There are lots of acronyms in the entrepreneurial world. B2C, or business-to-consumer, is one of the most common. Contrast it with B2B, or business-to-business.
If you’re in the Knowledge Commerce market, you might have a B2C business, a B2B business, or a business that markets to both companies and people. Whatever the case, understanding B2C marketing can help you build a more profitable business.
But what is B2C marketing and how can it help you sell more online courses?
Those are the questions we’re going to address today. If you don’t fully understand how B2C marketing works, you might not gain the market share your business deserves.
However, we know that definitions don’t always provide enough information for entrepreneurs. That’s why we’ve also put together 9 examples of strategies to inspire you to become a better B2C marketer.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of B2C marketing as well as strategies you can implement today. Regardless of your niche, if you sell your digital products to individual consumers, you can benefit from these tactics.
What is B2C marketing?
B2C marketing is a form of marketing that helps businesses communicate more effectively and persuasively with consumers. Instead of selling toner or SaaS software to a company, you’re marketing your products directly toward individual consumers.
One example of B2C marketing is television commercials for consumer products. You see a particularly tasty-looking snack food on a commercial and decide to try it next time you visit the supermarket.
Sure, your customers won’t pick your product off a shelf at the local mall. However, the way you communicate with them isn’t much different from a brick-and-mortar store owner.
The main difference is that your communication will take place primarily online. Plus, you’ll have to educate your prospective customer about exactly how your informational product will improve his or her life.
The definition of B2C marketing is any marketing activity that occurs between a brand or business and an individual consumer who plans to use the product for personal use. In other words, if you sell online courses, you don’t expect your customers to broadcast your course materials in a classroom for mass consumption.
Your customer has a personal stake in the outcome of your product. He or she wants to buy your Knowledge Commerce product to resolve a pain point, learn a new skill, or satisfy some other need or desire.
That makes B2C marketing an intensely personal process.
“Your goal is to create relationships with your prospective customers so they feel comfortable buying from you — and not just once, but over and over again. #Kajabi” — Tweet this!
Of course, that’s just the tip of the virtual iceberg. You also have to know how to implement B2C marketing tactics for the benefit of your business.
Additionally, it helps if you understand the psychology behind marketing principles and the ways in which you can influence your target market. Like any other business owner, you have to create marketing materials that will appeal to the people who are most likely to buy what you sell.
How does B2C marketing work?
The goal behind any B2C marketing campaign is to convince a consumer to buy your product. That’s it. However, many different variables come into play before the final transaction actually occurs.
We’ve talked about the sales funnel here before. If you practice funnel marketing, you’re well aware of the different stages consumers enter between becoming aware of your brand and buying your product.
Essentially, leads become prospects and prospects become customers. But how do they move through the funnel?
The answer lies in B2C marketing.
Let’s say, for example, that you sell online courses for photographers. You might find it easier to influence your target market if you create marketing materials that include the following:
- High-quality photographs
- Lingo that photographers understand
- Information about pain points, such as frustrations with camera settings
- Promises related to image quality
You have to figure out what your customers want and how you can package your product to fulfill those desires.
B2C marketing works by introducing the consumer to your business, encouraging the consumer to interact with your brand, and leading the consumer toward a purchase. Those are the three stages of the funnel.
You’ll need a strategy if you want to reach your goal. We’ll get to that next.
B2C marketing strategies
B2C marketing strategies help you prepare for sales, anticipate responses, and track progress. All three of those factors can make your marketing campaigns more successful.
Of course, you don’t want to jump into any marketing strategy without fully understanding how it works. Bad marketing can have a negative impact on your business and its reputation for years to come.
That’s why we recommend exploring as many B2C marketing channels and strategies as possible. Familiarize yourself with how they work and what they should accomplish. Use your Kajabi metrics to track your progress and make adjustments as needed.
Remember, as well, that some marketing strategies work better for one business than they do another. Just because another entrepreneur has had great success with a particular strategy doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Always test everything. That’s the only way to know what B2C marketing strategies will engender a positive response among your target audience.
