By Neil Patel published October 30, 2014

11 Killer Tips to Leverage SlideShare’s Power in Your Visual Content Marketing

crowd-presentation room SlideShare is the “quiet giant of content marketing,” according to Forbes contributor Steve Olenski. But with the kind of attention it’s getting, one can hardly call it quiet anymore. Giant? Yes.

Before I divulge its secrets, let me tell you how giant SlideShare is according to CMO.com and SlideShare.com. It has more traffic from business owners than any other major social media platform. As the world’s 121th most visited site, SlideShare has:

  • 3 billion presentation views per month averaged over a seven-year history
  • 15 million-plus presentation uploads
  • 400,000-plus new presentations each month

With a huge potential for content marketing and not many marketers using it, here are 11 killer tips to really power up your SlideShare visual content marketing.

1. Think like an infographic

SlideShare isn’t a blogging platform. It’s a visual platform. You have to adapt your thinking away toward a more visual experience. The best presentations are those that tell a story in visual form. Putting lots of words on your slides does not make people want to look at them. Yet, as Dashburt’s SlideShare Zeitgeist 2013 reports, 45% of the presentations on SlideShare average 24 words per slide – that’s about the length of two average sentences. Presentation developers are slowly getting the less-text, more-effective message as Dashburt’s statistics reveal. In 2013, the number of words declined by 29% and “more visual content saw the most success.” The number of images increased by 53% and they were 16% bigger, too – think lots of big pictures and you’ll be more successful.

Tip 1 - Patel

2. Make it clear

A lot of presentations in SlideShare are useless because they are designed to accompany a spoken presentation. The slides are merely visual glitter to keep the audience awake. The whole idea of using SlideShare in content marketing requires the presentation to be used as a standalone form of content. Here’s an example. I have no doubt that “snackable in action” meant something in the spoken presentation. In SlideShare, however, it’s meaningless.

Tip 2a - Patel

Contrast this with Rand Fishkin’s SlideShare on “Why Content Marketing Fails.” His presentation reads like a standalone comic strip:

Tip 2b - Patel

Tip 2c - Patel

Tip 2d - Patel

Tip 2e - Patel (1)

Tip 2f - Patel

Tip2g - Patel

That’s what you’re going for. A presentation should have clear progression and easy-to-follow slides, with or without an accompanying dialogue.

3. Repurpose blog posts

Repurposing content is genius, and it works remarkably well with SlideShare. You can turn most blog posts into a SlideShare presentation. This isn’t a quick-and-easy task. Anyone who has made slide presentations can testify to the fact that they take a lot of hard work. It’s worth it, though, because they allow you to expand your content reach to a new platform. Better content on more platforms can mean better content marketing.

4. Add the details

When you upload the presentation, fill in the fields completely. Pick the category that best fits your presentation and audience. Make your written description as detailed as possible. You get 3,000 characters, which is quite a bit of content real estate. The more details you add, the better chance you have at posting a presentation that gets attention. Don’t forget to add valuable keywords in the tag field.

Tip 5 - Patel

5. Post infographics and videos

SlideShare is not only about slide presentations. It is a forum for other visual content, too. Make posting a part of any good infographic promotion strategy. SlideShare is no YouTube, but it is a great place to upload your videos. You’ve gone through the effort of making a video, so you might as well give it additional attention on SlideShare.

6. Share every presentation

When you create a presentation, upload it. If you put in the effort to make a great standalone presentation, you might as well share it. It’s an obvious point, but worth reinforcing – the more places you promote your presentation, the broader exposure it will receive. At a minimum, you should share it on all social networks and embed it into a blog article. SlideShare provides ways to one-click your presentation to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. You also should add the presentation to your LinkedIn profile.

7. Produce frequently

As with other content marketing efforts, consistency is key. If you plan to use SlideShare, use it regularly. SlideShare rewards presentations that are recently created and uploaded. The more often you post, the greater your chance of getting featured by SlideShare.

