Our first guest post! Eugene and team reached out to us about their success with Slideshare and we didn’t believe their results until we saw the post ourselves. We thought it was an awesome example of scaling content marketing with a proven process and that’s why we wanted to share it with you. So without further ado…
-Benji and Devesh (more detailed note at the bottom)
Over the past 3 years, I’ve gotten over 2M views across 16 of my presentations on SlideShare.
One of those presentations brings me a staggering 1.6 Million views and 400 new email leads every month. The rest boast an impressive average of 20,000 views.
A question I get often is: “ How do you get consistent results till you hit the big one? ”
I’ll let you in on a secret – I’m not that much different from you. In school, my tutor gave me a ‘C’ for a design elective.
With the right methods, content, and practices – you can replicate my success. In fact, you can do way better if you go at it consistently.
In this post, I’ll be explaining why you need to have SlideShare as part of your content outreach and how you can do it with the least amount of effort.
There are a lot of content channels nowadays from podcasts to blogs to Facebook and Twitter.
While we have been taught to spread risks and not put all our eggs in one basket – go for calculated risks.
We are talking about 70 million visitors on Slideshare per month and an Alexa ranking of 174.
Slideshare is often undermined – but this “Quiet Giant” amongst social media networks has more opportunities for any internet marketer than all of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn combined.
Generate Massive Traffic
One big reason why you should focus efforts on SlideShare especially if you’re selling B2B is because of the amount of potential returns you can get in terms of traffic. Slideshare is one crowded network which means it has a robust and highly-targeted traffic with very little competition.
In fact, SlideShare has up to 5 times more traffic from business owners than Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even LinkedIn!
One of our more popular SlideShares is still collecting subscribers and driving us more than 400 leads a month!
SlideShare works slightly differently vis-a-vis other social networks. It gets plenty of organic traffic on its own because of its high authority (top 150+ sites in the world) on search and the nature of the content is highly shareable.
The real challenge with Slideshare is there’s way too much content to digest. Your presentations need to be engaging and compelling enough to grab attention because there are thousands of other presentations out there and if yours isn’t good enough, you might lose your audience’s attention.
In fact, the most recent SlideShare we put up saw more than 300 social shares within a week. This is in comparison to BuzzSumo’s estimate that the average piece of content gets only 8 shares. There’s a method to our success and you can replicate it as well.
Rank on Search
One of our expert interviewees: Dave Gerhardt, marketing lead at Drift shared the story of how he got to the front page with their deck on ‘Product Marketing’:
Besides getting 30,000 views, Drift also managed to get their SlideShare and subsequently their blog post on the front page of Google for the search term: “product marketing” within 30 days -all that for a one-time effort in building a good SlideShare.
One platform becomes many
The content that you create for SlideShare can not only live on SlideShare’s own platform, it can also be embedded on platforms you own like your blog or site and even platforms you don’t own like guest posts for another high-traffic blog.
This is why you should always strive to get your SlideShares embedded on high-traffic and high-authority sites because these can all become a flexible platform for you to manipulate your marketing messages in your SlideShare at a later time. Additionally, the combined traffic is a force to be reckoned with.
An outlet to repurpose existing content
Another awesome way to save effort on your end is to repurpose content you already have or write with intention:
b.) If that sounds like too much work, try going for evergreen topics that are perpetual by pedigree and inject trends or news to capture a wider market. (e.g. How to be a Presentation Jedi)
c.) Check your Google Analytics on your site to analyze search terms and use that knowledge to go out and create a presentation from existing content you already own. This way you don’t have to do any new research and can just repurpose what you already have.
Better yet, consider taking content from a few of the top posts using Buzzsumo and re-hashing it into a presentation. That way, you can be sure it will be shared.
Additionally, by re-uploading your SlideShares in future, you can re-update the links and content on these earned platforms if you decide to change strategy.
Leverage on Visual Content
In a busy online social world where advertisers and content producers are constantly vying for consumer attention, it pays to be exceptionally visual with content that you put out.
Observe – people nowadays have much shorter attention spans but are more compulsive. This can be attributed mainly to a fast-paced technology wherein you can get anything almost instantly.
Competition is stiff in the virtual space, it only takes a few seconds or a fraction of a minute (at maximum) to catch the attention of your target audience, engage them further, and move them inches to the bottom of the revenue funnel. SlideShare’s the perfect platform to do exactly that – and so much more.
The design or visual content is the cherry on top of a delectable cake. It has to look mouth-watering or deliriously appetizing enough for someone to actually take their first bite and dig into the whole serving.
“Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.” ( source:Buffer)
SlideShare has a few really neat integrations with platforms like Linkedin, Twitter and more where you can interact with the SlideShare from within the same browser of those web apps.
This way, your content never loses its interactive visual nature and this gives you a higher chance of persuading users to view your SlideShare and share it from within their respective platforms.
Quick & Easy
As a marketer or business owner, you should know that time can either be the enemy or an ally. With Slideshare, presentations can be created in a breeze.
If you learn the process and get some basic understanding of design, you can knock presentations in 2 hours or less. There is less content per slide meaning you have to type out less and can focus more on the visuals.
