Business-to-customer marketing refers to the tactics and best practices used to promote products and services among consumers.
B2C marketing differs from B2B marketing in a number of key ways, one being that it often depends on campaigns’ abilities to invoke emotional responses, rather than solely demonstrating value.
Targeting consumers across digital channels
Like most forms of marketing, technology has greatly expanded the number of channels B2C marketers must use in their campaigns. However, it has also provided companies with the ability to use different techniques across multiple channels based on which demographics are most likely to access them.
The most popular or effective channels for a business will differ according to its unique demographic, but the web is becoming universal in consumers’ shopping research. According to a report from Pew, 33 percent of adults aged 18 to 39 turn to the internet first when looking for information on local businesses, while 26 percent of older adults rely primarily on the web for researching nearby companies.
Additionally, the web is the starting point for research in a number of B2C businesses, such as restaurants and bars, by adults of all age groups.
B2C content marketing
The web has provided a critical medium for the delivery of relevant content and information designed to educate prospects and generate demand, rather than simply promote brands. Branded content is increasingly part of consumers’ shopping process; more than one-quarter of all consumers (26 percent) report going to business websites for information prior to making a purchase.
In terms of content marketing, B2C marketers have found success with blogs written specifically to appeal to consumers who may be interested in unique products. Developing personas that can appeal to subsets of prospects and writing content from these perspectives to engage a wide array of audience members is gaining traction as a B2C content marketing practice.
A report from Technorati found that nearly 80 percent of entrepreneurs who maintain blogs said that their content has improved business. Meanwhile, corporate bloggers are finding similar benefits, with nearly 70 percent expressing their companies have greater visibility as a direct result of blog marketing.
The value of B2C SEO and social marketing
As consumers search for product names or look for content related to their intended purchases, a website with strong search standing and social presence will be visited more frequently. B2C marketers must understand the value of well developed keyword strategies, and bear in mind that most consumers search for four-word phrases.
IPerceptions’ Q2 2011 Retail/E-Commerce Industry Report said 21 percent of consumers land on ecommerce websites from search engines. Moreover, the average consumer visits more than 10 resources on the web before they finalize a purchase decision, varying from sites discovered on search to social forums. Search and social marketing together boost click-through rates among consumers by 94 percent on average.