There's no denying that we're in an age where content is king. With this constant need, it's important to recognize the varying capacities in which content can be created, and more importantly, who to target. Enter B2B and B2C marketing. This article will define these two terms, highlight examples of companies who are excelling in both, and touch on ways to utilize PLANOLY when managing content in these two circumstances.
Simply put, B2B stands for business-to-business, and B2C stands for business-to-consumer. B2B marketing or transactions occur between two businesses while B2C interactions happen between companies and consumers. While many brands are known for being in one of these categories, often they also offer programs or special services to satisfy other groups. Look at Seamless (@seamless) for instance - this sought-after food ordering/take out service is a prominent example. It is B2C in that the business targets their service to individuals but also offers corporate catering and opportunities for other businesses looking to utilize the app for their office, marketing events, and more. On the other end of the spectrum, more concrete examples of B2B marketing are commonly seen in industry/trade publications, trade shows, and business conferences. With all of that in mind, when it comes to your brand it's important to understand and solidify your position and then act accordingly when it comes to creating content for your customers.
Tips for Creating Content
Now that we have a foundation understanding of B2B and B2C marketing, we'll explore what to think about when creating content in both of these circumstances:
- B2B CONTENT CREATION
- For starters, it's important to look at your industry as a whole and its respective best practices. That will provide a baseline regarding how to create content that is 1) industry standard and 2) give you the opportunity to innovate and market your services in a way that has not been done before.
- No matter what types of businesses you're targeting, more often than not, it's valuable to use the content as a teaching tool. Create and amplify content that is both engaging and informative - in doing so; you educate prospective customers on what you (as a business) can offer them and also provide industry insight as to why engaging with your brand's services will add value to their organization. - A great example of the above is Capsule, a fashion trade-show that prides itself on two things: point of view and community. With their fine-tuned approach to curating brands, they create content around their initiatives, shows, and brand community. Their strategy is effective because it not only speaks to what's happening with their company, but also cultivates an element of longevity, in that they keep up with the brands that exhibit at their shows by way of social media call-outs, interviews, and more. With that said, they use content in a way to not only bring on new brands but retain relationships as well (which is key).
- B2C CONTENT CREATION
- While it's important to understand your brand's industry trends, it's equally important to look at what consumers are responding to regarding content trends as a whole (for example, the millennial pink craze, memes, and influencer posts). Once assessing this, it'll be easier to hone in on how to apply these trends to your overarching content strategy/in a way that makes sense for your brand's content.- In this day and age, B2C content needs to inspire both community and conversation. The best brands know that they are selling more than a product, but rather a lifestyle. These two pillars should inform how a brand crafts its B2C strategy regarding visuals, copy, and the platform it ultimately ends up living on. Consumers are savvy, and while consistent messaging is always a plus, they expect differentiation in how this is brought across all of a brand's unique social platforms.
- There are so many incredible examples of brands we can point to, but one standout is Outdoor Voices (@outdoorvoices), an athleisure brand that has quickly become a leader in its category. In a nutshell, their brand ethos is centered on the idea of #doingthings because it feels good. Outdoor Voices has been able to capture the recreational spirit of the brand, the cool/communal attitude, and the relaxed nature of the product itself with their content. If you look at their Instagram specifically, you'll see a level of consistency in their not-too-curated feed which features #regrams from their customer community and lifestyle shots around the idea of recreation. They've also taken this one step further by integrating these themes into offline events from their OV Joggers Club to local "Wild Card" gatherings.
"The best brands know that they are selling more than a product, but rather a lifestyle." Tweet this.
Using PLANOLY in Both Instances
There's no question that there are a number of ways to integrate content in both B2B and B2C strategies - but for this article, we'll wrap things up sharing a couple of ways to utilize PLANOLY in the process! One tool to consider is PLANOLY's Discover feature, which allows users to directly (and easily) repost images from other accounts. This is useful in both circumstances as B2B businesses can repost images from client accounts, events they've hosted, and more. B2C brands can repost images from their customer community or lifestyle accounts that best suit their aesthetic. Another tool to consider is PLANOLY's recently introduced ShopLink feature. With this element, brands can both market and sell their goods directly from their Instagram accounts. In either circumstance, it's important for digital-first brands to remember to consider content as a vehicle for both sales and brand relevancy - which in many cases - go hand in hand.