If your company publishes a blog post and nobody is around to read it, does it make a sound?
Unlike the proverbial tree, the answer to this one is clear. Content without an audience is of no use to anyone, least of all your content strategy. When it comes to posting content, the obvious goal is to attract as many readers as possible. With new self-publishing platforms like LinkedIn Pulse and Medium arising at every turn, however, driving eyeballs isn’t exactly textbook. This week’s Sixty For Social explores these two long-form blog post opportunities and how to stand out in the crowd.
LinkedIn Pulse and Medium, although both content sharing platforms, operate (and separate heroes from zeroes) in very different ways. Taking a closer look at each, we found some helpful tips and tricks to deliver some extra visibility.
Medium is a platform perfect for those interested in publishing content but who don’t necessarily have the time or resources to run an individual blog. As we shared in a previous Tier One post, many of Medium’s merits lie in its simplicity: users are extremely limited in the customization department. This no-nonsense format lets the audience get to the good stuff and shines the spotlight on actual content over flashy layouts and fonts. It also comes with a rather large, built-in, audience of 30 million users, which is wonderful — if you know how to tap into it. Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here.
Become an Expert
Medium is designed to show its users content in which they’re interested. This makes it all the more important to maintain a common theme or topic throughout your posts. If all of your posts relate to one subject, the more likely Medium is to recognize you as an expert in the field, and the more likely it is to show your content to those who will care about it most. Medium also offers groupings of similar posts (called “publications”) on its site, to which you can submit your posts. This is just another funnel to get your content where you want it to go.
Recommendations = Reach
It’s not only important to post interesting and relevant content, it’s also important to recommend it. As a Medium publisher, you have the ability to ‘recommend’ other publishers’ posts to further legitimize yourself as a trusted source for quality information. Any industry-related post you recommend will show up on your profile with a notice that you recommended it. Medium recognizes and values thought leaders, so use this strategy to establish your company or brand as one.
Re-post and Renew
A blog post you had high hopes for didn’t do as well as you’d hoped? Medium allows you to repost it! Another post is another chance for it to be seen and potentially gain the traction you hoped for. Medium is also a great place to repost content that you’ve already published on your company blog or website. Get crafty with your reposts and only include enough of the original blog to catch intrigue, then link to the original post to encourage a little extra website traffic.
Straight from the Source
In 2013, Medium released a list of best practices for its site. While there’s a chance this information might be a little out of date, there’s no denying its helpfulness. The marketers of the world thank you.
Pulse is a fairly new long-form content publishing option for LinkedIn users. Similar to Medium but with its fair share of differences, Pulse markets itself as “professional news tailored to you.” Like on Medium, gaining attention or getting featured on Pulse is largely driven by the relevance of its content in relation to the interests of the user, but there are methods to increase your odds. According to Gericke Potgieter’s book, “How to Feature on LinkedIn Pulse,” these are some of the most important ones.
Rule the Ratio
As online publishing becomes more prominent and complex, it’s become clear the number of views isn’t the only way to measure the success of a post, and Pulse agrees. LinkedIn Pulse’s formula relies on “social validation” -- in other words, the percentage of likes, comments, and shares is more important than the number of views. Maximizing this is easier said than done, but the following tips should help.
Tracking the peak times of day for social engagement has been a helpful tool for online marketers, and because of the previous insight, it is even more integral to use on Pulse. Making sure you are posting content at peak times (found by clicking the Analytics icon under the title of your post, alongside many other helpful insights) will aid in getting the maximum social validation, therefore increasing your chances of getting your post in the Pulse spotlight.
Take Advantage of Tags
Tags are used frequently across platforms to categorize content into categories so that content can be funneled into interest-specific channels. Paying attention to what tags are most popular on channels on which you would like your content featured is a great way to make a name for yourself within whatever space you choose.
Both the Medium and LinkedIn Pulse platforms tend to house similar content, so using them together may be a powerful strategy. After all, there are no negatives to a larger potential audience. When you get down to the details, however, succeeding on each of these platforms is very different. There is one blogging basic that should be kept in mind, no matter the platform: write for your audience.
Press releases and self-promotion have a place, and these platforms are not it. Here, you need to write engagingly about trends and thought-leadership -- topics your audience is interested in. Posting is one thing, but getting people to actually read it and share it is another, especially on platforms that are constantly flooded with content aiming for the same eyeballs you are. Here’s a simple rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t stop to read it, your audience definitely won’t.
Publish the things you would want to read and you’ll be well on your way to greatly extending the reach of your content.
Want to learn more? Here are other great Medium & LinkedIn Pulse resources:
- Kissmetrics: The Marketer’s Guide to Medium
- Buffer Social: How To Use Medium: The Complete Guide To Medium For Marketers
- Business 2 Community: How To Get Featured On LinkedIn Pulse
- Geoff Livingston: 5 Tips for Posting Pulse Articles on LinkedIn
Written with help from Grace Rasulo.