Studies have shown what marketers have long known: There’s a huge difference between marketing to a business and marketing to a consumer. While you’re still selling to a human being at the end of the day, people move through the decision-making process differently when they’re purchasing as a consumer versus when they’re making that purchase as a business representative.
Blogging is a staple of inbound marketing, whether you’re selling to another business or direct to the consumer. Of course, you want to be sure your blog content is suited for your audience. Depending on your blog’s orientation, you may need B2B blogging or B2C blogging. Subtle differences can tell you which kind of content you’re creating.
B2B blogging is perhaps most different from B2C blogging in that it doesn’t rely on an emotional hook. Consumers are much more inclined to make a purchase based on their own emotions. When executives are making a business decision, however, they’re much more likely to rely on logic.
As a result, B2B content, including blogs, will focus less on the emotional appeal, and will instead focus on a rationale highlighting the pros and cons of any given subject.
Education and Expertise
Consumers tend to seek out entertainment and deals; again, the emotional aspects of a purchase are their main drivers. The B2B stream, however, puts you in touch with an audience that is seeking expertise in a particular area. These buyers usually want to learn more about a subject or product.
They’re also seeking efficiency: They want the facts, and nothing but the facts, so they can use the information to make rational decisions in a streamlined manner.
When you’re considering B2B blogging, then, your focus should be on presenting your expertise and educating your audience.
The Devil in the Details
Another key difference between B2B blogging and B2C content is the level of detail expected. Since consumers aren’t necessarily seeking out expertise, they tend to be satisfied with less detailed content.
People making purchases on behalf of a firm, on the other hand, want those details. They need all available information in order to make the best possible decision—including those highly technical details you might otherwise gloss over.
Since consumers seek out entertainment, they tend to have shorter attention spans. They’re more likely to be interrupted or distracted, or to simply wander away from an article, webinar, or how-to video.
B2B blogging can usually be lengthier, since the audience is already seeking the information. These buyers want the technical details, and they’re highly involved in what you have to tell them. So long as the information you provide is solid and helpful, they’ll tolerate longer pieces.
B2C blogging doesn’t necessarily need to foster a consumer relationship quite the same way B2B blogging does. Consumers tend to have a shorter decision-making process, often making snap decisions or impulse purchases. A company’s relationship with them also tends to be shorter and less intimate.
B2B clients, on the other hand, need to develop longer-term relationships with your firm. This is in part because the purchases they make are larger and have big impacts on their organizations. Consumers can decide to purchase an app on a whim because they want to; a business client invests in that app to provide a function for multiple members of the team, so the decision must be made carefully.
B2B clients are also in it for the long haul: Contracts tend to be longer, and the client may rely on your firm for support and expertise in a way the consumer wouldn’t. Providing great content through B2B blogging is just one way you can begin fostering that close, trusting relationship—most often before the client has even made a purchase.