These days, you’ve got more than just WordPress as a potential channel for your content marketing efforts. Other options, including Medium and Facebook Instant Articles, have their own merit. In this post, we’ll review and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each so that you can make an informed decision about how best to reach your audience.
Tried and True: WordPress
If you have a blog for your business, there’s a good chance it’s built on WordPress. There’s a reason for that. WordPress is reliable and secure as both a blog and website platform. It’s also fairly intuitive to use. While other competitors have popped up over the years, but WordPress remains the most popular blogging and web tool. Today, more than 15 million websites use it!
What It’s Best For: If you want a blog that’s incorporated into your website, making it easy for people to go from one to the other, having a WordPress blog is essential. It’s much easier to convert visitors into customers when information on your products or services is just a click away. With the other options we’ll discuss in a moment, converting visitors to customers is much more difficult. You’ll see why.
Why You Want It: WordPress as a blog platform is totally free to use. While you will have to pay for additional services and solutions, it’s a great tool for budget-conscious businesses. It’s also incredibly easy to use. Alongside that simplicity, you have the option to get more customized and technical by adding widgets, plugins, and custom themes. However, even if your tech expertise is minimal, you can very quickly figure out how to start writing blog posts. If you’re ever having trouble, there are an amazing number of resources for WordPress that can help you through.
Drawbacks: If any, it’s the sheer number of possible features you can add. It can be overwhelming to choose the best and most effective plugins and widgets to enhance your WordPress blog, and some are no longer updated, leaving you high and dry if you have a question.
Part Social Media, Part Blog: Medium
If WordPress and Twitter had a baby, it would be Medium. While it’s a content platform that anyone with an account can publish on, there is definitely a social media component to the site. For one, when you sign up, Medium will connect you with anyone in your Twitter or Facebook network that is also on Medium. But people can also recommend your stories, share them, and follow you, so it feels familiar if you’ve used social media.
What It’s Best For: Where a WordPress blog is challenging is in trying to attract new visitors to it. Medium, on the other hand, has a huge readership (estimates are vague, but likely upwards of 600,000), and therefore provides you serious opportunity to get your content and brand name in front of more eyeballs.
Why You Want It: One major perk of Medium is that you can publish previously-published content there. So it’s a no-brainer that you can publish an article on your blog and then republish it over on Medium. One article. Maximum exposure. For free. Why not?
Drawbacks: Given the number of people publishing on Medium, it can be understandably difficult to get people to pay attention to your content. Slow and steady wins the race. If you continue to publish great articles, you’ll amass a following who will eagerly read whatever you publish next. Just know it’s not a magic bullet to getting more traffic overnight. Also, there isn’t one focus for the content, so you have everything from travel to politics there.
Content in a Snap: Facebook Instant Articles
You may have noticed that clicking a link on Facebook to read an article has gotten a little faster in the past few months, especially if you’re on a mobile device. That’s because Facebook’s newest endeavor, Instant Articles, now makes it easier to access content on the social media site.
Let’s say you’re set up to publish Instant Articles and you share an article on your business page. People see a snippet and image of the article in their stream, and then they click to read the entire article. Now rather than taking them away from Facebook, the article is hosted within Facebook, and it loads 10x faster than those previous links that would take people to your website. These articles are easier to read and interact with on mobile devices, and people are actually spending more time reading them. People can click links within the article to get to your page and leave Facebook.
What It’s Best For: If you’re a publisher who has a lot of content already, Facebook Instant Articles could be a fantastic channel to beef up your reads on Facebook. If you invest in Facebook Advertising, it can also be a great combination to drive interest in your brand.
Why You Want It: Really, it’s always a good idea to jump on Facebook’s latest innovations because they always pay off. But if you’re looking for a wider audience for your content, you should definitely check out Instant Articles.
Drawbacks: Getting set up does require a bit of technical expertise, so you’ll need an expert to help you. There also is the drawback that the people reading your Instant Articles won’t count in your overall web traffic number (since they’re not technically leaving Facebook to read your content), though Facebook Insights will give you details on the number of reads and shares.
So, What’s the Verdict? Which Is Right For Me?
Really, this is a trick question. All three of these publishing platforms could help you expand your reach and better engage your audience. Definitely, you need a WordPress blog, because people expect you to have a blog on your site. Both Medium and Instant Articles can help you connect to a wider audience who might not otherwise find your content, though it may be worth it to experiment with one of the two at a time so you can better assess results.
In the end, anywhere you can introduce people to your brand is a great channel to consider for your content marketing strategy.