If you haven’t heard of SlideShare yet, you will soon. The Content Marketing Institute, states that SlideShare gets about 120 million views per month. Social networking seems to be all anyone is talking about. From people tweeting while they watch big ticket events like the Super Bowl, to Facebook posts about the election, the culture today is most definitely engaged online and businesses are looking for ways to get in on the trend.
SlideShare is a bit different than other social media platforms and is a bit less interactive than something like Twitter. The site is Web 2.0 based, and you can upload in Keynote, PDF, OpenOffice or PDF format. The company was bought by LinkedIn, another social media site, and claims about 60 million visitors per month.
If you’ve been struggling with how to talk business on Facebook, SlideShare might sound too good to be true. But this is a social platform where business sits at the center of visitors’ intentions—not just as a gimmick to get people to “like” it.
How to Use SlideShare to Reach New Customers
Show What’s Great About Your Product
Create a slideshow that shows off the best features of your product. You can do this through photographs and bullet points that list out the pros of the product as well as the purposes for your product or service and how that can solve the potential customer’s problem.
Up Your Visibility in Search Engines
Google’s new algorithms seem to love info that is easily digestible but of value. SlideShare is a built-in platform for this because it is an informative presentation or slideshow. Keep the info short and to the point and your slideshow will rank even better.
Clear up Any Questions
One reason people hesitate to buy a new product or service or switch to a new company is because they are unsure whether it will be beneficial to them to do so. Think of the questions a customer might have and then write a slide that answers those questions before the customer has a chance to think them. For example, you could create a slide titled “Why should I switch to a new Internet service provider?” Within that slideshow, you would then answer that question for the customer.
Choosing Your SlideShare Content
Since you’ll be using the slideshow as a marketing tool for your business, you’ll want to keep the pages within the presentation fairly short and to the point. Visitors to SlideShare are as busy as anyone else and may only have a few minutes to flip through your presentation and glean some interesting facts. You want to accomplish two things: get your brand in the customer’s mind and answer the customer’s question.
Try to keep the length of your text to a sentence or two per page. Bullet points are best because they are quick and easy to digest.
Choose images that are not going to distract the reader from the text but that add value. For example, if you own a winery and want to encourage customers to purchase wine to serve with dessert, you might create a slideshow on “How to Choose a Dessert Wine”. You would then add an image of a bottle of dessert wine in the lower right corner and a white background where the text will live.
Try to stay away from anything busy, too bright or distracting. You can either take the photos or purchase them from a stock photo site like iStockPhoto.com.
Choose a font that is easy to read. Have you ever tried to read something in a fancy script font and wondered what the person was thinking that created that document? Keep the font simple and large enough for anyone to read.
However, keep in mind that many people view items through mobile devices these days, so don’t make the font so large that it won’t fit into a smaller screen. A good rule of thumb is 14 or 16 points in common fonts like Calibri, Courier, Arial or Times New Roman.
The size limit for a slideshow on SlideShare is 100 mb, so double check that your file is not larger than that. Once you’ve created your presentation, upload it to your account and view it to make sure everything works correctly and appears the way you’d like.
Additional Tips to Get the Most Exposure from Your Slideshow
You now have a visual presentation that will hopefully answer some big (or maybe little) questions and lead customers toward your business as a potential solution. Now that your slide is uploaded and working, it’s time to work it into your marketing plan. There are several ways you can utilize SlideShare to grow your business.
Increase Search Engine Ranking: Make sure you optimize your slideshow for search engines by using tags and a full description that has strong keywords for your topic.
Use the Embed Feature: One of the biggest benefits to SlideShare is that you can embed your presentation right into your website or other social media platforms. You can even automate SlideShare so that when you upload a new presentation, it will notify your LinkedIn contacts.
Let People Download It: Want to gather information from your leads? Allow people to download your presentation if they share their contact info. This is a great way to encourage others to use your content in their meetings and speeches, which is just more free exposure for you. If you provide valuable information, people will share it with others.
Utilize the Social Sharing Options: In addition to LinkedIn, SlideShare also makes it easy to share your presentations on Twitter and Facebook. It only takes a second to do so and if some of those people pass on your slideshow, you’ll gain even more exposure.
How Well Is it Working? Analytics
As with any type of marketing, you’ll have the best success rate when you can track how well a specific campaign is working. The successful presentations are models and should be repeated with subsequent slideshows. In February of 2013, SlideShare introduced a new tracking tool called “Send Tracker”. This tool allows you to see at a glance who viewed your slideshow and how much time that person spent on each slide.
With this type of tracking, you will be able to see if a particular slide is turning customers off or if another slide seems to encourage them to read on.
In addition to using the Pro feature analytical tools available through SlideShare, any links you share within the presentation should go to specific landing pages on your website so you can track traffic from the presentation and see what your click-through rate translates to.
Since SlideShare is another high traffic site, this is one social media outlet that you’ll want to try as part of your overall online marketing plan.
Lori Soard has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 1996. She has a bachelor's in English Education and a PhD in Journalism. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and she's had several books published. Since 1997, she has worked as a web designer and promoter for authors and small businesses. She even worked for a short time ranking websites for a popular search engine and studying in-depth SEO tactics for a number of clients. She enjoys hearing from her readers.