SlideShare: The 90M Monthly Views Marketing Channel Everyone is Missing
According to a report from the Social Media Examiner, 85% of content marketers are not using SlideShare – that’s a huge waste, not to mention a great loss for them because the statistics for SlideShare are well…staggering!
Slideshare is ranked 156th most visited site globally according to Alexa and gets more than 70,000,000 (ComScore) visitors per month coming to check out different presentations. Most of these readers are B2B clientele and in fact, SlideShare has up to 500% more traffic from business owners than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even LinkedIn!
I know what you’re thinking:’Sign me up!’.
Here’s the hard truth, though…
With some 400,000 presentations uploaded every month, it’s easy to get lost in the muck.
Over 3 years, we’ve figured out the formula to drive over 2M views to our 16 SlideShare presentations and I’ll be sharing with you how in this post.
Now, I know what you’re thinking because we’ve already polled 8,000 of our email subscribers to ask them why they don’t just get on SlideShare.
- Creating SlideShares take WAYY too much time.
- Presentations I create look horrible!
It makes sense, that as a small business owner, you probably don’t have time in your busy day to chase another marketing channel and may not think you have any design skills to see huge success on the platform
In this post, I’ll explain WHY you should make it a priority and then show you how to do the bare minimum and still get results (case-in-point: 20,000 views) like how I did with a recent presentation.
Why Bother with SlideShare at all?
A hungry audience
Did you know that over 70% of SlideShare readers come from direct search?
What this means for you and your company is that if you do it right, the people who do find your SlideShare are actually looking for your expert content.
This means you get a targeted audience interested in what you’re saying which in-turn can lead to higher conversion rates and engagement with your content.
Boost your rankings organically
How’s a first-page ranking for your keyword of course for your SlideShare AND your site sound?
With one of my more popular presentations uploaded to SlideShare, I specifically targeted a non-competitive keyword at the time: “Beautiful PowerPoint”. When the deck got on the front page, my SlideShare shot up to the first page and subsequently the first result of the search engine.
As a result, till date that SlideShare’s gotten close to 1,000,000 views and has roped me more than 3,000 email subscribers.
Of course, I’m not the only one that’s been able to get SEO-related results through SlideShare.
One of our expert interviewees: Dave Gerhardt, marketing lead at Drift also tells us that apart from managing to get on the front page for the term ‘Product Marketing’ with this deck:
Drift’s deck on Product Marketing boasts more than 30,000 views on a topic that some might consider esoteric. Dave’s contention, however, is that SlideShare’s not only helped build the brand equity of Drift but also attracted an audience that already has requisite interest in the content angles they put out and essentially the industry they are in.
Raise your site authority
Not only is SlideShare a high authority site in search, but this may also translate to added authority for sites that you choose to link to in your SlideShares.
After all, traffic that goes to your SlideShares might end up getting redirected to your site or other social presences.
You put up a blog post or a white paper and the traffic fizzles out after a few weeks or even a few days. Aren’t you tired of putting time and effort into creating content that just doesn’t go very far?
“We are in an era where advertising, promotion, and distribution strategies may eclipse the importance of the content itself.” Mark Schaefer
He’s right. To ensure your painstakingly created content is a success, promoting your content is a whole different step that you simply cannot do without.
The question then becomes, do you really have the time to constantly be promoting past content that you’ve created actively?
One of the SlideShares that we’ve put out is still collecting subscribers and driving us more than 400 leads a month even though it’s been up for more than 2 years already!
The nature of SlideShare as a medium is unique. SlideShare gets plenty of organic traffic on its own and piggybacking on that will help to boost your own traffic with minimal effort.
The bonus here is that you can also embed SlideShares on other sites; ones that you own and even ones that you don’t through avenues like guest-posting.
In our case, we managed to get our SlideShare embedded on high-traffic sites like BrianTracy.com and HubSpot’s blog which continues to drive traffic to our SlideShare till date.
What’s more, by re-uploading our SlideShare, we’ll be able to change the marketing messages in our SlideShares on-the-fly without breaking the deck. In this context, you essentially have a ‘semi-permanent’ platform on a site that you don’t own directly because you can manipulate the embedded SlideShare. Cool, huh?
Visual Content is Contagious
After analyzing more than 1,000,000 pieces of content, BuzzSumo determined that the average piece of content gets only 8 shares.
One of the factors is as per what I mentioned above that promotion needs to be a priority. Another factor that contributes to low-engagement is the lack of visuals. In fact, Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. ( source: Buffer)
The great thing about SlideShare is not only that it’s really visual as a medium on its own, but even when it’s shared, plenty of social platforms have integrations that make interacting with your SlideShares very attractive.
In Twitter and Linkedin specifically, you can view the full SlideShare directly within the platform, making it easy to consume and share in that same window.
Our recent deck about Lead Gen on SlideShare was shared more than 300 times in less than a week, talk about viral potential.
SlideShare for Busy People
Focus on The Story
Above all else – you need to have a good story to tell. Make it different, make it interesting, make it personal. As Simon Sinek says “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.
Also, if your content is generic or non-actionable it leaves little reason for your audiences to act or share it with their network.
