Now that you know the difference between the B2C and the B2B audiences, let’s take a look at how to best reach each type. Keep in mind that one person can be a part of both audiences so you are not exactly targeting different people. Instead, you are trying to tailor your content so that it meets that person’s needs in the role they are currently playing. First up is the B2C audience, or direct consumers while they are not at work.
Start with the Problem
When you are creating content for a B2C audience, the problem to identify is usually singular and not terribly complex. This does not mean that it is not very important to the consumer, only that it is easier to identify and break down into solvable components.
Think about a person shopping for a pair of jeans. Their problems include finding a good fit for their body type, finding something fashionable for their age group, and getting a good deal. Or, consider a homeowner who is searching for a tax preparer. They do not want to deal with the hassle of tax codes and laws and they want the largest return possible.
In contrast, many B2B audiences have complex issues to solve that often involve a long hierarchy of people who are affected, each with a different set of sub-problems.
Consider the Language and Tone
Direct consumers do not usually care for your industry lingo. Make sure you are choosing the right words so your customers can easily understand what you are talking about without feeling like you are talking down to them. For some industries, it will help to segment your audience based on knowledge level so you don’t have to constantly walk the line between alienating and boring your customer.
For example, some consumers are very tech-savvy and will be insulted or bored when you start explaining what the difference is between a megapixel and a megabyte. Others will have their eyes glaze over if you give a bulleted list of specs filled with abbreviations like MB and MP.
Getting the Length Right
Business consumers are going to spend a lot more time reading content and contemplating decisions. Direct customers tend to make purchases more quickly and spend less time with individual pieces of content. Most people do not want to read 1,500-word blog posts about the origin of the fabrics of your denim (some will, so be sure to create a downloadable ebook for that group!). Instead, they are more interested in quick bites about fashion, price, sustainability, and maybe a bit of social proof.
Keep in mind a few differences between industries. People spend a long time deciding which car to buy or where to spend their honeymoon. The length of your individual pieces of content should stay in the same ballpark, but make sure you have enough of it to keep someone interested in you for the longer length of time they will be considering different options.
Hitting Emotional Notes
Business buyers are far less likely to be emotionally motivated, partly because there are so many people involved in a single purchase. Direct customers, on the other hand, are susceptible to all sorts of emotional triggers like impulse buys, a “cool” company, social validation, and attentive service. They also tend to do their shopping during their free time and will have a little more patience for things that stray slightly (slightly!) off-topic for the sake of entertainment.
In other words, you can relax your content a little bit and make it a little more after-hours for direct customers. You still want to maintain a professional tone so you are trusted as a business (don’t go all NSFW crazy!), but try not to be so uptight or your content will not be relatable. Remember, these consumers have to work all day, and they have had enough of all that important business.
In a nutshell, when you are writing for a B2C audience, you are dealing with people. Think about what is not working for them and what problem you could solve that would set you apart from the others. Keep your tone light and friendly, and do not be afraid to entertain a little. Keep in mind, however, that people still want you to be professional, just not so uptight that they feel like they are back at work.