B2B VS B2C Sales Copy: 6 Crucial Differences You Should Know About
Know your audience. It might be the number one rule of advertising, but with so many unique individuals out there, narrowing things down can feel overwhelming. Who is your target audience, exactly?
It's a question best answered in steps, and in this post, we'll look at step one. The first thing you need to figure out is whether you're selling to a business or a consumer. Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing require very different approaches.
There are a few simple things to remember when copywriting for B2B vs B2C brands. We'll review 6 important differences below, but before we dive in, let's define what these acronyms mean.
B2C copywriting is directed at individual consumers. They are often shopping for items they want, but don't need. This audience is interested in a new watch, a high-speed blender, or a cashmere sweater.
In a B2C situation, there's just one decision-maker involved. The individual's choices are motivated by feelings and convenience.
B2B copywriting is for employees who make purchases on behalf of a company. They could be shopping for software, office equipment, or consulting services. These transactions are intentional and planned, not spontaneous.
In a business setting, it is common to have multiple decision-makers. Products are vetted by various teams, and each will have its own set of requirements.
Now that that's all cleared up, let's talk about 6 differences between B2B and B2C copywriting you should keep in mind to maximize your success.
1. Businesses Are Logical Buyers
When you are writing for consumers, you'll want to speak to their emotions. Although most shoppers believe they are savvy deal-finders, 95% of purchase decisions are made subconsciously.
As a B2C copywriter, keep in mind that consumers buy products that satisfy a desire – feelings of adventure, coziness, and luxury are sure to sell.
B2B customers are more likely to make decisions using logic. In most cases, businesses are trying to solve a specific problem. They don't want to feel cozy, they need an online booking platform that works.
B2B copywriting should speak the client's language. Learn the technical terms employees use daily, and explain exactly how your product will make the business more efficient, profitable, or visible.
2. B2B Copywriting Will Have Many Readers
It only takes one shopper to swipe their credit card for a new pair of boots. Business purchases, on the other hand, are a team effort.
B2C sales copy can simply state how those new boots will make you feel (stylish!). B2B copywriting must appeal to a variety of readers with particular needs.
Imagine you're selling that online booking software we mentioned earlier. You'll have to convince multiple team members it will benefit them. The website administrator will have different goals than the business manager, but both are important decision-makers.
As a B2B copywriter, anticipate each individual's questions and prepare to answer them. This can require significant time and research, but it will win you contracts if done well.
3. Businesses Are Motivated Customers
Individual consumers make spur-of-the-moment purchases, and their behavior can be difficult to predict. They don't necessarily wake up planning to buy a new blender online, but some good B2C sales copy about green smoothies can make it happen.
B2B customers already know what they need, or at least what problem they have to solve. Their eyes are peeled for the right product, and it's already in the budget. Your job is to generate leads and put the answer in front of them.
If you can convince your B2B client a product will meet their needs, they will be highly motivated to buy it. To succeed, you'll have to understand the business you're selling to, as well as your competition. Be transparent about pricing and features, and clearly define why your product is the best choice.
4. B2B Copywriting Uses a Professional Tone
When you write copy for B2C sales, the tone should be cheerful and conversational. Talk to your audience like you're talking to a friend. Most people look to friends for product recommendations, after all.
B2B copywriting is more professional. Give your reader the impression that you know the ins-and-outs of their business. Business clients appreciate detailed information and deep knowledge. An ability to provide complex explanations in simple terms will serve you well.
5. Businesses Appreciate Follow-Up
B2C advertising targets a larger audience than B2B advertising. You might use data to show a series of online ads to individuals who engage with your website or social media. It's unlikely that you would contact each person by phone after running a single ad.
B2B marketing is high-touch. If a business is interested in your product, you will have to follow up with various employees directly to keep the momentum going. Schedule phone calls with relevant team members and get ready to send additional information upon request.
6. B2B Marketing Is a Multi-Step Process
In B2C copywriting, you only have to inspire one burst of emotion to make a sale. A B2B situation will require communication with multiple teams over a period of months.
Meetings are scheduled, then rescheduled. Your client will ask for consultations, demonstrations, and maybe even a free trial. The bureaucracy can be frustrating, but your patience will pay off.
After a contract is signed, there will be complex implementation and training procedures for many business products. You'll have to be available to ensure the transition happens smoothly.
Stick with it. B2B marketing is not for the faint of heart, but nothing beats the satisfaction of a closed deal after months of hard work.
What to Remember About B2B vs B2C Copywriting
Now that you know how to approach B2B vs B2C sales, you can begin the copywriting process with confidence. It's also important to remember that B2B and B2C audiences aren't so different, on a core level.
As a copywriter, you are always addressing a human looking for a solid solution to a problem, whether that problem is emotional or practical. All customers want to find the best product for the best price. Feel free to draw from classic marketing principles in any situation, just be sure to make the necessary adjustments for your audience.
If you're ready to become a professional copywriter, contact us today to learn about upcoming courses at the San Francisco School of Copywriting.