When marketers discuss different digital and content marketing strategies, they often keep business-to-customer (B2C) in mind and set appropriate goals for such audience objectives. They talk on how to create a video to entertain the masses and how to affect individuals at each stage of the marketing funnel. And while this may be sufficient on the B2C level, the efforts for reaching another business and another company differ and require a specific approach and mindset. Knowing the distinctions between those two content marketing efforts would definitely give you an edge and allow you to target, reach, and convert other businesses more successfully.
As with any digital marketing campaign, the core of the content marketing one is the right set of objectives. And those differ with the target audience. With B2C content marketing, the effort is focused on reaching as many people as possible and building brand awareness, so 84% of those companies report this as their primary goal. They want customers to have heard about their offering so that they can consider it while choosing among alternatives. In the business-to-business environment, the number of people reached doesn’t matter that much. Most important here is communicating the right message to the right set of businesses which are also potential clients and partners. Here, awareness steps aside and conversion and retention are the keys to success. 88% of B2B marketers claim they value customer loyalty the most. A common KPI in the B2B content marketing context, therefore, is the return on investment (ROI).
Having set the goals of the marketing campaign, one thing remains certain: valuable content will win the hearts of both B2C and B2B audiences. However, the intent of users is different. In the B2C environment, users will often browse aimlessly and scroll for hours without a specific purpose. They will be led by simple curiosity and a desire to be entertained. They would trust fellow customers and would love to interact with them. The business representatives, however, have no time to waste. Or at least, no time to waste while doing their professional duties. They will, therefore, look for specific information that would answer their questions and meet their needs and wants. Instead of searching for funny cat videos, business people will be specific in their search queries and will evaluate the expertise of the authors. They are often willing to trust and interact only with the thought leaders in the field. The content one will produce and craft for these two audiences, therefore, must take this distinction into account.
While both content marketing strategies rely on keywords, they take two very different research approaches. In B2C marketing, the keyword research facilitated by famous tools like the Ahrefs one is leading. What the users look for the most defines the content type and direction. However, for B2B marketing, the keywords of the highest volume will not matter as much as the insights gained through direct interaction with other businesses. Here, the content is planned based on experience, an awareness of recent trends, and an understanding of partners’ needs.
Following on from the previous difference in the type and intent of the content is its format. As already mentioned, the B2C content marketing strategies focus on breadth and aim at creating something viral, easy to comprehend and share. Visuals are the king. The text needs to be minimal and content must be attractive and impressive so as to have a chance in winning the battle for people’s attention. Videos were reported to increase time spent on site with 100% and people who watched a product video were 85% more likely to later purchase. On the other hand, B2B content marketing focuses on depth. Accountants, engineers, and managers do not seek fancy visuals. So, it is not so important to create content to appeal to all and everyone. Drafting a unique expert piece which is more comprehensive and of better quality than everything else on the web will automatically make you a favorite both of your audience and of the search engines. Specific infographics, detailed case studies, useful templates, and valuable e-books are the right format for this audience. Focus and invest there.
Knowing your goals and having your content is half the work done. The next key step is delivering this content to your target audience through the right channels. And pretty logically, those differ, as well. For a B2C company, the message will be best received in the social media where its users spend the most time. For certain brands and products, this could be Pinterest, while for others this would be Instagram. Sharing entertaining and interesting content there has the potential to reach thousands of people. No one puts a detailed and professional case study on Instagram though. This type of content is better received in the professional channels or social media like LinkedIn and often is boosted with the help of advertising and PPC efforts. Thus it could reach the target audience and its fullest potential. Search engine optimization is also key, as business people will come with specific questions and look for expert and specific answers, preferably in the top results on the search engine result page.
Generally, there are two types of content, one that follows the trends and one that elaborates on evergreen topics and problems. The B2C content targets immediate results and aims at capturing all the current fashions and transforming them into actual results. In the business-to-business environment, what matters most are the good relationships and partnerships. Marketers do not aim at closing a one-time sale, but at building good connections with other businesses and establishing trust. Therefore, immediate results and conversion may be left behind in favor of the pursuit of long-term goals and objectives, which in turn have the potential to bring much higher returns.
Different in nature, these two basic content marketing strategies still have one huge thing in common, which is also the heart and soul of contemporary content marketing, and that’s value. Determine your audience correctly, let your efforts be just value-driven, and you will surely notice the impact of your campaigns.