10 things to improve your Medium content marketing efforts
If you’re not using Medium to elevate your content marketing efforts yet, now is the time to get started. If you already are — great! Learn how to drive more of your Medium readers to your website. We’ve collected 10 tricks from Medium superstars on how to get your content noticed.
1. Ideas are important, authority is not
As is so often the case, content is king. But in Medium’s case, that’s especially true: When distributing your content, the publishing platform’s algorithm doesn’t care about your past achievements or your number of Twitter followers — if you have awesome content that an initial audience is engaging with by reading, commenting, and bookmarking, Medium will amplify your story and push its readership far beyond anything your corporate blog could ever achieve on its own. You should therefore make use of this principle when drafting your story by adding rich data, illustrations, and citing well-researched references.
2. Add a footer to your posts to convert readers into customers
Supplying readers with high-quality content is great, but your ultimate goal is to convert those readers into website visitors and ultimately customers. The minimalist look & feel of Medium focuses the reader’s attention on your content, so you need to step up your game to direct them to your website. In our experience, an image-based footer that links to your site works great. Add it to all your posts to create a tangible call to action. If you’re not born with ninja-level Photoshop chops, use a free online tool like the awesome footr.io (which generates an image that’s perfectly sized for Medium posts) to design and create your footer. To turn it into a link, click on the inserted image and press Command+K on Mac or Control+K on PC to add a link.
3. Create a publication and use all of the available customization options
Don’t publish your content under your own name. Create a publication to make your content stand out and associate it with your brand. Publications also offer a host of customization options — from a bold header image to custom logos, and even favicons. Use all of these features to make your readers aware of who is providing them with such high-quality content and to introduce them to your brand. Some incredibly well-designed publications from which you can learn are Bright, Fortune Insiders, and cuepoint. Play with the color, header, and layout options until you’re happy with the way your publication looks.
4. Use a custom domain name
Medium allows to you to associate a custom subdomain (such as blog.yourcompany.com) with your publication. They’ll charge a one-time fee for configuring this for you, but it’ll pay off in the long run by increasing your content’s search engine presence. In addition, it creates an air of authority and will impress your readers. Read more about how custom domains work and how to set one up in Medium’s help section.
5. Use formatting options to your advantage
Medium offers a range of “hidden” formatting options that aren’t directly obvious when you’re only used to the popup toolbar. Ev Williams, Medium’s CEO, shares some unusual formatting options here, which can make your content stand out if used right. Blockquotes can be a helpful way to catch your reader’s attention. If you’re adding source code to your post, make sure to get the formatting absolutely right — readers hate nothing more than literal spaghetti-code that is hard to read and all over the place. Familiarize yourself with the difference between inline code and free-standing code blocks here.
6. Add UTM parameters when linking back to your website
When linking to your landing page, website, or company blog, make sure to include UTM parameters within the link so that you can track which articles are most effective at converting readers to visitors and, ultimately, customers. Include an abbreviated version of your post’s title in the UTM parameters so that you know exactly which content works best. If you need help setting up UTM parameters, Google provides a helpful tool to get you started.
7. Limit yourself to a particular theme
Readers won’t subscribe to your publication if they can’t recognize a common thread among your articles — restricting yourself to a certain overarching topic may seem limiting at first, but you’ll be rewarded by a growing number of subscribers. This will give you an edge in establishing your company as an authority in this field. If you want to branch out into unrelated topics, feel free to create another publication, but don’t needlessly water down your focus, as potential subscribers want to know exactly what they can expect from your publication in the future — if you’re all over the place, they simply won’t subscribe, period.
8. Share your Medium content on your established channels to build your audience
Don’t rely on Medium’s algorithm to push your content to new readers automatically — Medium will require some indication that you are actually producing high-quality content by looking at the number of views and recommendations. Generate an initial uptick in views and recs by sharing your Medium content with your social media followers to get the ball rolling. Over time, Medium’s algorithm will take over and present your content to their 30M+ monthly visitors, but that first nudge is crucial in getting there.
9. Collaborate with external writers to increase your reach
There are lots of great writers on Medium who churn out high-quality content on a consistent basis. If your content marketing team is small, reach out to independent writers in your niche and ask them to contribute to your publication. This is beneficial for both parties, since the writer gets to expose their content to a larger audience, and you’re keeping your audience engaged and interested with fresh content on a regular schedule. Make sure to properly vet new contributors to keep the quality of the posts high — remember, content is king, regardless of who’s providing it.
10. Provide value, not ads for your business
Don’t use every article to plug your product — chances are, your readers will get bored with your content after the second article, or not subscribe to your publication at all. If you’re running a newsletter platform, and all of your Medium articles are a variation of “Why you should use company X as your newsletter platform”, you’re doing it wrong! Instead, describe the story of how your startup came to life, or how you’re dealing with the daily challenges of running a subscription service. This will speak to your readers and will lead to an engaged, growing audience who will effortlessly convert into customers.
If you’re following these 10 tips, and remember that content is king, particularly on Medium, you’ll be on your way to building a powerful content marketing channel that will propel your readership to unimaginable new heights.