Tobi Adono
Tobi Adono 27 October 2016
Categories Content

Content Hacking: Are You Headed To Your True North?

Talking about content hacking, research says that the 1st listing on Google receives 33% of traffic while the second position receives 18%. From there, the percentage dwindles down the line.

It is a fact that content drives SEO ranking on Search Engine Result Pages. So, forward thinking content marketers – content hackers – tapped into that insight with visible results to show.


Then Sean Ellis unveiled the term Growth Hacking and the media went abuzz with its usage.

I don’t want to add to the backlog of content that have discussed that topic.

Rather, I am concerned with the idea of a new hybrid from the term Growth hacking. This term is Content Hacking and its players are Content Hackers.

What is Content Hacking?

Content hacking is the art of creating contents that have scalability and turn in leads. This means that the content hacker is not just concerned with churning out contents that are good reads. It goes beyond that.

The content hacker is preoccupied with delivering content that turn in leads for conversion. The approach may defy protocols, but it will deliver result.


Sean Ellis is famous for saying “a growth hacker’s true north is growth” in his popular blog post. For us, “a content hacker’s true north is creating contents that generate leads and increase revenue.”

We are in the era of massive content publishing and ever increasing competition for content relevance. Analyzing the volume of blog contents published online, I was amazed at the result I found.

Wordpress’ statistics showed that over 55.8 million posts are published via their platform each month.

3.pngDescription: Content Hacking: Wordpress statistics for posting each month

And there are tons of publishing sites like Wordpress out there.

Who is a Content Hacker?

A content hacker is one that delivers a thoroughly effective content that stands out from the crowd. She creates contents that generate leads and instigate conversion – whatever that means to the organization or person.

4.pngDescription: Content Hacker's pie chart

For the most part, a good content is sharable and converts prospects as result.  A good content should generate leads, attract customers and grow the business.  Neil Patel in his blog post proposes that content upgrade is a viable content hacking strategy.

All these validates Bill Gates’ thesis that content is king. However, not all contents are crowned king, only scalable and conversion-yielding ones are.

Features of a Content Hacker

A thoroughbred content hacker is a versatile person. Someone with the writing skill of Dan Brown,  SEO skill of Neil Patel and marketing skill of Seth Godin. Much more than those, we expect the content hacker to possess all the features below:

Insightful Data Driven

Data lends legitimacy to any campaign and provides a sure footing for making conclusions that can scale.

Insightful data is the result of a market study research. It reveals the non-obvious strategies needed to win the market.

5.jpgDescription: Insightful Data in Content Hacking

The content hacker uses their content to activate and execute strategies, drive loyalty, develop awareness for products/service and provide excellent customer experiences.

To gather insightful data, the content hacker asks questions like “what is the number of readers I have currently?” “What is the number of people reading similar contents out there?” “How (technically and otherwise) can I attract and retain them to my content?” “How can I use my content to gain more business leads?”

Questions like these are used in open-ended data exploration. As the name implies, the depth of research to reveal answer are limitless. Hence, the more chances of unearthing ground-breaking results. Data scientists use this method to uncover critical insights for business growth.

The result of these questions reveals insightful data that can be mined to produce tangible results.

Creative Content Delivery

A content hacker writes creatively and does so with results to show. A creative content addresses a need and attract and retain those in need of the solution.

In a nutshell, this means mining data from insightful research to reveal a market and tailoring the content to fit that market.

Creative contents are contents that have the quality of a product/market fit.  These types of contents are as timely as they are fitting and directed to the audience that needs them.

56.pngDescription: Growth Hacking and Creative contents

It is one thing to see what everybody is seeing and completely another to give that a new interpretation.

Creativity in content delivery is not performing abracadabra on words. It is the strategic evolution of compelling ideas from everyday realities. It is the mining of fine gold content from the dirty heap of stones that everyone sees.

For the content hacker, she is able to look beyond what everybody is seeing and create a unique and provoking content from obvious themes.

Creative content delivery, after all, is not a Herculean task. It is just something cut-out for the observant and proactive. Here lies the difference between the tons of articles published daily and the few that makes headlines and generate leads for conversion and sales.

Conversion Oriented

Of what use is the crowd of traffic that comes to your site if you cannot at least, convert 5%? The content hacker, being a fusion of the growth hacker and content marketer, does not just rest her oars at lead generation. She drives on to conversion.

Since we have agreed that her true north is lead generation and revenue creation, it safe to say that she is by default conversion oriented.

57.jpgDescription: Content Hacking and Conversion

To deliver premium conversion, the content hacker engages ideas from content marketing with insights from conversion optimization. These results in the creation of contents that break borders. Content with the features of sharability, virality and conversion possibilities.

Armed with these features, the content hacker is bound to deliver result to the maximum.

SEO Expertise and Marketing Proficiency

This is the point where Neil Patel meets Seth Godin. Just like the growth hacker requires a good level of coding skill to execute his million-dollar ideas, the content hacker needs to master premium SEO skills for success.

You will agree with me that there is more to the success of an article, or content than just fine lines and thoughtful ideas.

This quote sums it up “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

58.jpgDescription: Content Hacking: SEO and Marketing

To excel and even lead in the turbulent ocean of content creation/marketing today, you need to know your salt in SEO. And then, you need to know how to market to the leads that are generated from there.

Without much fuss, I am bold to say here that content marketing is all but different from SEO. Content marketing and SEO share very close-knitted ties.

So it is just natural for the content hacker to be exceptionally good at her SEO skills and equally professional in her marketing skills.

Feel free to share other qualities and features of content hackers that you know with me. I will be more than pleased to update them.

Meanwhile, let me have your opinion on the ones shared above. Just drop them in the comment box below.


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