Getting your blog or business website in front of the right audience can be time consuming and expensive, so when there’s a free advertising opportunity, it only makes sense to take it. While many businesses today have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube account, not many people know about or understand the marketing potential of LinkedIn’s SlideShare.
What is SlideShare?
You mean besides consistently being ranked one of the top 200 most visited websites in the world? Besides receiving more traffic from business owners than the most popular social media sites? Besides being considered the largest professional content sharing community in a time where quality content is king?
Technically, SlideShare is a slide sharing service where users can upload, view and discuss PowerPoints, infographics, and other presentations. Big picture, it’s where people from all over the world come to learn about any subject from the industry experts. The site is jam-packed with interesting, up-to-date, and professionally-made content on topics like business, law, marketing, leadership, social media, software, art and design. Because slide presentations tend to be quick and to-the-point, SlideShare is where entrepreneurs specifically, turn to obtain a lot of information in a short period of time.
Reasons to Use SlideShare
Popularity: One of the most obvious reasons to create content for SlideShare is because it has 70 million users worldwide who are accessing the site on both desktop computers as well as mobile devices. SlideShare also receives a lot of unique visitors. About 80% of the site’s traffic comes from a Google search, which means that if you use your titles and tags the right way, even people who aren’t familiar with SlideShare can still find your content.
Professional Demographic: Advertising on Facebook and Twitter is great if you have an online store or services that everyone needs, but when your target market is specifically other business owners, finding that audience can sometimes prove difficult. SlideShare has a different demographic than the typical social media site in that many users are business professionals or business owners. So if that’s who you’re looking to attract, SlideShare is a major market to tap.
Written, Audio & Visual Components: Not everyone likes viewing information the same way. That’s why a good marketing campaign often combines a mixture of mediums: articles, ebooks, podcasts, videos, images, and infographics. By sharing slide shows, you can easily combine all of these elements into a single presentation, satisfying multiple audiences with one piece of content.
Less Competition: SlideShare is definitely big, with about 400,000 new presentations being uploaded to the site each month, but it’s not YouTube big, which has hundreds of hours of video being uploaded every minute. Companies that have a hard time gaining an audience through their YouTube channel might have better luck creating a subscriber list on SlideShare.
Easy to Use: If you can create a PowerPoint, you can make content for SlideShare, and if you’re already designing presentations for meetings, conferences, and other events, then you already have content to upload. By linking your SlideShare account with your LinkedIn or Facebook account, you don’t even have to spend much time filling out your profile.
Creating Content for SlideShare
Developing a click-worthy presentation for SlideShare is in many ways no different than developing any other type of content for marketing; you want to provide answers to questions people have in the hopes of generating awareness of your company for some viewers, and in interest in your company for others, eventually leading to a sale.
If you already have a blog, an ebook or a video series, your SlideShare presentations can be nothing more than the outline of this information expressed in a PDF, infographic or slideshow.
If you don’t already have these marketing channels in place, start thinking about the questions your customers or clients ask. You can also gain a lead by looking at the types of topics your competitors are talking about.
A Few Quick Tips
When it comes to creating the presentation itself, there are a few guidelines you’ll want to consider so that SlideShare does most of your marketing work for you:
Quality: One thing you’ll want to be sure is that you’re only uploading your best work. With millions of presentations already on SlideShare, it’s likely that the subjects you address are subjects that have already been covered. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t upload your presentation anyway – it always helps to have new information and different viewpoints on the same topic – but if your presentation isn’t on the same level or better than the others of its kind, it’s likely to be skipped over in favor of those that are well-made. Quality presentations are also more likely to make it to SlideShare’s homepage, which can be fantastic exposure for your blog or business.
Value: While you may be covering information in your presentation that people have heard before, it shouldn’t be so basic that the viewer hasn’t learned anything new at the end of it. Think about who your audience is and how much knowledge they’re already bringing to the table on a particular subject. If you’re converting old blog articles into slideshows, consider the relevance, accuracy, and the audience’s current awareness of the information. What was valuable in 2011 may not be so valuable now.
Brevity: There’s a reason why SlideShare users are looking for infographics and PowerPoints on a certain topic – they don’t have time to read a whole book. Therefore, it’s important that you don’t make your presentation too long or too wordy. Most of the presentations on SlideShare are between 10 and 30 slides, with only about 20 words or so on each page.
Originality: You can make your presentation really stand out by doing away with the templates, fonts and images you know many other people in your industry have used before. Be creative with your design (without distracting viewers from the presentation’s information), and look for less common stock images. If you have the means, original graphics and photography are even better.