Let’s look at 9 of the most effective B2C marketing strategies. In addition to explaining each, we’ll provide a Knowledge Commerce example.
1. Connect with prospects on a human level
Let’s start with content marketing. If you’re focused on building relationships with your prospects, you must treat them like human beings — not like potential ATMs who will dispense cash for your products.
Whether you’re writing blog articles or posting on social media, create content that’s authentic to your voice and brand. Communicate with people on a human level, whether you’re sharing your own story or helping them understand their frustrations.
The idea here is to present yourself and your business as a solution to whatever pain points your customers personally experience.
Let’s say that you create online courses to help people lose weight. Maybe you struggled with your own weight earlier in your life, so you know how it feels to struggle with yo-yo diets and New Year's Resolutions that never pan out.
Use those experiences to connect with your audience. Post before and after photos, talk about weight-loss strategies that failed, and share your personal struggles. You can also talk about how you feel now that you’ve conquered your weight-loss struggles and triumphed over your former pain.
People connect to stories like this. The message you’re sending is simple: “I figured out a way to beat this problem. Let me help you do the same.”
2. Host creative and engaging contests
Everyone loves a contest. The idea of winning something for free is almost too attractive to pass up — especially if an entry doesn’t require much effort or time.
You can host a contest on your blog, social media, or anywhere else that seems appropriate. Many entrepreneurs use webinars to hold contests. This way, you boost attendance for your webinar and gain exposure through the contest at the same time.
The important thing is to make sure you’re following the rules on whatever platform you choose. It’s also essential to give away something that your target audience will view as valuable.
You might be tempted to give away something expensive that doesn’t relate to your business. Sure, lots of people would love a new flat-screen television, but if your online courses have nothing to do with TV, the contest won’t have the desired result. Choose a giveaway that’s related to what you do.
Maybe you create online courses and other digital products on public speaking. You’ve created a mini-course and two full-length courses, so you decide to give away access to your mini-course in a contest.
Let as many people know about your mini-course contest as possible. Describe what the course entails and how many people can win. Then, let potential participants know how they can enter the contest.
You’re an expert on public speaking, right? So maybe you could ask people to post photographs of themselves during public speaking engagements, or maybe you could ask them to record 15-second speeches. Whatever the rules, stick by them and choose a winner fairly. If you don’t want to do a contest, host a giveaway instead.
3. Add a free offer with every purchase
Also known as a gift with purchase, a free offer with every purchase adds even more value to the product you sell. In other words, it lets people know that they’re getting something extra without having to part with more money.
That’s a win for everyone involved. You get paid for your product, and the customer gets a bonus item in return.
The free offer can be anything you want. Maybe it’s a mini-course that’s related to your main course. Or perhaps it’s an e-book or workbook that will help your customers get better use out of your online course.
Many of our #KajabiHeroes teach spirituality-based online courses. If you fall into that same niche, you could create a bonus offer for every purchase related to helping people find their own spirituality.
Devotions, guided meditations, and similar products can prove extremely popular among your target audience. Alternatively, you could share a short e-book that complements your online course or create a video that shares your story.
The important thing is to make sure your offer has true value. If you don’t want to create something as a bonus, you could offer a discount on another one of your products. For instance, everyone who buys your primary online course gets your mini-course for free.
4. Prioritize searcher intent for SEO
Many entrepreneurs fail to consider searcher intent when they optimize their content for SEO. We assume that all Google searches, for instance, are the same.
Searcher intent refers to the reason behind a Google search. For example, if you want something to eat, you might search for “Chinese restaurants near me.” If you’re interested in cooking, you might search for “Chinese recipes for beginners.”
The type of search indicates its intent. Some consumers are just gathering information, others are comparing their options, and still more are ready to buy.
Ideally, you’ll create content for people in each phase. That way, they know you have all the answers.
