Mama always said, “It’s not what’s on the surface, but what’s underneath that really counts.” While that statement has never been more valid than it is in the case of B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing, the fact is that appearance actually does function as content in this context. Creating effective content is by far the most effective way to increase your value in the eyes of consumers, but the methods for exacting upon an ideal B2C content marketing strategy are vastly different from what you’d see in a business-to-business setup.
The typical person’s concept of value changes dramatically depending on what they’re buying and for whom they’re buying it. Take yourself, for example. You’re hardly going to shop for copy machine toner and filter potential resumes in the same way that you’d shop for new workout clothes and finally settle on a hairstylist you love, are you? No! Consumers are inherently more emotion- and impulse-driven than businesses, and your content needs to reflect an understanding of that.
Below are a few tips for making the most of your B2C content marketing scheme and reaching your consumers on a more personal level:
1. The Quickest Way to Your Consumers’ Hearts is Through Their . . .
Senses! Okay, mostly their eyes and egos, but you get the idea. Any website content aimed at individual consumers needs to be enthralling, entertaining, and attractive. Text should be snappy, fun, and witty; graphics, logos and photography should be designed for instant noticeability, stunning aesthetics, and originality (more on the importance of originality in our sister post about B2B Marketing). Your main objective is to get their attention quickly, then make them feel something.
Eye Candy – Content in a B2C marketing scheme needs to be more than informational—it needs to be entertaining and flashy as well. Things like colors, font and language matter . . . maybe even more than facts. Text and graphics need to be consistent in matching a theme that corresponds to your brand. Is your product (and consumer base) conscientious and earthy? Trendy and driven? Fun and carefree? Your look and word selection needs to reflect those descriptors and match across platforms and landing pages. They also need to grab the attention of your website visitors quickly if you want them to get past the first impression: play with headlines, page titles, and subtitles to find phrases and keywords that connect instantly.
Pathos, logos, & ethos – For rhetoricians, there are three cornerstones of argument, or the art of convincing others: emotions, logic, and ethics. Ideally, you want your content to appeal to all three aspects of the human psyche—your customers should know what your product does (logic) and understand why its value is equal to its cost (just one example of ethics)—but what you really want to hit a home run on in the B2C market is emotional attachment . . . your consumers’ desires. Find out what problem your product solves or what primal need it satisfies, and see if you can figure out a way to relay that information in five words or less. Yes, this is the subplot of every Mad Men episode you’ve ever seen, but there’s a reason for that: it works.
2. Think Outside the [Text] Box
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the idea of perfecting your website content that you lose sight of the opportunities for generating success with your content outside of that platform. Think of the last time you bought something other than groceries or gasoline: chances are that you made the decision to purchase (or at least check out) a product based on a friend’s recommendation, an ad link you saw in your browser, or a trusted contemporary’s Facebook post. This is how we make luxury purchases in today’s marketplace.
Very few people window shop anymore, and even fewer consider an unnecessary purchase without being prompted by a friend or a temptation trigger. You need to provide those triggers in an easily accessible format and make them easy for friends to share across social media platforms.
Share, and Share Alike – Is there a way you can invite interaction with your consumers through your website? Is there a limited-time promotion you could run or a new product you could promote with a beautifully designed and gripping ad? Share these opportunities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that your most faithful customers will have a chance to share their love of your product with their social media contacts.
Your Brand is Everything – This is self-explanatory, but important: any promotional materials you design for consumption outside of your website needs to be clean, accessible and brand-consistent—ideally, consumers will eventually recognize it’s your product from visuals alone (think silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it). Follow the rules about Eye Candy above, and don’t be afraid to keep your language super simple.
3. It’s Okay to Ask for Help
There are about a million things you need to be worrying about as a business professional, and if you don’t have dedicated social media and marketing teams and in-house web designers, content distribution shouldn’t be an additional burden. Even if you do have support systems for this purpose, there are a couple tools that can be extremely effective in helping you and your existing customers spread the word about your products:
OneSpot.com – Not only can OneSpot help you when it comes to generating and updating content based on visitor trends and preferences, but it can also assist you in sharing your content effectively in a B2C marketing scheme across multiple channels, including social, display, and mobile. This is a great way to take content distribution to the next level.
ContentBlvd.com – This is a great choice for B2C content marketers because of its relevance in today’s online marketplace. Many habitual consumers of non-essential products subscribe to beauty vloggers through YouTube, and ContentBlvd is taking advantage of this trend. Clients will be matched to trusted YouTubers who want to sample and promote products to their followers. It’s like having a spokesperson without having to shell out money for a major movie star. What’s more is that YouTube promoters can be chosen specifically by you, or can submit themselves as potential candidates.
Food for Thought:
No one will ever see your website if they’re not being led to it when searching for what they need. When potential customers enter search terms into their browser, algorithms sort websites for them based on those that best match their needs—so you want to be sure those browsers’ algorithms are finding your website and putting it right at the top of the list, where it will get noticed by your future clients. For tips on improving SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and creating content for B2C marketing, contact us today!