How to Use SlideShare for Marketing: A Beginner’s GuideGuides
Think your content marketing covers all popular web resources? Then you will be surprised to know there’s one more you’ve probably missed out on. It’s SlideShare – the most popular service for creating, sharing, and promoting presentations online.
But how could presentations possibly help your business grow? Consider this:
- SlideShare is visited by 80 million users worldwide, while 80% of them come directly from the targeted search;
- Around 20% of visitors come to SlideShare straight from Google Search;
- SlideShare is listed in the top 100 most-visited websites in the world;
- SlideShare has a 182 global rank on Alexa (as of August 2018);
- Every month, on average 400.000 new presentations are uploaded to SlideShare;
- SlideShare gets 500% more traffic from business owners than other social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Pretty crazy, isn’t it? Especially considering that SlideShare is not as widely recognized as other social media giants like Facebook. This, in turn, makes the competition on the platform considerably less severe than on popular social networks. All of this makes SlideShare one of the best channels for content marketing. Therefore, there may be plenty of yet undiscovered opportunities to raise the public awareness about your brand and, consequently, boost your business.
What makes SlideShare so special?
Content and its diversity
Being a colossal hub for digital content like presentations, infographics, documents, and videos, SlideShare is a unique repository of valuable knowledge. The service hosts content classified into as many as 35 categories, while there are over 18 million uploads available to date, as SlideShare reports. The platform offers useful insights on almost any conceivable topic.
SlideShare is quickly expanding its audience as it not only provides users with easily accessible and highly targeted content but also allows consuming information in a very efficient and effortless way. Instead of reading pages of raw text, users get an opportunity to run through a series of easily digestible slides featuring minimum text and maximum visualization. In this sense, SlideShare offers a contemporary way of presenting and sharing knowledge.
Due to the reasons mentioned above, the platform is quickly gaining in popularity, attracting people from various industries and with different interests. Some of those audiences will inevitably become yours if you manage to quench their insatiable thirst for quality content.
How can SlideShare help your business grow?
Presentations for SlideShare are being contributed mostly by brands, industry experts, and influencers from all walks of life. Providing useful and relevant information in the form of well-designed slides allows them to achieve the following goals:
- Reach out to potential customers by promoting highly shareable content throughout the web;
- Grow reputation through sharing professional insights;
- Increase brand awareness thanks to the ability of SlideShare presentations to integrate well with other forms of content and be distributed through various digital channels;
- Drive more traffic and bring targeted visitors to websites;
- Increase the number of followers on social media through the effective content marketing;
- Improve Google rankings and promote content by making it available through the targeted search;
- Generate leads.
As you see, there are more than enough reasons to include SlideShare in your marketing strategy. If you manage to be consistent in creating quality presentations and establish yourself (and your brand) as an authority within your niche, you will be able to accomplish your goals more effectively.
How to make an outstanding SlideShare presentation?
When making a SlideShare presentation, there are two important things to remember:
First, keep in mind that the competition on SlideShare is quite intense, although indeed not as crazy as on social media like Facebook and Instagram (not yet). The number of high-quality presentations you’re going to compete with is tremendous. Of course, it all depends on your niche, but the undeniable fact is: unless your content is top-notch, your presentations will prove useless. You can’t expect people to make it to the last slide and click through to your landing page if you fail to grasp and retain their attention to the very end. So your primary goal is to make your presentation so captivating that viewers would not be able to resist watching it in its entirety – and end up craving for more!
Second, remember that a presentation is a very special type of content. Unlike articles or blog posts that consist primarily of text, or videos in which visuals play the major role, presentations should seamlessly combine both text and visuals in a way that is engaging and informative at the same time. This is why it is important to understand how exactly presentations are made and what factors determine their effectiveness. So let’s break down the process of creating a presentation into several distinctive steps.
Pick a relevant topic
To hit the right nerve and attract a wider audience, go for the most trendy topic you can come across. Currently, the most popular tags on SlideShare are business, statistics, social media, market, trends, and research. These may point you in the right direction.
Needless to say, however, your topic should be within your area of expertise. Otherwise, you will have a hard time achieving the right level the credibility. So if you own a blog about social media marketing, for example, go for a presentation on a related topic. Avoid talking about electric cars or other random things just because they are popular at the moment. Your topic must be relevant to your target audience in the first place.
However, if you manage to tap into something really trendy and at the same time relevant to what you do, consider yourself golden!
Choose your hooks
Pretty much like any other type of digital content designed for marketing purposes, a presentation must have its special hooks to captivate viewers and keep them fully engaged to the very last slide. As far as presentations go, the typical hooks are:
- Usefulness and uniqueness of the information: statistics, survey results, exclusive insights, business reports, and other first-hand data are very helpful in making your presentation more competitive and engaging.
- Emotional charge: the stronger emotions your presentation evokes from slide to slide, the more powerful impact it exerts on a viewer – and the higher your chances are that it will be clicked through to the end.
- Shock factor: people can’t resist taking a peek at shocking things; use this to your advantage by including a shock factor in your content: throw in a provocative idea, unveil mind-blowing facts, and introduce surprising twists and turns in your narrative.
