B2B vs. B2C Tech PR: What’s the Difference?
Whether your business targets consumers, other businesses, or both, at some point you may need a public relations strategy. However, you can’t afford to take a one-size-fits-all approach to PR.
If you sell to consumers, you’ll need a different PR strategy than a tech company that sells to other businesses. Consumers and businesses purchase products and services very differently. Consumers’ purchases tend to be more emotionally-driven, with desire, price, and status coming into play. Business buyers, on the other hand, are motivated by products and services that will help their company cut costs or be more competitive. They also tend to take longer to decide on what to purchase.
While PR can help B2C tech companies cast a wider net to get consumers excited about their latest product or service, PR for B2B tech companies focuses more on educating business decision-makers on how an offering will add value to their company.
Here are some other key differences between B2B and B2C tech PR.
Attracting influencers vs. being a thought leader
Tech companies can gain trust with consumers and businesses either by promoting their products or services through influencers or by positioning the founders as thought leaders. And whether you are a B2C or B2B tech company will determine which approach to use.
For example, B2C tech companies often hire influencers and brand advocates outside of their businesses to generate buzz about their companies. Apple, for example, tapped into YouTube influencers by giving them early access to the iPhone X. The company leveraged influencers to focus on the phone’s aesthetic appeal to get in front of younger consumers.
Meanwhile, B2B tech companies mainly use PR to position their founders as industry experts or thought leaders. For instance, a tech company that offers a software security tool for other businesses will position themselves as an expert in resolving and preventing vulnerabilities by writing articles and placing them in industry publications or speaking at industry events.
The way your tech company gains buyers’ trust through influence will depend on your audience.
Sharing PR coverage on social media
B2B and B2C tech companies use social media for PR differently. Depending on your company’s audience on social media, it’s important to adapt the content you share according to what they are used to seeing. For example, a B2B tech company might use social media to share funding news or a new partnership announcement. However, a B2C audience may not find content such as a press release as interesting.
As a B2B tech company, you can also use your social media channels to share press coverage, such as articles written by founders or founder interviews. However, a B2C company’s followers are less likely to be interested in or engage with this type of content, so it’s best to save it for the “Press” section of your company’s website.
Sharing other types of content with the press
There are many differences in the types of content B2B and B2C tech companies should promote with their PR efforts.
As a B2B tech company, content such as blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, and eBooks can be useful assets for your PR campaign. B2B buyers want to see that you are a knowledgeable and credible source in your industry. For instance, a B2B artificial intelligence company could conduct a study on how businesses are using AI in 2019. They could then offer the results and insights to reporters to write a story with a mention of the business.
Consumers, however, prefer content that’s more emotionally-driven and easy to digest. As a B2C tech company, you can use content such as a contest or giveaway (something the consumer is also interested in) to drive media interest.
Targeting the right media outlets
As a B2C tech company, demographic factors such as age, gender, location, education, and income level will determine how you segment consumers. These factors typically indicate where your audience gets their content, which determines the appropriate media outlets you’ll use to reach your audience. A mobile application with educational games for children may want to include reaching out to parenting blogs as part of their PR campaign to get in front of their target audience.
If you’re a B2B tech company, you will segment your target audience based on factors such as the industry, business size, and buyer’s role. You’ll need to consider relevant publications and other places where decision makers are active. For example, a B2B company specializing in cloud storage for enterprises will need to position themselves in technology publications that IT managers are reading.
Using PR the right way
Public relations can help spread the word about your company or new offerings. However, it’s crucial that your PR strategy caters to the needs of your unique audience. Understanding the differences between B2B and B2C tech PR will help you devise a plan that meets your goals.
If you’re ready to start a PR campaign but need some advice, check out our eBook, 50 Public Relations Hacks for Startups.