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What We Learned From Our First Year on Medium

January 17, 2017

By manderson@hubspot.com (Meghan Keaney Anderson)

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Context, a publication brought to you by Medium’s Creative Strategy team. Follow the publication to keep abreast of the best ideas in brand storytelling.

Two years ago if you asked me to explain the concept of content marketing I would start by talking to you about planets.

Imagine you are a marketer standing all alone  —  like The Little Prince  — in the middle of a small planet. That planet is your website. Today it doesn’t get many visitors because it’s too small to notice and the universe is filled with bigger, more interesting planets.

But like planets, as you build up the mass of content around you, your website grows, and your gravitational pull becomes stronger. More content, keywords, and inbound links pulls more people your way. Content becomes your magnet.

This fundamental principle of content marketing has been a key part of HubSpot’s marketing playbook. Our “planet,” comprised of our website and blog, continues to fuel our company’s growth at a higher rate than any other marketing tactic. You may find it odd then, that about a year ago, we very quietly walked to the edge of our home planet and stepped off.

Space Cat.gif
Amazing space cat by William Herring

Getting Behind the Idea of Publishing Off-Site

We started ThinkGrowth.org, an off-site publication on Medium.com. November 2016 marked the one year anniversary of ThinkGrowth.org and I wanted to share a little bit about what we’ve learned: why we did it, where we stumbled, and  — because benchmarks were hard to come by when we were getting started  — what our numbers looked like throughout the year.

Grab your space helmets. Here we go.

Let me make this very clear: you do not own your audience. Regular monthly visitors, big subscriber lists, well-trodden conversion paths give us the illusion that we own the attention of our audience  — but it is only an illusion. Attention is fleeting, and must constantly be earned.

While a lot of content discovery still happens through search, more and more people are consuming articles directly from platforms like Medium, Facebook, and podcasts. Medium has done a remarkable job with editorial curation and a loyal readership has followed, with a lot of this being driven by mobile. According to 2016 research from eMarketer, 86% of time spent on mobile devices is spent in apps rather than internet browsers. Apps like Medium have become new discovery platforms for content.

And these new discovery platforms come with notable differences in behavior. On the open web, people are searching, but on Medium, people come to spend time reading. This leads to much higher engagement on Medium and it’s this engagement, not search behavior, that fuels further discovery.

As the saying goes, sometimes you have to lose sight of …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog

      

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