Marketing for Growth: A Look At B2C vs B2B

Posted by Emmi Sauls on 6/5/18 3:49 PM

When aiming to market your brand for growth, it has become increasingly important to understand the appropriate niche for each strategy whether you're dealing with customers directly as a B2C business or your customer is another business making you a B2B.

B2CvsB2B_BlogSeries_Small-Scale

STRATEGIZE FOR YOUR NICHE

Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing focuses heavily on the benefits of the product or service. The consumer's decision is more impulsive and deals more directly with emotions. The demand is high in this niche for short, sweet and simple messaging. Because B2C businesses speak to a large audience with a fast purchasing decision timeline, it is imperative to create constant interactions to retain relevance and win the consumer's sale. When successfully executed, B2C digital marketing can establish an engaged, loyal online community that starts to market your brand for you.

Business to Business (B2B) marketing focuses on understanding the buyer persona and establishing a nurturing and educational relationship with them. This market has a thirst for knowledge and the demand is high for valuable information both about the industry itself and how your product or service will save the prospect time, money and resources. With a narrowly defined target audience who has a prolonged sales cycle, social media activity is often less frequent and made up of a mix of much more meaningful and non-promotional content that speaks directly to the customer's stage in the cycle.

With more than half of the world's population on the internet, and of that more than 3.196 billion are active social media users, digital marketing proves to be an invaluable investment for growth. Let's take a look at how the best practices in digital marketing tactics vary between Business to Consumers (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) brands in order to map out the most successful ways to connect with your audience.

DIGITAL MARKETING TACTICS FOR B2C

WEBSITE

Customizing a space for your business online is crucial to brand exposure and long-term success. Search Engine Optimization ensures that the right audience is seeing your website right from the first search. Consider applying some free SEO marketing tools to your site to track and measure your digital presence's success.

DEVELOPED CONTENT

Short content like blogs, videos, and infographics are best suited for the B2C audience. In fact, upwards of 80% of B2C marketers use videos in their marketing strategy! Do keep in mind that repurposing existing content and collateral can be successfully done. Consider turning an old blog into an infographic, a piece of printed collateral or a short video for social media!  

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

B2C businesses utilize social media as an engagement tool to strengthen their relationships with consumers, increase their brand awareness and build an online community. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the top three choices for platforms. However, don't be quick to exclude other applications like YouTube or Pinterest. Depending on your product or service, these websites can help to target specific demographics. Don't forget - paid media may be a tale as old as time but continues to prove to be very effective for taking your social media efforts to the next level. Facebook gives you the option to fine-tune how you market to your audience by selecting specific criteria to target, from income level to geographic location!

INBOUND MARKETING

B2C businesses place emphasis on the final purchase and use email marketing sequences and newsletters to personalize their offering.

With rapid, valuable and customized content, email campaigns push the consumer along from initial interest to the final sale. Ideally, the consumer is taken through the sales cycle once reading the email: Open Email --> Click a Link or Call-To-Action --> Visit Landing Page --> Contact/Purchase. Additionally, email campaign workflows can continue to touch the customer with automation elements. If the reader clicked on a link but failed to complete the sales cycle, the next few steps can be automated into a reactive set of follow-up emails, promotions and customized offers. Newsletters can be added into these workflows and act as an additional touch to keep the consumer's attention and appeal to topics and discussions more tailored to their needs.

DIGITAL MARKETING FOR B2B

WEBSITE

Customizing a space for your business online is crucial to the customer experience and ensuring long-term success. Search Engine Optimization ensures that the right audience is seeing your website right from the first search. Consider applying some free SEO marketing tools to your site to track and measure your digital presence's success.

DEVELOPED CONTENT

Meaningful content like whitepapers, e-books, case studies, press releases and webinars are best suited for your B2B targeted persona and can work to create demand for your product over time. While it is also important to generate unique blog content, it is equally important to share content from thought leaders in the industry. An important tip when brainstorming your B2B content: Ask yourself what your consumers are searching for? Be the one to provide them with the answer. 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

B2B enterprises utilize social media as a lead nurturing tool that helps to educate prospective customers and position the brand as an industry leader. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are among the top three choices for platforms. Though unconventional at first glance, applications like Reddit and Quora can also be beneficial in the B2B niche as they act as platforms for discussion and a window of opportunity for enterprises looking to join the conversation. Don't forget - paid media may be a tale as old as time but continues to prove to be very effective for taking your social media efforts to the next level. Even LinkedIn allows you to fine-tune how you market to your audience by selecting specific criteria to target, from industry-specific indicators to your persona's level of authority in their organization!

INBOUND MARKETING

B2B enterprises place emphasis on the long term nurturing capabilities email marketing sequences provide. Because the end goal is to eventually talk to the prospect over the phone, the email content should lead up to that. Paying attention again to the longevity of the prospect's buying cycle will ensure that your content is valuable. Expose the reader to a variety of content that educates, informs and impresses them enough to reach out and ask for more - including a compilation of whitepapers, e-books, case studies, testimonials and educational content relevant to the industry. Ideally, the prospective customer will find value in your brand and choose your services/product when the time comes.

START MARKETING

Now that you have done your research and developed a marketing strategy tailored to your business style and customized particularly for your customer persona, it is time to analyze and develop your customer’s experience post-sale. We know, we know - getting their attention seems to be enough work, but your job evolves with the customer’s journey before, during and after the sale!

Is your organization ready to offer your customers a seamless and enjoyable experience?
Check back for the fifth and final part in our Marketing for Growth series,
Part V: The Unified Approach

Topics: Insider, Customer Service, Business Relationships