A flawless B2B content marketing strategy starts with clearly understanding that B2C customers don’t act like B2B customers. For the most part, yes, the customer is always right, and yes, your purchasers are still customers; but there are a few fundamental differences between B2B and B2C sales cycles that you need to understand in order to successfully build B2B content. Before you build your content marketing strategy, it’s important to understand these distinctions.
B2B vs. B2C customers:
Before we go any farther, let’s frame the key differences between B2B and B2C customers.
- B2B sales are usually larger, enterprise purchases
- Security, technical or installation requirements, and ROI are (usually) very important to B2B customers
- B2C purchases are often driven by emotion, whereas B2B purchases tend to be more pragmatic
- Legacy B2B purchase rely on longer sales cycles and deep, trusted relationships between buyers and consumers
- Large corporations buy differently than small or medium sized businesses
While these are all generalities, remembering these five facts will help you effectively frame a content marketing strategy worthy of the most seasoned business badass — no matter how big or small your company, or your target audience’s companies are.
The two no’s: no fluff and k(NO)w your audience
If you take nothing else from this post, remember the two no’s.
First, no fluff. Business content should clearly communicate your product’s unique value proposition or provide information that your target audience needs to do business. Business jargon and marketing fluff that boost your SEO ranking or fill up your website pages won’t be enough to close a sale for price sensitive startups or heavy hitting CEOs.
… Which is why you need to k(NO)w your audience. Realize that B2B transactions are solving for a customer pain point, so it’s important to understand those needs and communicate what your product does to solve them up front. In that vein, it’s important to realize that the person who is trying or testing your product or researching possible solutions in market, may not be the ultimate decision maker or purchasing power. Provide information that will satisfy both personas so your researcher can sway the ultimate decision maker effectively. To do this, we usually recommend a balance of clear, data-driven information about your product and content marketing moments that let your brand personality shine.
A kickass B2B content marketing strategy starts with thinking with the customer in mind first. And while that isn’t any different from crafting a stellar B2C content marketing strategy at all, it may inform your tone, information architecture, and help frame your features and benefits more clearly for your business user.
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