8 Important Principles for B2C Content Marketing

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8 Important Principles for B2C Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most effective strategies for growing brand awareness, attracting new audiences, retaining existing customers, and driving revenue. 

No wonder 86% of B2C marketers believe content marketing is a key strategy. 

Apart from being a powerful channel for generating new business opportunities, content marketing comes with another big advantage — it’s 62% less expensive than traditional marketing. So, even if your marketing budget is modest, you can always rely on content to help you grow your business without breaking the bank in the process. 

Now that we’ve made a strong case for investing in content marketing, it’s important to mention that you can expect it to work only if you follow a couple of established principles. 

In this article, we’ll discuss these principles and share eight tried-and-true tips you can implement in your B2C content marketing strategy. 

1. Not All of Your Traffic Will Come from Google

Creating relevant, high-quality content that will add value to your customers is the first step. Remember that the role of your blog posts, videos, and infographics is to educate your audience and not to sell, but more on that later. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) will allow you to identify relevant topics, tap into your audience’s interests, and tweak your content in a way that will ensure better rankings. If we bear in mind that the top organic search result in Google is ten times more likely to get a click compared to the one on position #10, it’s obvious how you can benefit from SEO. 

However, even though optimizing your content for search engines will give your website traffic a significant boost, it’s by no means the only strategy to focus on. 

Simply publishing amazing content on your website won’t suffice, so it’s crucial to put it in front of as many people as possible by promoting it strategically using social media and email marketing

Social Media

Almost 60% of the global population uses social media, which means that not using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or even TikTok to distribute your content means letting your potential customers slip through the cracks. 

Here’s how you can make the most of this channel: 

Pick the right platform for the type of content you’re sharing and your target audience.

For example, videos perform great on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, while Pinterest is the best place for infographics. 

Also, if your audience is younger, they’re probably on TikTok, since 10- to 19-year-olds account for 25% of the app’s active users. 

Use relevant hashtags to make your content more discoverable and help new customers find you.

To find the most suitable hashtags for your post, monitor your competitors and social media influencers in your industry. 

Don’t use strings of too many hashtags, as that will overwhelm your audience and prevent them from engaging with your content. Finally, monitor and adjust your hashtags as you run your campaign. 

Invest in paid ads to target specific audiences and amplify your reach.

Most platforms offer a high level of granularity so that you can target your potential customers based on location, gender, age, interests, or income. 

Targeting lookalike audiences is another useful tactic that will allow you to present your content to those most likely to be interested in reading it. 

Team up with industry influencers with an audience similar to yours.

Such a partnership can yield some long-term results since getting promoted on an Instagram profile with 50,000 or more followers will send a lot of qualified traffic your way and bring you lots of new followers. 

Leverage UGC. 

Encourage your customers’ feedback through different kinds of media and share user-generated content on your social media channels. 

This next-level approach will skyrocket your engagement and prompt customers to record videos or take snaps of themselves using your products. This is a win-win situation: you’ll both post compelling content and showcase your product in a very subtle way. 

For example, Sephora’s Instagram post featuring Selena Gomez got a reshare on the pop star’s own profile, thus reaching her massive 368-million following. 

Source: Instagram 

GoPro’s Instagram content almost exclusively consists of their happy customers’ photos and videos. This not only saves the brand’s resources but also involves their audience in two-way communication by inviting them to participate in the process of content creation.

Source: Instagram 

Email Marketing

According to B2C marketers, email is still one of the top three most powerful content distribution channels, with 79% of them using it to share their blog posts and videos. Plus, this old-school marketing strategy boasts an impressive ROI — you’ll get $36 for every dollar you spend. 

Some of the best email marketing practices for promoting your content include: 

Come up with a catchy subject line.

If you want your recipients to open your email and actually read your content, you need to capture their attention. 

Keep your subject line short and sweet, which means no more than 50 characters. 

Spark readers’ curiosity by asking questions that address their pain points or interests and implying they will find an answer or a solution if they open the email. 

