At ContentFirst.Marketing, we talk a lot about B2B marketing in this blog. After all, we’re a B2B business – we sell services to other businesses who are looking to create digital marketing that works. But B2C marketing – selling directly to customers, instead of other businesses – is also a vital part of marketing that can be overlooked sometimes.
In today’s blog post, we’ll talk all about B2C marketing – what it is, why it’s important, and how to do it right.
What is B2C Marketing?
B2C marketing is marketing from business to consumers directly – hence the B2C acronym. This kind of marketing is distinct from B2B marketing, where your business is selling to another business.
In B2C marketing, you’re trying to convince individuals that they need the product or service you’re offering. This could be a coffee roaster with a brick and mortar store selling beans directly to people to brew coffee at home. It could be a yoga apparel company selling yoga pants from their online store directly to yogis.
B2C marketing can be done in any medium. A business could use traditional glossy print ads and big billboards, hyper-targeted digital marketing, or a combination of methods.
B2B and B2C Marketing
While all marketing is directed towards people, B2B and B2C marketing have fairly deep difference. The two types of marketing have differing audiences, and the audiences have differing motivations.
B2B marketing is about convincing an organization that your product or service will benefit their company. That means the decisions to purchase are more primarily based on logic and an anticipated and measurable return.
While B2B marketing is still talking to humans, as they’re the ones who make purchasing decisions for companies, those people are accountable for their purchases to their business. There may be multiple stakeholders in a decision who need to be convinced. There are budgets at stake that need to be considered. And overall, the process is typically slower.
B2C marketing, on the other hand, is based on convincing just one person at a time that they need what you’re selling. There is no intermediary to argue for (or against) your company, no need to wait until the next business quarter – it’s all about marketing to the desires and fears that people have right now.
Why is B2C Marketing Important?
While many businesses are built to offer their services only to other businesses, many also need to get individual customers to purchase from them. It’s not an either/or situation – many businesses actually market to both.
But mastering the art of speaking directly to customers isn’t always an easy step if you’re used to speaking to other businesses. It’s critical to have a deep understanding of your target audience and what your brand offers to them.
How to Master B2C Marketing for Your Business
Finding what your B2C customers want – from your marketing and from your company as consumers – is critical to mastering the art of B2C marketing.
Your B2C customers are looking for a good deal and a good time. They want a bargain, and they want entertainment. They want to feel like they can relate to your brand. So, swap out the expert jargon common in B2B marketing for a compelling story instead.
B2C customers aren’t waiting on a series of approvals and other decision-makers to make a purchase decision – they go with their gut. Can you tell them a story about a person just like them who purchased your product or used your services and their life was changed for the better? If so, this is highly effective at getting them to decide to do the same.
Your tone should be friendly and informal when you’re selling directly to customers as well. How informal? It varies by industry – small medical practices are in a very different position than a sneaker company. But the goal is to have the prospect feel like they’re talking to someone just like them.
There are several effective ways to do this. Content marketing can work well – you can write blog posts or create vlogs that tell customer stories or how you filled their needs. Email automation can also be effective in telling a compelling, continuing story – one where eventually, the solution is your company.
Get on Social Media
That approachable tone and friendly voice is also a necessity when you’re connecting with your potential customers on social media platforms. You can engage directly with individual consumers on social media. In doing so, you can hear their questions, listen to their comments, and respond to their concerns.
You can also use social media to build brand awareness and even sell your products directly, in some industries. Just be sure you’re using the right platforms for your B2C targeted audience. While LinkedIn and Twitter can be highly effective for B2B marketing, more personal-focused platforms like Instagram and Facebook work better for B2C.
Social media is where your B2C customers are already spending a large portion of their time – so you should be talking to them there regularly.
Stay Top of Mind
Since B2C marketing is more about convincing a prospect to make a decision in the moment, you want to be sure to keep creating those possible decision moments. This is where a complete digital marketing strategy comes in.
Your sales funnel should have plenty of ways to bring in new prospects – through your content marketing and SEO efforts, via social media, or through more traditional advertising if that works for your business.
But in the impulse-driven world of B2C marketing, purchasing decisions often get put off or delayed by whatever is happening for a prospect that day. They see your PPC ad and they like it – but then the doorbell rings, or an urgent email comes through, or they decide to do more research and come back to it later. Your B2C marketing strategy should have many touch points to nurture those prospects through the purchase process.
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