In this post, we’ll teach you regarding the process we use as well as a timelapse of us creating one.
How To Get the Most From SlideShare
Have a Story To Tell
If you think about it, why do you as a reader follow GrowandConvert.com? Really, it comes down to an interesting challenge Benji & Devesh have created – 40,000 uniques in 6 months. You can do practically the same thing with your presentations.
They say if you want to be a good storyteller, you must first be an expert listener. Build trust and create brand awareness with an empowering story. The first few lines matter.
Give an intro in your presentations to address these questions: ‘Why’ are you making this?,
‘Is this for me?
Here’s an example:
Above: Empowered Presentations did a great job in building the case for you to care about smoking with their very compelling intro.
You can be more effective at this if you allow yourself to learn from other people’s stories. Watch more presentations and follow influential speakers. In this way, you hone your craft, promote your brand, and get more people involved in your network.
People are always on the lookout for fresh content. One of the most effective things you can do to ensure you have a viral piece of content is to jack what’s going on in the news and apply it to your business.
If you’re someone that keeps track of trending news, announcements or pop culture, why not use that to your advantage by putting out a relevant and timely piece related to that piece of news?
Empowered Presentations did just that when they put out their Star Wars themed SlideShare shortly after the release of ‘The Force Awakens’ movie.
The result was a whopping 200,000 views and counting.
Another great example is Emiland De Cubber that put out ‘Dear NSA’ when the NSA released their horrible looking slides to the media.
He got 1.2 Million views for his SlideShare, 13 media features in outlets like Mashable, TechCrunch and Business Insider as well as more than 30,000 social shares (you read that right) and hundreds of leads.
All those results for a timely piece of content done up in a couple of hours. If he could do it, so can you.
Have a Distribution Strategy
Bake the distribution strategy into the deck. Quote several experts on your topic and then notify them when it goes live (using an automated tool like ContentMarketer.io).
ContentMarketer.io will pick out all the names mentioned and find their email and twitter profile allowing you to mass message them.
Sharing other people’s talks and events build trust within the community. Most often than not – they do return the favor. This radically gives you that competitive edge.
Sometimes, it really boils down to who you know and what they say about your work. In this case, if you can get easy endorsements by expert influencers, why not?
Another great way is to launch your SlideShare in conjunction with a blog post on high profile blog helps to dramatically increase your reach – this is what we did with Hubspot and that presentation got featured as one of the best SlideShares of 2014 and got us 400 opt-ins per month for the last year.
Optimize for SEO
Optimizing your SlideShares for SEO is a very straightforward process that most neglect to do after they’ve spent hours creating their content.
Not only does driving traffic to your SlideShare become easier if you rank for the right keywords, but this also means that you’ll attract people that are actually searching for stuff you create.
This means you are shooting towards a targeted and hungry audience.
Here’s a simple step-by-step process to optimizing your SlideShare for SEO:
a) Grab the low-hanging-fruit (keywords)
Remember, don’t base your content on your keywords but look for keywords based on the content that you’ve already created so that you won’t mislead people who search up your content.
I’d recommend doing this only after you’re done with your SlideShare so you won’t get distracted.
Most internet marketers would base their content on relevant keywords or key-phrases which are highly competitive but will somehow give you lesser chances of moving up the front page of search engine results.
If you’re looking to rank for a popular keyword (for example, if you’re writing about digital marketing and want to rank for ‘digital marketing’) it’s going to be difficult if there’s too much competition.
This is why you’ll need to do your research, get on Google Keyword planner and start searching up some long-tail keywords that might not get as many monthly searches but are easier to rank for:
In this case, instead of choosing to rank for an overly-competitive term like PowerPoint, I chose to try ranking for ‘beautiful powerpoint’
When you put your SlideShare up, it’ll inherit SlideShare’s site authority and gives you a higher chance of ranking higher on Google
For my SlideShare, I managed to rank on the first page of Google after I channeled some traffic to it. Till date it’s gotten more than 900,000 views. That’s how you select a good keyword that gets results.
Upload SEO Optimization
Each of the fields in the upload window will add to your SlideShare’s discoverability both on search engines and SlideShare’s internal search function. Here are some of the main ones:
1) A compelling title that includes your keyword
Your title is the one that’s going to appear on search engine search results as the main header. The words you type here will also be included in your SlideShare’s URL. This means you need to be extra careful when selecting a title to ensure that it contains your keyword that you’re trying to rank for and will likely command your audience’s interest.
2) A brief description
I personally think this plays but a small part in your search optimization efforts. But since the description is referenced in the place of meta-text in the search results, it can play a part in your rankings if you write something relevant.
These tags typically affect SlideShare’s internal search engine more. With that in mind you should pre-empt terms that SlideShare users would search to find content related to your industry to increase discoverability.
SlideShare automatically transcribes all the software-readable text within presentations that you upload in PDF or PowerPoint. This really increases the searchability of your SlideShare as there are much more keywords on the page and variation of content.
With this in mind, you can take extra effort to also optimize keywords within the presentation slides itself.
As mentioned above, the best thing about SlideShare presentations is that they can be re-uploaded and changed whenever you want.
