Sahail Ashraf posted on 6 February 2018
Your clients most likely have a blog. If they don’t, it certainly wouldn’t harm them to have one. The blog is the original ‘social media’ after all.
But you may have heard of Medium, which is a blog platform that is taking the Internet by storm. The interesting thing about Medium is that it is deadly serious, and has some real fans in the world of entertainment, as well as the corporate landscape. At the moment, if you’re not on Medium, then you’re not worth listening to. Well, that’s what it sometimes feels like anyway.
So we thought we’d take a look at Medium from the point of view of a digital agency. Is it something you should be persuading clients to join? Or is it something that they should stay well clear of?
As per usual in social media, the answer is not clear-cut. There are reasons for and reasons against. Hopefully, this post will help you decide if you have to get your clients on yet another social media channel.
Back in 2012 (yes, really five years ago) Medium was launched by a man called Evan Williams. There really isn’t much more to say, other than that his intention was to create a platform for people who enjoyed reading good writing. While this may have seemed slightly lofty as an aim, it’s pretty much turned out to be what he wanted it to be.
Since then it has had a slow road to success. But it’s been a well publicised road. When Medium really began to take off (as in the media started talking about it) it became a focal point for bloggers (and brands) that wanted to develop their status as thought leaders. Expertise could be built on Medium. But it took some work.
Medium took a while to get going, and it eventually became a true ‘expertise platform’, especially for people who had personal brands.
But brands as in companies? Well…
If your clients are interested in being on Medium, it is easy to get on there with the absolute minimum of effort. All it takes is using your client’s current blog posts (obviously the very best) and syndicating them on Medium.
This makes absolute sense because Medium has a huge audience. It’s in the millions. But as a digital agency with a client’s resources to protect, the best thing you can do is tread carefully.
Placing older content on Medium is possible via the site’s ‘import’ tool. We’re making that very clear because doing this is fine with Medium. What it doesn’t take kindly to is cutting and pasting. So import, and then see what kind of reaction you get. If it starts getting attention, then there is scope for your client to be on Medium.
If your client’s competitors are on Medium and writing up a storm, there is a compelling argument for your client to follow suit. It has always been the same in marketing and advertising (and business in general). If other people are doing it, we should too, is the basic argument.
But while you’re checking this aspect of the decision-making process, just take a look at what the competition is actually doing on there. Are they getting a lot of attention? Are they focusing on creating good content? Are they enjoying it?
The three questions we have just asked are very important ones. If those three things aren’t happening, then the argument for your client to go onto Medium has just weakened.
Resources are an important consideration. If you have limited time and resources (as in people who can create content) then you will have to think carefully about whether or not you put those things into a new platform.
On top of that, if your client has a very visual product and presence online (as in they’re huge on Instagram) then you may not get any real mileage out of Medium. You have to weigh up whether the huge potential gain in authority on Medium can justify a sharing of resources, or a removal of resources from another project.
This is a valid point, and should be borne in mind. Your client is receiving great results from what you are doing for them. Would going on Medium really make a difference?
This is what clients may ask you. Or your agency may ask this question of you. Basically, if the client has a blog and it is successful, the thought leadership that Medium can bring should kind of already be there.
At the same time, blogging doesn’t have to be fresh all the way. You can republish older posts on Medium and make up your own mind as traffic starts hitting.
The basic answer here is that you can test Medium out, give it a few tries on the republishing front. At the moment, while it may be great for building authority, we feel it is still a personal branding tool, in the main.
However, it looks great. It has a huge audience, and it has even opened up an option for authors to make money from it. It may well be worth getting some time on it and some posts up to see how it fits in with and complements what your clients are already doing. It could be even bigger in a year’s time.
While you’re struggling with a decision like this, spare some time to get the best social metrics around. We’ll give you Locowise, all of it, for free, for seven days.