One of the most important parts of marketing blogs is content strategy. As bloggers, our content is probably one – if not the most – important element of our blog. We plan the content we put out, when to put it out, what keywords to use for posting on our social media pages, and more. We use various approaches for our content like SEO and SEM, optimum posting times, and more. On the other hand, a new concept called growth hacking is also on the rise. Combine both content-focused marketing and growth hacking and you get what we call content hacking.
What is Content Hacking?
Basically, content hacking is a combination of content marketing and growth hacking. As bloggers, we’re familiar with content marketing. It is basically converting our content into blog traffic, engagement, and leads. However, growth hacking is a fairly new concept that was just coined back in 2010 by Sean Ellis, co-author of Hacking Growth and CEO of GrowthHackers. He basically explains that a growth hacker’s main goal is growth.
He further characterizes an effective growth hacker as, “needs to be disciplined to follow a growth hacking process of prioritizing ideas (their own and others in the company), testing the ideas, and being analytical enough to know which tested growth drivers to keep and which ones to cut. The faster this process can be repeated, the more likely they’ll find scalable, repeatable ways to grow the business.” Being a growth hacker is to continuously try things, see if they work and if they don’t, try something else. A growth hacker looks at long-term results at the end.
A person who takes on this kind of mindset and applies content marketing strategies is now what we call a content hacker. Like we mentioned before, a growth hacker’s goal is growth. On the other hand, a content hacker’s main goal is to make content shareable.
Garrett Moon of CoSchedule is actually the person who defined what content hacking is in this breakdown:
Why is Content Hacking Important?
Let’s face it, in these times where digital is king, more and more blogs will start popping up. Especially when it is so easy to have one. Every day, about 4 million blog posts are written. So now, the question we must answer is, how to make your blog stand out? Constantly putting out good content is not enough since there are probably others out there who also have good content (and possibly have a wider reach). So how will content hacking help?
Content hackers are people who don’t create content just because. They have a mission: to create content that people will dive into. Rather than giving people more information that they probably don’t need or want in the meantime, they give information that will matter to their readers. This is why they’re always researching their potential and current audience, trying out new ideas, and always on the lookout for keywords and topics.
How To Become One
So how do you become a content hacker? What characteristics are needed to become one?
A content hacker must be analytical. We’ve defined content hackers as people that constantly test strategies and approaches and in this way, they find out what is the best method to take. They don’t rely on their instincts or gut feeling. They decide the next step based on the information at hand. Another characteristic they have is that they are always curious. To always try out new things, they also must find new things to try. When they find new things to try, they figure out how they can work with it and how it can work towards their benefit.
Being opportunistic is another important characteristic a content hacker must have. They should always look for opportunities in everything and anything, and they must be ready to jump on that opportunity as soon as possible. They must always be aware of what happens in their surroundings. A content hacker must also be efficient and focused. Every move they do is a step towards their goal and they know that being distracted can be no good. Time is gold for them which means that time wasted is an opportunity lost to grow.
By now, it’s obvious that the main thing a content hacker must do is to always try out new things. However, new things and changes can be terrifying – especially if you’ve found something you’re comfortable with. However, a content hacker must be fearless; to be exact, they must not be afraid of failing. They must recognize that failures are also a step towards their goal and that failures actually help in pointing you in the right direction.
Lastly, content hackers are collaborative. They’re not afraid to ask for help, and they are always looking for resources (studies, market reports, etc.) that can help them.
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