The newest content management system available to brands comes with something no other service offers: a built-in audience.
A couple of months ago, I wrote about how Medium is a great proving ground for marketers. Brands can quickly publish different types of content and see what Medium’s 25M monthly readers think of it. For those who prefer to test and learn like I do, the platform and its audience has a lot of value.
This is especially true with the launch of Medium for Publishers, which allows those creating content at scale to use Medium to host their blog — with a unique url and everything. Instead of publishing into the void, brands can count on millions of engaged readers potentially seeing their content. Medium founder Ev Williams recently told Wired that “30% of all pageviews are driven by Medium itself.” This is not insignificant, especially for brands launching a blog for the first time. An immediately available audience isn’t the only advantage though.
To share a recent anecdote from my professional life, until recently I was working with a global B2C brand on a new content property. We began the project in December and explored several web design directions, all sleek and mobile friendly. Corporate bureaucracy, however, slowed down the decision making and after a three-month period of stasis, my client was instructed by her leadership team to have the blog live in two weeks. My small creative team lost the contract because we couldn’t finish the design and code the site that quickly.
If Medium for Publishers had been an option at the time, readying a blog in a couple of weeks wouldn’t have been that daunting of a task. With the infrastructure already built — and time-tested — all that’s really required to stand up a new blog is to have a url and a graphic header for the top of the home page. Those that opt to go with Medium would save money (no web development or hosting costs) and could save frustration (setting up an article for publication is so much easier in Medium than it is in WordPress).
For those looking to monetize their content, Medium also offers two revenue sharing programs. While most brands won’t want promoted posts placed on their blogs (even if they are from Nest, Bose and Intel), I could see some brands exploring the paid memberships option. For a fee, brands can offer access to exclusive content along with other perks. While not appropriate for everyone, brands with content-hungry audiences — Red Bull, for instance — might want to experiment with some paid tier of “premium” content, much like Slate and The New York Times have.
So this begs the question, “Should the Red Bulls and Krafts of the world migrate their vast content library to Medium?” Probably not. But I think Medium For Publishers is a great option for those brands who are looking to launch their first-ever blog or even a secondary property (when their brand is big enough to have multiple blogs that speak to distinctly different audiences).
While I’m not aware of any brands announcing their intentions to utilize Medium’s CMS, several publishers have. Grantland‘s Bill Simmons is using Medium to host his new site The Ringer, and both Money and Fortune have said they’ll be launching new offshoots via Medium.
I’m certainly going to consider it the next time I get asked to deliver something that’s beautiful, reliable and fast.
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