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B2Bmarketers are distributing their content in social communities more than ever before.A recent study conducted by the ContentMarketing Institute and Marketing Profs confirms that content marketing remains a top priority for B2B marketers, with the vast majority leveraging the practice as part of their marketing strategy.

With the marketing part of content marketing every bit as important as the content part, information has to be distributed. Social sharing is a vital distribution tactic for content marketing.

Today’s content marketers are publishers whether you realize it or not. It doesn’t matter whether you just have a website, a blog, or maintain a presence on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks, you are a publisher. Thinking like a publisher and building digital content that leverages what you create and publish enhances consumer engagement.

LinkedIn is the top social network when it comes to B2B content marketing but SlideShare is quickly following. Pinterest is also growing in popularity, now being used by more than 25% of B2B marketers

SlideShare gets more than 50 Million visitors per month and more than 100 million page views, is one of the top websites in the world and should be a key focus of any B2B content marketing program.

Social Communities are designed for lead generation through offering value, information, expertise  and creating awareness very much like the objectives of content marketing.

People truly do join online communities as a result of content they seek.

The more people that are consistently exposed to your content the more likely they will engage and converse. Think long term process, not short term events. Don’t think campaign either. Campaigns have stopping points. Content marketing is continuous.

Social Content Marketers want others to share their content. The thought process should be creating content that would cause customers and prospects to care for the content, notice it, become interested enough to consume the content and then share it via social networks and communities.

The vast majority of businesses will first experiment with social media long before they get underway with content marketing. Creating a plan for both, working together, is the key to success.

The whole essence of content marketing it to position online, a business (or person) as a thought leader with content that attracts and retains audiences on the hub website or blog. Many times this is done in social communities.

Social networks are just the vehicles for engaging and distributing content directing prospects and customers to a company’s branded content hub, not the containers for the content itself.

Stephen Bateman is director and co-founder of Wise Up Media has stated, “In contrast, content marketing’s website-based focus allows the marketing activity to concentrate on fulfilling the needs of customers at each stage of their buying journey, from awareness through to conversion, and is, therefore, focused on demand generation.”

Content alone will not be enough to garner the benefits of marketing in social communities. The interaction, engagement and eventual relationship building have to occur. Content presence fuels this. Community members are often researching, seeking answers, comparing and learning. Content serving the goals of these community members accelerates relationship building and community building and presence.  This is the essence to content marketing; providing valuable information to those that deem it relevant.

The bottom line is content is essential in many social media activities and many social media activities revolve around content.