Recent research shows that while B2B and B2C companies both rate content marketing strategies very highly, they have very different ideas about their execution.

Digital marketing magazine Captora recently compiled ran infographic summarizing the differences between B2B and B2C content marketing strategies. And while there are many points of agreement on the most important goals of custom content creation (71 percent of both say customer acquisition, for example), there are important differences that illuminate how web campaigns are actually executed.

Goal: Lead generation – 74 percent of B2Bs, 50 percent of B2Cs

In-depth case studies, well-researched white papers and other types of premium content help B2Bs generate leads and are consider some of the most effective formats. B2C companies aren’t always as concerned with drawn-out sales cycles and it shows in their responses. Around half consider content marketing a sales tool. On the flip slide, just 45 percent of B2Bs agree.

Goal: Engagement – 57 percent of B2Bs, 65 percent of B2Cs

B2Cs are more focused on engaging customers than their B2C counterparts. Commenting and sharing are important for both types of companies, but B2Cs have always had the edge because targeting individual consumers. This is where B2Bs are going wrong: All marketing should be person to person.

Goal: Thought leadership – 68 percent of B2Bs, 33 percent of B2Cs

Business-to-business companies often face pressure to drive conversations for entire industries, which is where thought leadership comes in. It’s a way to share data points and in-depth arguments across businesses where multiple tiers of employees take place in decision-making.

Fractured goals across the digital marketing landscape

This breakdown of priorities between B2B and B2C companies is apparent across channels – not just with content distribution. As Brafton reported, B2B organizations are less likely to use social media. When they do, LinkedIn is their top choice (33 percent). By contrast, B2Cs unequivocally support their content strategies with social marketing and choose Facebook as an across-the-board favorite channel (68 percent).

Digital marketing is a holistic approach to a set of varied tasks, but it is possible to break approaches down into buckets, depending on a business’ industry. An industrial software provider needs to provide thought leadership pieces to incite conversations, while a home goods retailer might just want to provide useful daily blog posts about interior design. Most businesses will fall somewhere between these two examples, as marketing is a spectrum, but knowing which direction to lean can help crystallize any company’s ideal strategy. 

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.