Content writing in B2B and B2C environment
Quality and relevance of content
Content writing and its promotion is essential to the inbound marketing needs of companies both in B2B and B2C ambiance. The search engines are increasingly giving importance to content
marketing and, quite naturally, content creators and marketers are churning out millions of blog posts, social campaigns, eBooks, webinars, white papers and case studies, etc, on day to day basis. The search engines love quality and relevant content and companies with better content strategy find a place of prominence in SERP results.
However, given their difference, content should be optimized for 2B and B2C environments differently. We know that B2C purchase decisions are taken instantly. On the other hand, B2B decisions take a lot of time since purchase happens through a ‘buying centre’ that involves personnel from various departments. B2C purchases happen more due to emotional impetus and require short, crisp emotive messaging, while B2B decisions are borne out of rationality and as such buyers need a lot of information about the product or service being sold to assess its usage for their company.
According to a Content Marketing Institute (CMI) survey, the maximum focus of the B2B content marketers is on creating brand awareness, lead generation and engagement in that order. B2C content marketers focus on customer retention, engagement and brand awareness. Brand awareness has an inverse relationship in B2B and B2C environments as far as its importance is concerned; it tops in the former and is placed at number three in the latter in the study. However, one should understand these objectives as priority areas of varying importance and not club them as “required” and “not required.”
The B2B content marketers want to showcase their knowledge and industry expertise to impress upon the ‘buying centre’ of the customer to sway decision making in their favour. On the contrary, no B2C content strategist wants to educate and inform the customer of their company’s technical expertise, rather they like to excite the customer by creating “compelling and aspirational messages.”
The customer may prefer Mercedes over BMW without taking into account, which company spends more on R&D! But if a construction company were to buy earth moving equipment, they would definitely consider industrial expertise of the seller when choosing between L&T and Caterpillar. The B2C cycle of sales is shorter than that of B2B. That is why a literal bombarding of messages works, while addressing a mass scale consumer base. Content marketers of B2B company would address a limited audience with a mix of channels like phone calls, customized emails, and webinars and one to one meetings.
Thought leadership and content marketing
Thought leadership is a concept whereby content marketers help in creating opinion amongst people on important issues. They create a method or a blueprint for people to follow in the area of their skill. They use persuasive language, display knowledge about a particular theme, or a spectrum of products or services. Thought leaders use brand story-telling, start meaningful conversations and deliver concrete results. Thought leadership works best for B2B content marketers. Increasingly, content marketers also want that their companies to be considered as thought leaders. Professionals are discarding their library habits and moving onto Google Search to look for answers on various issues and thought leaders come as a convenient choice. Click To Tweet A reverse action happens when Internet users look out for knowledge and end up pushing the doorbell of the B2B content marketer and become buyers.
Thought leadership thus creates demand for a product or service. In the B2C environment thought leadership gives the company a human face as customers prefer to listen to an organization that talks to them as a person. At times, an entrepreneur too becomes a thought leader and wins vast amount of customer affinity. But entrepreneurs need to build a lot of trust quotient and only then their ideas and knowledge find recognition. Some of the prominent thought leaders today are Ratan Tata, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Seth Godin who make waves with their blogs and micro-blogs.
In B2B settings, customers looks for prescriptive content in ‘how to’ format. For example, the content marketers can submit thought provoking content to the customers in form of visual presentations to SlideShare. Guide books, ebooks and Whitepapers come in handy to make the reader a potential lead. In the B2C environment, the content marketers need to have a different approach. They can hold contests on Facebook, use promotional videos and a mix of platforms and Google Adwords to reach out to the customer. For both B2B and B2C contexts good content creates leads and results in more business.
First and foremost content marketing should have a content strategy. It could be formalized and noted in a book. Later it should be implemented based on clearly defined long term and short term goals and its results should be assessed through measurable metrics. Long ago, it was said that content is the king. It is true even today. Even in the days of voice search and Alexa, the importance of content marketing is not set to decrease so it is important to make it integral to business strategy.
Sandeep S. Sandhu