Grow Your B2C Audience With These 3 B2B Marketing Tools

Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing often comes more naturally to marketers than business-to-business (B2B). It’s in our nature to relate to other people – to draw from our emotions, passions and other human tendencies – which is what B2C is all about. It feels less natural to appeal to whole organizations rather than the individuals within them – to rely on numbers and logic more than shared experience.

These differences have given B2B an unsexy reputation in the marketing world, distracting us from a surprising truth: B2B and B2C are more similar than most of us are willing to admit.

Though their end goals are seemingly different, running a successful B2B or B2C strategy means knowing your audience. And most audiences’ decisions are shaped by information they receive through multiple platforms –platforms customary to both B2B and B2C strategies. Adapting certain traditional B2B tactics to a B2C strategy can help to meet your audience at multiple points in their lives.

Consider using these three traditional B2B tools to fortify your B2C marketing strategy and up your chances of broader audience penetration.

  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great tool for both building trust in your organization and diversifying your social media audience, especially if you’re marketing to millennials.

Younger audiences are often mission driven in their behaviors. They’re looking for organizations whose beliefs reflect their own, and they want to see those beliefs put into action through products and advocacy. On LinkedIn, you can draw audiences with in-depth content that unpackages complex, mission-focused topics and helps build brand authenticity.

Further, while you’re more likely to reach women on channels like Instagram or Facebook, LinkedIn leans slightly toward men. If professional males are a segment of your audience that’s proven trickier to connect with, you’ll have better luck finding them on LinkedIn.

  1. Inbound Marketing

Inbound is typically a B2B tool because it’s great for marketing anything involving a high price point or long-term investment. Products such as business information software, machinery and consultation services have longer sales funnels, and leads spend more time weighing their options before they buy.

But prolonged sales cycles happen in B2C, too, with expensive products such as cars and homes – or long-term investments like meal kit subscriptions. Successfully marketing these consumer-facing products means nurturing leads through the awareness and consideration stages all the way to final decision.

Take our client GOGO Band, which specializes in tech-based solutions to childhood bedwetting. While our work with them is primarily B2C, their product includes complex electronic equipment and a recurring subscription model – a pricey, long-term investment. So we’re guiding prospects steadily through the sales funnel via email workflows, educational e-books and other lead-nurturing methods.

Remember that B2C inbound marketing should focus on anticipating your audience’s questions and answering them before they even ask. Rather than addressing these major questions in business-friendly formats like white papers and hours-long seminars, do it with bite-sized content like social media posts or newsletters.

  1. Longform Content

I know, I just said to keep things brief. But longform content lets your brand unpackage complex, often data-driven topics in a way that engages the consumer’s whole brain and helps them identify with your business objectives.

Our client Worksite Labs provides quick-turnaround PCR COVID-19 testing for business, travel, events, schools and other purposes. While testing is a high-demand product (especially during the recent Omicron surge), the inner workings of the test product – and the disease it addresses – are highly complex and scientific in nature.

By producing a three-part B2C blog series that explained COVID-19 immunity, preventive practices and treatments, our team helped Worksite Labs speak its audience’s language and educate them on a complicated, widely misunderstood topic. In turn, these blogs emphasized the importance of Worksite Labs’ product and concretized the company’s healthcare expertise.

Whether you use traditionally B2B or B2C tools, you can connect with your consumers if you take the time to understand them. Depending on your product and your goals, you can send different value props to different audiences or the same value prop across multiple platforms. Whatever you land on, be consistent. At the end of the day, it’s consistency that drives consumer decisions.

Are you looking to broaden your audience and meet prospects where they are? Our team of creative, content and brand strategy experts will develop a framework that can help your ambitious brand do more business. Click here to reach out.

Is Your 2022 Marketing Strategy on Target?

Here are 3 questions mid-size brands should ask themselves to find out.

Growing a middle-market brand is no small feat. You’re often competing in markets that are dominated by big players and saturated with energetic startups.

Many of our clients come to us looking to solve this challenge through marketing, trusting we’ll turn their promotional budget into maximum ROI. An iron-clad marketing strategy is key to keeping any organization afloat, but how do you ensure lasting impact over time?

By always understanding your audience.

If you don’t know what matters most to your key demographic, and how they learn and consume information, you will lose your relevance. Why should they keep you on their radar if you cannot empathize with (and solve) their problems?

My goal is to help our clients ask the right audience-first questions to keep their marketing strategy on track. So, let’s run through the three questions you should ask yourself when putting your own strategy under the microscope.

Are you driving value for your audience?

The entire purpose of a product is to solve the customer’s problems. If your customer-facing content doesn’t focus on how your product can ease their burdens, you will lose their attention, fast.

And that would be a simple charge if you served just one audience, but that’s often not the case. Organizations need to spend the time to understand each audience (their hopes, obstacles, and behaviors), understand their potential impact to your organization (lifetime value), and prioritize marketing spend accordingly.

Thankfully, if you’re already in business, you likely have ready access to your customer base. If you ask them to help improve your services, they’ll often be more than happy to oblige.

An in-person or online customer survey is perhaps the simplest branding “health check” you can conduct. Ask customers whether you’re meeting their needs and, if not, what you can do to fix it. (And it never hurts to offer participants a small incentive as a thank-you.)

Is your message relevant to your audience?

There are two types of relevance to consider: cultural relevance and industry relevance. As the speed of business and culture continues to quicken, it’s important to show customers that you’re in touch with what currently matters in a way that separates you from the competition.

Culturally relevant brands share their messages in a way that customers resonate with and understand. This extends beyond simply using keywords, phrases, and concepts your audience is familiar with; you should mirror their values as well.

A brand’s cultural involvement drives a whopping 25% of the average consumer’s purchase decision. If your brand gives back to the community, supports social issues, and otherwise conducts itself in a way that matters to customers, they will notice.

Brands should also maintain industry relevance by taking note of major changes, challenges, and opportunities in the marketplace. A brand that adapts its messaging to respond to its audience’s excitement or concerns about these changes will come off as trustworthy and well-adjusted. COVID-19 is a great example of this – brands that pivoted to meet their audience during this unique time earned brownie points in dividends.

Marketers can pursue both cultural and industry relevance by simply keeping a steady eye on conversations in the news and on social media. It also helps to study the discourse between your competitors and their audiences to determine what works and what misses the mark. Brands that want to stay in the know should consider regular assessments of competitors’ websites and social channels to gain a quick view of market conversations and untapped opportunities.

Are you using your audience’s chosen platforms?

Every brand has a customer base that interacts with the world in a unique way. We know millennial moms are oftentimes driven to the stimulating visuals of Instagram while their boomer parents tend toward more traditional social channels like Facebook. When you focus the bulk of your budget and energy on your audience’s chosen mediums, you can maximize your marketing impact.

Also ask whether your activity on those platforms is driving the actions you want in your business. Are your customers being led to your website? Does that, in turn, lead them to make a purchase or ask for a quote? Conduct quarterly and annual analyses to see whether your strategy is yielding the desired business outcomes, not just marketing outcomes.

An effective marketing strategy requires dedicated attention to many different aspects of your audience and brand. Asking yourself these three questions – on a daily basis, not just once or twice a year – is critical to identifying diverse strategies and creating holistic solutions that may be grounded in marketing but are revenue-generating – which is the ultimate goal for all middle-market brands.