Every single time that I see the word “hack” used in a marketing context I do not click. This is, most likely, because I actually know what the word means. Ever since LifeHack appeared it seems like people are obsessed with hacks that make their life better. It is basically a fancy word that means something else and that is now used with a different meaning simply because others decided that it could be used like that.
If you take a look at the dictionary, the word hack means:
Cut with rough or heavy blows
Gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer – Most Used
Only in the urban dictionary you can see hack being referenced with:
A clever solution to a tricky problem
In marketing we ended up with new terms like growth hacking that started being used, mainly because it sounded really cool, with hacking being big on the internet at that point in time. Eventually, the word “hack” moved into every facet of marketing, leading towards hacks that are connected with anything: Google hacks, social media hacks, blogging hacks and so on. It sounds cool but what are you actually hacking?
Most of the times that I see the word hack in an article, the article is actually filled with tips, not hacks. This is a huge problem. People expect to see those clever solutions and just end up seeing tips that are available everywhere else.
If you actually use the word in your content marketing strategy and you want to offer good articles that actually present the clever solutions, use the word hack. If not, just add the real word: tips/advice. One of the huge parts of marketing is being 100% real and legit. Any attempt to deceive people is not seen with good eyes.
Eventually, people will start figuring out that these hacks are not actually hacks. They will not be drawn in by the titles anymore. It is a shame whenever this happens.
I should also add that when you look for hacks online, most of the results are connected to the actual meaning of the word. At least that is ok.