B2B vs B2C Digital Marketing: What’s The Difference?

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B2B and B2C Digital Marketing has similarities, but also an array of differences that you must consider when Marketing your brand, and creating your Digital Content.

At the end of the day, this is still “human to human” interaction. But depending on whether you are marketing your products or services to the public or other businesses, will alter your tactics, channels, personas, and forms of content used.

b2b b2c marketing

B2B vs B2C Audience

With B2B buyers, they are likely to be high-level in a company, or perhaps the owner. In that case, the buyer is sophisticated, and understands the services you are offering; often already interested in your offerings to grow their company

What you need to convey to them, is how you can help them boost profit, save them money, and stay successful in the long run. Any content you put out therefore, must be thoroughly researched, as they’re sure to spot if there is something not quite right. Give them a reason to use your business, rather than competitors.


When it comes to a typical B2C buyer, they’re often looking for the best price available, so make this obvious and easy. They are likely to have researched the competition, and only purchase from retailers they trust. Therefore, your website and content should convey a feeling of trust, to ensure them you are safe to purchase from.

This is where good website design becomes essential. Even if a price is cheaper elsewhere, consumers are likely to opt for a trusted source purchase. That’s why it’s essential to convince customers to buy from you, and further their trust and loyalty in your brand.

The size of the audience is another aspect to consider. When it’s B2C Marketing, your target market is much larger, taking up at least a major sector of the public, often in the millions. With B2B Marketing, not only does targeting business owners or directors narrow the market considerably, but you’re also likely to be targeting a very specific niche within that, in the thousands. Because of this, your content needs to appeal to the specific market your company is aiming to do business with.

Content Marketing Material – Thought Leader, or Entertainer?

With B2B Marketing, it’s important to understand how the organisations you are targeting operate. Who will be looking at your content and website?

In the B2B sector, there’s a huge thirst for knowledge. This includes top and lower level jobs, with business owners yearning to grow and expand their business. If your product or service can do just that, then they will actively seek out any information you provide to prove that’s the case.  Any material you provide therefore, must be very in depth marketing material. Lay out exactly how your product or service can save them time, money, or resources. Educate your target audience on topics that matter to them, and in doing so, you will be increasing the awareness of your own brand.

b2b digital marketing
American Express created this Open Forum for useful B2B content

If you want to captivate your B2B audience, then you’ll want to provide relevant content businesses will actively be searching for, that relate to what you can offer them. The Content should provide them with a host of information that will prove useful to their company, and prove your company knows what they are talking about. Hopefully, this will eventually lead to establishing your company as a Thought Leader in your specific field.

On the B2C side, it’s all about entertainment. The average consumer isn’t going to follow your posts and updates if it’s all about sales. You have to providing genuinely interesting, emotional, or funny content in order to keep the masses happy. It’s much more important to utilise your Social Media Channels with a personal, human approach. Don’t be a faceless corporate entity. Topics for content and updates need to be based around stuff the public genuinely care about.

At the end of the day, both B2B and B2C are still marketing to people like you and me. Yes, there can be crossovers; just because you’re professional doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. And just because you’re marketing to the public doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of B2B methods. Just take a look at Van Damme’s B2B Volvo Advert, that is unquestionably similar to many B2C advertisements out there.

Sales Cycle

When it comes to capturing the attention of your audience, there is large difference. With B2B Marketing, you are aiming to capture their attention over a longer period of time, establishing your brand and business as something they may genuinely be interested in.

Business transactions typically cost a lot more than any B2C purchase, and thus will take a lot more consideration from a customer’s point of views. Providing information and content over a long period of time creates trust, and a bond between businesses.

The Sales Cycle will often begin with driving traffic to your websitein order for potential customers to learn about your services, and then when they express interest, it’s time for a telephone call, or a consultation meeting in person.

b2c marketing twitter
Social Media Marketing that fits the persona of a “fun” brand

When it comes to B2C, it’s more likely to be a single-step purchasing process. Customers will expect your brand to get right to the point, and give them a reason to purchase from you.

With any indirect marketing content, an emotional response goes a long way, giving customers a reason to align with your brand, and continue to transact in the future.

For instance, showcasing the fact you have an offer on at the moment, will influence your customers to act fast. The marketing methods consist of the more traditional product selling techniques.

Brand Value

Consumers who were subject to branded content were 28% more likely to have a favourable impression of the brand in question, according to Forbes.

P&G utilised the Always brand to ponder what it means to do something “like a girl”. It’s a piece of content purely there to evoke an emotional and political responsive with relatively little to do with the products in question.

In this way, P&G are creating a forward-thinking impression among their key demographic of women. Again, this is purely for entertainment, opting for the emotional response option.

For a B2B business, it’s entirely about providing information. When it comes to Content on the same scale, Ebooks, Whitepapers, and other forms of downloads (including templates and documents), will add a lot of value to your brand, and prove incredibly useful to any companies that check out your content.

If your downloads are helping them out, they’ll be sure to keep your brand in mind in the future, and potentially do business with you. In the same way that consumers are likely to purchase P&G products, because they have a favourable impression of their brand.

Social Media Matters

The likelihood is that you’ll be utilising different Social Media Platforms, depending on whether you are focusing on B2B or B2C. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from using as many as possible, but it’s much better practice to use several, and ensure you use them well, then spread your company too thinly across 6 or 7.

When it comes to Social Media Brands, there’s nothing more off-putting than an empty Social Media Profile gathering virtual dust.

b2b social media approach

For B2B audiences, platforms such as LinkedIn are a must. Alongside this, Twitter and Google+ are good additions, with many active businesses and business owners. For a B2C audience, there’s many more options. Engagement wise, Instagram is proving an incredibly popular choice, outperforming Twitter and Facebook. Of course, Google+ and Twitter are still great options, with Facebook also pretty much being a must-have

When considering these, it’s also worth noting other platforms. Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Foursquare, We Heart It, and other growing platforms, are all gaining huge momentum with the public. Aside from this, how you use your Social Media platforms will change, depending on the B2B or B2C approach.

What key differences have you come across when Marketing in different fields? Any methods that have worked significantly well? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below, or over on our Twitter page @XanthosDigital.