B2B vs B2C Marketing: Key Differences, Tips, & Common Mistakes

March 22, 2024

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As a marketer, you know there are differences when marketing to businesses vs. individual consumers, but to your audience—it’s all content.

If you’re making (or already have made) the transition from business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing to business-to-business (B2B) marketing, or if you’re just trying to wrap your head around the rapid consumerization of B2B marketing—this article is for you.

Today, we’re examining the latest best practices, strategies, and examples of B2B brands winning with a modern and focused approach to their marketing.

B2B vs B2C: key marketing differences

B2B marketing and B2C marketing are often touted as vastly different entities, but at the end of the day, you’re still speaking to humans. Humans who, like the rest of us, are accustomed to getting the content they want, when they want it.

So, what are the meaningful differences between B2B and B2C audiences in 2024? And how do those differences play out in practice?

As B2B buyers begin to behave more like B2C buyers, it’s time for a closer look at where the real differences lie.


Unlike B2C, B2B marketing is all about the long game. Due to longer consideration times and buying cycles, building lasting relationships is critical.

And there’s plenty of data to back this up. According to Demand Gen’s 2023 B2B Buyer survey, retention, cross-selling and upselling are top priorities, with a jump from 25% to 40% year over year.

The survey also revealed the top three reasons for choosing a vendor, including:

  • The vendor demonstrated a stronger knowledge of their company and needs (67%)
  • The vendor demonstrated a stronger knowledge of the solution area and business landscape (67%)
  • The vendor provided higher-quality content (61%)

With multiple stakeholders involved in every purchase decision, relationship-building has always been important for B2B companies. But as the pressure to do more with less continues to grow, it’s proving to be even more paramount.


Compared to B2C, which focuses on creative iteration and brand storytelling, B2B marketing tends to place a greater focus on positioning and messaging in its branding.

As one respondent to Gartner’ one-minute insights question put it: B2B branding “relies on conveying expertise and ROI while B2C branding aims to build an emotional connection with the consumer. Both require crafting resonant messaging but B2B must speak to a niche professional audience.”

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And for both cases, the right branding is crucial.

In fact, research from the Content Marketing Institute’s 2024 B2B Content Marketing report found that 84% of B2B marketers named “creating brand awareness” as the #1 goal for their content marketing.


B2B marketing goes beyond product-market fit to include content that makes prospects feel smarter, confident, and understood.

According to Demand Gen’s 2023 Content Preferences survey, 71% of respondents said they consumed multiple content assets to help with the decision-making process. And an equal number also shared that content with team members.

When it comes to content formats, there are some significant differences between what B2C and B2B audiences want.

The survey also found that 57% of respondents said webinars were the most valuable content type in the early stages of their journey, although other top formats included research reports (53%), blog posts (52%) and ebooks (48%).


Approaches to targeting can vary. But as a general rule, B2B businesses tend to benefit more from the flywheel theory, while B2C companies often structure their marketing around the funnel theory.

In a content flywheel model, every piece of content feeds into the growth and momentum of the next piece of content, creating a virtuous cycle of brand awareness. Often, this starts with one long-form content asset, such as a research report, ebook, or digital event, which is then repackaged and redistributed to multiple audiences on multiple channels.

For example, you could repurpose a single webinar recording into a blog summary for your website, an email for your sales team, and video clips for social media in order to meet B2B buyers on their preferred channels.


Generally speaking, B2B marketing uses more informative language and tools such as infographics than B2C marketing.

Demand Gen’s Content Preferences report found that the top three content formats B2B buyers currently find most appealing include:

  • Short-form content, such as infographics and blog posts (65%)
  • Webinars and digital events (52%)
  • Long-form content, such as whitepapers and ebooks (50%)

At Goldcast, our own survey respondents tend to agree. According to our 2023 Attendee Sentiment survey, 74% of business attendees said they enjoyed the convenience of digital events.


Unlike broader B2C marketing strategies, B2B marketing initiatives require a more detailed and bespoke set of analytics.

The Gartner Future of Sales 2025 study points out that in less than a year, data-driven sales tactics will replace intuition-based selling in 60% of B2B sales organizations. This is a result of the changing landscape where B2B customers lean towards a multi-experience selling approach, engaging with vendors via digital and self-serve platforms.

To stay ahead of the curve, many B2B marketers create a marketing plan that can include using advanced methodologies like predictive analytics, guided selling, and leveraging AI to suggest the best steps for accelerating and securing deals.

Effective B2B content marketing tactics and strategies

From push marketing tactics like cold emailing and ads to a return to the fundamentals of relationship-building, B2B marketing has changed dramatically in just a few short years.

“The pandemic completely reset the game, and now buyers expect more. It goes back to having a well-thought-out plan from the very beginning," said Amy Vosko, VP of Revenue Marketing at PathFactory during Goldcast’s recent Sip & Share event.

Here are a few of the foundational tactics that remain effective, even amidst a changing B2B landscape.

Partnering with sales and other (go-to-market) GTM functions

Unlike B2C where products are often sold directly to consumers, B2B transactions involve multiple stakeholders and take place across several layers within an organization. This makes it imperative for B2B marketers to work collaboratively with sales and other teams to perfect their GTM motion. It often includes a focus on community building, customer education, pipeline creation, and more.

Creating content for each stage of awareness

A successful B2B marketing strategy involves producing unique content tailored to each stage of the buyer's journey, traditionally defined as: awareness, consideration, and decision making. In each stage, your content needs to go beyond promoting your offerings to provide valuable information that addresses your prospect’s biggest questions and business challenges.

