Every organization can benefit from a curated approach to search engine optimization. Simply put, there is no one-size-fits-all for SEO. Ideal strategies will depend on the unique needs of target customers and clients.
Perhaps the biggest distinction worth considering? B2B vs. B2C. These simple designations shape how campaigns are structured, from goal-setting to conversion and, hopefully, retention. Keep reading to learn how these marketing categories differ.
B2B vs. B2C: The Basics
First things first: understanding how B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-customer) organizations function.
B2B involves transactions between businesses — often exchanges of services, although it can also encompass relationships between manufacturers and wholesalers. B2C, however, is all about individual customers who purchase goods or services directly online.
The main differences worth noting? There are fewer, higher-value clients for B2B marketing and more, smaller-value customers for B2C — typically combined with a lengthy decision-making period for the former and split-second decisions for the latter.
Despite this, the basic marketing goals of B2B and B2C remain the same: to attract attention from leads and reveal how the right products or services can solve their problems.
How Does This Impact SEO?
Both B2B and B2C brands rely on search engines to achieve brand visibility and drive high-quality traffic to their websites. Both strive for the best possible rankings that attract attention and encourage leads to take action.
How, exactly, they achieve this will depend on the types of clients or customers they’re courting. Key differences include:
Logic or impulse-driven
One of the greatest distinguishing factors between B2B and B2C? This is shown in the qualities that drive customers or clients to connect and convert, with pacing developed accordingly.
B2C audiences are impulse-driven, so brand awareness is essential. Also important is a seamless purchasing process. These leads are driven by emotion, so brands must connect with them on a deeper level. This can be achieved with compelling website content or via influencer marketing.
Meanwhile, B2B leads are highly methodical. In this arena, a single conversion is a lot more meaningful — it could deliver a strong working relationship that lasts months or even years. Unfortunately, this also means that B2B leads require extensive nurturing on the path to conversion.
Personalization and segmentation
B2B campaigns call for a higher degree of personalization, as this market typically involves niche audiences that will only respond to targeted messaging. This is where heavily curated email campaigns can prove valuable, along with account-based marketing — focusing on a few high-value accounts, which act as markets of one.
While some degree of personalization can prove valuable for B2C initiatives, this is nowhere near as vital — B2C messaging needs to resonate with a far larger and broader audience. Segmentation remains valuable, however, and may be driven by customers’ demographics or lifestyles.
Be mindful of metrics
Both B2B and B2C campaigns call for quantifiable goals. The nature of these goals will depend on how consumers are most inclined to make purchases or sign up for services.
Top objectives for B2B campaigns include lead generation and conversion, so metrics tend to emphasize qualified leads or cost per acquisition. With B2C, the focus remains squarely on brand awareness and loyalty, which can easily be determined based on website traffic and social engagement.
Sophisticated Marketing Drives Success in B2B and B2C
Every marketing initiative must be custom-built around the needs and desires of the target audience. A clear understanding of the differences between B2B and B2C can promote a more impactful campaign that resonates with leads and encourages them to convert. Embrace these differences and use them to build stronger connections with high-quality leads.
Author Bio: Aaron Wittersheim is Chief Operating Officer at Straight North, a digital marketing company. He helped startups, middle-market, and Fortune 500 companies improve organizational structure and grow through his expertise in process conception, task automation, technology and internal project management.