What is B2B Content Marketing?
Over in the “office hours” (group coaching) component of the Complete Guide to Content Marketing Writing course, we were discussing how to target clients based on our clinical niches. It was an awesome conversation, by the way, and I think everyone gained a lot from it!
When most content marketing writers are starting out, they think immediately about writing materials for a consumer audience. That’s understandable, because it’s the type of marketing we’re most familiar with. As consumers ourselves, we get bombarded with sales and marketing messages every day.
But there’s a second type of content marketing client you can target, and that’s what I’m going to talk about in today’s post.
Two Main Types of Content Marketing
Content marketing comes in two basic “flavors” – “business-to-consumer” (B2c or B2C) and “business-to-business” (B2b or B2B).
B2C refers to marketing communications aimed at consumers. That’s the type of marketing I just described above: the sales messages you, as a consumer, receive every day.
For instance, you probably receive plenty of email newsletters from various companies. Those newsletters may be interesting and informative, but their primary purpose is to convert you, the consumer, into a customer of the company. So, those newsletters are B2C content because represent marketing messages that move from the Business “2” the Consumer.
But B2B is a little trickier to grasp, conceptually, so let’s demystify it right now.
How Companies Market Goods and Services to Other Companies
If you’re not a marketing insider, it might surprise you to learn that companies actively market their goods and services to other companies. When you think about it, this makes total sense. Businesses are “consumers,” after all, in the same way individual people are, only on an institutional level. At your hospital, the supply chain managers can choose from a variety of suppliers to fulfill their product needs. Why should they choose Company A over Company B to sell them ABDs? That’s where B2B marketing comes in.
In a nutshell, B2B marketing consists simply of marketing messages that move from one Business “2” another Business, instead of moving to a consumer.
B2B content often takes the exact same form as B2C. Businesses might use email blasts, newsletters, web pages, videos, and a vast array of other assets to solicit business from another business. The goal of these communications remains the same as B2C, too: To influence the recipient into becoming a customer.
Here’s a specific example of how this works: Angela, a supply chain manager at your hospital, needs to purchase ABDs. She knows of two suppliers to choose from, both of which offer the same pricing. But Company A happens to send Angela a monthly newsletter with articles on how to more efficiently manage the supply chain. Angela finds these tips super helpful in doing her job better – and even earned an exceptional rating on her most recent annual review after implementing some of those tips. So, when it’s time for her to order more ABDs, she chooses Company A. After all, they helped her out with their newsletter; now, she can help them out by using their services.
B2B content writing can be very lucrative for nurse-writers, because we have the insider knowledge of health and healthcare that can give a company a competitive edge when soliciting sales from an institution like a healthcare system. But finding B2B clients can prove challenging to novice nurse-writers because it requires a mindset shift to understand where to look for them.
How to Find B2B Prospects
As I explained this concept in the Office Hours call last week, some of the participants were confused about where to look for B2B clients. They thought they would need to find a contact at the hospital system, for example. In short, they thought the way to approach this was to look for “Angela.”
That’s a common misconception by novice writers.
But, instead of seeking out “Angela,” you need to seek out the content manager or director at “Company A” – because they’re the ones who might hire you to produce that helpful newsletter that Angela receives every month.
When you’re looking for B2B prospects, always think in terms of WHO is selling to WHOM – and then look for the WHO. Find the content directors at the company that is marketing its goods and services to other businesses.
Once you understand the relationships involved in B2B content marketing, then prospecting becomes a breeze!