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B2B Vs. B2C copywriting: Is there really a difference?

B2B Vs. B2C copywriting: Is there really a difference?

4 minute read

B2B Vs. B2C copywriting: Is there really a difference?

4 minute read

B2B Vs. B2C copywriting: Is there really a difference?

Ricky Stevens

Copywriter and Content Crafter

During my career, I’ve come across many marketing textbooks saying the same thing: B2B copywriting and B2C copywriting are two very different beasts.

While this assertion may have held water back in the day, seeing the two crafts as separate just doesn’t make much sense in today’s world. Actually, I believe there are more similarities than differences. Here’s why.

Both B2B and B2C customers enjoy good writing

The theory goes that B2C copy should be concise, fun, and engaging. But isn’t this true of all great copy?

Think about your typical B2B customer, scrolling through endless blogs and ebooks dense with jargon. While they may understand the terminology, if the copy’s dry and dreary it’ll bore them half to sleep. 

Just imagine the impact B2B content would have if it was actually enjoyable to read. We all love good writing, but engaging B2B copy is rarer than a Netflix original worth watching.

I know it can seem impossible to make telecom expense management or air conditioning systems fun – or even interesting. But it is doable.

Think about the angle you take, the tone of voice you use, even your choice of punctuation! Try telling a story or using real-world examples to demonstrate your points. All these techniques will draw your audience in and keep them reading.

No matter the audience, your goal is to write compelling, captivating copy. If you can do this, your B2B content will distinguish itself, rising like a shining pearl from the internet’s ocean of mediocrity.

Both B2B and B2C customers want to be educated

Think about the last big consumer purchase you made. Chances are you did your research, right?

Nobody buys a house, a new car, or even a new smartphone without reading up on it. Whether it’s a new piece of software for work or a new TV, we like to be assured that what we’re about to buy is worth the investment.

A recent study found that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones before making an in-store purchase. I know I do. If a product lacks a feature I need, I want to know about it before splashing the cash.

The fact is – despite what the textbooks say – both B2C and B2B audiences like to make informed purchasing decisions. Your copy should both inform and educate, no matter if they’re consumers or business buyers.

Both B2B and B2C customers are individuals

This one may be controversial.

It’s been drilled into marketers’ heads that B2B buying decisions are made by committee and B2C buying decisions are made by individuals.

There is a kernel of truth in this: B2B customers often run decisions by many of their colleagues before committing to a purchase.

But this doesn’t mean you need to write for an audience of many. As marketing expert Seth Godwin once said: if you try and appeal to everyone, you’ll end up appealing to no one.

Instead, always focus on speaking directly to the person sitting on the other side of the screen. If you can really understand this individual – and persuade them sufficiently  –  they’ll take care of fighting your client’s business case at the committee stage.

Both B2B and B2C customers are logical and emotional

This is the distinction between the two audiences I see getting discussed most often:

  • B2C customers make decisions based on emotion
  • B2B customers make decisions based on logic

Now, if this were true, I’d have bought a 2019 Vespa GTS last month instead of paying my bills and saving for a house.

Both B2B and B2C audiences are human beings. Both make decisions with their heads and their hearts. 

It goes back to marketing 101: people have needs and they have wants.

A B2B customer may be on the hunt for a new HR solution, but not just because they need to better manage employee information. They want to save time and make their day a little less stressful. Cloud management software may make a business run more efficiently, but it’ll also allow CFO’s to prove they’re great at their job.

No matter who you’re writing for, always appeal to both their needs and their desires.

More similarities than differences

There are undoubtedly some key differences between B2C and B2B marketing. The buyer’s journey in particular. But how you communicate with these audiences is more similar than you’d think.

When crafting copy, always remember: whether they’re in their business suit or their bedclothes, your audience is always human. So, whether copywriting for B2B or B2C audiences, always:

  • Write copy that’s enjoyable to read
  • Teach your readers something new or interesting
  • Talk to readers directly as individuals
  • Appeal to customers’ emotions and needs

Don’t worry about the differences between B2B and B2C copywriting. Just focus on writing useful content – that’s all any audience really wants.  

