Content marketing is no longer the new buzzword, it's alive and well and growing a lot of businesses.

According to the Content Marketing Institute's B2B Content Marketing 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends--North America) 88% of the respondents said they were utilizing content marketing, and 76% say they'll produce more content in 2016. And while more B2B companies use content marketing (mostly for getting qualified leads) more B2C companies have a documented content marketing strategy.

Sounds like everyone is jumping on the content marketing bandwagon whether they serve businesses or consumers! But I thought it'd be a great time to debunk a few myths, and address a few questions I've been asked about this form of marketing. Here are some thoughts.

Doesn't Content Marketing Happen On Your Own Domain?

Yes and no.

Yes, if you have a blog and you're posting valuable content there it's a good thing.

No, content marketing can also happen if you write for another publication (like I'm doing now) and adding value to your readers. In many cases you'll get more traffic and readers to established publications than depending only on your own blog or website or social media. And that's ok!

What Does Content Have to do With Company Culture Anyway?

Everything.

When someone looks to work at your company, hopefully they've researched your website, your blog, your story, your team and your social profiles. They want to know the type of business they'll represent and people they'll be working with.

Your content tells a story whether it's what you write for your site or what you write for other publications. At Dasheroo I've heard our team members tell me that they like how we talk to our customers on the blog and they often will RT our outside content pieces like this one. That's a good sign, it means they're proud of what you're producing.

However from the B2B published research only 6% of people in organizations think their company is doing content marketing "very effective" while 24% say it's "good". Looks like some companies have some work to do, and might not know how it affects the business internally.

Doesn't More Traffic Mean More Success?

Yes and no.

More traffic can be successful if it's the right type of traffic. Case in point: before we had our business dashboard product live we published a ton of content. Since we're in the data business we published how-tos when it came to charts and graphs. We published funny charts and graphs on a regular basis, we republished other pieces of content from outside people. Did we get our name out there, of course. But when it came to organic traffic, we were not known for what we wanted to be when people searched on us.

After we launched, we changed our content strategy to be more focused on what problem we solved; getting people access to their KPIs on an amazing dashboard.

Isn't Marketing Automation a Bad Thing?

Yes and no.

No, because you know how hard it is to spread the word. And using channels like email marketing and social media are all awesome ways so spread the word.

But when you create your content it should never be thought of as "one and done". It took you time and money to create it, so you need to get the most out of it as you possibly can. And with the short life of a Tweet or a post in someone's Facebook feed moving at lightning speed, it's fine to automate social posting of your content, especially if it's value-packed!

Yes, if you're just spamming Tweets and posts with little value.

What Does Search Have to Do With Content?

Alot.

It's no secret that Google likes great content and frequent updates. That's why content is so wonderful, especially as it relates to search. So when you write your content the number one thing you need to focus on is the value of what's in your content. This is true for any content be it a blog post, article, infographic or whatever form you choose.

That being said, you should also revisit your content and "search engine optimize" it with the keywords and phrases you want to be known for. Here's one hint: don't overuse your keywords so that your content makes little sense. You need it to be understandable, remember, you're providing value.

Bottom line? Use content marketing to grow your business and if you only remember one thing:create value when you create any content. Your readers will be happy and so will Google :-)