It’s true, Slideshare IS a content marketers dream. LinkedIn owned (their website even uses their favicon) it is nonetheless ignored by most content marketers.
Its functionality can best be described as YouTube for Powerpoint presentations and PDF files. You can (and should) embed these items on your website, just as you would with a video from a sharing site like Video or YouTube. If you upgrade to the paid version of Slideshare, you can upload videos as well though I don’t see the need.
The uses you can put this social media platform to are huge if not infinite. The limiting factor here is that of file type. Can’t see that there is much you can’t accomplish with Powerpoints and PDF files.
The skills needed to take advantage of this are relatively low. Most people can make even fairly complex Powerpoint presentations, as well as PDF documents. The PDF side of the platform is even more underutilized than Powerpoints. PDF files on Slideshare are a great way to publish whitepapers and embed them on your website, as well as sharing them to the rest of your social media accounts.
What To Use Slideshare For
- Website Traffic Generation
- Search Engine Rank Improvement
- Growth of Followers On All Platforms
- Growing Email List Subscribers
- Brand Establishment and Expansion
- Reputation Establishment and Expansion
- Free Download Page Resource
- Infographic Publishing
As usual, this list is by no means exhaustive. This gives you a great place to start, and as you carry these out you will find and develop others. The list is limited only by your own imagination.
Creating Powerpoint Presentations and PDFs for Slideshare
Your first step in creating these files is to make them visually appealing.
- Pixabay is a great place to find royalty free images if you don’t have an account or budget for procuring art for your work. Plenty of video clips, vector graphics, etc. as well.
- Font Squirrel is a great source of appealing fonts. To find more free fonts, simply Google “Free Fonts”
PDF files can be saved from Word documents, or Google Drive files as well. Any of the above ways to produce Powerpoints also allow you to save those files in PDF format.
Creating visually appealing files for either format is vital to their success, but even more important is creating a presentation, or whitepaper with useful, high quality content. Research these even more than you do blog posts, depending of course on how detailed (long) your blog posts are.
We recommend most of our clients use a 700-1200 word range for blog posts, but more detailed and/or technical posts fall in the 2000-2500 word range. These are good length divisions to decide whether the content you are using needs to be a Powerpoint presentation or a PDF based article, or whitepaper.
Creating effective files of ether type generally starts with one of several initial emotional triggers:
- Show Something Surprising or Even Shocking – Appropriate to the topic at hand
- Explain Useful Information – This should always be a feature
- Evoke Some Sort of Emotional Response – People are most captivated by how you make them feel
From there, create a presentation or whitepaper that is clear, concise, and detailed enough to be useful.
As with putting together most content, it is wise to go with a format of telling what you will tell the reader, telling them, and telling them what you’ve told them.
Within this framework, make certain your conclusions flow logically. Build to conclusions based on what has come before. Jumps in logic must be eliminated.
If you are uncertain as to design, do what the pros do: Go look at what is working!
Take your most generalized keyword for the file, and search for it on Slideshare. Select a few of the highest viewed items and see what they’ve done. Just remember:
- Visually Appealing
- Clear and Concise
- Logically Flowing
- Don’t out and out plagiarize.
Slideshare as a Website Traffic Source
Generating unique, targeted, affordable website traffic is a constant pursuit. There are numerous ways to do this from Slideshare. Many use it for nothing else.
- Put your website URL in your profile
- Put an internal link to your website in the description of each upload
- Brand every page of your files with a clickable link to your website
- Place clickable links on the pages of your files
- Use specific CTAs (Calls To Action) to motivate click thrus
In time these will become second nature as you create successive pieces of content and upload them. Other unique methods will occur to you as you go.
We find as we create these for clients that certain content creates a huge initial hit of traffic to websites far above the average for the account. The reasons for this will seem random, they are anything but. Going back and seeing the source of that traffic gives you the opportunity to catch a little lightning in a bottle.
Think of it as detective work. Analyze and find out what was different about the traffic, the uploaded file to Slideshare, or the content itself.
Guerrilla marketing 101: Test and measure, test and measure, repeat what works…
Pretty much the definition of a marketing pursuit.
Using Slideshare To Get Better Search Engine Rankings
Slideshare is an extremely powerful website in the eyes of Google, and all other search engines. As such, its pages (including your uploads) can obtain first page, even top three status far easier than your own website can.
