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For B2B marketers, there’s no question that content marketing is a key initiative. And these days, it seems everyone is sharing his or her content marketing best practices, promising marketers that if they could simply do X, Y and Z, then success is all but assured.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: you can never win at content marketing using best practices alone. 

That being said, best practices do have one big advantage: they will help you not fail. Odds are good that if you take the time to learn from others’ successes and failures, you’ll sidestep some of the traps that snared those who went before you. And when you’re asking for budget or headcount or agency support, you’ll be able to point to how all of your competitors are doing exactly what you’re trying to do.

Wait…. That’s not exactly a recipe for taking the pole position in a highly competitive market, now is it?

Create a Winning Strategy 

It’s time to shift your thinking about how to create a winning content marketing strategy. Where can you focus today that will allow you to leapfrog your competitors tomorrow?

Say hello to content distribution and content syndication.

Why distribution and syndication? Because there’s way too much content being created by publications, vendors, thought leaders and consultants, and you can’t rely on SEO alone to get your brand’s content found. The onus is now on you — not Google — to get your content out there and into the hands of your target audience.

Build an Audience

Content distribution is all about using the marketing channels you directly influence (sometimes called “owned media”) to reach your target buyers. That includes assets like your website, email database and social media properties.

For example, have you made your website content easily shareable? Does your blog actively encourage visitors to become subscribers? Are you building social media channels that are chock-full of customers, prospects and influencers?

Now think about all the people who are already rooting for your company. This is where your brand’s relationship with employees, customers, consultants, vendors and channel partners can really pay off.