Numbers can make your subject line stand out and give readers a clear idea of what to expect in your content. For example, “10 Tips for Increasing Productivity” clearly communicates what the readers will find out. It also suggests that the content is split into sections and easy to read. 

Segment your audience.

The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in email marketing. 

That’s why it’s essential to segment your audience based on different parameters, such as demographic information, interests, or locations, and send them personalized content that will resonate with them. 

Grammarly uses the newsletter format as a great vehicle for content distribution. With a straightforward subject line reading “Fuel productive communication for hybrid teams,” the brand intrigues recipients to learn more about the topic. It then goes on to share resources useful for the business segment of their audience.  

Source: Grammarly Email Marketing Campaign

2. Leads Need a Reason to Return to Your Blog

Attracting potential customers to your website is challenging, but keeping them coming back requires an even greater effort. 

In B2C marketing, there are usually multiple touchpoints before a conversion, which means your potential customers are unlikely to purchase something the moment they land on your website. That’s why keeping them engaged and staying top of mind is the best tactic for making sure they will eventually grab their credit card and hit the “Buy now” button. 

Don’t expect that readers you want to convert into paying customers will come back if your content is lackluster. They need some kind of motivation to bookmark your website and check it out regularly. 

Consistently producing quality evergreen content will do the trick.

As its name implies, evergreen content stays “fresh” and relevant, like evergreen trees that maintain their lush foliage throughout the year. It remains relevant and useful for an extended period, as it doesn’t discuss the latest fad, current trend, or news with a short shelf life.

How-to guides, tutorials, FAQs, customer testimonials, free tools and calculators, top tips, explainer videos, glossaries, and buying guides are some examples of evergreen content. 

It’s valuable because it continues to drive traffic and engagement long after it’s initially published. 

How to Craft Evergreen Content

  • Focus on timeless topics. For example, there will always be someone who wants to know how to start a blog, create a running schedule, or budget money.
  • Avoid referencing specific dates or events to prevent your content from quickly becoming outdated.
  • Update old content regularly. If you have older evergreen content on your website, make sure to update it to keep it fresh and relevant. Add the latest stats and insights and remove any information that’s no longer accurate. Make sure to also check for broken links.
  • Use authority sources to back up your claims and add credibility to your content, as that will help it remain relevant over time.
  • Write in clear and concise language to make your content more accessible and easier to understand by a wider audience.
  • Optimize for search engines. Sprinkle it with keywords and phrases that people are likely to search for when looking for information on the topic you’re covering. This will help your content rank well in search engines and be more discoverable by your audience.

Warby Parker’s “Find Your Frames” quiz is a great example of evergreen content. People usually need some assistance when choosing frames, and with this simple tool, they can get it without leaving their homes. It’s a low-commitment quiz, as there are only a couple of questions, some of which can be skipped. Plus, it’s an excellent method to capture potential customers’ addresses. 

Source: Warby Parker

3. Selling Isn’t as Important as Informing

Your content exists to create brand awareness and generate leads. But, most of all, the role of B2C content is to inform and educate potential customers. Before they buy anything, people want to be sure that the product or service will actually make their life better. 

Let’s say someone wants to start running and needs to find the right pair of shoes. This person is a complete newbie, so their knowledge about running shoes is very limited. It’s safe to conclude that they won’t immediately visit an online store to browse different sneaker models. 

Our aspiring athlete will first have to learn more about what a good running shoe is. That’s where educational content comes in to help them understand what gait, traction, cushioning, or the heel counter is. Awkwardly promoting your fancy running shoes in blog posts or social media content, when most people just want to have particular questions answered, will be counterproductive. 

So, if you want to attract more customers, stop selling and use your content to help your audience learn how to solve their pain points instead. 

This doesn’t mean you should never mention your product or service. Try to strike the right balance between promoting it and providing value to your customers. 

