The word “growth hacking” may sound familiar. It’s become a marketing buzzword after Sean Ellis, the CEO of GrowthHackers.com and an early Dropbox contributor, coined the word in his 2010 article.

Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup!

Growth hacking is more of an ideology that can be applied to your business than a methodology that can be learned. So this article is going to explore how to apply the growth hacking ideology to content marketing.
But first…

What is the concept of content hacking?

The term “content hacking” combines the terms “growth hacking” and “content marketing.”

  • To sell goods quickly and gain widespread visibility for their business, a growth hacker employs creative thinking, analytics, and social trends. They are solely focused on maximizing their business as fast as possible.
  • Content marketing encourages customers along the buyer’s journey towards conversion. It’s perfect for establishing a good customer relationship, but it’s certainly more of a marathon than a sprint.

Content hacking applies growth hacking principles to content marketing to produce similar outcomes in terms of increased web traffic, brand awareness, and sales. A content hacker isn’t afraid to break the rules and ignore style guides when the situation calls for it. They’ll be able to predict what’s going to go viral and create shareable content.

1- Shareable content

Creating content that readers want to share is the quickest way to gain widespread exposure for your business. It’s not easy, and it can happen quickly, but viral content is typically more than a stroke of luck. During the content creation process, techniques, principles, and mechanisms are used to encourage people to share the content with their networks.

What encourages people to share?

Before you begin creating, learn what motivates people to click the “share” button. Take a look at some of Fractl’s social networking statistics:

  • 48% of people share to entertain their relatives and friends
  • 40% of people share to make themselves look good
  • 17% of people share to share their concerns about topics that are important to them
  • 13% of people share to elicit an emotional reaction

What steps should you take to make your content more shareable?

With those numbers in mind, here are a few things you can do to build shareable content:

  1. Making the content insightful, exciting, or emotional is vital to increasing how many times people share it.
  2. Make content about subjects that are currently trending and that people are interested in.
  3. To draw more people, create enticing, click-worthy headlines. A lot of top content and copywriters recommend devoting half of the time required to compose an entire article to the headline alone. It’s that important!
  4. The visual appeal of your content is just as critical as its quality. Co-working with a graphic designer and a web designer to enhance the visual appeal of your content would increase its shareability.
  5. Articles with photographs receive 94% more views than articles without, video content, on the other hand, produces 12 times the number of shares as text and photos combined.
  6. To increase readability, keep your sentences short and include two or three sentences in each paragraph. For mobile users, it’s particularly crucial to avoid large blocks of text.
  7. Use social sharing buttons to make it simple for readers to share your content.

2- Publish original content

Every day, millions of content marketers and journalists need to source data to support their arguments or to encourage new ideas.

Accordingly, the second most important content hacking tip is to own original and content. Once you have your own original content, you will get a ton of inbound links that will draw traffic from other websites and improve your SEO performance. You should concentrate on finding new data about a trendy topic, being one of the first to produce content for a new trend, or getting a completely new (and quotable) take on what’s popular right now

Conduct a simple study

Creating a simple study is easier than it sounds.

Choose your main topic (choose something popular enough to ensure that the data you produce can reach an audience), the groups you want to get reactions from, and a simple way for them to provide data. You can use your email subscribers, your customer database, or create Facebook and Youtube ads to find the people who will take part in your study.

It’s difficult to come up with new ideas. Social media and news have progressed to the point that global breaking news can be lost in a sea of brand new content the next day. You must be prepared to take quick action so you don’t miss the boat.

Monitoring Twitter to see what’s trending can be an effective way to learn about what people are involved in and discussing. Even if you keep an eye on your feed 24 hours a day, you could miss anything important to your company.

That makes Google Trends a content hacker’s best friend. It enables you to assess whether interest in keywords important to your company is growing or declining. A breakout function is also available, which displays similar queries that are currently trending. With trusted search data, Google Trends will validate your theories on what people are interested in. It can also help you avoid wasting time on a topic with declining interest.

3- Create valuable freebies

Humans enjoy receiving free gifts. Food, swag, downloads – whatever it is, if it’s free, you can bet there will be a crowd waiting to take advantage of it.

Offering free gifts inside a piece of content adds value to the reader’s experience, according to content hackers. It makes the site more shareable and, as a result, attracts more visitors.

This can be done in several ways. Your industry and the type of company you run will decide what works best for your audience. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular freebies used to attract new customers:

  • Online tools
  • Online courses
  • White papers
  • Checklists
  • Discount codes
  • Sample products 
  • Competitions to win your product/service 
  • Consultations
  • Exclusive content

4- Writing guest posts

Guest posts are a proven way to increase your online visibility and extend your reach. It’s a must-have tool for content marketers because it helps you to reach out to an audience that’s already interested in your topic. Furthermore, the backlinks you receive from guest posting will improve your SEO and increase the amount of search traffic that comes to your site.

Your task is to locate high-traffic, authoritative blogs in your niche and create high-quality content that their readers will appreciate. The trick is to think about satisfying the audience just as much as you would if you were writing on your website.

Your primary goal should be to entertain or educate the blog’s readers, but you should also find a way to pique their interest in you, At the very least, they are interested enough in you to perform a search and visit your website to learn more about you.

A content hacker’s guide to guest posts
Since a content hacker’s job is to find opportunities that will have the greatest effect on their company’s overall development, a content hacker’s approach to guest posting differs from that of a content marketer.

Let’s take a look at some content hacking tips about guest posting:

  1. Focus on websites with high domain authority and a monthly unique visitor count of 100,000 or more.
  2. If you believe you have found a way to excite their audience with your insight, don’t be afraid to write for popular websites outside of your niche. 
  3. Dofollow links that use contextual anchor text within the main content area of a trustworthy site are the most strong. 
  4. To find better opportunities, consider using different advanced search queries. Finding websites that host guest posts but don’t receive thousands of submissions each month will increase your chances of landing a guest post. Try these search queries used by Perrin Carrel from Authority Hacker to find less competitive opportunities:
    •  “guest post by”
    •  “guest post written by”
    •  “guest author today”
    •  “my guest posts”
    •  “Places I’ve guest posted”
    •  “This is a guest post by”
    •  “guest article”
    •  “The following guest post”
  5. Include a link in your author bio to a sales or opt-in page on your website. If someone reads your guest post and scrolls down to learn more about the author before clicking the link, they’re likely interested in your business. Why not send them to a page that you know converts well and cash in on the interest?

Lastly

Content hacking is not about giving up on a plan. It’s all about focusing on the opportunities and techniques that can help the company grow quickly.

You will be able to take your company to the next level if you incorporate all of these content hacking techniques into your content marketing plan. You’ll not only grow your audience in the short term but you will also provide value to your readers and viewers which will pay off in the long run.

Any startup or young business looking to cut through the clutter and create their own content should consider content hacking. It’s also a smart idea for older brands that have stagnated to follow the tactics of the young to breathe new life into their businesses.