Whether the target audience is consumers or other businesses, marketers have a lot in common (beyond caffeine addictions, I mean).

Hey, the numbers don’t lie. For instance, data shows the vast majority of both B2B and B2C marketers use content marketing (89 and 86 percent, respectively).

That said, research indicates one significant differentiator between the two camps: B2C marketers see themselves as more successful in their content marketing efforts compared to their B2B colleagues.

In terms of achieving desired results, the B2C content marketing contingent appears more confident in its abilities. While factors like budget constraints and low prioritization were cited by B2B marketers as obstacles, the more concerning issues are arguably connected to content creation (cited by 47 percent) and content strategy (cited by 40 percent).

While some content marketing rules stay hard and fast regardless of the audience, it’s vital for B2B marketers to understand how their efforts must differ from the B2C space, as well as the most effective way to go about crafting their strategies.

B2B wants and needs

Consumers and companies alike want to do business with trustworthy organizations that provide desired products and services. That said, the “trust” component takes on a whole new dimension in the B2B space.

B2C customers who receive substandard products or poor service risk losing time and money (and a little bit of sanity). However, it’s fairly simple for them to move on to another business (after trashing yours online, of course).

Meanwhile, B2B customers are often quite literally putting their jobs on the line. The bigger the investment in your products and services, the worse they will look in the eyes of their boss if things don’t go according to plan.

In order to put this audience at ease, you must create content that recognizes their worries and appeases them accordingly.

The question is: Where do you start?

The B2B content marketing roadmap

You’re not stranded without directions. Building an effective B2B content marketing strategy is a simple matter of following a carefully laid-out roadmap.

In short, it reads like this:

  • Develop goals.
  • Produce personas.
  • Create content.
  • Distribute and promote.
  • Optimize website.
  • Report and analyze.

Of course, each of these pit stops on your way to B2B content marketing success requires some finesse.

Whether it’s zeroing in on which commercial goals are most important to your business, ensuring the personas you create align with the individuals actually consuming your content or determining which social media platforms make the most sense as distribution channels, the details will differ based on your specific business and the industry in which it operates.

It’s also essential to remember that the last phase, reporting and analysis, is perhaps the most important. Content marketing strategy is not a one-and-done affair. It requires constant recalibration. Your goal should be to fine-tune your strategy every day, always with the objective of increasing return on investment.

Check out our newest eBook, “The Definitive B2B Content Marketing Guide,” to find out how to put your map to use, complete with real-world examples and detailed explanations.

B2C marketers shouldn’t have all the fun. Up your content marketing game and join the party.

Eric Wendt is a writer and editor at Brafton. He discovered his love of words after realizing he was terrible at math. If he's not updating his Tumblr with poetry he's too embarrassed to share, there's a good chance he's out in search of the perfect pale ale.