Notice that when you Google high competition keywords, most of the top five spots (what is referred to as “above the fold”) are taken by high profile sites. It’s tough to beat Wikipedia and the like, and always will be. Slideshare can play with the big boys though, and send some of that targeted Google traffic your way.
Your own website may only be able to rank in the top 25 on Google for a competitive keyword while with a bit of effort the same content on Slideshare can break the top three. The Slideshare entry may also allow you to get your website post onto the first page.
We have occasionally gotten two items in the top five: The Slideshare item, and a blog post. The traffic generated was substantial.
Slideshare Grows Your Followers On All Platforms
Quality content is the best reason people beyond personal connections follow others on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or any other platform you can think of. Share your Slideshare uploads to each of your major social media accounts as soon as you publish them.
Doing so accomplishes a number of things.
- Jump starts your SEO rankings for the Slideshare post
- Gets visitors to the post through those social platforms directly
- Encourages visitors already familiar with your enterprise to visit, making them more likely to interact with the post
- Gives your website visitors more exposure to your content
- Potentially gets your Slideshare post on the “Hot On” sections: Hot On Facebook, Twitter, etc. This is a huge traffic source for your post
Your post should include prompts to follow you on each of your social media platforms. The final slide, or page of the post is a good place to do this, but watch for opportunities to do this within the content as well. It can be a part of your formatting usually, perhaps in the footer along with your clickable website link.
As you share these Slideshare posts to Facebook, etc., be sure to create a slug for each that is unique. You will get the best SEO bang for your buck if you take the few seconds it requires to make them each different. It’s one more opportunity to express and develop the voice of your online presence.
Again, this is dependent upon your content being of high quality, and of a unique nature. Don’t just rehash what has already been published ad nauseam. Stand out.
Have the same voice found in your other social media posts, and on your website.
Need help establishing that voice? Check out our video tutorial on establishing your Brand Strategy!
Use Slideshare to Build Your Email List
Building an email list is Online Marketing 101. A unique website visitor is valuable. An email list subscriber is for more valuable, as you can get repeated exposure to them.
Your Slideshare items should all have the ability to gain subscribers to your email list. CTAs need to be a part of each upload.
Have we created Powerpoints and PDFs without these? We have, and we were wrong to miss this opportunity.
Craft an appropriate offer for each item, and dedicate a short line with a CTA sending the visitor to a landing page with an opt-in form.
Most of our clients use the Divi WordPress theme, and therefore use the Bloom plugin to create the opt-in forms. It integrates with a dozen different email marketing services including MailChimp and Aweber.
Once a subscriber is a part of your email newsletter, be certain to send them each new offer you make for new subscribers. Offering them these items helps keep them happy subscribers that see your emailed newsletters as valuable, and not a bother. Make your newsletter a valuable resource.
You will find the best balance for newsletter frequency by watching your open rate. This is primarily a function of the industry your newsletter services. A newsletter about day trading the stock markets will necessarily be daily in nature with some updates sent out as market conditions occur. A gardening newsletter may only need to be sent out weekly.
Again, watch your open rates. These will tell the real tale.
Slideshare Establishes Your Brand
Our posts about Brand Strategy teach the need for a unique voice carrying through all aspects of online presence.
This allows for an identity to be developed that makes for a uniform experience when a visitor is on any of your properties, such as social media, blog posts, Website pages, emailed newsletters, etc. Your Slideshare posts are no different.
Your CTAs on Slideshare should mimic those on your website, your social media posts, and anywhere else you place them. Slideshare visitors tend to be better informed, better educated, and more decisive than those you get elsewhere so your conversion rates will be higher if your content is up to par. Compare your posts to those you find in Slideshare keyword searches.
Google searches are also a good method to find content to compare yours with. Don’t be afraid to utilize information you find this way in your own content, but be sure to find a way to make it your own. Add something you’ve learned in application, even if it runs counter to what others are saying.
Good content is said to be “evergreen” meaning that it holds true over time. You will find that many top posts for high competition keywords goes back as much as seven years.
The evergreen concept only goes so far, and you will find principles that are no longer valid, not because the author was wrong, but because in that time things have changed. Resources that were the best solution to a problem no longer exist, or have become outdated. When you see these in older posted content, you have found an opportunity for new content of your own.
The important thing about branding your enterprise in your posts is to have a USP (Unique Sales Proposition) that makes you stand out from your competition. Do NOT do this through criticism of others in your market. This is an instant turnoff to readers in any venue.
