As marketers, it's easy to believe that B2C and B2B companies have little in common. Although the end customer might not be the same, the way B2C and B2B brands market to their target audiences may not be as different as you think. In fact, there are a number of tactics both types of companies can use to attract new customers.
If you're managing a B2B brand, pulling from classic B2C marketing strategies can help you develop stronger connections with your target audience. Implementing B2C marketing techniques like user-generated content, emotional marketing, and social media can help you sell more products and get a better return on your investment.
Let's take a look at a few B2C marketing strategies your B2B company should try out!
- User-generated content and social media are great ways to get B2B customers engaged.
- Emotional marketing can help you create
- Up-front pricing will help save you time, by connecting with you with qualified leads.
1. Leverage User-Generated Content to Get Your Audience Involved
Employing user-generated content is a marketing strategy frequently used by B2C brands. This technique involves gathering and using photos, articles, reviews, and other forms of content from customers, clients, and more, and is a great way for brands to get their target audience involved. Not only does it bring customers into the content creation process, it also enables companies to save time, money, and resources that would have otherwise been spent producing unique content.
Many B2C companies rely on user-generated content to build authority with their target audience. When a potential customer or shopper is looking for a new product or service, they're more likely to trust the opinion or views of another customer or client. User-generated content also inspires engagement, encouraging clients and customers to share their experience with your brand in the hopes of getting it shared on your social media platforms. This same idea can be applied to marketing in the B2B world, as seen in this example from IBM's Instagram page:
User-generated content can help B2B brands seem more human. By showcasing your clients and customers, you can put a face to your company and add a level of authenticity that can often be difficult for business-facing brands to create. To get started, encourage your customers and clients to create blog posts, reviews, videos, or images about your brand. Using a hashtag, image tags, or other keywords, scope the digital world to curate high-quality posts about your brand. Include these posts in your social media and promotion calendar, and be sure to give appropriate credit to the original creators.
2. Use Emotional Marketing to Establish Deep Connections
Emotional marketing is another common tactic used by B2C brands. When trying to convince their clients or customers to make a purchase, a B2C company will use emotions to encourage conversions. When a strong connection is established between the product or service and how a customer feels, buyers will create a deeper connection to the brand and the purchase they're making.
For a B2C company, emotional marketing can be easy to implement. When the items audience members purchase are used in their personal lives, it can be simple to establish an emotional connection. However, the same idea can apply to a B2B brand. In order for a B2B company to use emotional marketing effectively when selling products or services, however, you need to consider how to make a personal connection with the decision makers.
To use emotional marketing as a part of your B2B business strategy, start by considering what personal value you bring to the end user. This may involve positioning your products or services to make it clear how they improve the users' personal and professional lives. Consider the emotions and needs of the employees within the company you're targeting—rather than the company as a whole—when using emotional marketing in a B2B marketing strategy.
3. Connect with Audience Members on Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful tools for a B2C company. Between Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more, B2C companies have a number of options for connecting with their target demographics. An effective social media strategy enables both B2C and B2B businesses to create a direct line of communication with customers and clients. This means they can easily push content, generate new leads, and get helpful feedback.
In order for your B2B company to benefit from social media, you need to consider the end user—not the company you're trying to sell to. While it is important to connect with the companies you'd like to work with as a B2B brand, you need to remember that the decision maker is usually not the one running those accounts. Instead, you can target the person actually in charge of making purchasing decisions, communicating via their personal or professional social media pages.
To use social media effectively as a B2B brand, you'll want to consider the platform you're operating on, the content you're sharing, and the people you'd like to attract. For a B2B company, this usually means targeting more business-focused platforms, such as LinkedIn. Participating in Twitter Chats, LinkedIn Groups, or Facebook Groups can also help you focus your social media audience for more targeted connections.
Bonus: Provide Up-Front Pricing to Attract More Qualified Leads
For a B2C company, it would seem silly not to provide up-front pricing. When a shopper is about to make a purchase, they want to know exactly how much they'll be spending. However, for a B2B business it isn't always common practice to tell potential customers what your products or services will cost. This means interested parties need to request a quote.
Unfortunately, B2B shoppers may contact you for a quote only to find that you are not within their budget. While they may be interested in the products or services you're offering, if they can't afford you they're not considered qualified leads. Trying to nurture these leads can ultimately be a waste of time, money, and resources. If you provide up-front pricing to your potential customers, however, they will know whether or not you're a good fit early on.
Your price will be one of the first things someone looks for when considering your products or services, so make sure costs are clearly visible and displayed in an easy-to-understand presentation (such as the above example from MailChimp). Including information like
When creating a B2B marketing strategy, you'll want to diversify your approach by pulling some popular techniques from B2C brands. If you're able to give these techniques the appropriate spin to make them relevant to your audience, they can really pay off.
Let's recap the four B2C marketing strategies every B2B company should use:
- Collect user-generated content to build authority with your audience.
- Use emotional marketing to develop deeper connections with your customers.
- Create active social media accounts to educate and connect with your leads.
- Provide up-front pricing to save time and attract higher-quality leads.
Which of these B2C marketing strategies do you think will improve your B2B business? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image source: Pexels.