B2B vs B2C content marketing – what’s the difference?
Content marketing isn’t a new thing. Social Media and SEO practitioners might have helped label it. But in essence it’s just relevant, engaging story-telling that cuts-through and helps pull people to your brand. And good B2B and B2C marketers have been creating it for well over a century (The Michelin Guide first developed in 1900 is just one example).
Making your customers better users – more informed and more engaged with you, should be the aim of any brand. B2B or otherwise. And this is what content marketing is all about. Consumers are just people – whether at work, or at leisure. As such there are very few general distinctions between the types of content or the channels of distribution. The application across both should be about suitability for your brand, your ‘right to play’ in the channels you choose and the stories you tell. If you’re starting out with a strong brand, where you’ve clearly defined a brand behaviour, then you’re better able to control the role and reason behind the content you’re creating and/or curating. And also better able to measure your work because you understand why you’re creating the content in the first place. Be it for awareness and brand building, or the more likely measure of lead generation and delivery to the bottom-line, the measures don’t differ between B2B and B2C.
If you’re clear on your brand, and your ‘right to play’ with content, then your main challenge is about achieving cut through. And this comes back to the quality of what you’re creating or curating, and the relevancy and timeliness for your customer. Anyone in the world of business is likely to be time-poor whether at work or at home and as such ‘snackable’, smartphone friendly content is key. Your content should be where your customer is – if you’re having to force them onto a different path then don’t expect success. And interactivity is only important if there is a fair value exchange. Don’t ask something of your customer if they don’t get something in return otherwise your content marketing is no-longer organic, it’s instead very obviously marketing.
If you do all of the above well then you’ll extend your reach because your customers will want to share. In the world of B2B marketing our job is to make our customers look good to their customers. And any content you create that achieves this will get you noticed by them.
Cisco are great story-tellers both on the Network Effect and The Internet of Things. I’ve often had their content recommended to me and although, currently, I don’t have a need to engage with Cisco for a business solution it does make me think of them favourably as a company who really understands technology. So in future they’ll be on my shortlist.
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