What Is Content Hacking? Your Best Option To Compete With The Big Ones

Online Marketing

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If there’s one thing the professional world likes, it’s inventing new terms every two weeks for any professional profile. Do you need a receptionist? Give that job the title “Director of First Impressions” 😳. You probably already noticed that Apple had the great idea of naming its store service technicians “Genius”. And some might even think that it would be much more appropriate to call it “Chief Troublemaker” when we refer to a CEO (something my partners would surely agree with 😅).

For professional positions, if you want to complete the picture, add terms like “guru”, “ninja”, “rockstar”, or “hacker” and you’ll succeed.  I would say that if you find advertisements for companies looking for “Helpdesk Guru”, “Network Ninja”, “Rockstar Real State Agent” or “Barista/Coffe Hacker”, among others, this must be because these jobs are more popular.

In the marketing world we are not exempt from this whirlpool of name invention. If we already had the term content marketing referring to the creation, publication, and sharing of quality content with our audience in order to get the traffic to become customers, why do we need the term “content hacking”? Just to make up a new term?

If you’re already familiar with the world of startups, you’re probably familiar with the concept of “Growth Hacking” and the professional “Growth Hacker” which are the origin of this new term. Just in case, let me give you a brief introduction to them.

Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking is a term that refers to a set of marketing techniques that use creativity, analytical thinking, as well as web and social network metrics to sell products and gain exposure.

Growth Hacking
Growh Hacking is the strategy that seeks analytical, creative, innovative and low-cost ways to grow your customer base exponentially. (Image source: Growth Hacking Guide)

Growth hacking encompasses every single technique and tool that can be used throughout the entire marketing funnel to optimize revenue.

 

Marketing to sales Funnel
Growth hacking attempts to optimize each of the different stages of the marketing funnel.

The most commonly used techniques in growth hacking are A/B tests to optimize your web pages, to perform exhaustive analysis of all kinds of metrics (web, usage, user, social network, etc.), to use automated systems to promote content or emailing, to create heatmaps to analyze user behavior on the web, etc.

When we refer to the professional, a Growth Hacker is the person whose main objective is, as the name suggests, growth, and who is dedicated to making brief and methodical processes to test what works and what does not. The idea that works is scaled and the idea that doesn’t is killed. His responsibilities, according to Growth Hackers, are:

  • Choosing in accordance with the other departments which metrics/KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to focus on.
  • Bringing traditional and creative ideas how to grow those KPIs.
  • A/B testing those ideas.
  • Analyzing the data and users’ feedback.
  • Driving traffic to your website, landing pages, social media, apps…
  • Working on a lean startup process.
  • Working with the AARRR Sales Metrics Diagram (Acquisition – Activation – Retention – Referral – Revenue).
  • Prioritizing growth channels.
  • Optimizing channels in order to always improve the performance of ones business.
  • Scaling and Automating the growth processes.
  • Knowledgeable about referral marketing and being able to create viral growth.
The mind of a Growth Hacker
The mind of a Growth Hacker (Image source: Growth Hacker Job Description).

If you ever asked yourself what characteristics the three Nelio partners and many other startup founders have in common, I’d say it’s we’re all growth hackers 😊. With the basic concepts of growth hacking being more or less clear, it is when we come to “content hacking”.

Content Hacking

When we talk about content marketing, it’s not enough to create wonderful content on the blog. We have to make sure that the content ends up having an impact on our audience. And this is how the need to add growth hacking strategies and techniques to content marketing arises, giving rise to content hacking.

Design the content marketing strategy with a growth hacker mentality. Use your content to try out new ideas, new themes, and new channels. Use the feedback you receive from each content created to make future decisions.

Content Hacker

Which profile should a content hacker have? Well, the same as a growth hacker:

  • Focused on growth: the content hacker focuses on their objectives. Their success or failure depends on a couple of key metrics related to growth.
  • Analytical: the content hacker does not act by instinct or intuition. They act according to the relevant information they receive. They use analysis to make informed decisions supported by reliable data. They have excellent knowledge of SEO.
  • Creative: the content hacker is always testing and trying new things. They are constantly forming new hypotheses and testing new assumptions. With the ability to think out of the box and try experiments that others would not try.
  • Opportunistic: constantly looking for new trends, channels, and ideas. They know that the platforms that have not reached critical mass are the ones that perform best. Always on the lookout for anything new, without missing any opportunity to try something new that might work.
  • Efficient: the content hacker avoids wasting their time, energy, and money at all costs. They know that time is their most valuable resource, so they are ruthless in their efforts. If something is not bringing them closer to their goals, it cuts them off without a second thought.
  • Bold: no fear of failure. In fact, they know that failure is a learning experience that helps them move forward and discard ideas that would otherwise waste their time.
  • Inquisitive: they’re infinitely curious. All they do is learn. With each piece of content generated they want to know more about their audience.
  • Collaborative: to be efficient and maximize resources, their value collaboration above all else. They know that one cannot generate all the work alone and if they need help, they have no problem asking for it and, of course, giving it. They highly value networking.

