If you’re in the business of providing products and services to individual consumer, you’ll need sharply honed B2C marketing strategies to successfully attract and engage the right audience.
The effectiveness of these marketing strategies, however, depends on a variety of aspects, from your industry and target audience to your company values and specific business goals. No matter which or how many B2C marketing strategies you use, it’s important to constantly analyze data and customer feedback so you can adapt on the fly and optimize your marketing efforts.
What Is B2C (Business to Consumer) Marketing?
B2C, of course, stands for business-to-consumer, and B2B marketing is the business of selling products and services directly to people instead of businesses.
B2C companies run the gamut of organizations, from a small mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar store to an e-commerce store that sells exclusively online to an international conglomerate that mixes both. Examples of B2C companies include:
- A local shoe repair shop
- A 24-hour diner
- A sporting goods retailer
- A resume writing service
- Amazon, McDonald’s, Dollar Shave Club
What Are the Goals of B2C Marketing?
The ultimate goal of any B2C marketing strategy is to get the consumer to buy your product or service.
Before you start planning your marketing campaigns, however, you should consider more in detail what your B2C marketing goals are. Without them, your marketing has little focus and direction, which can come across in your advertising. This can create confusion in your audience, especially potential customers who don’t yet know you.
The goals of your approach to consider should include but are not limited to:
- Driving more sales
- Expanding brand awareness
- Generating more leads
- Boosting engagement
- Creating loyal customers
- Increasing customer retention
What’s the Difference between B2C and B2B Marketing?
B2C marketing promotes products and services directly to individual consumers, while B2B marketing promotes products and services to other businesses, companies, or organizations.
On a deeper level, B2C marketing tends to use emotion to drive sales, often because the purchases are lower in price. B2B marketing, on the other hand, typically involves larger purchases; this means the buying process is more complex and the buyer more likely to be persuaded to purchase based more on logic than on emotion.
How Does B2C Marketing Work?
You want to take into account that a wide array of variables come into play before the actual sale occurs. Someone who comes across your brand for the first time becomes a lead, a lead becomes a prospect, and a prospect becomes a customer.
Broadly speaking, this process is a sales funnel. Commonly, there are 3 stages to a funnel:
- Top Funnel. This is the awareness stage, where a potential customer comes across your brand for the first time. At this stage, this prospect has never heard of your brand and may not even know they need your products. They’re researching now because they’ve likely just begun looking for a solution to a given problem.
- Middle Funnel. Here, they’ve identified their problem clearly and are considering products and services that will solve it. This is where you begin target them with content that clearly shows how your company will help solve that problem.
- Bottom Funnel. This is where they’re ready to buy, which is why you market hard here. Adding urgency, offering discounts or incentives, hitting their pain points, using social proof and FOMO (“fear of missing out” on something that works or improves their lives), etc. This is where you show how your brand stands apart from competitors.
The question now becomes how do you get them to move through the funnel. The answer? Your B2C marketing strategies, help determine what your customers want and how to package your product to meet their desires.
Advantages of B2C Marketing
By focusing on marketing products and services designed for individual consumers, you can better understand and respond to the behaviors, wishes, problems, and demands of your customers.
Aside from the obvious advantage (boosting revenue), other benefits of using a strong B2C marketing strategy are:
- Increasing the number of website visitors
- Developing customer relationships
- Encouraging customer interactions
- Enhancing customer engagement
- Boosting SEO rankings and searchability
B2C Marketing Strategies to Consider Using for Your Business
Before we delve into these strategies, it’s important to remember that not all of them are necessary. In fact, some of them won’t make sense for your business. But if you can find the right mix of strategies, your bottom line will thank you.
Businesses that don’t make email an integral part of their marketing are leaving sales and revenue on the table. At best, it’s an effective, ROI-friendly way of building a relationship with your audience. At worst, it’s an easy way to stay on your customer’s mind, even when they don’t regularly open or click through the email.
When you build and curate a list of interested consumers, you’re able to use email to educate, nurture relationships, offer information, give updates, provide special offers, maintain customer retention, and encourage repeat purchases.
A common marketing strategy these days is using data-driven insights to determine your target audience, which then allows you to create customized ad campaigns that resonate.
To understand and target specific consumer groups, you can employ such tools as search engine marketing, social media advertising, or display advertising. To succeed at this means you should do market research to identify needs, wants, and demographics to help you create targeted ad campaigns.
This type of approach is designed to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message; this helps maximize the chances your prospect becomes a customer.
