Let's go on a little trip. Open up a new tab in your browser and search "how to use SlideShare." Wow -- over 50 million hits! They must have some valuable information. You click on a couple of the results, and after 15 minutes or so of reading, you know how to create the most perfectly optimized SlideShare. You know where to find engaging visuals, how to craft your story, and even how to make your SlideShare links clickable.
Unfortunately, the posts you read are often missing one crucial tip: You've got to strategically distribute your content.
Most of the advice around distributing your presentations sounds like this: "Embed your SlideShare to your blog and you're good to go. Oh, and don't forget to tweet about it, too." And while that is all correct (seriously, you should do all of that), that advice isn't entirely helpful -- it's basically saying to slap any ol' SlideShare on your blog and people will naturally notice.
It simply doesn't work that way.
Just like any other promotional plan, you need to create SlideShares with their distribution in mind. So, if you're looking to promote your SlideShare on your blog, take a step back for a second and think about how you want to use SlideShare to tell a story on your blog -- and maybe even generate some leads.
To help jumpstart your next SlideShare blog post promotion strategy, we'll walk you through four different scenarios in which you'd use a SlideShare in a blog post. Note: Some of these scenarios may overlap, but for the purposes of this blog post, we'll assume each situation exists purely on its own.
So let's get to it!
Strategy 1: Let the SlideShare Tell the Story for You
The first distribution strategy you can do is probably the least intensive: you let the SlideShare tell the entire story for you. This means you're really not doing much in the blog post -- probably a quick intro, embed the SlideShare, add a call-to-action, and voila ... it's ready to be published!
And, if you want to go the extra mile, try excerpting some content from the SlideShare below it -- something like quotes or stats. We often will do this on the blog: Let the SlideShare bear the burden of storytelling while the intro and conclusion are there primarily to help bring in more readers.
For example, a few months ago, we wrote a blog post featuring a SlideShare of our favorite Steve Jobs quotes. While the meat of the story was in the SlideShare, we pulled out each quote and used a text call-to-action to get people to tweet the quote:
Note: If you're using this strategy, be sure that your SlideShare visuals are the most gorgeous they could ever be -- these 10 free tools can help.
Strategy 2: Tee Up the Rest of Your Post
This strategy is a riff off the first: You let the SlideShare tell an engaging story on its own, and then you use that engaging story as a jumping off point for the rest of your post. This means you aren't duplicating content from your SlideShare into the body copy of your post, but rather using the SlideShare as a storytelling medium and then finishing the post in a text format.
In a recent guest post, Doug Kessler, co-founder and creative director of Velocity, used this storytelling strategy. In the first part of 8 Ways You're Killing Your Content, he showcased his SlideShare 'The Other C Word,' then followed up with eight takeaways that had been inspired by the SlideShare. The result? A richer story than just plopping a SlideShare in post:
This is a great way to repurpose existing SlideShares you've already featured on your blog in another post. The hard part (meaning the design part) is already over, so you can focus on writing an engaging blog post to support the SlideShare.
Strategy 3: Give Small Teasers of the Rest of the Post
Sometimes, what works best for your SlideShare audience might be different than what works for your blog audience. They might both like similar topics, but SlideShare users may like short-form, clickable content while your blog readers lap up long-form, textual content. In that case, you can use the SlideShare slides as teasers of the points you expand on in the rest of your post.
For example, we put together a SlideShare and blog post about 10 of the World's Best Storytellers. Take a look at the SlideShare slide and accompanying bullet point below. The SlideShare basically tees up what's in the blog post, but the post takes the concepts a step further with the call-out lesson and enhanced descriptions of Walt Disney.
Strategy 4: Generate Sweet, Sweet Leads
And the one you've all been waiting for: the lead generation SlideShare and blog post combo. Lots of times, marketers have a really strict lead generation goal to hit ... so how can you justify spending time on a SlideShare? Well, by optimizing the slides and blog post for lead gen!
Though there are lots of ways you can generate leads with SlideShare, one blog post and SlideShare combo that works really well for us is when the SlideShare features a template that you need to download on our own landing page and then people can follow along with some helpful instructions in an accompanying blog post. Sound kinda complex? Let me explain.
Last week, we wanted to promote the launch of a revamped monthly marketing reporting template in a SlideShare and blog post. So, we decided to do this post: a SlideShare that featured the template and explained how you would use it, followed by specific steps that show you how to customize it for your own marketing in the accompanying blog post:
The result? More exposure of our template to SlideShare's audience and brand new leads in our funnel -- something my team was very excited to see!
Depending on your content's goals, these strategies will change. One thing that won't? Having a strategy with every piece of content you create -- so make sure you're thinking big picture even while you're sourcing little ones for your SlideShares.
These are just a few ways we've used SlideShare on our blog that have worked. How have you promoted a SlideShare presentation on your blog? Share your tips with us in the comments.
Image credit: Let Me Google That For You