How storytellers must adjust for B2C or B2B audiences

Is your audience primed for your message or do you have to put in extra work to get them on your side? Consider these differences between industry insiders and a broader consumer base.

The intrinsic differences between consumers and businesses looking for a service requires communicators to modify their approach.

No matter what you’re writing, your first consideration should be your audience. Whether your audience is B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) will make a big difference in your tone and style.

When writing for a B2B audience, you’re targeting a group of like people who are typically within a specific 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 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.

Who is in your audience?

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. If you use industry specific terms, you’ll want to quickly define them to ensure your text remains approachable.

Conversely, when you’re targeting a broader B2C audience, you’re better off not getting too technical. If you do want to share the nitty-gritty details with a B2C audience, you must 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 relevant background.

Decide between quantitative or qualitative data

To best address a B2B audience, you must 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. Don’t be afraid to really dive deep into the data—for an audience of industry insiders, 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.

Meredith Shubel works for Caster Communications and can be reached on Twitter @merryshoebell.

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