We’ve talked a lot about having an internet marketing plan and social media strategy in place for small businesses. And that it’s not a one size fits all approach. One of the things to consider when you’re developing an internet marketing plan is whether your business is B2B or B2C. The fact is, that businesses use social media differently than individual consumers do, and the wrong approach will not connect with your ultimate audience. Have a look at some of the different strategies used for each:

B2B Strategies:

  • E-mail marketing
  • Developing contacts through LinkedIn
  • Telemarketing
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Content marketing – blogs, articles, white papers

B2C Strategies:

  • Social Media
  • Memberships and clubs
  • Adwords and social media advertising via pay-per-click
  • Lead magnets, Landing pages and newsletters
  • Content marketing – quizzes, promotions, special offers

Let’s break these down, so you can be strategic in providing your products and services to a diverse audience.

Different Social Media Platforms for B2B

B2B marketing is building a long term relationship, and requires a slightly different social media strategy. Most companies who sell B2C tend to be active on Facebook, because that is where their audience is, while a B2B company can be found on LinkedIn. This is because they are more interested in making contacts and networking to establish high level connections. Yes, such companies can be seen on Facebook as well, but that is not where they concentrate their efforts.

B2B Marketing Is Relationship Building

A B2C marketing plan has the end goal of selling a product or service to a consumer. On the other hand, a B2B company has the end goal of establishing an ongoing relationship with the companies that will buy their product or services and continue to buy them. The focus is on generating leads that could lead to a business relationship that would then lead to a sale. Once a B2B company has established a lead, they then work on keeping up the relationship through consistent email marketing, blogging and other methods of sharing information. It’s really about building trust in the relationship.

Just The Facts

Building a B2C marketing campaign can involve tweets and Instagram posts, or Facebook videos and giveaways, all of which can be very entertaining and work well for that type of company. However, for B2B marketing it is important to also inform their clients. Anyone who is a business buyer is already keeping up with industry trends and updates. They are looking for new information which will help grow their own companies. A good way to share information is by using infographics, facts and figures and statistics in an industry blog that’s regularly updated, and would be of interest to other industry professionals.

Specific Industry Driven Content

Again, very different from the content you would provide as part of a B2C campaign, which should be short, humorous and catchy, for it to appeal to the widest possible audience. B2B content however, should be more detailed, lengthy and used to showcase your expertise. That being said, it is important to note that B2B clients probably get a lot of information related marketing materials sent to them on a daily basis, plenty of which can be repetitive. So you should diversify yourself and use bullet points, shorter sentences, subheadings and make it entertaining. It will be more work on your part, but worth it when your information is the one that gets read, and the others go into the Junk Folder.
PR Prioritizing

Online public relations play an integral part in B2C marketing, but it’s not quite that important for a B2B audience. All publicity is not good publicity when it comes to a B2B company. Public relations for B2B audiences should be carefully strategized, whether that involves communicating with local journalists and media, arranging interviews or writing advertorials.

With all of the differences highlighted above between B2B and B2C marketing, there are still some similarities. At the end of the day, the objectives are the same for both, which is sell your product or service. Keeping that in mind, you need to match your product or service to the needs of a specific target or demographic. Furthermore, creating realistic pricing is another strategy that can be utilized across both types of businesses. And of course, demonstrating value to your audience is important. As a result of these similarities, email marketing, social networking, and search engine marketing are all-important components of both B2B and B2C marketing. However, when you know the differences between the two, you can use new strategies to help your specific campaign meeting efficient, and targeted goals.

Read more relevant blog post: How to Make Inbound Marketing Enhance Better Business Practices