B2B versus B2C content marketing

Solar Facebook shares This post was shared more than 200,000 times

Yesterday’s post looked at the need for B2B content marketing to be better targeted. Today’s turns that on its head a little bit and asks whether there are real differences between B2B and B2C. And if so, are they the ones we imagine?

This is quite timely because BuzzSumo and HubSpot have brought out some research asking how the two line up in terms of social media and sharing.

The differences

The exercise started with a few assumptions. First, B2B requires more research and tends to be benefits based; B2C is emotive, tends to be shared more widely and customer response is faster.

The findings include the following:

  • B2C content achieves higher shares
  • Long-form performs equally well for B2B and B2C
  • LinkedIn is better for B2B and Facebook better for B2C. Overall the average number of shares is similar
  • Twitter and Google+ perform similarly in terms of sharing
  • Facebook drives a quarter of traffic to all websites.

What it found

Despite the recent enthusiasm for articles of 1,500 words or more, the average word count across B2B and B2C content marketing is 605 words.

More interestingly – looking across around 100,000 articles – it found there is no correlation between the length of content and the chances of it being shared. And that is for both sectors.

Analytics will only get you so far

Yes indeed. One successful piece of content was a B2B blog from Solar City. Titled “How homes kept cool before the age of AC”, it was shared 200,000 times on Facebook.

There is no clear indication why this happened.

But there is plenty of evidence for things that do work. An indication of future sharing success is that people tend to like sharing warnings. And B2B can do well on Facebook. One notable success was a how-to by technical-drawing application Autocad that received several thousand shares.

LinkedIn for B2B

It should come as no surprise that LinkedIn is better for B2B. Among the best examples are e-books and articles about mistakes. With regard to the latter, people like to learn from others.

Another area of success is posts that provide advice in a particular field. The three most shared subjects were habits, bosses and mistakes. Looking at habits, the most popular posts were list-based. Headlines included “12 habits of exceptional leaders” and “Top 10 habits of likeable leaders”.

Overall

The question is do you want to follow a formula or produce something original for the reader? Well, one would hope it is the latter.

You can hit all the tickboxes but if the content is bad then it will likely fail. But still, this sort of research serves as a guideline nonetheless.

B2B versus B2C content marketing is part of Content24, the online magazine for London content marketing agency FirstWord.

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