Content Marketing: B2B vs B2C

Content is king.

A statement that marketers are taking more and more seriously – and if content marketing is King, then distribution is certainly Queen.

In the age of blogs, video and social media, it’s clear that creating quality content is crucial for engaging with customers and helping them through the buying process – but what kind of content are marketers investing in? How important do people consider content marketing as part of their overall strategy? And does this differ between B2B and B2C marketers?

How are B2B marketers using content marketing?

It’s been reported by the Content Marketing Institute that in North America, 70% of marketers say that they’re creating more content than they did in 2014, so it’s clear that content marketing is on the rise – and in a strategic way too. Around 86% of B2B markets use content marketing to achieve strategic goals, and it’s been found that you’re more likely to reach those goals if you document your content marketing strategy formally too.

As the US is often leading the charge when it comes to marketing, I certainly like to look to their stats to see what is coming our way and typically the UK follows suit.

It’s clear that those targeting the B2B market understand that a wide breadth of distribution of content is important, with the average number of different audiences they’re targeting through content marketing strategies being 4, and the average number of actual channels being used to share content reaching an impressive average of 13.

The most popular channels that make up this average of 13 include social media as top dog, with eNewsletters, blogs, videos and case studies not far behind – although in terms of which tactics they consider to be most effective, in-person events and webinars rank highly.

For us, we never forget that a strong SEO strategy and tight website is critically important when putting a content marketing plan into place.

Where does social media fit in?

An integral part of most modern day marketing strategies, social media is key for helping B2B marketers put a personality to their brand, and improve engagement with their customers.

The Content Marketing Institute has found that LinkedIn is far and away considered the best platform by B2B marketers, being the network that is used the most, and thought to be the most effective too. Others that rank well are Twitter and Youtube, and although a lot of B2B marketers are also using Facebook and Google+, they aren’t considered to make the biggest impact in terms of providing results.

So, what makes the ultimate B2B marketer?

There’s several factors that seem to crop up in generating success when it comes to B2B content marketing:

  • They fully document their strategy, and use that strategy to guide their content efforts regularly
  • There is a dedicated group or team within the organisation that focuses on content marketing – or an outsourced marketing team – perhaps an agency like us at McDonough Marketing Communications
  • Placing a high importance on engagement as a goal is key – passive content with no personality will get you nowhere
  • You need to be successful at tracking your ROI (though a lot consider this a challenge)
  • Use a wide range of tactics and social media channels to push your content out to your audience
  • Putting considerable budget behind your content strategy gives it more chance to succeed
  • Publishing new content either daily, or multiple times a week, is important for staying fresh and relevant

And, as mentioned above, we also ensure our clients’ websites are structurally tight from and SEO point of view so that the content helps them rank.

How do B2B and B2C marketers differ in their approach to content marketing?

Honestly? They don’t really differ that much at all! According the Content Marketing Institute, both B2B and B2C marketers come out almost even in terms of how they use content marketing to communicate with customers.

There are a couple of minor differences – more B2B marketers say that they actually use content marketing, they document their strategy better, give more budget to it and are also more likely to have a dedicated content marketing group to work on it.

In comparison, B2C marketers tend to feel better at tracking their ROI on their content marketing strategy, utilise more social media platform on average, and more of them post either daily or multiple times a week, compared to B2B.

How are you doing in comparison to our B2B vs B2C marketing analysis? Are you looking to improve your content marketing strategy in the next 12 months?

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C organisation, McDonough Marketing Communications can help. Get in touch today on 0191 562 3120.

To find out more about the findings from the Content Marketing Institute, check out the full report here.