Content Hacking Techniques

Here are some of the techniques we use as content hackers:

Use Social Media to Validate Ideas

Before writing a post, create a tweet or a social message on any other social network with an idea you have to write a post about. You can create this message in each social network or program it more efficiently using a tool like Nelio Content.

Create a new post, message or task
Create a new social message on the social network you want with Nelio Content to validate an idea.

If that idea gets likes, is shared, and becomes viral, then write a post about it. Now that you know that the topic is of interest, it will surely be a more successful post.

Perform A/B Tests of Headlines

The title of a content should attract attention. And how do you do that? Systematically create A/B tests of headlines of your posts to understand what works best and see which gets the most clicks.

Split testing of headlines of posts
A/B Testing Headlines

For example, thanks to the use of A/B tests, the Obama campaign got 40% more people involved and up to an additional $60 million. If you use a plugin like Nelio A/B Testing, creating A/B tests of news headlines is easy.

The Length of a Post Matters

The content hacker seeks to improve the SEO of the blog. And the length of posts play a key role here as David commented on the post: How Long Should Your Blog Articles Be? A Look at a Few Examples in Spanish. Make sure that all your posts have that minimum length to improve SEO. Using a tool that monitors the quality of your posts can be very useful in this regard.

Post Quality Analysis
Post Quality Analysis. Nelio Content analyzes the quality of your post in a non-disruptive manner.  This will ensure that all your posts are the right length.

Be Efficient in Promoting Content

We’ve already mentioned that the content hacker does not want to waste time. They try to automate any task that can be repetitive and use the tools that will help them in this process. Keep in mind that the time spent on promotion, impact analysis and re-promotion of any content can perfectly well account for 25% of content marketing. What are you waiting for to reduce this time to the minimum expression? Our recommendation is that you use Nelio Content.

After writing a post, simply click the Create Social Messages Automatically button and Nelio Content will fill the queue with messages for you.

Create Social Messages Automatically
Nelio Content with Social Automations automatically creates all the social messages you need to promote a post. Click on the button and let it do the hard work for you.

In addition, you won’t need to analyze the impact of your posts in your social networks either, as Nelio Content automatically shares your best old posts on social networks to ensure that there is a constant drip of information about your blog on them. The message generation algorithm decides what to share based on the traffic a post attracts and its publication time.

Editorial Calendar with Automatic Messages
Nelio Content will fill all your social profiles for you with older content if there’s nothing new to share. This way, you’ll maximize your chances of driving traffic to your website.

Analyze The Impact of Your Posts and Re-promote The Ones That Work Best For You

If you take a look at your blog’s analytics, you’ll see that approximately 75% of your visits come from old posts (source: Marketing Statistics). That’s why it’s so important that you spend some time analyzing the most successful posts and re-promote them on your social networks.

If you also want to spend as little time as possible studying Google Analytics in depth, you have the option of looking at the analytics provided by Nelio Content and easily re-promote the content that works best for you on social networks.

Nelio Content Analytics
Social Media analytics with Nelio Content show you which posts have received the most visits and with a click on Add Message you can quickly create a new message to promote that post again on social networks.

Conclusion

Content hacking is a style of most small companies and startups use. Through creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics, you’ll be able to market your products and gain massive visibility in a short period of time.

Content hacking is our best alternative to have a presence and compete in a market with big players who have many more resources.

Featured image by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

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Ruth obtained her PhD in Software Engineering at UPC and did a Master of Information Systems at DePaul University (Chicago). She has professional experience in the business world and at the University. Ruth has been University Lecturer at UPC, Vice-Dean for Corporate Relations of the Barcelona School of Informatics, and Associate Lecturer at ESADE. She specializes in software engineering and information systems management. She is also certified in Inboud Marketing.

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