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
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.
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.
Contrast this with Rand Fishkin’s SlideShare on “Why Content Marketing Fails.” His presentation reads like a standalone comic strip:
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also provide a CTA for people to start a free trial of KISSmetrics.
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.
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