What is e-Commerce Blogging?
Back in 2004, I was blogging only because I needed an online journal. It was a blog where I shared random thoughts. At that time, I have never heard of niches nor a purpose.
Today, things have changed. You blog today because of your specialization—because you want to provide help to people, and because you want your website to rank.
Despite all businesses and individual blogs having similar purposes, business-to-business (B2B) blogging still has some differences against business-to-customer (B2C) blogging. They have different products to offer and they have different customer bases.
The differences are:
- Motivation of the target customer
- Details of the blog
- Tone of communication
Let us take a look at these four difference to help guide you how you can best optimize your blog posts for your blog.
1. Motivation of the target customer
B2B blogging entails that as a business, your goal is to sell your products to entrepreneurs and or companies. As such, their motivation to buy is different from an individual buyer.
With B2B, your clientele is comprised of institutions running on a budget, or institutions that are concerned about making money, improving their conversion rate, or increasing their customer acquisition.
To business owners, the main motivation for making a purchase is the benefit that they would get from your product. You should be able to present a blog post in such a way that it answers the following questions from the business person’s mind:
- Will it increase my revenue
- How will it affect my team’s efficiency or productivity
- Will it save me money over the long term
- What business value does the institution from this product or service
In B2B blogging, your goal is to take the reader, who is likely a decision maker, down to the last step if your sales funnel. The decision maker must be convinced that your product or service is worth the price, and that it will yield beneficial results for his company.
Also, take note that decision makers in a business institution is not likely to make that purchase right away. They are smart enough to make comparisons between your offer and other coffers.
In this regard, you may want to proactively add comparison tables that show how your product or service compares to others.
In B2C blogging, the motivating factor for a customer to buy is emotion. Your blog must be crafted in a way that appeals to the reader’s emotional fulfillment.
In B2C blogging, your focus has to be on how your blog would trigger emotional responses. Your posts must be able to meet the following:
- Solve the customer’s problem with your offer
- Provide the solution now
- Create the FOMO effect
- Make the customer feel a need to buy it
FOMO means fear of missing out. Your blog post must be able to convey the message that if the customer does not buy now, he is missing something out on a great opportunity.
You can do this by mentioning how many people have already bought the product—this is why many ads say that they have hundreds or millions of satisfied customers.
You can also create FOMO by adding a timer in the offer—a timer showing that the sale is ending in a few days. If the customer does no buy now, he will miss out on a huge discount.
Lesson: In B2C blogging, your target motivation is the reader’s emotion. In B2B blogging, your target motivation is profitability.
2. Details of the blog
While both B2B and B2C blogging must provide adequate details about the product or service, customers in B2C would rather hear stories—motivational content that appeals to their emotion.
In B2C, customers want to read stories that inspire. They want to read things that they can relate to. While it is true that you have to add the features of the products or services you are offering, these detail have little to do with how consumers decide.
This is the reason why B2C blog posts must lean towards benefits, not features. For example, you may be operating an e-commerce store selling drones, it is not enough that you just put the product features in your blog post or product pages.
Saying that the drone has a lithium-ion battery is a requirement, but not enough. You must add a benefit to it, such as “battery is powerful enough to sustain 20 minutes of flight time”.
Considering that it is a blog post, you need to add a story. A post talking about personal experiences has more impact to the B2C customer than merely stating the product facts.
For example you can start with a story saying that when you and your son went to fly a drone, you were disappointed that you were only able to fly it for five minutes in the field. And this is why you found this new drone product that has 20 minutes of flight time.
See where I am going here? End-users do not want details—they want a story and benefits.
I am not saying that B2B posts must not have benefits—they do need it, too. However, the main difference lies in the presentation.
Decision makers do not have a lot of time to read. They are busy people. They want facts and figures. They want statistics.
For a B2B blog post, you have to use more bullet points, facts, statistical figures, and tie the benefits with these facts.
Below is an example for a timekeeping and scheduling software:
- Avoid scheduling errors with chat feature and online schedule swapping
- Save 20 hours of your scheduling managers with the Shift Trade functionality
- Manage employee schedule in real-time with no meetings necessary
- Prevent no-shows by allowing employees to trade shift times
As you can see, these bullet points are focused on benefits. They tell the business owner how the tool can affect productivity and employee motivation. There is also one bullet stating how many hours a manager can save with the tool.
Lesson: In B2C blogging, customers love details and stories that inspire. In B2B blogging, your customers want bullet points rich with facts, stats, and benefits that affect productivity and the business bottom line.
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3. Tone of communication
B2B blog posts are a little cold. Since your target customers are business people, there really is no room here for humor. Your readers are likely people who spend hours in the boardroom, trying to defend their decisions to the company board of investors.
As such, the tone of your blog entry must be semi-formal, but not too formal. If there is one mistake you can avoid, never write like an academic. People who run businesses are not academics. They are also simple individuals who need simple words—words that are direct and easy to understand.
The common trope about business people is that they love jargon. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Here is an example:
- Wrong: Avert forfeiture of time by means of mechanized schedule trades
- Correct: Save 20 hours of your scheduling managers with the Shift Trade functionality
In the corporate world, we lived by a mantra called KISS, which means “keep it simple, stupid”.
In B2C, however, customers love an upbeat tone. In B2C blogging, you should write in a way like you are talking to a friend, without being rude or crass. It is in B2C blogging where you can ask questions, use exclamation points with care, and write in a way in the same capacity like you would in a person-to-person sales talk.
Here is an example: Did you know that you and your children can enjoy 20 minutes of flight time flying drones?
And then you can move forward from there.
Lesson: In B2C blogging, your customers love upbeat tones that connect with them. In B2B blogging, your writing style must be formal without going over the top.
Summary: e-Commerce Blogging
There goes my tips on the differences between B2B and B3C blogging. In summary, here are the key pointers:
- Write with the target customer’s motivation in mind
- Write your blog with the appropriate level of detail for the target customer
- Write with the right tone that appeals to your target buyer
Keep these three points with you all the time, and use them as guiding principles when writing blog posts for your blog. The key to a successful entry that can take your reader down your sales funnel is to cut, cut, and cut.
Remove unnecessary parts of the blog post, or replace them with more meaningful content using the three pointers as your reference.
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