Medium is seldom mentioned as the top platform for content marketing. However, smart brands are actively using it to reach the audience that is more interested in “what” the author is saying as opposed to “how” or even “who” the author is.
In other words, Medium is less of a social network and more of a free-access farm for high-quality content.
Recent Facebook algorithm changes are prompting us to look closer at alternative venues for business promotion.
Does Your Business Need Medium?
That’s a very good question because if you are spreading your content marketing strategy thin by trying to be present on every social platform, you are most likely to fail. So, how can you be sure that trying Medium is worth it? See if you can relate to any of the below statements.
- You are just starting out in content marketing, your brand does not have too many followers yet, BUT you are proficient enough to create valuable content on certain topics.
- You want to reach beyond the existing brand audience and have your content appreciated by those who would have never visited your website or followed you on social media.
- Your niche has to do with technology, startups, learning, self-improvement, culture, and politics — these are the ever-trending topics on Medium. Or you are selling marketing services and know how to create a KILLER headline (by “killer” I mean fascinating enough to stand out of hundreds upon hundreds of marketing stories).
- You think about quitting the blog on your business website for various reasons, BUT you still want to publish articles, draw traffic to your website, and be recognized as an industry influencer.
- You are looking for ways to syndicate your popular content.
- Your business cannot afford a website, or your website is under construction, but you are ready to start building up your online presence now.
- You want to promote your personal brand as part of your marketing strategy.
What You Can Expect From Medium
Basically, Medium is the place where your content can be discovered and appreciated for its true value. What does this mean for your business?
- You can amplify your business by creating and maintaining a Medium publication (content collection) dedicated to it. As you will be getting followers on Medium, more and more people will become acquainted with your brand.
- By creating popular stories on Medium, you will be driving quality traffic to your website.
- With time, your target audience and other authors in your niche will begin to recognize you as an influencer and a go-to source of expertise.
Sounds great? Let’s see what you need to achieve these goals.
How Does It Work?
Every story on Medium gets viewed by three types of audiences: the readers of this publication, the author’s followers, and those who follow the tag.
First of all, Medium will show your content to the people you are already connected to on other social media. Your followers on Medium will receive email notifications whenever you publish a new story. If a member recommends your story, it will be shown to his\her followers also.
A popular story can become an Editor Stuff Pick or a Top Story and be shown to the entire community.
Medium organizes content in reverse chronological order and into collections (now called publications). Every author can create publications, but you cannot add one post into more than one of them. Authors submit their content to the publications of their choice and wait for it to be approved and accepted by the creators of the particular publication. By the way, on Medium, readers usually roam from one publication to another searching for something to catch their eyes. So, authors are less concerned about how often they publish a story and more about the depth and relevance of their writing.
When most readers spend time flowing from one post to another, the value of a particular author’s identity diminishes. At the same time, the quality of your content will determine whether anyone will stay with it or skip it immediately after opening. People often enter Medium with a particular piece of content they had found elsewhere and stay to see what more there is to read. The philosophy of Medium holds that ten “smaller” contributors will cover a topic better than one great author.
Medium shows reading time for all stories and rates content based on reader engagement. This means that if people have read your content to the end most of the times and added many claps, it will inevitably become trending. The algorithm also takes into account the number of views and recommendations, but the read ratio (the percentage of people who actually read your story to the end) — is the most important metric.
Medium vs. WordPress.com
Both are blogging platforms and, strange as it may seem, many WordPress users are abandoning traditional blogging in favor of Medium.
Its editor has a minimalistic design, just like in WordPress, and offers very smooth writing experience.
At Medium, you can’t use multiple themes and customizations like in WordPress, you only get a chance to add images and change header designs. However, when it comes to sharing content, Medium is ten steps ahead. As you publish something, it will be visible to the entire community, and members will be able to find it by keywords, share, respond, and clap to it.
Along with WordPress, it enables sharing stories to other social networks by adding buttons and links to the text. Moreover, with Medium, you don’t need to install any plugins to have your new posts sent to the mailboxes of your followers.
