B2B and B2C Content: How to Target Each Audience

Not all content marketing is created equal. Your content should shift to meet the specific needs of the audience you’re trying to target—whether the CEO at a large company or the everyday consumer. This article will unpack the core differences between Business-To-Business (B2B) content and Business-To-Consumer (B2C) content strategy and share how to better connect with each audience.

The Power of Content Marketing

How are you tackling content marketing right now? The experts at 10x Digital remind us that it’s not just one thing. From blog posts to landing pages, mailers and ad spend, your content can have a significant impact on your conversions. However, some content marketers get it wrong because they’re developing material for the wrong audience. All too often, B2B marketers lock in on B2C messaging and miss the mark, or vice versa. This is why it’s critical to understand the core differences between each audience type and pivot your strategy accordingly to be successful.

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Key Difference #1: Target Audience

Every good campaign starts with persona development. When developing content, your team should gather qualitative and quantitative data to understand who they’re talking to. Often, this can reveal some insightful motivations to help craft your message. While B2B audiences represent a hyper-focused sector of individuals, B2C may be segmenting larger populations. 

For a B2B audience, you might gather data on executive influencers or employees that could impact their decision. Fewer touchpoints might be better for your strategy as you connect with busy CEOs. In contrast, a B2C audience can operate completely differently: they often need multiple touchpoints to commit to a purchase. These insights on audience research alone can help drive your best work.

Key Difference #2: Decision Motivations

In line with your audience research, you need to consider why your end-consumer should want to purchase your product or engage with your company—because the “why” often looks very different between B2C and B2B consumers. A B2C audience might be looking to provide healthier meals to their family, improve their home security or find a new way to save for their next vacation. For a B2B audience, their concerns lie with their company’s performance, ROI, and quarterly goals. This isn’t to say that decision motivations are always black and white: research is essential to identifying occasional crossover.

Key Difference #3: Content Mix

When it comes to content marketing, variety will always win you points with the consumer. However, when talking about the type of variety, that’s a different story. Think of it this way: if you’re a consumer looking for a new coat, are you more likely to be swayed by a white paper on how a coat is constructed, or a five-minute review from a social influencer you trust? If you are a company CEO looking to expand your tech stack, are you more interested in a quick Instagram post or an infographic with specific data points? None of these content types are bad, but they each cater to a different audience. While a consumer may look more for other consumer reviews or quick content, an executive may need more in-depth material to sell an idea to their team.

Key Difference #4: Role in the Consumer Journey

The final difference comes in your content’s role in the consumer journey. A B2B deal typically requires in-person interactions before conversion—the sales team might give a presentation IRL, and collaborators are brought in for a meeting. In contrast, content can often be the final or only step before conversion. Sometimes, all it takes is one click from a Facebook ad, and you’ve got a purchase. Knowing where your content lies in each distinct funnel will help you determine the specifics of what’s needed to achieve your goal. Are you trying to nurture a lead for sales, or bring a consumer to a product page?

The Secret to Create Effective Content

It’s not necessarily rocket science but generating compelling content does require work. If you know your target audience—their motivations, needs, and place in the consumer journey—you’re more likely to understand what they need to hear. For both B2B and B2C audiences, content marketing is all about listening and responding. So, think: based on what you learned today, how do you need to pivot your strategy? Are you developing content for the wrong audience? And what can you do to get it right?

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