Businesses that target other businesses as customers and businesses that target consumers operate differently in a number of ways. Sure, they all have similar business processes, but the way they market and sell to their customers is approached very differently. Does this also apply to public relations (PR)? Here are some of the differences that businesses should bear in mind when planning their PR activities.
Types of media
When businesses create and distribute media to their audience, the form it takes will vary depending on what kind of audience they are targeting. Take blog posts as an example. These can be published on your own platform or on other websites, but still under the name of your brand.
While all blog posts are generally conversational in tone, B2C media tends to be more casual, light, and entertaining. B2C blogs are kept short, usually 500 words or less so they are easy to digest. B2B blogs, on the other hand, often go into more depth and are more likely to go over 500 words. They provide more informative and educational content to their readers, because business buyers like to be fully informed.
The differing tones and formats of the two types of public relations also limit the platforms that they are suited to. This is particularly apparent when it comes to social media. Businesses can easily reach consumers on platforms such as Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram, as these are used during leisure time. Communication on these platforms are fairly casual, which suits the tone of B2C. B2B communication are often more formal, and better suited to professional platforms like LinkedIn. Sites like Twitter are good for both kinds of communication and are, therefore, good for lots of different business types.
Think about consumer brands such as Coca Cola and Nike. They appeal to a wide range of people rather than a particular gender or people with certain interests. Alternatively, how many people are interested in buying a CRM tool that can serve hundreds of employees in different locations?
Although this is a generalized statement (obviously some consumer products are aimed at niche groups) it is much more common for B2C companies to aim their products at a wider audience. As a result, B2B public relations practitioners need to be much more specific about where they place their media, looking at publications that target businesses of a certain size or industry, or buyers in a particular job role.
It is often said that consumers make buying decisions based primarily on their emotions, whereas businesses make decisions based on logic and reasoning. B2B buying decisions generally take much longer, have to go through various stages and are made as collective decisions. B2B PR needs to cater to this lengthier process and provide its audience with the relevant information at each stage of the buying process.
Although the strategies are similar, the way they are executed by B2B and B2C companies is different when it comes to PR. Make sure you keep your own target audience in mind when carrying out PR activities in order to communicate with them in the best way possible.