ATH’s “Whey Protein 101: Everything You Need to Know” post is a detailed and well-researched guide on the topic. Written by a registered dietician and packed with relevant research studies, this piece of content is intended as a go-to resource for anybody who wants to learn more about whey protein, its benefits, and what to look for when buying it.

The brand does promote one of their products, but in a very natural and low-key manner, by mentioning it at the very end of the article. 

Source: ATH Sports

4. People Don’t Read Like We Think They Do

What this means is that people rarely read word for word when consuming content online. They tend to scan and try to quickly find the information they’re looking for. 

If you don’t want website visitors to roll their eyes upon seeing your content, structure it so that it accommodates the way people read online. Improve the readability of your content and make it more scannable by breaking down massive blocks of text. 

You can do this by:

  • Leveraging white space to give readers some breathing room and visually improve your content
  • Using short and simple sentences that are easier on the eyes than lengthy, complex ones
  • Organizing your ideas into headings and subheadings to improve the flow of your content and its scannability
  • Using bullet points to present information in a clear and concise way
  • Avoiding technical terms or jargon that your readers may not understand
  • Using images, infographics, animations, and other visuals to make the content more engaging 
  • Choosing a legible font and a layout that is visually appealing and easy to follow 

January’s post on “What Are The Best Snacks For Diabetics” implements all the principles we’ve mentioned above. There’s a lot of negative space, sentences and paragraphs are short, and the content sections are organized under headings and split into well organized bullet points. 

Source: January

Similarly, in their blog post about the “Split the Cost of Sending Your Thankbox Card” feature, the eponymous brand uses a simple animation to illustrate how the process works. Those who don’t have the time or patience to read the blog post can quickly learn how the feature works. 

Source: Thankbox

5. Some of Your Readers Are Ready to Convert

Impulse purchasing is a big part of B2C marketing, and you should cash in on this using your content. 

Stats say that 87% of US shoppers make impulse buys, which means that they usually need just a little nudge to convert. These kinds of purchases are driven by emotions such as excitement or a desire to reward oneself. The triggers that can influence customers and get them to buy something spontaneously include: 

  • Emotional appeal
  • Scarcity
  • A sense of urgency
  • Social pressure 

Luckily for you, content marketing can play on all these emotions. Here’s how to use it: 

  • Craft content that evokes feelings of happiness, fear, or excitement. 
  • Use scarcity and create a sense of urgency. Including phrases such as “limited time offer” or “only a few left in stock” will entice impulse buyers. 
  • Leverage social pressure by displaying social proof, such as customer reviews or testimonials.
  • Use attractive visuals to showcase your products and make them more appealing to potential customers.
  • Create a sense of exclusivity by offering VIP discounts, “members only” deals, or limited edition products. 
  • Optimize your checkout process and remove any barriers to purchase.
  • Include free shipping. 68% of consumers say they are significantly less likely to make a purchase when a retailer doesn’t offer this perk.  

Eachnight’s detailed guide on the “Best Split King Adjustable Beds” is a great example of content that will give purchase-ready customers the final push. The brand states that the article was medically reviewed by a physical therapist and corroborates this claim with the expert’s credentials in a short bio. The information is presented in a clear way: it highlights the best features of the product, who it’s recommended for, and the pros and cons. Finally, there’s a free shipping code that helps seal the deal. 

Source: Eachnight

6. You Need to Understand Your Target Audience

No matter how well-written your content is, it won’t strike the right chord with your audience if it doesn’t address their pain points and interests. 

So, before you pick topics to cover, it’s imperative that you have a clear view of the human beings who represent the majority of your sales. 

There are several ways to better understand your customers’ preferences: 

  • Ask them for feedback. Customer surveys are a powerful tool for getting to know your audience better and pinpointing what they expect from your brand. 
  • Monitor your competitors. Check how they’re targeting the audience you share and identify what tactics work well or fall flat. 
  • Keep an eye on the comments section and customer reviews. These resources are a gold mine of relevant information about what your audience likes and dislikes, what their expectations from your brand are, or what their biggest challenges are. You can later use these insights to inform your content creation. 
  • Create buyer personas. That’s how you’ll know who you’re speaking to so that you can empathize with them, use the right language, and gear your content toward their beliefs and values.