Publishing a mix of content formats

From webinars to podcasts, in-depth blog posts and videos, B2B marketing thrives on a content strategy that fosters real relationships. By remixing long-form assets into more snackable formats for other channels, you can get your brand in front of the right prospects and start nurturing a connection, no matter where they like to consume their content.

Developing a strong plan for content distribution and promotion

Successful B2B marketing is all about knowing where your target audience spends their time and tailoring your messaging accordingly for optimum impact. This can include any number of distribution channels: search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media platforms like LinkedIn, and more.

Leveraging generative AI (GenAI)

With AI in the mix, creating content in large quantities may seem like a simple task, but the real challenge lies in consistently producing high-quality content at a fast pace. And this challenge becomes even greater when it comes to rich formats like audio and video content. That’s where the right AI tool can help. When used carefully, intentionally, and always with human oversight, GenAI tools can help marketers keep up with the demand for fresh and engaging content, without compromising on quality.

Running webinars, events, and event series

For obvious reasons, traditional field marketing underwent a major digital transformation in 2020. Since then, event marketing has gone from a one-off annual affair to a high-impact marketing channel in its own right. And there’s no limit to the event types and formats that can help you get the job done. From monthly product webinars to bi-weekly serialized events, B2B audiences crave convenient, informative, and entertaining event content.

[Need a quick hit of inspiration? Check out Goldcast’s event series, created for and by B2B marketers.]

4 B2B marketing mistakes to avoid

If you’re new to the world of B2B, this might all feel a little overwhelming—but never fear.

We’ve outlined some of the most common mistakes B2B marketers make, so you can learn from those who came before you.

1. Skipping the basics

No matter what kind of campaign you’re launching, start with the fundamentals. “What I’ve found with B2B, especially in tech, is that people that aren’t from marketing end up in marketing roles, especially when you’re small. What’s missing with this approach is some of the fundamentals of marketing. Things like how to put together a proper creative or campaign brief; how to think about the value or brand versus demand generation and figure out that mix; what’s the proper creative process, and how to give feedback,” says CallMiner CMO Eric Williamson.

2. Pumping out generic content

This one usually goes hand in hand with another common mistake: using SEO as your sole distribution channel. “Before you start creating a hundred pieces meant to influence your audience’s behavior, make sure you do a 100 hours of market or audience research as well… Especially in B2B, a lot of brands will just start forcing existing content into the journey and don’t understand why there’s only 300 views on a blog or white paper,” explains Zsuzsanna Blau, Global Head of Digital Demand at Nokia.

3. Failing to create community

To create a powerful community of brand-lovers, don’t just focus on content. Instead, focus on connections. “Ask the attendees during registration who they’d like to meet up with, and work to make an intro. There’s huge value in offering to make connections to others,” suggests Karen Hartline, Founder at Reinventing Events.

4. The ‘bait and pitch’

According to Devin Reed, Head of Content at Clari, the biggest mistake a B2B marketer can make in a webinar (or any other format for that matter), is what he’s dubbed the “bait and pitch”. “That’s when instead of getting expert advice, you’re given a product pitch—either overtly or positioned as one of the 5 “tips” for solving the problem you signed up to hear about,” he explains.

Other common mistakes include, bypassing customer research, over-personalization bordering on privacy intrusion, not building enough backlinks for key content (or building them for too many pieces), and ignoring your analytics.

But don’t worry. With the right playbook and examples to follow, you can successfully sidestep these challenges and launch a powerful marketing strategy that delivers the return on investment (ROI) you’re looking for.

Examples of great B2B content marketing

The event-driven B2B marketing teams at brands like HubSpot, IBM, and AspenCore can be great sources of inspiration when breaking into B2B. Let’s get into it.

HubSpot’s can’t-miss data reports

As the original inbound marketers, HubSpot is widely celebrated for its epic B2B content marketing. Every year, marketers from business brands of all kinds rush to download their annual State of Inbound report for the latest data insights and industry trends.

With a deep pool of insights to pull from, HubSpot can repurpose parts of the report for its social media channels, draw on the report in its digital and in-person events, and more.

IBM’s epic B2B branding

IBM Think is an annual conference all about showcasing the brand’s latest innovations and industry insights. Its dedicated event site uses consistent branding for an always-recognizable look across any distribution channel—even YouTube.

AspenCore’s content repurposing assembly line

The B2B marketing team at AspenCore produces an average of eight to 10 virtual events per year. To get the most out of each and every one, they use the AI in Content Lab to create clips in less than five minutes, which they can then publish on other channels. B2B prospects from all over the world can also head to AspenCore’s virtual event hub to view on-demand content in their own timezone.

The role of events in B2B marketing

When executed properly, events can become the most powerful tool in your digital marketing strategy. And with an effective repurposing process, you can maximize the ROI on every B2B campaign.

For an event strategy you can scale, look for a platform designed for B2B marketers. It should include core features such as:

With the powerful combination of Goldcast’s digital event platform and Content Lab AI tool, it’s easy to create a high-ROI B2B content strategy. You can go from hosting your event to generating a wide array of content formats from a single long-form video with significantly less time and resources.

Leave a lasting impression on your B2B audience

To meet the expectations of modern B2B buyers, it’s all about delivering a relevant and immersive experience. And in today's digital landscape, nothing provides a richer and more valuable content source than expert-led digital events.

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