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B2B VS B2C Marketing: What’s the Difference?

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There’s a big difference between B2B and B2C when it comes to the approach needed to generate new leads. While the end goal is ultimately the same, both sets of customers have certain ways of seeking out information before buying, as well as the actual purchase process itself.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how your marketing strategy should differ depending on whether you’re targeting a B2B or B2C audience.

How to use Marketing Channels for B2B & B2C

While B2B (or business to business) marketing centres around selling to companies, B2C (business to consumer) involves selling directly to members of the public. There are several elements that differ when it comes to marketing approach between the two.

Firstly, there’s the fact that B2B purchasing decisions are driven by logic and need, while their B2C counterparts are largely based on an emotional reaction. Because of this, the B2C purchasing journey will also usually be much shorter – often immediate – while B2B involves a multipoint assessment with multiple people.

Given the differences between the two, you’ll obviously need to adapt your marketing accordingly. Let’s take a look at how this affects the specific aspects of your marketing strategy.

Email Marketing

When it comes to email marketing, your goals for B2B and B2C should be rather different. Your main aim for B2C should be raising brand awareness and instigating an emotional reaction in your audience. You can do this with email content that informs them of your products and also creates a sense of urgency, such as:

  • Limited-time discounts
  • New products
  • Seasonal sales

With B2B on the other hand, your goal for email marketing isn’t simply to get a sale. Given that the decision making process is much longer, you should instead be aiming to educate your leads and hoping to get to the next stage, e.g. a sales call or meeting in-person.

Email Content

Email content for this audience therefore, should include things like:

  • Explaining exactly how your product or service can help their company
  • Interesting facts, figures and guides
  • Reports, whitepapers and infographics
  • Invitations to webinars

While you obviously don’t want to be spamming either audience, B2B in particular requires you to be mindful of your recipient’s time. Limit your email frequency to ensure you’re just providing your prospects with information they’ll actually find valuable, whilst helping to keep you top of mind.

Social Media

B2B vs B2B marketing for social media also requires different tactics. In terms of B2B, some platforms are more useful than others, although it can still be beneficial to have a presence across all of them. Something relatively simple like setting up a Facebook page or Instagram account for your brand will ensure it’s as easy as possible for prospects to seek out content from you and learn more about what you offer.

Social Media for B2B

However, LinkedIn remains the top choice when it comes to B2B marketing for most. With over 300 million users, nearly half of them visiting everyday, you have access to a huge business market. Simply setting up a company page is a great start – this content is automatically public and therefore helps your SEO ranking.

Social Media for B2C

Social media for B2C is even more important. Brands that don’t have a presence are likely to be seen as old-fashioned and maybe even inferior. In order to ascertain which platform works best for your company, you should look at your buyer profiles and make sure you have a deep understanding of their needs and preferences, and therefore where they are most likely to ‘hang out’.

Whichever you choose, ensure you’re making an effort to interact with your audience whenever possible. Aim to post every day, at a time that is likely to be most convenient to your audience.

Blogging

Blogging can be an extremely valuable tool, particularly in B to B marketing. It can help to position your business as something of an authority in your niche, as well as making it easier for prospects to find you and learn more about your products and services. Doing a guest post exchange is a great way to reach new audiences, as well as bringing more interesting content to your current one.

Blogging for B2C is also very valuable; it allows you to speak to consumers directly without the risk of your message being lost or confused. Make sure that you’re following the trends in your industry, so you can post timely content that will drive new leads to your site. Using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner will give you an idea of current top subjects to plan your content strategy around.

Summary

Hopefully this post has helped to make the B2B and B2C marketing difference somewhat clearer. While your aim for both audiences is obviously to ultimately make a sale, your approach for each should be slightly different, so it’s important to understand how they differ.

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