Social Media Marketing
Utilize various social media platforms to connect with your target audience, share content, and engage in conversations. Develop a social media strategy that aligns with your brand voice and objectives.
With how easy it is to access anyone in the world from wherever you are, it’s no surprise how important social media marketing has become to your business.
Paid social marketing is a common method of your marketing strategy, but if you budget is lacking, you can focus on growing your business organically by following through on B2C marketing strategies across multiple channels. The question is this though: which channels are best for your brand to talk to your audience?
While consumers today expect brands to be on social media, they also expect you to be visible and regular in your posting. Having good, well-developed B2C marketing strategies for social media can help increase your customer base and boost revenue.
In addition to the content you create in-house, consider using content from elsewhere.
One example is to use influencer marketing. Collaborating with influential people in your industry who have a large social media following to promote your products and services to their audience can increase your brand awareness and credibility because you’re reaching a whole new group of potential customers through someone they trust.
If you’ve never considered micro-influencers, it could be a good idea, especially if your budget is more limited. These are social media personalities in a specific niche or sub-niche. Though they may have smaller audiences, they can often be even more engaging with their content, and these are often loyal, devoted followers who make buying decisions based on the influencer. Plus, they’re much more budget-friendly.
User-Generated Content (UGC) can be a major boost. By encouraging your customers to create and share your brand content, you’re building a deeper connection with them. From reviews and testimonials to social media posts and videos, it not only build social proof but also adds authenticity to your brand, as it reaches your audience on a much different, more personal level.
B2C Mobile Marketing
According to research, 3 out of 4 Americans have used their phone to make a purchase. If you want to succeed, then your marketing campaigns should always be designed to make your customer’s shopping experience easy, safe, and convenient from a mobile perspective.
From ensuring your website is mobile-friendly to optimizing ads for mobile to even app-based marketing, marketing for mobile users is paramount.
Focus on the Customer Experience
It’s vital to prioritize an exceptional customer experience every step of the way: the ease of browsing your site, building a relationship via regular email, post-purchase support, interaction with customer service, and more. No matter where you engage the customer, make sure it’s positive so it leads to customer satisfaction, loyalty, and the best in free marketing: word-of-mouth.
Personalize your marketing
Tailor your marketing messages, content, and offers to meet the needs of your audience to build loyal customers. Customizing your communications to browsing behavior, specific preferences, and past purchase history can enhance your customer’s overall experience and drive conversions.
However, if not planned or executed well, it can come across as inauthentic and forced. For example, emails that automates the customer name in the greeting only is natural; repeating it 5-6 times in the body of the email can be overkill and dampen interest.
Have a Solid Content Marketing Strategy
To create a variety of valuable, relevant content that keeps your customer engaged and increases brand awareness means devising a solid overall strategy first. In addition to emails, you should mix in publishing blog posts, how-to videos, illustrations, infographics and more to educate, engage, and entertain while solving problems.
This establishes your brand’s expertise, increases your authority in the space, builds trust, and conveys an overall positive vibe about your brand.
Connect with Prospects on a Human Level
Your content marketing should always be planned and crafted with the goal of building relationships with your audience. This means treat as people, with genuine emotions beings, not simply as faceless customers.
From emails and blogs to press releases and social media media posts, the content should be authentic and true to your voice and brand. Connect on a human level by sharing your own stories or presenting your experiences as a solution to their problems, pains, and frustrations.
Offer Creative, Fun Contests
To the customer, the prospect of winning something for free is irresistible, especially if entering doesn’t take much time or effort. Contests are perfect for social media, emails, blog posts, or anywhere you deem appropriate. Webinars are becoming a popular place for contests, as they can boost attendance and give you valuable exposure.
Of course, the giveaway must be something your target audience will consider valuable. Plus, mo matter which social platform you use, make sure you’re following its rules and guidelines.
Offer Something Free Offer with Every Order
Adding a gift with each purchase can add more value to the product you sell. Maybe it’s a small item that goes with the product they bought or a free booklet you’ve created, maybe even a mini-course as an add-on to the main course they’ve signed up for.
In other words, it’s a win-win, as you get revenue and they’re getting something extra without having to pay extra.
Sometimes, customers don’t buy for many months. There can be many reasons for this, and often it’s nothing to do with you or your business. They’re busy with family, jobs, life.
So reconnecting with a customer who’s previously purchased not in months or even years is important. You never know when they might be needing your products and services because sometimes they don’t even know until your communication show up in their inbox or on their feed.
