You create a lot of content for your brand, and the sheer volume of that content is increasing significantly each year. But no matter how hard you labor over each piece, you’re still faced with the same challenge. How can you get it in front of more people? And not just any people, but the right people?
Although possible strategies abound, a relatively new and highly promising content sharing platform is winning the attention of marketers: Medium.
Medium has been around for about five years, but recently it’s really taken off. More than 60 million unique visitors arrive at the site each month, which is a 140 percent increase from the prior year.
One writer, Benjamin Hardy, recently detailed his experience with the platform, explaining how one article he published, titled “8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M.,” captured 2.4 million views to date and brought in an average of 200,000 daily clicks on Medium. Success like this is likely why major brands such as Starbucks, Tesla, BMW, Marriott, and many others are leveraging this new platform.
But what about you? Does it make sense to incorporate this platform into your marketing strategy? If you aren’t convinced yet, here are three insanely good reasons to use Medium for marketers, and a few powerful tips for a successful start.
1. Build the right audience, faster
Building an audience for your brand is a craft, requiring time, patience, and persistence. Brands spend many years cultivating audiences on social platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, and Medium allows you to leverage these connections to the new platform. But how?
During the sign-up process, you can enter your brand’s Twitter or Facebook account, which allows you to instantly transfer those relationships to Medium. For example, if your brand has 7,000 Twitter followers and 2,000 of those are on Medium, you’re instantly hooked up with them on the network. You’ll have a great following from day one.
Once you connect on Medium, the key is to start building engagement on that platform right away. Share your very best content right out of the gate (more on this in a minute). Readers who click on the heart button, which is similar to a “like,” help get the content in front of more people. So … always ask for the click. For example, you can say: “Did you enjoy the article? If so, we’d be honored if you clicked the heart to share it.”
Key takeaway: A great reason to use Medium is that you don’t need to start from ground zero when building an audience. If you have an active Twitter or Facebook following, you’re plugged into a great baseline from the very beginning.
2. Powerful analytics uncover critical details
Typically, the success of a piece of content is measured by page views or clicks, but Medium takes this a step further. It helps you measure success by understanding how much time a person spends with the content. Did they read for one minute — or seven minutes? Did they read the entire piece of content and then fail to recommend it? (If so, that is not a good sign.) Or, did they read the entire piece of content and recommend it? Medium tracks how many people read your content and for how long, and it keeps tabs on how many make it to the last word.
These analytics are useful because they can help you understand where readers are getting lost so you can create better content in the future. But these powerful tools are also at the heart of the company’s algorithm and affect how much exposure they grant. For example, if a large number of people read a piece of content until the very end and then recommend it, that’s a great sign that the content just might land in “prime real estate” elsewhere and result in viral results and maximum exposure.
Key takeaway: Medium has great analytics tools, but the key for marketers is using these tools correctly. Watch each piece of content that you publish. Are readers getting lost after reading for three minutes? Make tweaks during that part of the content, republish, and test again. Mastering this process will greatly expand your reach.
3. Great content never dies
Quality is at the heart of success on the Medium platform, and, as a result, the date that you published the content is deemed irrelevant. If people still love your content in three years, it will continue to receive a high rank.
For example, if you write a stellar piece about how to write headlines and it increases your conversion rate 10× ― and readers still love it in five years ― it may never settle to the bottom of search results. Content is not ranked in chronological order.
Plus, the more “hearts” you get, the greater visibility to your brand. Top stories get a featured spot on Medium’s website and are included in the app and showcased in the company’s newsletter. Plus, followers are immediately notified when you publish a new piece of content.
Key takeaway: Medium is all about quality over quantity. Maximize your results by publishing only amazing content. This great content will have a long shelf life and continue delivering results for many months ― and perhaps even years.
Getting started with Medium: 4 powerful tips for success
Ready to jump in with Medium? Great, but it helps to have a few potent pointers to help you get the most out of it. Here are four tips that will supercharge your success and results.
- Use the tagging feature. Each story is allowed three tags, so make the most of them. Your story is published on relevant tag pages, where it and other content with the same tags reside. Think of tags like keywords — select the most relevant to your target audience. What would they be searching?
- Publish existing superstar content. Getting started doesn’t need to be time-consuming. Use this strategy to kick off your Medium publishing instead. Select existing superstar content, such as that blog post that harnessed record-breaking views last year. Once you’re signed up for Medium, you can easily move your content onto it by clicking on the “Import a story” avatar in the top right corner and then pasting the URL of the page you want to import. Voilà ― it will appear in Medium. The job is done.
- Get visual. Using visuals amplifies your content marketing efforts, and Medium is no different. Make sure that each piece of content you publish to Medium has an attention-grabbing visual. Tools such as Canva allow you to add texture effects to photos, include speech bubbles, and more.
- Use a lead magnet. Don’t publish a single Medium article without crafting a strategic call to action for the platform. Offer a piece of content ― such as a cheat sheet, insightful research, or other valued piece ― to capture that reader’s email address and get them in your sales funnel. Remember Benjamin Hardy, who published the wildly popular article on Medium? He made the critical mistake of not including a CTA.
Hardy’s article went viral and captured hundreds of thousands of views each day, yet he initially added only 40 new subscribers to his list. How is this possible? He had no opt-in. After adding a call to action with a lead magnet, his email list quickly jumped by 3,500 subscribers — but that happened after the initial traffic surge. Talk about a huge lost opportunity.
For an example of how to capitalize on interest in your content, check out this Medium article by Marie Poulin. The piece has 1.6 million shares and more than 300 loves. At the end of the article, she includes a carefully crafted call to action. This one highlights her Digital Strategy School. Take a look.
Key takeaway: What do you want readers to do after reading your article? For example, do you want them to download a free giveaway or other piece of content? Test different calls to action to select the one with the most impact.
The best time to test is now
Medium is an interesting new tool for marketers. It’s a mix of blogging, social media, and traditional publishing. But what’s different about this platform is that it levels the playing field. New marketers have just as much chance to get their content in front of a massive audience as those who are more experienced and well known.
Start with minimal risk and resources by leveraging that “superstar content” you’ve already published on the Medium platform. You know it performed well elsewhere, so test it and grow your reach. Using the tips highlighted above, measure the results, iterate, and build a Medium strategy that helps you reach your marketing goals faster this year.