Seth Godin (a favorite marketing icon) advocates thinking about this in terms of having a better story to tell. Developing that story is the best description of how to establish your brand. Seth does a weekly podcast called Akimbo. Look for it wherever you listen to podcasts. Akimbo consistently contains outstanding information that will inspire your creative juices in a positive and productive manner.
If you have a drastically differing viewpoint than others in your field, explain this without referencing anyone specifically. Simply explain your unique take on the subject without diatribe or seeming argument with your competitors.
The very best viewpoint to have today is to abandon the concept of competitors, and view them as colleagues. Each and every one of them. Find ways to praise these enterprises and you will find that you are uplifting the entire market, and made yourself more trustworthy to the public in the bargain.
Don’t hesitate to comment on your colleague’s posts on social media, but only when you can do so with an agreeable tone. Build them up and you build yourself up.
Slideshare Enhances Your Online Reputation
Publishing smart, useful, relevant, interactive content on Slideshare will make you stand head and shoulders above your marketplace colleagues.
This is what good content does as a matter of course. Utilizing Slideshare when it is ignored by so many will assist you in establishing your reputation as a center of influence, and as a market expert in your own right.
You may or not already have this reputation. The fact is that the process of creating the type of quality posts we have discussed here that are smart, useful and relevant will qualify you to be all that and more. A real market mover.
We advocate utilizing a philosophy reflecting a generosity of spirit that creates an aura of good will between the the reader and your enterprise. This philosophy would seem by many to be giving away too much information to the reader, and allowing them to do the job themselves. Rest assured, you will gain far more clients with this philosophy than you will lose to DIY-ers.
Seek to be someone you’d like to do business with. Imagine that even with all the knowledge you have about your market, you needed someone to fill a need. Who would you want to do business with? Someone that spoke down to you and looked to keep you in the dark? Or would you do business with someone displaying transparency and generosity of spirit?
A well known internet marketer was speaking at a conference in California, and started speaking about a technique he had used successfully for YouTube marketing. It was something he had written blog posts about as well as posted several other content types outlining. In the audience was another marketer who had just launched a product he was promoting at that very conference selling the exact same strategy at a fairly high price.
The video of him giving away a strategy that someone in the audience was selling for nearly a grand was pretty entertaining, especially when the guy in the audience loudly stood up, and stormed out of the hall.
Which of these marketers do you think came away with a better reputation? Not a tough call.
Understand that both of these marketers are in the business of selling marketing information.
One took a single strategy and sought to sell it at a high price holding back his knowledge without concern for his reputation. The other was there to utilize the event to show himself to be a center of influence by generously sharing the knowledge he had earned working in the internet marketing world.
People are drawn to people in any market showing themselves to be not just knowledgeable but happy to share that knowledge. This is how you use Slideshare to enhance or establish your online reputation.
Use Slideshare As A Free Download Page
There is no reason you can’t send newsletter subscribers to a Slideshare post to get their free report or resource promised at subscription. Yes, some people will find that report without subscribing, but that’s okay! Generosity of spirit, remember?
As your following grows, you will find that this is an important bandwidth savings. Slideshare already has a download button for every post, just be sure to tell your readers how to find it. You may have found this article on Slideshare, or as an article on the Best Online Marketing Consultants website.
It doesn’t really matter how you found our content, as long as you found it. You also may have downloaded it as a whitepaper. You will find that whitepapers tend to get higher view counts on Slideshare than Powerpoint presentations. Higher download counts too.
As with all other types of interaction (likes, comments, and shares) download counts help search rankings on Slideshare, as well as the search engines. Never forget that Google is the biggest source of traffic on the internet today.
The second largest search engine on the internet today is also owned by Google. It’s YouTube. Use any screen capture software to create videos of either Powerpoints or PDFs and on the final screen prompt viewers to go the Slideshare page to download a hard copy. Be sure to put the Slideshare link in the video description.
Pinterest has long had unique strategies that work well with Slideshare. An easy one is to implement is to use whatever software you create Powerpoints with to create a slide consistent with the post offering a free download of the information. Then post that image to an appropriate Pinterest board, using appropriate hashtags, and share that Post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and on and on…
Several years ago during a webinar, my co-host uploaded a brand new Powerpoint presentation about Twitter to Slideshare and then posted it to Pinterest doing not one more thing to promote it. By the end of the webinar the presentation had over 500 views. That’s the power of Pinterest. Some say it’s lost some of it’s power. We find it extremely effective to this day.
