The basics of B2B content marketing and the difference with B2C content marketing
In recent years, content marketing has become one of the most important tools for B2B services and sales. With this increase in urgency, the difference between B2B content marketing and B2C content marketing has also grown. But what exactly are those differences? And how do you approach that, forming a good B2B content marketing strategy? In this blog we explain the basics.
What is content marketing?
That starts with the most basic question: what is content marketing? As you may recognize yourself as a consumer, purchasing many products starts with the availability of information about that product. That may not apply to an ox sausage sandwich or a tube of toothpaste, but it does to a large houseplant, a new television or a car.
Content marketing is the production and distribution of informative, usable content that supports one or more steps in the sales funnel. This can be the orientation phase, but also the persuasion phase or the decision phase. Examples are product descriptions in online stores, infographics in which products are compared, instructional videos about the intended use, and so on. In general, the better your content marketing is, the better you will be able to effectively bring your products and services to the attention of your target audience. Result: conversion and therefore turnover.
How do B2C and B2B content marketing differ?
Experts are now in agreement that B2B content marketing requires a different approach than B2C. However, not all entrepreneurs know how to put that insight into practice. The differences are many, but the three most important are:
- The sales funnel is much longer;
- The relationship with the company is just as important as the product;
- Existing leads are invaluable.
Now what does this mean in practice? How do you convert these insights into a solid foundation to build your B2B content marketing?
Dealing with a long sales funnel
A long sales funnel means you more content must bet, through different formats and on different moments in the trajectory. Months can pass between the first contact (the start of the orientation phase) and the closing of the actual deal. During all that time, you want to surprise with relevant content that strikes the right chord at that specific moment.
The fact that that content has to be relevant does not mean that you have to talk continuously about the product or service that you have put on the market. Of course, the specifications and objective characteristics of your services play a role when a business relation chooses you as a supplier or partner, but you do not have to bring this to the attention every time.
B2B content marketing to tell your business story
Instead, you mainly want to tell your company story: storytelling. That may sound a bit vague, but many companies would like to do business and establish relationships with similar entrepreneurs. In other words, with companies that pursue the same goal or at least understand the customer's wishes well.
Business customers buy your products or services because they want to earn or save money (indirectly) themselves. For example, because it allows them to simplify their own processes, or to facilitate their employees. Then it is useful that as a supplier you also make it clear that your wishes, challenges and objectives understands. Targeted content is ideal for this. Think of info videos in which you show successful cases from the past or product demos in which you directly respond to the daily practice of your customers.
Gives a good introduction to the principle behind storytelling Simon Sinek in this acclaimed TED talk about the why of companies. He says that you should not focus on the first need, but on the underlying need. What is the motivation behind buying your product or service? What goal does your business customer want to achieve with this? Ask yourself: why. And then set it again. And again. Until you get to the point. That is your company story.
Do you have an interpretation of Sinek's for yourself Golden Circle then you have a perfect starting point for filling in your B2B content marketing.
Keeping leads warm
B2C content focuses on large groups of people: the target group. By keeping your target audience large and then maximizing your conversion, you optimize your sales. B2B works radically differently, because your target group is narrow (sometimes even just a few parties, or in extreme cases one party). Conversion is therefore a relative term: it is sometimes 0% or 100%.
You also want to generate and distribute content that helps keep existing leads warm. Even if a business acquaintance chose a competitor just a week ago. It is still a lead, because that contract will expire at some point. In such a case, it is therefore valuable to immediately work on your relationship again, by offering content in which you make clear what you will be working on in the coming years and why such a business relationship should choose you next time. .
The basis of B2B content marketing differs radically from B2C content marketing in these three respects. Are you going to revise or design your B2B marketing strategy for the first time? Be sure to use these basic principles as your guideline. with a good content marketing strategy who takes this into account, you will certainly be successful!
Want to know more about B2B content marketing? Then go to our pillar page B2B content marketing with in-depth explanation of all facets.