Creating slide decks is a regular practice for many marketers. And whether those presentations are meant for industry speaking gigs or educational webinars, all those slides can have some great traffic and lead gen potential beyond their originally intended use. In fact, one of the most powerful marketing platforms for visual content is the versatile presentation platform, SlideShare, and it's a great platform for getting even more out of your slide presentations.
Unfortunately, not many brands are using SlideShare to its fullest potential, and as a result, they aren't generating the results many marketing experts promise. So today, we're going to patch up all those holes in your SlideShare strategy with 7 easy tips to ensure that your slideshow content is primed to generate more traffic and conversions. Let's get started!
1) Treat Title Slides Like Video Thumbnails
There is something that all the top presentations on SlideShare have in common: The title slide is incredibly eye-catching. Take this presentation, which has been viewed over 700,000 times:
Your presentation has the potential of getting featured on the SlideShare homepage, and your title slide is the first thing SlideShare users will see if it does, so you want to maximize its potential for garnering lots of clicks. And you'll never get clicks if that first slide doesn't capture visitors' attention, so be sure to treat your title slide like you would an enticing video thumbnail on YouTube. Use bold colors, compelling images, and a catchy, and a descriptive presentation title. Just make sure your content is awesome enough to back up the hype.
2) Leverage Guest Blogging to Get Early Exposure
As I hinted in tip 1, hitting the homepage of SlideShare should be a goal, as it can really generate some massive views for your presentations. The thing is, it's easier to get featured if your new presentation picks up views early on. So if you don't have a large audience to reach via your own blog, be sure to also leverage the power of guest blogging to generate more clicks and shares of your slideshows right off the bat. While this strategy works for all of your past SlideShare presentations as well, from my experience, building buzz for a new presentation is the best way to get it on the homepage. You should also remember that you can embed your slideshows (like you can with a video), and have a single presentation featured on multiple sites. This will increase your chances of generating more views and shares, which will thus boost your chances of getting featured on SlideShare's homepage.
3) Use Presentations as Teasers/Previews for the Full Content
Anyone who is familiar with SlideShare will tell you to include a final slide featuring a call-to-action for lead generation. But an even better method is to leverage a call for more content. As an example, you can take a large ebook (like we did with our "75 Customer Service Facts, Quotes & Statistics") and create a slideshow that showcases just a sampling of the content -- not the whole book.
This tends to work even better than a generic call-to-action for additional content, because viewers are already primed to check out more of the content they were just viewing. And if you created a high quality and remarkable slideshow, many users will be more than happy to complete a form to download your gated content. Just be sure to make the call-to-action clickable in your actual presentation; it's essential for lead generation, especially when your slideshow gets embedded on another site. And don't skimp on the preview slideshow: not only should your downloadable content be meaty, but your slideshow content also needs to put its best foot forward and include enough compelling material to make the click-though worthwhile for your visitors.
4) Remember SEO
Another important thing to consider is, when you're uploading a slideshow to SlideShare, you have the power of the SideShare domain at your disposal. One of my earlier presentations, for example, still ranks first in Google for terms like "content marketing on SlideShare." If you're a regular reader of HubSpot's blog, you may recall that in a past article discussing SEO for YouTube, the title, description, tags, links, and comments have an impact on how your video ranks in search results. You also likely know that it's often easier to rank with YouTube videos due to the strong domain. All of the above is true for SlideShare as well; despite having a less authoritative domain than YouTube, SlideShare presentations still carry some serious weight in search results, so you should be targeting the keywords you want to get found for in search in the slideshows you upload.
5) Understand Who Comprises SlideShare's Audience
One reason SlideShare is so useful for inbound marketing is that it's made up of a very professional audience. As you can see here, its audience is (percentage wise) made up of more professionals than even LinkedIn (see slide 3):
Unlike the fair-weather visitors you might get from Twitter or Facebook, most SlideShare users are there to either improve themselves professionally or find business-related content. This is also a good indicator for the types of content that performs well on SlideShare.
6) Don't Be Afraid to Get Detailed
In an article highlighting some interesting data about how slide count contributes to SlideShare success, HubSpot Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella exposed data indicating that longer slideshows perform better than shorter presentations. In fact, he reports that presentations with 60+ slides or longer generate the most views. We can only speculate about why this is true, but it may be owed to the fact that SlideShare is a site mostly used by professionals who are likely seeking data-focused, meaty presentations with a lot of depth. Don't be afraid to get detailed in your SlideShare content, and load your presentations with lots of data. Unlike YouTube, where shorter content tends to be more successful, SlideShare users welcome comprehensive content.
7) Design Beautiful Presentations
Remember, SlideShare is a visual platform. Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that presentations that are well designed and feature poignant, powerful images are going to perform the best. It's not only important that the information you're presenting be interesting; the quality of your slideshow's visuals needs to also match the quality of the information presented.
Here are a view things that jump out about beautifully designed -- and popular -- SlideShare presentations:
Strong, bold colors and large text to capture users' attentions and make the content easy to follow along
Topic-specific presentations that cover one particular topic in intensive detail with plenty of data
Visuals that play a major role in the presentation, such as charts, graphs, images, and graphics
How are your presentations performing on SlideShare? Have you made it onto the SlideShare homepage yet?
This is a guest post written by Gregory Ciotti. Greg is the content strategist for HelpScout, a customer service app that makes email support a breeze for you and your customers. Get more from Greg on the HelpScout blog or on his website, Sparring Mind.
Originally published Aug 7, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016