While on WordPress you cannot monetize your blog on a free plan, Medium does not offer such opportunity at all.
Medium does not seem to have as many security problems as WordPress.com but still, all its content is stored in the same place and can be subjected to large-scale hacking.
And of course, if you don’t own a self-hosted blog and post on Medium or WordPress.com only, you are never in full control of your content.
How To Integrate Medium Into Your Content Marketing Strategy
Unfortunately, you cannot connect your Medium blog to your business profile on Facebook or Twitter and automatically add all followers in. You will need to use a personal account.
Add links to your website and social media accounts to all posts on Medium — you need to give people a chance to read more of your content if they want to.
Do not immediately republish all content from your blog to Medium. Wait for two weeks or more for Google to index your content and then publish a part of it as a Medium story with links to your website. Add canonical links when importing stories, and always check whether your Medium posts have their sources indicated properly.
Choose the articles you are going to republish wisely. It should meet the main criterion:
The article is of high quality, AND it is already generating a lot of traffic to your website, so you are quite sure that the audience likes it.
Use Google UTM tool to see which posts bring the most traffic to your website.
What You Definitely Need to Do on Medium
- Create a profile.
- Start a publication.
- Import your content from other venues using the Import tool.
- Track the right numbers: how many times the story was viewed and how many people read the entire article.
- Interact with other authors by commenting on their stories. Write responses to materials that impress you, and pay attention to the responses you get for your posts. You can even update your posts to include certain points brought up in the comments.
- Leave personal notes on margins to other authors. This is a very cool feature on Medium. As you receive notes yourself, it will also be up to you to decide which of them to make public and not. Request notes from other authors before publishing your content. Medium collaboration is definitely a thing you need to try out because it opens new vistas for networking.
- Encourage your readers to respond and start conversations by tagging certain members directly in your stories.
- Add smart titles AND subtitles. You can skip making subtitles only if you are 100% sure that the first lines of your post that will be automatically used for a preview will persuade readers to pay attention to the story.
- Use original images and image grids for your posts whenever possible to amplify the content.
- Write your stories and start publications with SEO in mind. Use keywords that are relevant to your business goals when creating a title and a URL slug for your new publication (medium.com/abc-corp-blog or medium.com/abc-corp-tech-blog is better than medium.com/abc).
- For post titles, also use keywords and add as few stop words as looks natural, make them 50-60 characters long. Take care of title tags. Select the tags that are broad and relevant to your topic (here, you should not be guessing, do a research!) and add them amply throughout the story. In the text, use bold and italics to highlight the main points. Format your story title as a title and don’t forget about subtitles. Insert quotations and format them as such. Also, use the @… tool to mention other members.
What You Should Not Do on Medium
Have you been publishing a lot on Medium lately but nobody cares? Check whether you are making one of these mistakes:
- Your Medium blog is more like a public diary than a specialized media. Make sure your posts are relevant to Medium members and speak their language. If no one is responding to your stories, maybe you haven’t researched your target audience AND the audience of Medium as a platform. If your content doesn’t address their pain points and draw on their values, readers will have no reason to care about it.
- Your headlines do not stand out, so your stories get lost among similar content. Spend some time to learn how to make headlines that draw clicks.
- Your stories lack structure, so they are hard to scan through. Break the text into sections, add titles and dividers. Also, you can cut long sentences into two and reduce the size of huge paragraphs to avoid wordiness.
- You ignore other members, do not request reviews from other authors before publishing stories, and do not respond to articles published by them. Medium allows its members to refine their style by leaving and receiving personal notes. If you don’t use this opportunity to get and share professional recommendations with other experts in your industry, you are not making the most of this platform.
- Your stories are not included in publications. If you do not submit content to collections, chances are that many Medium members can’t see them at all.
- You make grammar mistakes. Okay, too many of them. Give your stories an extra proofread before publishing if you want them to be taken seriously.
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