The worlds of B2B and B2C marketing are colliding. As we roll through the year, we are finding more similarities than differences.
This is new. I'm completely taken aback when I hear a B2C marketer talk about a funnel stage or marketing persona...I'm thrilled: but it's still new enough to recognize that B2B marketer as a visionary.
Saying that, there are still several differences that need to be considered in a B2C vs. B2B Content Marketing Strategy:
Perhaps the first big difference is in the actual content creation process. In B2B we see a lot more employee contributions. Basically, if you give an employee the permission to talk on the phone or send an email then they should also be free to create content. You hire smart people who like their jobs, feel they are doing important work and want to be valuable. Free them! Content creators are born not made. You never know where great content will come from. Employees are on the front lines. They see and hear customers and know the stories of the organization better than anyone you could hire. B2B marketers need to leverage their employees to humanize their marketing.
B2C marketers on the other hand have customers who are HUGELY valuable as content creators. Customers love to share and they love to feel appreciated. There is nothing that flatters a customer more than asking them to give feedback, offer suggestions, explain use cases or offer advice. Make them feel important (they are) and a valued part of the team and they will reward you with amazing content.
The other difference that's evaporating quickly is the idea of conversion vs. education. It used to be that research was the domain of the B2B shopper and the B2C folks were 'shoppers'. But as we learned in the zero moment of truth, B2C consumers now research on average 11 different 'sites' (another term that's becoming less relevant) before making a purchase. B2B marketers now make 70% of the buying decision before ever talking to a salesperson.
The punch line here is that worlds are actually colliding. There is very little difference any more between B2B and B2C marketing strategies....and they are both highly dependent on Content Marketing to be successful.