15/09/2014

By Holly Tyzack, Account Director at Rostrum Communications,


Today Holly Tyzack answers some questions about the differences between B2B and B2C content marketing and assess whether some of the same techniques and measurement tools can be used for both.

Why should B2Bs consider content marketing?

A recent infographic by Entrepreneur revealed that 80% of business decision makers in need of B2B and B2C marketing prefer content marketing to advertising.

B2B content marketing aims to attract and retain customers by creating relevant and, most importantly, valuable content with the intention of driving customer behaviour. The key here though, is that whilst content marketing should impact customer behaviour, it should never be too salesy. This is just as true in B2B as it is in B2C.

We generally find that B2B firms can have more control over their branding when they use and create their own content. Also content, unlike online and traditional adverts, will last forever. As such, B2B branded content is relatively cheap for the long term results that can be achieved. However, because it will be there forever, it is essential that marketers get it right.

Do the content formats differ between B2B and B2C campaigns

Marketers in both spaces have one aim: to engage potential customers through storytelling. However the nature of the messaging and the channels used to distribute those stories are as individual as the content itself.

B2B businesses have vast stores of industry knowledge at their disposal, and this information can be dispensed through any number of formats. We find however that in the B2B realm, this knowledge is best pushed out via thought leadership articles written by industry experts.

Being an expert thought leader is unlikely to be as successful in the consumer realm, however. Instead, B2C content marketing should focus on the topics that consumers care about and always aim to entertain and delight to reader.

Do the marketing channels for content distribution differ between B2B and B2C campaigns?

Yes of course. Ultimately it depends on where your customers are and what they are reading.

But storytelling and personality will always come into it. B2B and B2C marketers all have to deliver value to their customers by telling memorable stories, even if they differ in the framing and method of delivery.

Where should B2Bs best house their content?

This completely depends on the specific campaign and who you are looking to target, but generally in a B2B space you should consider a variety of channels, just as you would in B2C content marketing. You must think about what your audience would be reading, not just during work, but also in their spare time — business decision makers have lives too! Also don’t forget to target mediums that their influencers might also read. Influencer marketing is often forgotten about. In my line of work I also hear a lot of people commenting that social media isn’t right for B2B campaigns, but I disagree. Twitter and LinkedIn can often be fundamental to B2B content campaigns, but only if used in the right way.

What are the core challenges for B2B content marketing?

I think the core challenge for B2B content marketing is firms’ ability to tell the story without being too salesy. Other worries include not having enough budget and also cutting through the noise, since many other companies will be promoting their own content as well.