Case-in-point, my partner on my course, Imran Esmail, put together this simple SlideShare presentation about how he built his kindle business and it earned him 166 opt-ins when it was first published.
Best part…it took him less than 2 hours to complete as it was all text.
As much as I’d recommend doing more to make your deck more visually engaging, this experiment just goes to show that with a compelling and well thought out story as your foundation, it becomes difficult to fail.
I like to write and refine my SlideShare outlines in word processing software before I ever touch the design in PowerPoint or Keynote. That way, once you get into it, you won’t spend too much time on changes.
Follow 80/20 Rules for Design
As a busy business owner or executive, you’d want to focus on the 20% effort that will get you 80% of the results. SlideShares aren’t much different.
The key to getting a SlideShare out fast is making the bare minimum design consideration and working in an efficient way for fast execution. Here I share some simple ways to half the time you spend on your SlideShares:
Use the Rule of thirds
Divide your slide into 9 parts and place your elements in the slide where the lines intersect. Easy right? Elements placed this way have been scientifically proven to draw to the eye naturally and creates a pleasant visual experience.
If you select an image that fulfills this principle and also happens to have a generous amount of white space, you won’t have to guess where to enter your text. Just place it in the empty space caused by the asymmetry in the layout!
This technique is an easy way to layout your presentation without much thought. This way you’ll save time and still create quality SlideShares.
Focus on the cover
How many times have you bought a book simply because the cover is so damn fantastic only to find that the contents are lackluster or simply don’t fit in with what the cover promises?
We judge books by their cover, the same applies for SlideShares too. Whether you like it or not, the only way that you’re going to attract someone to click on your deck preview is by having an arresting cover image and title.
Now I’m not suggesting you trick your audience with click-bait and deliver crappy content, what I’m suggesting is to prioritize making your cover visually appealing. Here’s an easy 3-step method:
- Pick an image that is high-quality ( bigger than your slide dimensions )
- Pick a bold and legible font and use your accent color to highlight your important headline.
- Include a darker/lighter overlay on your image to ensure that there’s enough contrast.
There you have it. A simple, beautiful cover that takes less than 10 minutes to create.
Consistently coming up with novel, quality content is hard and time-consuming work. If you happen to have past content that you’ve put sweat and toil into producing, why not repurpose that into your next SlideShare?
Re-using past content to create a visual SlideShare not only gives your content new life, it creates a new platform and medium for your content; a new way to consume it and a new way for you to market or collect subscribers.
Here’s how you can repurpose a blog post you have lying around:
- Your article title can act as your SlideShare coverThis works best for listicle-type of articles (i.e. 20 ways to kill it at SlideShare Marketing), don’t be afraid to re-write it in a more unconventional manner.
- Pick out the big headlines in your post – these can act as your ‘transition slides.’ Feel free to re-organize certain points if the flow seems more relevant to the story you want to tell. Although it’s based on a post you already have, it’s still a different piece of content.
- Break up the content in each portion into bite-sized ideas that connect to each other. Few people head to SlideShare to read documents, they want visual content that they can ‘skim’, ensure that you’re brief enough to be punchy but have enough text to deliver the message.
- Link back to your existing content.
If your SlideShare is an extraction of a larger piece of content, why not link them back to your blog or site? Re-using the traffic you get from SlideShare has SEO benefits and who knows you might drive some leads.
Treat it as an Investment – Outsource
Even with all the techniques mentioned above, some people still can’t find the time to work on their SlideShares or just find it extremely difficult. No biggie, it’s very possible to outsource it to a professional designer for a reasonable fee and see returns in the long-run.
Ross Simmonds, an expert speaking in our SlideShare Summit famously spent $20,000 on building his SlideShare presentations to the disbelief of the community. Through speaking engagements and consulting leads, he very quickly made back his investment and more.
He details the process here: https://inbound.org/blog/four-lessons-from-creating-over-20-000-worth-of-slideshare-presentations
Another example is Jake Wengroff from JXB1 Social. Previously from Frost & Sullivan at the time, they paid $0.50 per lead and made $300,000 from leads directly attributable to SlideShare.
As in any form of marketing, there is no truly free lunch, you’ll need to put something in whether it’s your time or a little monetary investment. If you do it right and create quality stuff, I have no doubt that you’ll see returns very quickly.
SlideShare can be a lucrative form of leads and traffic especially for B2B small businesses as long as you know how to use it and remain consistent.
Treat your work as an investment because as opposed to Facebook ads or media buys which run out – a great evergreen SlideShare presentation can get you thousands of views and tons of leads for years to come.
In our upcoming FREE Virtual SlideShare Summit, the only investment we ask of you is for your time.
We’ve rounded up 4 of the best SlideShare authors who have more than a whopping 10M views combined on their presentations to teach everything from presentation design to driving leads and even getting a job all with the power of SlideShare.
Eugene Cheng is the co-founder and creative lead of HighSpark (formerly Slide Comet, a strategic presentation consultancy serving Fortune 500 companies like Panasonic, Dentsu, Nike. A self-confessed presentation obsessive, he relishes in building compelling visual content for his agency’s channel and his personal channel on SlideShare and is also a Keynote Author (top 1% of SlideShare).