During my career, I’ve come across many marketing textbooks saying the same thing: B2B copywriting and B2C copywriting are two very different beasts.

While this assertion may have held water back in the day, seeing the two crafts as separate just doesn’t make much sense in today’s world. Actually, I believe there are more similarities than differences. Here’s why.

Both B2B and B2C customers enjoy good writing

The theory goes that B2C copy should be concise, fun, and engaging. But isn’t this true of all great copy?

Think about your typical B2B customer, scrolling through endless blogs and ebooks dense with jargon. While they may understand the terminology, if the copy’s dry and dreary it’ll bore them half to sleep. 

Just imagine the impact B2B content would have if it was actually enjoyable to read. We all love good writing, but engaging B2B copy is rarer than a Netflix original worth watching.

I know it can seem impossible to make telecom expense management or air conditioning systems fun – or even interesting. But it is doable.

Think about the angle you take, the tone of voice you use, even your choice of punctuation! Try telling a story or using real-world examples to demonstrate your points. All these techniques will draw your audience in and keep them reading.

No matter the audience, your goal is to write compelling, captivating copy. If you can do this, your B2B content will distinguish itself, rising like a shining pearl from the internet’s ocean of mediocrity.

Both B2B and B2C customers want to be educated

Think about the last big consumer purchase you made. Chances are you did your research, right?

Nobody buys a house, a new car, or even a new smartphone without reading up on it. Whether it’s a new piece of software for work or a new TV, we like to be assured that what we’re about to buy is worth the investment.

A recent study found that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones before making an in-store purchase. I know I do. If a product lacks a feature I need, I want to know about it before splashing the cash.

The fact is – despite what the textbooks say – both B2C and B2B audiences like to make informed purchasing decisions. Your copy should both inform and educate, no matter if they’re consumers or business buyers.

Both B2B and B2C customers are individuals

This one may be controversial.

It’s been drilled into marketers’ heads that B2B buying decisions are made by committee and B2C buying decisions are made by individuals.

There is a kernel of truth in this: B2B customers often run decisions by many of their colleagues before committing to a purchase.

But this doesn’t mean you need to write for an audience of many. As marketing expert Seth Godwin once said: if you try and appeal to everyone, you’ll end up appealing to no one.

Instead, always focus on speaking directly to the person sitting on the other side of the screen. If you can really understand this individual – and persuade them sufficiently  –  they’ll take care of fighting your client’s business case at the committee stage.

Both B2B and B2C customers are logical and emotional

This is the distinction between the two audiences I see getting discussed most often:

  • B2C customers make decisions based on emotion
  • B2B customers make decisions based on logic

Now, if this were true, I’d have bought a 2019 Vespa GTS last month instead of paying my bills and saving for a house.

Both B2B and B2C audiences are human beings. Both make decisions with their heads and their hearts. 

It goes back to marketing 101: people have needs and they have wants.

A B2B customer may be on the hunt for a new HR solution, but not just because they need to better manage employee information. They want to save time and make their day a little less stressful. Cloud management software may make a business run more efficiently, but it’ll also allow CFO’s to prove they’re great at their job.

No matter who you’re writing for, always appeal to both their needs and their desires.

More similarities than differences

There are undoubtedly some key differences between B2C and B2B marketing. The buyer’s journey in particular. But how you communicate with these audiences is more similar than you’d think.

When crafting copy, always remember: whether they’re in their business suit or their bedclothes, your audience is always human. So, whether copywriting for B2B or B2C audiences, always:

  • Write copy that’s enjoyable to read
  • Teach your readers something new or interesting
  • Talk to readers directly as individuals
  • Appeal to customers’ emotions and needs

Don’t worry about the differences between B2B and B2C copywriting. Just focus on writing useful content – that’s all any audience really wants.  

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About the author

Ricky Stevens

Ricky is a copywriter with experience writing all sorts of web-based stuff, including blogs, emails, social posts, and websites. For more of his tips and insights, follow him on LinkedIn and check out his website.

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