Publish Your Infographics on Slideshare
As much traffic as can be had by publishing infographics, it isn’t talked about all that much anywhere. Not even in very detailed articles about Slideshare. That’s a shame.
One client of ours saw a threefold increase in traffic to his chiropractic practice website simply from publishing a series of infographic posts on his blog. Very little text was included in addition to the infographic itself.
They are uploaded as PDF files, and the share function on Slideshare give you the code to embed them on any website you wish. Branding infographics with your website and enterprise information means that if others embed them on other websites, your reputation increases.
Google can spider the content on these, and you get a very valuable backlink attached to your content.
Use the iframe code as opposed to the shortcode when posting to a WordPress website. It works better with most themes and editors. Here is what an embedded infographic looks like using Slideshare’s code:
Consistent Application on Slideshare
There is no doubt that this is a lot of information. You may want to print off this article, and use certain pages as prompts at your workstation to apply certain principles as you create your content.
You will find that many principles discussed here can be done simultaneously. Unique ways of accomplishing each will occur to you as you create more Powerpoints and PDFs. Repetition facilitates automatic application.
There is no end to the creativity this platform makes possible. Just don’t overuse any one specific strategy. Rotate them out and they will be more effective, and for longer periods of time.
Slideshare interacts with each platform a little differently. We used to be able to post the working document viewer to Pinterest much the way you used to be able to post YouTube videos. In those days, the initial traffic from Pinterest to Slideshare was explosive with popular topics.
The thing about social media platforms is that they change things up regularly. Google Plus just disappeared for the average user. It was the descendant of a Brazilian platform called Orkut, which Google bought, learned from and then discarded as they launched Google Plus.
Back before Facebook became the platform of choice for most of the world, MySpace was king, and offered it’s own very powerful blogging platform for all of it’s users. In those days, even profiles with no friends to speak of other than Tom had a PR6 blog. Publishing content there about anything carried weight with search engines.
Facebook itself is constantly changing. Promoting things on Facebook is nothing like it was just a couple of years ago. Twitter is probably the most stable of any social media platform, but also the trickiest to use effectively. None of this means that consistency isn’t possible, it means that how that consistency is expressed will evolve over time.
Keeping up with these changes is what professional marketing agencies do as a matter of course. The real secret is that in spite of all the hype about Google updates, if you used best SEO and content marketing practices they’ve never really asked for anything different. They’ve just gotten better at catching those seeking to game the system.
The same with most social platform changes. Their evolution is designed to root out the cheats. Be consistent in applying best practices and you will be fine.
Results: A Slideshare Example
Since publishing this article, we have uploaded a brand new Powerpoint presentation to Slideshare. This seemed a good format to publish some content for our new Marketing Mindset category.
Once the presentation was completed, we uploaded it to Slideshare, and then proceeded to used the embed code to embed it in a new article post. When that was complete (15 minutes later at most) we saw the results you see in the image to the right.
In the fifteen minutes immediately following publishing this brand new Powerpoint, it received 53 views.
At this point we checked to see if the article had been indexed by Google, but it had not. We submitted the article to Google’s Webmaster Tools for indexing, and it was not only indexed within 30 seconds but it ranked #1 on Google’s first page for its title.
It is expected that the Slideshare post will eventually outperform the article on Google, but in the meantime we have two items ranking for a very keyword rich title.
Our only research in creating this content came in the form of writing the title on Google. Common sense hashtags were used, and a very simple description.
These types of results are well within reach of virtually anyone.
Get Started on Slideshare
Do it now. Get started today. Save yourself some stress and know right off that you won’t do it perfectly at first. Shoot, most never get close to doing it perfectly and still yield good results. Action beats over analysis.
If you have ever created a Powerpoint presentation or a PDF then you are already qualified. Dive right in!
Think that’s no big deal? Most websites don’t get that many unique visitors, let alone targeted visitors in a day. Slideshare is all about content marketing, and content marketing is all about generating unique targeted visitors.
On average, our clients experience a 300% increase in organic unique visitors in the first 90 days of applied content marketing strategies. Slideshare isn’t the only content strategy we apply, but it is usually the most effective, creating the biggest splash.
If you’ve gotten this far, kudos to you! This is a ton of information. If you find it overwhelming, you are not alone.
Want more direction in a one on one setting?
Click the link below for a no cost consultation and we will gladly give you a hand making an easy to follow plan of implementation. No obligation, and no expectation of selling you anything.
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