Empathy is at the core of creating relatable content that will allow you to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with your audience. 

For example, Dove’s revolutionary ”Real Beauty” campaign raised the bar for the entire beauty industry. The brand highlights inclusiveness and diversity in their approach to content marketing by representing women of all ages, sizes, body types, and ethnic backgrounds. But Dove doesn’t stop there — their latest campaign, “Project #ShowUs”, invites women and non-binary individuals to share their images so that advertisers can use them in campaigns. Needless to say, these consistent efforts to redefine the idea of body image and beauty standards appeal to the brand’s various audiences.

Source: Dove

7. Video Is King

In 2022, 82% of global internet traffic came from video. This format provides a more immersive and interactive experience since it includes audio, movement, and other elements that can help to convey a message in a more dynamic and compelling way.

All this makes video by far the most engaging medium for grabbing the attention of a B2C lead. People who buy with emotions will bounce from a site if you’re not communicating in a way that suits their fickleness. Creating video content for your blog and social media will keep impulse buyers on your channels and encourage them to explore your products further. 

To capitalize on the power of video content, try out the following tactics: 

  • Address your customers’ pain points by creating how-to guides, tutorials, and explainer videos. Share product assembly videos across your social media channels and product pages to make them easily accessible.
  • Tailor your videos to different platforms for better engagement and visibility. What works on Instagram doesn’t necessarily perform well on Facebook. Check the length and file size requirements, and optimize your captions and hashtags.
  • Include a CTA to invite viewers to visit the product page or your online store. For example, Instagram allows you to create shoppable videos that make it easier for potential customers to get the item they like after watching content.  
  • Add subtitles. Given that 85% of people watch videos on mute, this tactic will increase your view count, watch time, and engagement. 

To engage customers who prefer watching videos to reading, Somnifix embedded TikTok videos in their post on “How Is Brain Health Connected to Sleep Hygiene”. This is particularly suitable since the topic revolves around scientific research studies. Having such concepts explained in a simplified, conversational manner can help the audience understand the topic better. 

Source: Somnifix

8. You Can Never Get Too Niche or Too Detailed

Don’t be scared to give your readers incredibly detailed information on specific topics. 

The deeper you can delve into a niche question that your target audience is asking, the more likely you are to differentiate your content from your competitors.

Instead of targeting a wide range of customers only, it’s a good idea to offer something unique and focus on a niche audience with very particular interests in search of somewhat unconventional products or services. 

Catering to such a subset of your target audience can be highly beneficial for your brand since cultivating close relationships with a smaller group of people will result in increased brand loyalty. 

Another advantage is having fewer competitors. 

Last but not least, you can expect a higher profit margin. After all, customers who don’t settle for the ordinary are willing to pay more when they find products or services that match their needs. 

Lush is an example of a brand that nails niche content marketing. They fervently advocate cruelty-free cosmetics and fair trade, thus positioning themselves as the go-to choice for customers who share the same set of core values. Naturally, their content, like their “Defend Your Right to Cruelty-Free Cosmetics” post, showcases these standards and starts important conversations. 

Source: Lush

Wrapping Up  

Content is the backbone of a successful B2C marketing strategy, but only if properly planned and executed. Creating blog posts or videos that only repeat what others have previously said won’t get you very far, so it’s essential to offer something that will truly add value to your audience. Instead of wasting your resources on generating tons of low-quality content just for the sake of it, implement these principles and create blog posts, videos, and other formats your customers will love. 

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About the Author

Travis Jamison
Travis Jamison is an entrepreneur turned investor. After selling a couple of businesses, he shifted his focus toward investing. But he was disappointed by the lack of options for entrepreneurial-type investments - like buying websites & investing in small, bootstrapped businesses. So he started Investing.io to provide a home for other entrepreneurs turned investors.