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Let it not be said that I don’t keep up with the changing times. I mean, I’m as forward-looking, future-facing as the next business owner. I live, breath and eat marketing. So, I recognize when some NEW and IMPROVED idea is going around the marketing world. This time, I have to say, whoever came up with the term “content hacking” to describe what we’ve always done is a pure genius.
It’s so much more awesome sounding than, “marketer who uses all the tools at their disposal to get the job done right.” I mean, that’s really long, right? Not near as catchy.
Okay, so that’s a heavy dose of sarcasm that I can’t help. I’ve held my tongue as long as I can; I can’t do it anymore.
To this date, there are over 92 million results for “content hack”. 15K that have the words in the title, which means that there are probably at least that many that are actively talking about the subject.
– Which also means that people are probably eating it up in the search indexes.
– Which boggles the mind, because it’s the Same. Exact. Stuff. we’ve been doing for years.
– And when I say “we”, I don’t mean just Level343.
At least, this is what I’ve thought we were doing…
First Case In Point: 10 Content Marketing Growth Hacks, via UnBounce
First off, let me say I like the UnBounce blog. I even like the post I’m about to pick on. My only problem with 10 Content Marketing Growth Hacks is that they’re talking about growth hacking and content hacking, when it’s just plain good marketing. It’s great advice, but it smacks of sensationalism to me.
Let’s take the same ole stuff, slap a new name on it, call it NEW and IMPROVED, and sell it like hot cakes. UnBounce didn’t come up with the idea, but they’re perpetuating it. Let’s look at the evidence, shall we?
“What turns content marketing into content hacking? It’s all about leveraging user behavior and the content you are sharing for major growth. It’s a new twist on an old story.”
I thought content marketing and marketing in general was about leveraging user behavior and content for major growth? Or is that just me?
“While it has recently come under fire by the powers that be at Google, guest blogging is another great example of content hacking.”
Okay, so they do follow up with, “content hacking isn’t new, but…”
They have excellent examples of marketing practices:
- Create stronger calls to action – fantastic advice… but aren’t you already supposed to be doing this?
- Make sharing easier – absolutely, and again, this should already be in play.
- Create longer copy – great! Although statistics point towards visitors not wanting to read long copy, those stats fly right out the window once you include how interesting the content is. Keep it interesting and relevant, and it’ll get read.
Now, these are just three of the ten. The article is well worth the read, has some great suggestions that I left out to entice you to read on. Good work, UnBounce.
BUT! Is this (content hacking and the above points) something new?
Second Case In Point: 25 Growth Hacks Your Content Marketing Desperately Needs via CoSchedule
Now, CoSchedule, I haven’t come across much. That’s a shame, I think, because this article is an awesome resource for DIY marketing. Absolutely wonderful “content hacking” tips:
- Write awesome headlines
- Make content more shareable
- SEO keywords for targeting
- Let your content lead to a call to action
- Guest blogging
These are just five of the tips they cover, and they cover them well with examples and helpful additions. It’s worth the read. But come on! Is this new??
GetSpokal is covering content hacking with an article about curate vs create.
KissMetrics, always awesome content and infographics: headlines, shareable content, guest blogging, longer copy, better story…
Content Hacking: The NEW, IMPROVED, Same Old Marketing
As far as I’m concerned, the jury is in, my friends. Content hacking is just good marketing principles. What it adds up to is actions like these:
- Pay attention to what your visitors are doing
- Watch your traffic
- Watch your analytics
- Test your headlines
- Test your call to actions
- Test the placements of your website’s important parts
- Write bad content
- Write good content and replace the bad content
- Share, share, share!
And once you have that good content, plagiarize the heck out of it. It’s your content – go ahead, be your own victim! Spread that stuff around! Infographics, videos, guest blogs, white papers. Don’t be ashamed to pimp yourself wherever you think the pimping’s good.
Whether you call it growth hacking, content hacking or just plain good marketing, it means making your website the best product-selling, business-growing, advocate-building, brand-developing, influencer-making website it can be. Start pimping!