Let’s say, for instance, that you’re interested in getting in better shape. You might start by researching different types of physical activity:
- Weight Training
You’re in the information-gathering phase at this point. You don’t know how you want to get in better shape because you’re not yet informed about the options that exist.
You can target consumers in this phase by preparing comparison articles and charts. Help people understand their options so they can make an educated decision.
But what if you already know what type of fitness interests you? For years, you’ve told yourself you’ll start jogging every day, but now you’re committed.
In this phase, you’re already aware. You’re looking for the best product to help you become a consistent jogger.
For this audience, you might create content on the benefits of jogging, jogging posture, daily guides, and more. You’re demonstrating your expertise and presenting your product as a way to dive deeper into the subject.
When you break down your audience by searcher intent, you can create content that’s custom designed for each segment. You’d be surprised by how well this tactic works, especially if you’re comfortable in your knowledge of your buyer personas.
5. Run retargeting programs
Retargeting sounds like a difficult concept, but it’s actually pretty simple. It’s all about reconnecting with consumers who have connected with your business in the past. It’s particularly relevant for B2C marketing.
As a form of paid advertising, retargeting can put a dent in your budget. However, if you use it correctly, the ROI can make the expense worth it.
When a consumer makes contact with your business, a sequence gets triggered. The next time the customer visits Facebook, for example, he or she will see an ad for your business.
That customer might not immediately click on the ad or buy from you. However, seeing the ad reinforces your brand image and helps the consumer remember your company in the future.
Maybe you teach online courses related to web design. You help aspiring designers become better at their work and find paying jobs.
You could re-market to potential customers who visit your website to read one of your blog posts or check out a landing page. If you have Facebook Ads set up, you can use a Facebook Pixel to retarget those customers.
After visiting your site, the customer logs on to Facebook to check his or her wall. Right there in the feed is an advertisement for your web design course.
6. Create membership programs
Think of a membership program as a form of gamification. It encourages consumers to interact with your business so they can rise up the membership levels.
Also called a loyalty program, a membership program combines competitiveness and rewards. As consumers move up the membership levels, they gain access to more rewards, which enhances their relationship with your business.
You could create three membership levels for your business:
- Bronze: Customers at the bronze level receive free discounts on your digital products every quarter.
- Silver: Those who reach the silver level get a special downloadable asset twice a year in addition to the discounts.
- Gold: At the top level, consumers receive bronze and silver rewards as well as a free 15-minute phone consultation every year.
Obviously, you could name the levels whatever you want and choose the rewards. You also decide how customers move up the levels.
For instance, bottom-tier members might have spent between $1 and $100 in the preceding year, while silver members have to spend $300 and gold members have to spend $500.
7. Use social media
Many brands have achieved amazing success using social media. Some of them advertise on social, while others take the organic approach.
If you don’t have any money in the budget for paid social, focus on building your following through strategic B2C marketing. There are lots of ways to get people more active on social when it comes to your brand.
Let’s say you’ve just opened an Instagram account. You want to attract people who might be interested in your online courses, but you’re not sure where to start.
Your strategy might look something like this:
- Follow 10 people per day who are interested in your niche or industry.
- Create a branded hashtag that you use on all of your posts.
- Use new hashtags every day that correspond to your subject or niche.
- Host contests that are exclusive to Instagram.
- Share inspirational or educational content that makes your followers feel like they’re part of a community.
That’s a solid strategy. Plus, you can duplicate it for other platforms, from Facebook to Twitter.
8. Build micro-influencer relationships
When you say the word “influencer,” people often hear names like Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, and Beyonce. However, micro-influencers are often more engaging with their social content — plus, they don’t cost millions of dollars.
Micro-influencers are social media personalities in a very specific niche. They often have small but loyal and devoted followings of people who make buying decisions based on what the influencers say.
And there’s your opportunity for B2C marketing greatness.
Partnering with micro-influencers can be a boon to your business. You might send them free copies of your online courses, for example, to get them interested.
