to stay on top of the game.
In the case of IBM, since it is primarily a B2B company, their marketing is not predominantly based on emotional content but it is based more on tangible information.
Their focus is instead on what they sell and not on how they sell it. They have understood the growing needs of their consumer base and have kept themselves abreast of the information technology.
The Chairman and CEO of IBM Thomas J. Watson has coined the IBM motto, ‘Think’. As per him, the rationale behind the decision was that the trouble with every one of us is that we don’t think enough. We don’t get paid for working with our feet, we get paid for working with our heads.
Under the Think campaign, IBM has makes it clear that their services cater to enterprises having an explicit need for data collection, integration and security. However, in doing this, IBM has not forgotten the fact that corporations are in fact run by humans so they also have included design elements and aesthetics along with the hard core data.
To clear its education strategy approach here are the tools they use.
- white papers
- case studies
- blog posts and other in-depth resources
As we discussed above this approach establishes the brand IBM as a leader in their fields and helps to build their credibility in their field of work. Other businesses see IBM as a trustworthy partner, which was the ultimate goal of their strategy.
Coca Cola for B2C
Coca Cola is a classic brand that is taking advantage of content marketing power to boost its market share and sales. Coca Cola content strategy directly connects with their customers, striking an emotional chord with them and establish themselves as a top brand with a high recall value.
Soft drinks sales have been declining over the past decade, therefore it is more important that the food and beverage companies find more interactive way of content to keep the momentum up all the time for their brands.
As per Coca Cola officials, all the advertisers need a lot more content to keep the engagement with the consumers. Fresh and relevant marketing ideas becomes more relevant and necessary since the social media introduction, where the consumers are connected with you 24×7.
Coca Cola believes, if you want to be successful all around the world, you need to have fresh and fertile ideas. Your marketing ideas must have the power to keep the engine of content marketing going all the time to be the top ones in the world.
Let’s explore some of the campaigns of Coca Cola that have helped them to capture the imagination of their consumers.
Thus, through all these kind of content generating efforts, it has helped Coca Cola to reposition itself. However, it still continues to face challenges as the industry revenue continues to fall, but the company has managed to handle this crisis well as compared to PepsiCo, Cott and other producers. Coke sales have now started to pick up and there is a strong indication that process that growth in revenue is strongly associated with their content creation efforts. Their each campaign has created more strong bond with their customers all around the world.
The success of Coca Cola has established the fact that content marketing is great way to buck trends and compete with fierce competition.
These are the main differences between B2B and B2C content marketing concepts. The main idea underlying in both of these efforts is to make clear, concise and a balanced approach between data and emotions so as to capture the attention of their end users. At the end, it is a person who is going to use the product, be it from B2B or B2C perspective, but then one should not forget the fact that the ultimate success of any strategy lies in the way how much convenience it gives to the consumer.