8. Make a killer cover slide

The cover is the most important slide of your entire presentation. This is what draws in people to view your presentation. Make it as visually powerful as you can.

9. Create a powerful headline

The value of the headline is as great in SlideShare as it is for a written article. SlideShare recommends writing a great headline as the number one way to get featured.

Tip 9 - Patel

10. Keep it short

People know how many slides are in your deck before they click on it. If they think it’s going to take them too long to view, they’ll avoid it completely. The average SlideShare length in 2013 was 14.4 slides, four fewer slides than in 2012.

Tip 10 - Patel

11. Use a call-to-action

To make your presentation on SlideShare as effective as possible, use a call-to-action (CTA) at the end. SlideShare allows you to insert a clickable link in your slides that takes the user to a separate site. In presentations I post in SlideShare, I use a get-in-touch form to let people receive more information.

Tip 11a - Patel

I also provide a CTA for people to start a free trial of KISSmetrics.

Tip 11b - Patel

Remember, content marketing isn’t just about the content. It’s about the marketing, too. Adding CTAs, capture forms, and other features to your SlideShare post helps improve your content ROI.

Conclusion

SlideShare is a great visual content marketing tool for the toolbox. If you maximize all the opportunities it provides, it can be one of the most effective tools you use. How have you used SlideShare for content marketing? Share your experiences in the comments.  

Is visual content a priority for your content marketing strategy? You’re not alone. Check out Building the Perfect Content Marketing Mix to see which tactics content marketers are adding to their mix this year.

Cover image by lindsayascott via pixabay.com

Author: Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he has created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. You can connect with him on Twitter @neilpatel.

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  • Mary Jane Kinkade

    I’m new to Slide Share, so thanks for this great guide!

    • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

      Mary Jane, glad I could help!

  • http://www.RobToth.com/ Rob TheGenie Toth

    SlideShare is a back-bone of what we do… it’s the 2nd priority “social media channel” in our list too.. we continually aim to maximize Slideshare followers. Great to see this article re-affirm that. Thanks Neil.

    • http://videoforbusiness.ca/ Jeff Pelletier

      We literally just realized the potential of Slideshare and are about to jump in with both feet by repurposing a bunch of old blog posts. Glad to hear you’re getting such good results.

    • Anna Stevens

      Rob, can you share your process and the actual results? At least a few for others to see WHO it works and WHAT exactly it can do for your biz? Thank you.

      • http://www.RobToth.com/ Rob TheGenie Toth

        Hello Anna, really sorry I missed your question. Please see my reply to Neil.

        • Anna Stevens

          Thank you

    • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

      Rob, awesome. It’s great to hear that validation for the points I talked about in my post from readers. Would love to hear more about your process as mentioned below.

      • http://www.RobToth.com/ Rob TheGenie Toth

        It’s part of the “flood the internet” model and solution we offer… part of phase 2 is the creation of child assets (aka. repurposing content). The primary platforms we focus on are the Tier 1s, as expected. Which includes the big players such as Slideshare, iTunes, Kindle etc.

        Slideshare, however, is an “all in one”. Visual (images), text and embedded video and conveniently gives us more keyword juice as it strips the text from our slides and builds the text format “transcript”.

        Therefore it’s a primary focus.

        For a book launch, we’ll review a book, pull out excerpts, rework or compress some key ideas, build multiple slide decks, upload them visual and keyword rich. (In fact, a current client that started 3 days ago is going through this process now).

        From a seminar/video presentation, we do the same. Pull out key ideas, build shorter topic-focus slide decks. Keyword rich. Add them to slideshare.

        Etc.

        But, depending on project, we not only also share the slide deck across social media (on a scheduled/staggered editorial calendar model) , but we embed the deck’s into related pages on the client site or blog for further discussion, or FAQ or as supporting documents.

        Any landing pages for a project, email lead capture is still priority… but we also allow the user to follow/friend the client/brand on social media (again, as expected). Slideshare is always in the top 3. Even my own RobToth.com page… when someone scroll’s up to the “hidden” area, Slideshare holds #3 spot for connecting with me / following me. Not Twitter. Not Youtube.