Let’s say that you’re a Knowledge Commerce entrepreneur in the personal safety niche. You’ve met a security expert on Instagram who has a pretty decent following.
You both want to teach people how to stay safe. Approach that expert and ask him or her to take a look at your course. If the influencer likes it, request that he or she promote it.
Some micro-influencers might charge money, but many don’t. If you start by building relationships, you’ll spend less cash.
9. Invest in mobile-first marketing
The world is moving in a mobile-first direction. Many people don’t own laptop or desktop computers anymore. They do all of their computing via tablets, phones, and even watches.
That’s why it’s critical for B2C marketers to adopt a mobile-first strategy. Figure out how your content will appeal to your audience best on mobile devices.
It starts with a responsive website. If you build your website via Kajabi, you’ll automatically have a responsive layout that looks great across all devices. Plus, you won’t have to worry about managing two different sites: one for desktop and one for mobile.
Additionally, you’ll want your posts to look great on mobile, from your blog to social media. Condense your images, use readable fonts, and make yourself accessible on mobile.
If you’re interested in starting a Knowledge Commerce business — or if you’ve already taken the first steps — consider signing up for Kajabi. You can begin building your business from the ground up without worrying about how people will reach you via mobile. It’s ingrained in the platform.
Make sure you’re up-to-date on the best practices for marketing on mobile. Email marketing, SMS marketing, and social media marketing are all mobile friendly.
You can also use gamification and other forms of engaging B2C marketing to get in touch with your target market on mobile. You don’t have to forget about users on desktop completely, but consider the fact that your best customers might find you on their mobile devices.
The difference between B2C and B2B marketing
You might have noticed that every strategy we’ve listed deals specifically with B2C marketing. We’re not addressing B2B marketing at all.
There’s a good reason for that. Some of the same tactics can work for B2B, but you have to adjust them for your audience.
When you’re marketing to businesses, for instance, you’re targeting people who use different social media channels. Additionally, you have to target the right decision-maker at the business if you want to find success.
Essentially, the difference between B2B and B2C marketing comes down to the end user. With B2C marketing, you only have to convince one person to buy. For B2B marketing, the opposite is often true.
Using B2C campaigns to grow your business
A well-rounded B2C marketing campaign can make a huge difference in your revenue. Regardless of which strategies you use, you can vastly improve your business’s outlook and reach more consumers.
What is B2C marketing? It’s marketing campaigns directed at consumers or end users for personal purposes. It differs from B2B marketing, which targets other businesses as the buyers.
B2C marketing works by helping you identify ways to communicate with your target audience and measure the results of each campaign. It allows you to persuade your target audience to choose your products over those of your competitors.
You can try lots of B2C marketing strategies.
Start by connecting with people on a human level. Talk to them like friends — not potential customers.
Host creative and engaging contests to further interest your target audience. Get them excited about your digital products and encourage them to spread the word.
You can add a free offer with every purchase, optimize your SEO for user intent, run retargeting programs, and create membership programs. All of these strategies increase engagement during B2C marketing campaigns.
Social media and micro-influencers are also beneficial for many B2C companies. Finally, don’t forget to invest in mobile-first marketing. Many of your target audience customers use their mobile devices primarily or exclusively.
You’re ready to start your next B2C marketing campaign. What strategy will you try first?
Use Kajabi to turn your knowledge and content into products you can sell
If you’re interested in B2C marketing for Knowledge Commerce products, Kajabi offers all the resources you need to find success. Our platform delivers unprecedented tools, resources, metrics, and other valuable guidance to help you grow your business fast and efficiently.
We’re offering a 14-day free trial so you can get your feet wet. Sign up today and learn how Kajabi can change your life by turning you into an instant entrepreneur.
Best of all, you don’t have to worry about ordering, inventory, or any of the other struggles that entrepreneurs with physical products face. You’re selling your knowledge in a virtual format, so you can focus on creating new products and marketing existing ones instead of handling logistics.
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