B2B vs. B2C Storytelling: What’s the Difference?

B2B vs. B2C Storytelling: What’s the Difference?

No matter what you’re writing, your first consideration should be: Who is my audience? At a base level, you need to determine if your audience is B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer), because that will make a big difference in your tone and style.

What is the difference between B2B and B2C storytelling? Here’s a quick recap of what you need to know:

Remember who you’re talking to

When writing for a B2B audience, you’re targeting a group of like people who are typically within a specific industry, for example: people in the audio/visual industry. This means that all (or, at least, most) of the people in your audience will share some common knowledge on the subject you’re writing about.

On the other hand, when you write for a B2C audience, you’re usually casting a much wider net. Instead of speaking to a specific group of industry-insiders, you’re writing for a large group of consumers, each of whom will have different levels of knowledge and experience on the subject you’re writing about.

Know when to get technical

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the breadth of your audience, because that will help you establish the depth of your writing.

When writing for a B2B audience that has a shared understanding of the topic, it’s acceptable to use industry specific terms and dive deeply into the technical details. Be mindful, however, that even within your specific industry, audience members will likely have varying levels of expertise. So, while it’s certainly acceptable to use jargon, you’ll want to quickly define the terms to ensure your text remains approachable.

Conversely, when you’re targeting a broader B2C audience, you’re better off not getting too deep, technically. If you do want to share the technical nitty-gritty with a B2C audience, you need to spend a sufficient amount of time defining terms and explaining content so that your message can be understand by every person—even those without a technical background.

Decide between quantitative or qualitative data

To best address a B2B audience, you really need to line up the facts. Make sure you do some research before you get started writing, so you can support your statements with relevant, compelling statistics. And don’t be afraid to really dive deep into the data—for a technical audience, the more facts and figures, the better!

When targeting a B2C audience, be careful not to drop in too many dry statistics. Instead, take advantage of this time to really show some personality in your writing. Rather than turning to percentage points and graphs, use real-life examples to back up your claims. You can also feel free to write in a more casual, approachable tone. B2C writing should be relatable and easily understandable for a non-technical audience.

Once you master the difference between B2B and B2C storytelling, you’ll be able to successfully reach out to any kind of audience. Have a tip to share about B2B or B2C writing? Reach out to me on Twitter @merryshoebell.

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