Spending hours upon hours over several weeks on a presentation to present once at a conference is a waste and a missed opportunity. Whether you had 10 attendees or 2,000, your slide deck deserves to live on past that breakout session.
Giving your slides a second life, whether you made them for a presentation at an event, a meeting, a webinar, training or what have you, has a ton of marketing advantages, especially with powerful tools like SlideShare.
What is SlideShare?
I’d personally define SlideShare as the most overlooked social media tool by marketers. SlideShare’s title has a graceful way of explaining what it is; it’s a tool that allows you to share your slides!
Well, there’s a bit more to it than that…
SlideShare was founded in 2006, and acquired by LinkedIn in 2012. It has become one of the 100 most visited websites in the world, with over 18 million uploads in 40 categories.
With such high website authority, marketers have seen the SEO benefits that sharing their slides can have with SlideShare. Whether your goal is to gain exposure, website traffic, or become recognized as a thought leader, there are paths to do all of these things by leveraging SlideShare’s massive and engaged community.
Step 1: Perfecting Your Slides
Before sharing your slides on SlideShare, you should make sure they’re top-notch in terms of content quality and design, and optimized to please. Below are a few tips to set yourself up for slide sharing success.
Tip #1: Craft a Compelling Title and First Slide
With SlideShare’s LinkedIn partnership and rapid growth, you might feel a bit wary that your slides are going to get lost in the mix. This is why luring in your viewers with a compelling first slide (or slide cover) and click-worthy title is absolutely critical to get eyes on your slides.
Check out the slide cover below for example. The enticing title steals the focus, dragging the reader in. The headline is extremely strong – it uses numbers (which statistically get the highest headline CTR’s), it evokes emotion with the promise “will change your life,” and it creates curiosity, leaving the reader wanting more. The images create curiosity too, providing a sneak peak of what’s to come.
Tip #2: Differentiate the Design of Your Slides
We’ve all seen slide decks with boring headlines, too many bullet points, and stock images of business men. Sticking to this template without putting any effort into your slides’ design is not going to help your marketing goals in any way, shape, or form. In fact, if the design of your slides is sub-par it could actually hurt your brand reputation.
So, what can you do to stand out? First off, if you have an in-house designer, put them to work! Tell them what your vision is and get their expertise and assistance to bring that vision to life.
Make sure you include compelling images (preferably with humans!), minimal text (one point per slide), and consistent colors and fonts to provide an enjoyable experience for your viewers.
Still struggling? SlideShare has a helpful design center for creators where they lay out some useful best practices, including tips for choosing images, fonts and more. The cover image above is from designer Jesse Desjardins’ presentation, and not only are the tips spot on, but it’s a beautiful illustration of its own advice.
Tip #3: Set a Clear Agenda
After your cover and introduction slides hook your audience in, the next step is laying out a clear and concise agenda of what your SlideShare deck will cover.
Why is this important? Viewers like to know what they’re getting themselves into. If critical parts of your presentation are baked into the middle or end of the deck, and that information isn’t readily exposed in the agenda, users who want that info might abandon your deck before they get to the good stuff. Setting the stage with an agenda also helps set the flow of the presentation from the start.
Here’s an example of a deck that lays out an agenda for what’s coming in the rest of the slides.
Tip #4: Provide Actionable Takeaways
In order for your SlideShare content to be truly successful, it must leave the reader with actionable takeaways that they can implement after going through your presentation. Whether it be strategies to test out or a new way of doing something, the reader won’t feel as if they get value from your content unless they’re able to take something useful away from it. This will also make your brand more memorable, and could lead to pushing more leads down the funnel if the takeaways tie in with your product or offering.
Tip #5: Include a Call-to-Action Midway Through
As a marketer, you’re always thinking about how to drive more traffic to your website and closer to your “buy” buttons. Well, SlideShare is an incredible way to do so, but you need to ensure your deck contains a call-to-action (CTA) to direct viewers there.
SlideShare’s CTA feature allows you to insert a clickable link in your deck, making it easier for the user to move down your funnel.
CTAs typically appear on the final slide, but you can include them earlier just in case viewers don’t make it all the way through.
Tip #6: Triple-Check Your Grammar
There is nothing worse than publishing something only to realize later it contains a spelling or grammatical error. While many may not notice, there are a subset that will, and this takes away for the legitimacy of your brand. If a viewer catches your errors, they’ll think you’re sloppy and lose trust in your authority, and their chances of turning into a lead will vanish. So TRIPLE check your spelling and grammar, and have your copy editor check it as well.
Step 2: Promoting Your Slides
Once your slides are looking stunning, you can’t just sit back, relax, and expect your SlideShare to go viral. You need to invest some time into promotion to drive as many eyes as possible to your hard work.
Tip #1: Optimize Your Presentation for SEO
Make sure you spend time optimizing your presentation to get indexed. A few simple steps like creating an optimized title with the keywords you’re targeting, adding a compelling description that also includes the appropriate keywords, giving users the ability to download, and adding tags can improve the scrape-ability of your presentation.
According to SlideShare, tags increase searchability by 30%!
Tip #2: Share Like Crazy on Social Media
You should be spreading the news about your SlideShare all over your social networks. Pin your deck to the top of your company Twitter feed, create a post promoting your SlideShare on Facebook (using a targeted audience), and take advantage of the tools LinkedIn has to offer to promote your SlideShare.
Tip #3: Embed Your SlideShare on Your Company Blog
This tip is useful because it won’t only help drive more eyes to your SlideShare, but it will also help with SEO rankings for both your presentation and your blog!
“You can build backlinks toward the blog post in which you embedded your presentation, and you’ll hit two birds with one stone: your blog post will rank higher and your presentation will rank higher, too,” says Mauro D’Andrea at kissmetrics.
Tip #4: Email the Slides to a Relevant List
Lastly, take advantage of the leads you already have to spread the news about your stunning SlideShare presentation by sharing it via an email marketing campaign. Who knows, this could be the lever that turns an on-the-fence lead into a customer!
SlideShare Analytics: Analyze Your Slides’ Performance
Another beneficial feature that SlideShare provides is access to free analytics, showing a graph of your slide presentation’s views over time, as well as traffic sources, actions taken, social shares and even more in-depth information around each viewer.
After you post a deck to SlideShare, spend some time analyzing your stats to see if your strategy was effective, and use that data improve upon your next deck.