B2B vs B2C Writing: What’s the Difference?

While the differences between B2B and B2C writing can be a confusing topic for many, it’s actually pretty straight forward once you learn the goals behind each style.

If you’re not entirely familiar with the differences yourself, I’m going to break it down for you in this article – without any confusing nonsense.

What’s B2B Writing?

B2B writing, or business to business writing, is the process of offering services or products to businesses which may help improve their processes, systems, and boost revenue.

It can be pretty technical at times, and definitely requires a good sense of who your target businesses are so you can formulate valuable pitches that make decision makers want to work with you.

B2B writing is generally regarded as the “tougher” route to go in comparison to B2C, because you’re dealing with other savvy business owners rather than the average customer.  Solutions for a business are generally more expensive too, so it’s a complex sales process in many cases. But the payout tends to be much higher.

A quick example of business to business writing would be a marketing agency creating blog posts directed at owners of dental clinics.  The marketing agency’s goal would be to sell their services to the dentists, in order to boost their business’ growth in exchange for money.

What’s B2C Writing?

B2C, or business to consumer writing, is developing content that appeals to consumers in a way that makes them want to buy your products or services, and positions your brand as an authority in your niche.

B2C writing is what you see on commercials, sales emails, and articles targeted at the general consumer.  Business to consumer writing involves really tapping into the emotions of your target audience in order to expedite sales.

An example of B2C writing would be a golf instructor writing an online sales letter to potential customers who regularly play golf.  The golf instructor would appeal to the pain points that golfers experience from a terrible golf swing. Then, the letter would play on the benefits and emotional rewards of improving the golfer’s said swing – convincing golfers to buy a special new product he’s offering.

The Biggest Similarity Between B2B and B2C Writing

Without a doubt, both styles of writing are different. But they do have relatively the same golden rule involved.  And that golden rule is to think of your audience first.

Your audience is the key, no matter what you’re trying to sell.

Keeping your target audience in mind involves identifying their pain points and being able to effectively explain how the benefits you provide will alleviate these pain points. Assuming that customers already know what you or your product can do for them is a mistake.  You need to always pitch the VALUE of the item or service, not just features.

The Difference of B2B Writing

Now that you know what each type of writing is (and what to keep in mind while writing) let’s dive into the differences of writing for business to business.  For B2B, you must understand the pain points or struggles a decision-maker is going through. And these are often quite different from general consumers.

Once a decision maker’s paint points are identified, then you can pitch a product, idea, or service that’s going to improve their business life. But these pitches, no matter the form, must contain proof and examples that show you can actually help.

What really matters at the end of the day in business is revenue. So if you can highlight how you’ll bring businesses more revenue that eventually exceeds the cost of paying for your services, you’ve got yourself a sale.

For a basic breakdown of the key aspects for MOST business to business writing, remember out this bulleted list.

  • Data-driven writing.
  • Long-form content.
  • Less emotion, more reason.
  • A longer decision process, because more people are involved.

The four points above are the right ideas to keep in mind the majority of the time (there are always exceptions of course). But remember to assess your situation, and write in a B2B style that accurately reflects your goals and your potential clients’.

The Difference of B2C Writing

As I stated above, both styles of writing are pretty similar on a macro level.  But the key difference I’ve found to be successful in business to consumer writing is to focus on appealing to emotions.

Consumers make millions of online purchases every single day.  With that in mind, it’s usually a much easier sale with business to consumer writing because they’re always looking for the next big thing to buy and improve their lives – not to mention your customer pool is much larger.

By appealing to various emotions like fear or happiness, a writer can effectively persuade a consumer to buy a product or service that will genuinely alleviate negative emotions or boost the experience of positive ones within their lives.

If you can just remember to know your audience and appeal to their emotions, then you’ll be successful in the business to consumer writing sphere.

Some key characteristics that I’ve found in B2C writing are listed below:

  • Appealing to emotions.
  • Easier to read.
  • More conversational tone.
  • Less decision time due to an individual making the decision.

Some B2C situations should be treated more like business to business writing, but for the most part the list above is going to apply to your circumstances.

The Final Say

B2B and B2C have similar high level goals, but contain key differences that writers and marketers should be aware of.

When it comes down to it, writing is about knowing your audience inside and out.  Things like age, gender, education, and values can help.  But the main thing to understand is how your service, idea, or product can solve their problems or improve something in their business or daily life.

If you can appeal to your audience’s needs and convince them of the benefits you offer, then you’re going to be successful in whatever kind of writing you engage in.