For example, created a sequence that gets triggered when a consumer comes across or interacts with your brand, such as when visiting Facebook, they see an ad for your business. They might not immediately click or buy, but the ad reinforces your brand image and helps keep your company top of mind.
As with most of your marketing, this should be done with careful planning, as its a form of paid advertising and it can eat into a marketing budget. However, if planned and implemented well, the ROI can make it worthwhile.
Create Customer Loyalty or Membership Programs
A loyalty or membership program for customers rewards them for continuing to do business with you. From exclusive discounts and special perks to freebies and member-only incentives, this helps build engagement and support for your brand.
You can make your membership or loyalty program competitive and rewarding. Consumers enjoy seeing their progress as they move up in membership level, giving them more access to further rewards and enhancing their relationship with you.
Challenges of B2C Marketing
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is the customer experience with your brand. With all the options available, customers easily switch brand allegiances if their experience isn’t positive. So make sure that your teams understand this and make it a focus of everything they do.
Developing and maintaining a solid content marketing strategy with B2C marketing tactics and trends that are well thought out can give your customers the experience they want.
Let’s take a look at more B2C marketing challenges to be aware of, especially keeping in mind the customer experience with each one.
If a small business doesn’t have the time and resources to make the customer experience top notch, it should consider figuring out a way to make it happen.
Think of it as an investment because if a company has great products and services that can actually make a difference, but its lack of resources is leading to negative experiences with your brand, customers will go elsewhere.
Depending on the industry, it’s likely your target market is crowded. This makes B2C marketing tricky because customers are being constantly bombarded with ads and messages. This can lead to fatigue or, worse, indifference because they’re overwhelmed.
That’s why you must create marketing materials, content, and messaging that sets you apart in saturated markets.
Not only does too much information apply to the customer, but also to your business.
Each interaction and touchpoint from your customer creates heaps of data, which can be hard for even large businesses to manage. It can create confusion or take away your focus, which eventually comes across to your audience.
However, with the right tools or applications that crunch your data, you can discover actionable insights perfect for your customer and your brand.
Use of Social Media
While it’s a given that social media marketing should be a major part of your overall B2C marketing strategies, you have to be careful in how you implement it. What seems like a good idea on paper doesn’t always succeed.
Does your social media marketing have a purpose? If provide great content without purpose, or with the intent only of being creative, you’re likely not addressing customer pain points.
For example, TikTok advertising is immensely popular right now. Many consumers say it’s easy to remember brands because of quick, snappy videos. It features a powerful algorithm with an ability to determine a user’s interests just from video engagement.
But it’s also its uniqueness that makes TikTok marketing a challenge, as it can be tempting to create something that fits TikTok but not your brand. So do your due diligence about it before jumping headfirst into it.
Yes, free offers can be a challenge despite all the good that can happen.
If free offers are an integral part of the brand’s growth, it begins to be part of your brand, and it becomes what customers expect of you. Brands that always offer discounts or free items see revenue decline and engagement wane when they go away from that model.
So be careful when and how you’re implementing freebies.
Crowdsourcing Product Ideas
It’s become common recently for B2C companies to ask the public to choose the next new product name, color, flavor, product design, etc. Granted, it can create significant buzz for a company at the time, as they might be capitalizing on a current trend.
But what happens when, only a few years later, that trend has passed? You have a product that doesn’t reflect your long-term company values.
The public might give you flashy ideas, but it’s not always good for sustained growth or positive brand recognition. Instead, conduct personal customer interviews that get their deeper feedback or use a more scientific, logical approach. You just want to be careful not to sacrifice the future to capitalize on a passing fancy.
Paying for ads that target customers when they’re browsing or using social media can help your business go viral.
However, it can also give them fatigue if not outright annoyance or frustration with your and other brands. Consumers are constantly being subjected to ads and marketing, so it’s a good idea to regularly check in with your paid ads.
You can shift your approach or tweak strategies to help ensure your audience continues to have a positive view of your brand. B2C marketing analytics and other data-driven efforts, including use of artificial intelligence (AI), can help you continue getting the results you want from your paid advertising.
Let Dia Creative Help You Build Solid, Effective B2C Marketing Strategies
Creating strategies that boost your bottom line and expand your reach can be overwhelming. Sometimes you need an expert to help.
If you’re looking to maximize your marketing efforts, Dia Creative can help. Click here for more information on how.