A profile of Medium and why content marketers love it

Linh Dao

Did you know that Barack Obama has published on Medium since 2014? More recently, big media and global organisations have also jumped on board, such as the World Economic Forum, United Nations, ABC (Australia).

The platform’s appeal is undeniable but it takes time and effort to make it big on Medium. Here’s an overview of how it works.  


How Medium fits your content marketing strategy

Content syndication:

  • Great for increasing exposure and reach, especially when your brand is already well-known. Example: HubSpot with ThinkGrowth
  • Also good for targeting a niche audience. Example: Hacker Noon targeting techies.

Guest writing:

  • You can submit articles to publications that accept them, just like any other media outlet
  • You can invite others to contribute to your own publication to increase credibility.

Email marketing:

  • You can insert call to action items to subscribe to an external email list
  • Within Medium, you can email your followers to inform them of new articles.

Social Media: 

  • Linking with other social media accounts: Adding your Twitter and Facebook to your Medium profile/publication to gain followers. 



Since publishers don’t own Medium, there’s a concern that your brand may get diluted in a sea of content. Nonetheless, the platform does offer branding opportunities:

  • You can get your custom branded domain
  • Visual elements such as cover photo, profile picture, call-to-action banners
  • Publication: create and publish your own to humanise your content.
Source: Medium

Source: Medium


User experience:

Medium was designed to deliver a beautiful and distraction-free reading experience. With its clean interface, a lot of white space and no intrusive ads (pop-up or on the side), readers can focus on the content.

Moreover, Medium allows readers to highlight bits and pieces they like and make comments on those, which can spark lively discussions between brands/authors and the audience. 

Source: Medium

Source: Medium

From a publisher’s point of view, the uploading and formatting content is relatively simple compared to other platforms such as WordPress, where some knowledge of HTML may be required. 

Nonetheless, for those who are heavy on customisation and special formatting, Medium can be more restrictive. That said, content marketers often don’t need to go too far beyond the basic supported media (text, image, video, gif, embed). 


No control for publishers? 

Medium is like a newsstand containing different publications. Considered as “rented media,” the platform doesn’t give publishers full control, such as Google Analytics’ level of data.

This complaint is similar to that about Facebook’s Instant Articles. However, Medium doesn’t offer full-fledged advertising and monetisation opportunities for publishers yet.  

Others argue that publishing on Medium doesn’t help your SEO, as Google may rank the same story on Medium higher than that on your own blog. 


The counter-argument

If you build up your credibility enough, eventually people would visit your own site to learn more about you. However, that means deploying specific tactics for Medium:

  • Tell personal stories
  • Examine case studies
  • Don’t try to sell anything.

As an extreme example, a publication called Free Code Camp “abandoned” their blog to move to Medium and saw great results. This may work better for brands who have a more niche audience, in this case, programmers. 

Follow her on Twitter: @LinhConten

Linh Dao

A content marketer with journalism background helping businesses tap the power of strategic storytelling.

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