Marketers and advertisers the world over are constantly trying to find the “next big thing.” The one thing that will allow them to stand out from the crowd. Back in the day of course it was TV, radio and direct mail or email for example. Then came the digital revolution and mobile marketing and social media marketing took center stage – and rightly so.
Today, it’s content marketing.
While all the aforementioned mediums remain and always will be key players in any integrated marketing communications campaign, clearly content marketing is the next big thing – at least for right now.
And a major tool in the content marketing arsenal may be one that many of you have heard of and visited, but perhaps have not used to date –SlideShare.
As per their own site, SlideShare is “ the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. With 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million page views, it is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world.” SlideShare has also been referred to as “the world’s largest professional content sharing community.”
I would say that’s pretty accurate given the impressive numbers re: visitors, page views and so on, wouldn’t you?
So with all this going for it, SlideShare seems to be an incredibly valuable tool for marketers, brand managers, etc., the world over. I decided I needed to get some expert advice for not only myself but for all of you for this tool is truly something I believe we all should be using to some extent.
I reached out to my friend, David Brier who is an award-winning brand specialist consulting small-to-medium sized companies and cities as well as a Fast Company expert blogger. In addition to his controversial blog posts, David incorporates his native New York City candor to his various SlideShare presentations that have in total exceeded 200,000 views across the globe.
Two of his presentations have each recently surpassed the 70,000 views milestone. The first one is “What’s Killing Your Brand (and how to kill it before it kills you)” (over 80,000 as of this writing) while the newer presentation, “Why is it so hard to create a brand anybody gives a sh*t about?” reached 70,000 views in 10 days.
Clearly if anyone can help marketers and brands understand just how to use SlideShare to its fullest it’s someone like David.
So I reached out to him to pick his brain.
SO: Why is SlideShare so important for brands and marketers?
DB: SlideShare is pretty unrivaled in being targeted to professionals seeking content and information whereas YouTube is essentially for video entertainment. SlideShare is a great resource, but more importantly, businesses can use SlideShare to get its message out in a venue that is already primed for and seeking information, insight and useful strategies.
SO: What are some Do’s when it comes to SlideShare?
DB: Here are a few guidelines I use:
- Show more. Talk less. (this presentation violates this)
- When in doubt, trim the fat.
- State the problem early on or forget it.
- The problem needs to be a “big picture” type of trend.
- Then you can talk about the solution.
- The solution cannot be “you” but it can be a strategy, a method, an approach
- Contest (or slaughter) a sacred cow. Pick one. Your opening has to have some big bang, or go home, so slaughtering a sacred cow is a good way to start.
- It’s been reported that 45% of the presentations on SlideShare have 10-30 slides with an average of 24 words per slide.
- I leverage the presentation by embedding them in posts I write for Fast Company and my own blog.
SO: What are some Don’ts when it comes to SlideShare?
DB: Some of the things I try to avoid doing:
- Never resorting to using the stock photography and imagery that everyone under the sun also uses.
- Forgetting it’s the audience whose interest I must serve.
- Using too many words to say something that could be said in less words.
- Not including enough humorous points that show the author has some insight (which is my way of rewarding them for showing up and looking at the presentation)
- Don’t make it a shameless self-promo piece, or if you do, it better be:
- Self-effacing and
- Able to poke fun at itself or its reason for being
SO: Are there any myths about SlideShare that you think are out there that would like to clear up?
DB: That the people viewing these are not an important part of your influence in the world. One important myth is how SlideShare can be used.
It is a blank canvas so just as brands have turned YouTube into a vehicle for their brand, the same could be done on SlideShare. It’s a wide open channel that could truly be revolutionized and I see that happening.
Plus with their new Send Tracker service, you can see how people engaged with a presentation, thus providing analytics for the content.
SO: What are some examples of brands who are currently using SlideShare correctly?
DB: While SlideShare is built for a B2B environment, here are some observations.
- Quite a few resorts and hotels are taking advantage of SlideShare such as The Palms Hotel and Spa – Miami Beach Spa who basically took the presentation and made it into a mini-brochure.
- Believe it or not, Disney has quite a few presentations that show different sides to the company.
- IBM, in partnership with SlideShare, created the first ever Expert Channel last fall where IBMers’ presentations are curated and made available around topics related to industry, technology, conferences, software, hardware, cloud and more.
- Another great example is author Seth Godin, who has used SlideShare very well.
Ok so there you have it.
Some great advice from a SlideShare expert.
Do you currently use SlideShare?
How do you think a marketer or brand can best benefit from a tool like SlideShare?
Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a senior content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing.