B2B implies that your customers are other businesses. You interact with one person or a team of people who have a say in what the company should be buying.
- A manpower recruitment firm that supplies contactual labor to organisations.
- A software company that is selling HR solutions to companies for their payroll and attendance.
- An online library that sells membership to companies for their employees.
B2C implies that your customers are individuals consumers. They make purchase decisions on behalf of their own. These businesses solve everyday problems for people.
- A wellness brand that sells skin care solutions for specific skin types
- A movie streaming platform that allows access to specific movies and tv shows for their premium paying customers.
- An airlines that sells tickets to senior citizens at heavily discounted rates.
Needless to say, B2B and B2C will intersect somewhere or the other. Many companies can have both businesses and individuals as clients. But I am taking this space to talk about-
How content marketing differs for B2B and B2C.
Content marketing for B2B
Direct value: The buyer will immediately want to know how this investment will profit the company. If you are buying software, you want to know how much this will save for the company in the long run. Content should talk about quantitative value very blatantly. It should be a huge attention grabbing factor.
Why are you the best: Value in terms of money aside, what qualitative value do you bring to the table? Since this purchase decision will impact a large number of users, your content has to be rich in detailing. Content should be able to make users and decision makers think “futuristically” about the industry.
Different content at different stages of the sales cycle: B2B sales is a lengthy process. Right from the executive to the Head of Department, all will have a say in the sale and will be introduced to the sales person at different times. Content should vary in terms of intensity, scope and relevance. It should be as per the target that you are talking to at that point of time.
Look at what Accenture is doing. As the world begins to open up to business again, their blog is simply about what all you could be doing to enhance consumer experience, in this time of uncertainty. Nowhere do they explicitly push their sale. They list the techniques and that’s that.
Deloitte US is no different. Through one of their advertisements, they urge other businesses to embrace the humanity of human experiences. How does an engagement between a person and a business acquire a human aspect, a colourful tone. That’s what the customer led marketing division of Deloitte helps with. It’s a tech and marketing solution. So smooth!
Content marketing for B2C
Emotional value: The product or service should touch the consumer “emotionally”. Let’s say it’s peak summer. Your partner spends an insane amount in the kitchen prepping a lovely meal for you. They are soaked to the skin. But at that time if you install an Air Conditioner in the kitchen such that they can cook elegantly, glamorously and without sweat pouring down their back- all of you get to enjoy the meal. The B2C consumer doesn’t look for immediate RoI. But they need to be convinced that the product can solve some problem in their life. This kind of advertisement – partner, kitchen, Aircon- is great content. Take a look at these ads, and you will know what I mean by emotional value.
Direct value: The B2C consumer doesn’t come from the mindset of how much this investment will save them in the future. RoI in terms of money takes a back seat. But they look for actual changes, real value add in terms of knowledge and information.
The Netflix techblog is hosted on Medium. It has 94K followers, almost all tech geeks and they keep themselves updated with all the tech stuff that Flix is doing to keep streaming safe, simple and hassle free for their subscribers!
Entertainment: B2C consumers love a little bit of fun. The content should be share worthy. There has to be an entertainment aspect to it. Word of mouth is a big bet for B2C. Consumers will anyway check out the content, but word of mouth gets a foot in the door. So all the advertisements need to leave you feeling that you really need to show the world more of this.
Take a look at this advertisement. It’s in Hindi, but you don’t need language to understand what’s unfolding. It is cute and share worthy.
Both types of marketing have their own challenges most with respect to budgets, reach, outcomes and projected impact. That said, for the success of any product or service, B2B or B2C, content is of paramount importance. As a marketer and as a content writer, you have to learn how to position your content along what works for the client.