Medium: What Is It and Should You Be Using It?Monika Jansen
When Medium launched onto the scene in 2015, I set up an account – and I have yet to do anything with it. Because I already publish articles on LinkedIn, where I have a very nice audience of 744 connections – a network that I have worked hard to build – I am wondering why I should attempt to build a new audience from scratch elsewhere.
Hence, this blog post is kind of self-serving. We’ll look at what Medium is, of course, but we’ll also determine if you – and I – should use it as part of your marketing strategy.
What is Medium?
It’s basically a grown-up version of Reddit. In their words:
“Medium is a different kind of place to read and write on the Internet. A place where the measure of success isn’t views, but viewpoints. Where the quality of the idea matters, not the author’s qualifications. A place where conversation pushes ideas forward and words still matter.”
Translation: It’s a publishing platform with a clean interface that encourages thoughtful discussions around an idea.
How does it work?
From a reader’s perspective:
Articles are organized by tags. When I set up my account, I chose the tags I wanted to follow. My news feed – for lack of a better word – is populated with the articles that use those tags. (You can also look at the top stories if you want.)
You can like articles, comment on them, share them on Facebook, Twitter, or email, and bookmark them to read later. You can also follow authors.
From an author’s perspective:
Publishing is easy. From the top right corner, you click on the button that says “Write a story.” You’re taken to a new screen that has a placeholder for a title and the body of your story. As you write, your story is automatically saved at regular intervals. When you’re done, you add tags and hit the Publish button. That’s it!
Why should I use it?
You could improve your visibility and reach
If your articles and ideas are not getting traction on your blog, LinkedIn or by sharing on social media, I would try Medium. It has a fairly active user base, and if your idea catches on, it could potentially be seen by hundreds or thousands of people.
There are no ads
That’s right, there are no ads or promoted articles on Medium yet to distract readers from the articles.
You can test out ideas
Quality ideas really matter on Medium, which means you’ll get pretty instant feedback on whether your idea is a great one – or not. People will either like your article and comment on it, or they won’t.
High-level thinkers and doers use it
Scanning my feed pulls up some big names in my industry (marketing), like Larry Kim and Brian Halligan, but there are also tons of great articles by people I don’t yet know, but probably should. My conclusion: this is a great place to learn – and get noticed by the right people.
It’s still new
Newness has its advantage – you can still get noticed and increase your thought leadership and brand awareness if you publish on a fairly regular basis.
So, will I use Medium? Yes, I’ll give it a shot, as increasing thought leadership is important to me.
Should you use it? It depends on your goals. Do you want to increase reach, visibility, and awareness? Then probably. Do you want to increase lead generation or sales? Then this is not the place.