Think what hooks your presentation will have before you start compiling it. This will allow you to focus on important things first and decide how you will keep your viewers entertained throughout the entire presentation.
Come up with an intriguing title
The title of your presentation is the essential tool for grasping the attention of your target audience. It is the first thing (along with an opening slide image) users will see while browsing through the available content. And when they see it, make sure they won’t be able to resist clicking on it.
To give people an extra incentive to stop by your presentation, make your title stand out. As long as it is intriguing, emotionally charged, or provocative, users will be excited to see what’s inside.
And don’t forget to include keywords in your title to optimize the content for search engines!
Make a fascinating story
To make your presentation fully understandable and easy to follow, you need to endow it with a smart structure. Think how you’re going to build your presentation, what sequence of slides would be the most effective in terms of getting your message across.
Consider making your presentation in the form of a story. People love all kinds of stories provided they are relevant and have a promising introduction. The more dynamic and engaging your story is, the more people will be hooked. You may use one of the following techniques:
- Ask questions and provide immediate answers;
- Broach contradictory issues and elaborate on them by demonstrating constructive arguments from different standpoints;
- Introduce fictional characters and tell their stories to amplify your message;
- Embed a clear narrative line with unpredictable twists and turns, etc.
However, if storytelling doesn’t really work for your specific topic, you can build your presentation as a step-by-step guide, tutorial, list (e.g. “10 best ways to…”, “5 tips for…”, etc.), statistics report, etc. These types of content are in very high demand.
Select proper tools
To make a quality presentation for SlideShare, you need functional and reliable tools. Your slides must be flawless, and creating them should be an intuitive and enjoyable process. This is why it is important to check out several available options to figure out which one suits you best and offers maximum functionality for your needs. The most widely used presentation tools are:
As soon as you know the options, choose one to stick to. It is recommended to focus on just one because this will allow you to master the tool to the full and achieve the best results with its help. Besides, using one and the same software will let you compile your own set of templates for the repeated use.
Create awesome slides
Slides are the centerpiece of your presentation. So make sure they make a striking impression on viewers. Remember that your slides must not only convey your idea and provide the information sought after by users but also be visually appealing and easily scannable.
Here are a few tips for creating excellent slides:
Make them simple
Presentations can be quite data-rich, indeed. For example, when you present an analytical report to your company’s finance board. But if you make a SlideShare presentation specifically for marketing purposes, adapt it for the easy consumption.
People seldom have plenty of time to read a lot of text thoroughly, and when they turn to slide presentations, they expect brevity and conciseness. Thus, your goal is to deliver the message within the shortest time span possible:
- Avoid putting much text on your slides. It is reported that SlideShare presentations usually have 24 words per slide on average. Slides overloaded with text may intimidate viewers, and they will quickly lose their interest.
- Arrange the text smartly on the slide. Spatial distribution of the text matters a lot when it comes to slides. Put your text where it looks most organically and prominently against the backdrop.
- Use simple words to convey your ideas and apply visualization where verbal expression falls short. Much like infographics, SlideShare presentations are called to simplify the perception of information through visual means. Use this possibility to your advantage!
Make them beautiful
To grasp viewers’ attention and keep them thrilled throughout the entire presentation, your slides must look professional and aesthetically pleasing. No one would like to waste time on a sluggish or dull presentation, even if it contains truly handy information. Thus, your unique insights must be wrapped up in dazzling visuals:
- Use vivid and memorable images for your slides. The more unique and eye-pleasing your visuals are, the more viewers your presentation will captivate. You can either use your own photos and illustrations or go for stock images available on platforms like Pixels.com, Compfight, Freeimages.com, Picjumbo, Shutterstock, etc.
- Apply appropriate fonts. Your text must be clear, easily readable, and pleasant to look at. Avoid using mundane fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, and Calibri. Check out the online resources like FontSpace and FontSquirrel for some interesting options. Also, make sure the color of your text contrasts the background well and doesn’t interfere with fluid reading.
- Put some effort in your opening slide. The first slide in the deck is the one that people will see first. Unless it is vivid and eye-catching, they will just pass it by without giving it a second thought.
Make them uniform and brand-consistent
Besides being visually attractive, your slides should be executed in a similar style. This is not to say that all of them must look the same, not at all. However, if they seem too dissociated, as if they don’t make the parts of one whole, your presentation will lose its consistency.
Furthermore, your slides should be recognizable at a single glance. In this way, they will raise awareness about your brand with their mere appearance. To achieve this, you may use some distinctive color schemes, specific fonts and their combinations, unique visual effects, or even develop your own drawing style. It’s really up to you, so don’t be afraid of being creative!
Make them mobile-optimized
Since a large number of users access SlideShare from their mobile devices, it is only logical to bring your slides in line with the requirements of the mobile browsing. To make your presentations look good on smaller screens, follow these simple tips:
- Use larger font sizes where possible;
- Be moderate with the text;
- Introduce minimum complex charts or graphs;
- Use clear and distinct images which look normal in a zoomed out view;
- Optimize the text contrast to improve its readability.
