Is there a difference between marketing to businesses online and marketing directly to consumers? Truthfully, there is a bit of a difference though it might not be in the ways that you might think. Conversational marketing is still a necessarily element of B2B marketing, though you can (and should) maintain a more professional communication demeanor with businesses than with consumers.
Consumers are generally online to browse and socialize. They don’t want to be marketed to. Businesses, however, expect some marketing to happen. That’s why they’re online in the first place – to market and be marketed to. But that doesn’t mean that broadcast marketing of the mass communication variety is the way to succeed. Even representatives of businesses want a bit more personal touch online, just not too personal.
For instance, social networking through sites like LinkedIn and Facebook is done every day by businesses. Breaking through the natural barrier of stand-offishness is easier for B2B marketing than B2C. Since you are communicating with other businesses who are there for networking it is expected that you will be selling something, but that is not the place for hard selling. You should still put the networking first. That’s what they (and you) are there for.