B2B (or business to business) and B2C (or business to consumer) companies are similar in many ways. No matter who you’re selling to, you have many of the same needs. Someone to create the product. Someone to lead the troops. Someone to get the paychecks out on time.
However, one of the most marked differences in B2B and B2C is in marketing. While content marketing has use in many different ways, three factors make content marketing and B2B companies a perfect pairing.
- B2B products and services demand more research.
None of us spent our high school weekends looking up diagrams on how to implement Customer Relationship Management software or learning how to run a meeting . These are things we needed to learn as we stepped into a job that demanded them. In a world that pre-dated the internet, that meant stuffy manuals and a lot of trial and error.
Content marketers can provide real value to workers who are hoping to understand a new tool, program or service line. By being the source that buyers find for tips, tricks or even inspiration, your company builds brand awareness and trust.
- Longer sales funnel = more brand touchpoints.
Many B2B sales funnels are longer. Companies rarely make snap purchases; every time cash goes out, it must be approved by a boss, a boss’ boss, and a boss’ boss’ boss. Purchases are also typically larger, which adds even more pressure to perform plenty of due diligence. This all adds up to a sales funnel that can be many months, or even years, long.
Those long sales funnels mean that purchasers are likely to interact with dozens of pieces of content over their research journey. While a consumer brand may be a one-chance interaction, a B2B content campaign could get dozens of at-bats to make a brand impression.
Smart companies can set a content strategy that will set them ahead of their competition from day one and keep them there for the long haul.
- Expertise matters more.
Consumer brands rise and fall dramatically with trends. One catchy slogan can be enough to put a consumer brand on the national stage; a minor flub can wipe it off.
B2B brands don’t often have that dramatic rollercoaster. Businesses make purchases with an eye for the long term. Furniture will need to last for the next ten years, and a financial advisor should be a partner through the next five tax seasons at least. It’s much harder for businesses to take that risk on a company that is unproven.
Content is a great way to prove that expertise. Companies that create well-thought-out, authoritative content are well on their way to helping potential customers trust them. Your consumer views your company as one whole. They aren’t differentiating between your marketing team and your product or service providers. When a great piece of content marketing helps them, your company has helped them. And that’s before a penny has changed hands.
Content marketing is a slam dunk for almost any B2B company. A well-crafted content strategy can benefit both your company and your potential customer.
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