Don’t forget about SEO
If you want your presentations to rank high in Google search results, you will also have to pay attention to optimizing your content for search engines. When it comes to SlideShare, using appropriate keywords is as important as it is for other platforms.
It is also worth mentioning that SlideShare delivers the best SEO results for long tail keywords. This is another great advantage because these keywords are usually less competitive, so you have higher chances of reaching better positions on SERPs.
To make your SlideShare presentation more SEO-friendly, make sure that you:
- Introduce keywords in the file name;
- Use keywords in the presentation title;
- Create an enticing description with proper keywords while uploading your presentation;
- Write keyword-rich transcriptions for your slides;
- Add proper tags by which SlideShare users will search for your content;
- Select the right category for your presentation.
When you make a presentation for SlideShare, you certainly want to drive more traffic to your website or blog. The only way to do this is to place your link on one of the slides.
Unfortunately, SlideShare doesn’t allow links in descriptions, unlike Instagram, for instance. But you can insert links directly in slides. While it is not advised to show links at the beginning and in the middle of a presentation as it may disrupt viewers’ focus and prevent them from enjoying your content, adding a link to the last slide is the best way to send the audience to your site. Why? Because by the time they get to it, they will obtain the required information and will be more inclined to find out who the author is.
Naturally, you want viewers to perform certain actions after they see your presentation. Encourage them by:
- Introducing calls-to-action (e.g., “Click the link below to…”) and providing corresponding live links.
- Inserting a full URL instead of hyperlinking the text. This makes your links clearly visible and allows users who don’t realize that the link is clickable to copy and paste the URL into their browser’s address bar.
- Adding social sharing widgets and other graphical elements helping users interact with a presentation and carry out the desired actions.
Gaining publicity with SlideShare
As soon as your presentation is uploaded to SlideShare, it’s time to promote it! There are quite many ways to get your presentation in front of the public. This is mainly due to the high shareability and integration capacity this kind of content is known for. But to make your presentations go viral, you need to give them a powerful impetus first.
Share presentations on social media
Social media is arguably the most effective way of getting publicity nowadays. With so many active users on various platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., your presentation will not go unnoticed.
Do not limit yourself by only one social platform. It is crucial to leverage the power of all social networks you have an account on. In this way, you will expand the coverage and improve your social media outreach. Besides, platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can be easily integrated with SlideShare for the enhanced convenience of sharing. And if your presentation is viewed and shared frequently on a specific network, it has a chance to be featured on the SlideShare homepage. This will boost your exposure even more.
Notice that posting presentations on your own social accounts is not enough to get the ultimate exposure. You need to convince people to share your content through their accounts as well! And there’s nothing wrong with asking them to do so. Simply add a corresponding call-to-action like “Please share this presentation if you enjoyed it!” to your last slide.
The same goes for expanding your following. Ask people to follow you on social media so they can be the first to get your latest updates.
Also, if you own a personal social network on NING, don’t forget to share your presentation with your network members!
Embed presentations in your other content
SlideShare presentations are easily integrated with other types of content through an embed code. So if you run a blog, for example, your readers will be able to see your presentation without clicking a link and jumping to another website. It will be readily available for viewing right in the middle of your blog post.
So whether you post your content on your own website or any other platform, don’t miss the opportunity to attach your presentation (given that it matches the topic, of course).
Share presentations in guest posts
Sharing a presentation on your own web resources is undoubtedly great. But if you manage to take it outside of your native online environment, it will be another win for you. Guest posting is the best way to do that. As long as the subject matter of your post coincides with the presentation topic, there’s absolutely no reason not to include it.
Update or repurpose your presentations regularly
Just like any other post, your SlideShare presentations get outdated over time. Unless you don’t update or repurpose them on a regular basis, they will eventually disappear from radars. And this would mean that you’ve done the job in vain.
The easiest way to “refresh” your presentation on SlideShare is to edit its file and re-upload it. This will update the presentation while keeping its existing URL.
Add some variety
Although SlideShare specializes primarily in presentations, this doesn’t mean you can’t use it to upload other types of content. SlideShare can be effectively utilized for sharing articles, research reports, infographics, videos, etc. Here’s a curious fact: infographics are liked five times more than presentations on SlideShare!
With that in mind, try to experiment a little with various content types as you go along. But don’t get carried away. SlideShare is a platform for sharing presentations, and people come here mostly to see slides. So you have to be ready to meet their expectations.
Open up for communication
Communication is as important for your SlideShare promotion as for the social media outreach. So when you share new content, don’t forget to reply to the comments. This will show your audience that you care about them and value their opinion. Obviously, comments can prove an excellent source of feedback. So keep your eyes open for what people say.
It also makes sense to encourage communication by asking viewers to leave their comments below your posts.
SlideShare holds a lot of potential for businesses and content creators to reach out to their audiences, generate traffic, and promote themselves. So as long as you know how to create amazing presentations and get them in front of the public, your content marketing will be set for success.
Hopefully, this guide will help you achieve better results with your SlideShare campaign. And remember, there’s no time to lose. SlideShare is getting more populated day by day. So the sooner you get there, the more chances you’ll have to get noticed!