        And in the business environment… SlideShare and LI Pulse get prime attention. Not FB pages (argueably, they are of no use and we’d rather push clients to build out much more lucrative FB Groups if anything).

        So Slideshare really is a key component. Fortunately, the team can build slide decks rapidly now because I know I used to put this off and pretty well hated creating one. This gives us a lot of marketing power for projects we take on.

        Again, great job on the article, Neil!

  • Joe Waters

    I had fun putting together my first Slideshare preso in a while! Had some fun with Halloween that involved a lot of influencers in my industry. http://www.selfishgiving.com/blog/16-top-fundraisers-on-lessons-scary-movies

    • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

      Joe, looks good. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Alex Aguirre

    Never heard of Slideshare…but my mind is buzzing with strategies to implement in our business.

    • Saumitra M Ghotikar

      My goodness. You were missing such a great platform

    • Anna Stevens

      Really? Slideshare has been around for a while. Hope you can leverage it to your benefit. It’s free.

    • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

      Alex, this is a great opportunity for you to use it. Let me know how you like it.

  • Saumitra M Ghotikar

    Great article. But I would also like to add…. Upload your PDF files. I have converted some blog posts into slide share file uploads. Amazing results.

    One more thing is…. Slide share is now a linked in company.

    Your links are not clickable when you upload documents. But in slides, they are clickable from the third slide, not the first one.

    • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

      Saumitra, thanks for the useful tips. I didn’t realize that they weren’t clickable until the third slide — makes sense and will keep that in mind.

  • http://www.searchoptmedia.com/blog Veronica Beguas

    Great tips Neil.

    However, I would love to add “promotion” on the last part. Now that you have produced a killer Slideshare visual content, it is about time to share and let the rest of the world know about your bullet content.

    Will surely make use of these tips!

    • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

      Veronica, great point. Promotion is always key and is essential for getting the word out. Would love to hear any other tips you have in regards to promotion.

  • Josh Agusti

    Great tips Neil! SlideShare has already proven to be extremely useful for Content Marketing. These tips will help me up my game!

    • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

      Josh, glad I could help. Let me know if you need any help along the way.

  • http://denovati.com/ Courtney Shelton Hunt

    I appreciate this analysis and agree with most of it; however, it’s worth repeating Saumitra’s point that it’s not just about visual content. Our most popular item by far has been a Social Media quiz, and our white papers have done very well too. I also think it’s okay to upload a deck from a live presentation, even when there are “too many” words. Though I agree that for certain content fast and fun reads are going to attract more people, they may not offer enough substance. As with all things, balance is key, as is making choices that fit your strategic objectives. For more of my thoughts on the value of SlideShare, check out 7 Reasons To Love – and Embrace – SlideShare (http://denovati.com/2014/05/7-reasons-to-love-slideshare)

    • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

      Courtney, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that more dynamic content like quizzes and even giveaways can provide a lot more engagement. I just wanted to go over some of the short term wins that can really make a dent in your marketing efforts. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Dirk

    Hi Neil, I read some of your sites like Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics. I wanna thank you for sharing your knowledge freely with us. Well, I must say that I’ve followed all the tips that you posted especially when I first started online marketing campaign for my first website. Now, I had more successful sites and I am grateful for the things that I got from you. So cheers for more victories! Thanks again and please keep on posting!Dirk, http://www.serpshake.com

  • Wendy Snyder Soucie

    Adding one more crucial point: I work hard to educate my team on the importance of the scraping function of Slideshare that takes text from the slides and adds it as a transcript – but only if you build it the right way. If you want you slide deck to get found both on Slideshare and beyond, format the slides correctly and have a thought to your SEO around keywords. In my world of B2B Industrial just pictures doesn’t cut it. And if you are posting about linear positioners, don’t bury the words in images, use them in headlines and copy.