So let’s say if you just wrote a post for a big blog, imagine being able to update your embedded SlideShare and changing it’s content anytime you want!
This is huge because there’s no other medium where this is possible (doesn’t work with images, YouTube videos, etc.)
Most SlideShare users only use this function to replace mistakes in their SlideShare, but the flexibility to change your embeds allows you to have more control over these platforms that you’ve spent so much effort to earn.
If you have a new product or event to announce or market, you can simply re-upload and include an extra slide with that new call-to-action on a guest blog post that you put in place possibly a year back!
This way you’ll be able to change your strategy as your objectives change for your SlideShares.
How to Design Presentations in 2 hours or Less
Now, I know what you are thinking – this seems like a ton of work but let me assure you once you have a system down, you can start knocking these things out in less than 2 hours.
Here’s proof of me doing just that:
Below, I’m going to show you the bare minimum to put out a compelling presentation that tons of people will be clamoring to share.
Step 1: Write Your SlideShare Story
Remember these two magic numbers – 10 / 50.
These stand for 10 words per Slide and 50 slides per presentation. Just like with blog posts, the longer your presentation is – the more views and shares you will receive.
Moreover, having fewer words per slide makes it easier for the reader to flip through your presentation by ‘skimming’.
Powerful headlines can make the difference between one share and one hundred shares (show some statistics).
Use a tool like Co-Schedules Headline analyzer to see if yours stacks up.
Hint: Make sure to include numbers and people love case studies and real life examples
Step 2: Creating a Quick Theme
Before you start rolling with the slides, you need to come up with a theme that will wrap up your presentation.
Pick two main colors
A quick way to create a color scheme quickly is to simply select two colors – a light or dark monochromatic color like white or black and an accent color that matches your brand or content.
Anything more is just playing with fire especially if you’re unsure about what you’re doing.
Pick a couple of fonts
Use Typegenius.com to choose a basic font pairing and you’re off and running. Pick bold fonts that grab attention and are legible to ensure that you compel readers to interact with your presentation.
Search for high-quality images
After you have your outline, searching for quality images is the next most time-consuming task.
I recommend searching for images on Pexels.com or Unsplash.com and simply put them in the background with an overlay if you’re short on time and design ability.
If you want to communicate something visually but can’t find the right image, consider using vectors. Sites like Freepik.com or thenounproject.com are awesome repositories to find icons, but make sure to attribute it to the artist.
And if you really want to take your presentation to the next level, then you might want to check out CreativeMarket or DepositPhotos for a wider selection of quality resources with more flexibility.
Often on SlideShare, your cover design plays the biggest part in determining the success of your presentation because it’s the first thing that your audiences and SlideShare’s editorial team will see. It pays to spend extra time to make sure this is top-notch or invest in a designer to create a quality cover for you, Ross Simmonds invested $20,000 in doing just that.
This is the part where most people falter. Finding layouts that work within the presentation for different kinds of content.
There are only so many ways you can layout a slide, use this fact to your advantage by emulating layouts that already work in your SlideShare.
No shame in copying layouts if you use your own style, colors and seek inspiration from numerous sources.
Optimize and Upload Your SlideShare
As a last-minute check-list, it’s recommended that you optimize your SlideShare to avoid any unintended blunders on hindsight.
a) Be extra careful with your titles because SlideShare picks that out and uses it for your URL.
Example: Ace your presentation in 10 minutes becomes: slideshare.net/ace-your-presentation-in-10-minutes/
If your titles or twitter handles are wrong, you might want to re-upload your presentation and delete your first upload.
b) Double-check and proofread your SlideShare to ensure that its error-free, you wouldn’t want any embarrassing typos to spoil your professional image.
c) Uploading at midnight or 2am EST to give your presentation the most amount of chance to make it on the first page. The earlier you get it up in the day, the more time it has to collect views and get noticed by the editors at SlideShare.
d) Make sure to schedule a bunch of tweets to @SlideShare and other related users that are mentioned in your SlideShare. Doing simple outreach after you upload helps your SlideShare get an early boost and increases your chances of getting on the front page.
If you’d like a starting point to better presentations online and offline, we made a template based off our SlideShare that got 20,000 views and 300 social shares within a week for you to swipe for FREE!
Get the template that gets results for free here:
…and start acing your SlideShares.
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).
Note from Benji and Devesh: We were approached by Eugene Chen and his partners earlier this month and they mentioned the amount of traffic they got from Slideshare. This is something we’ve been wondering: ‘whether we could get traffic from repurposing our content on Slideshare’. So naturally we were interested in seeing what they did.
When we saw their results, we wanted them to case study it on Grow and Convert.
What we like about this concept is that Slideshare is a medium that is custom built for companies and brands to market on.
We like slideshare because:
a) most companies have info in PowerPoint form sitting around
b) more people inside the company can express themselves well through slides than writing.
c) As Eugene mentions towards the end of the post, you can use Slideshare’s domain authority to rank your presentation high for key search terms (if your presentation is good), so it’s a great lead generation tool.
So we think it’s a great content marketing opportunity for lots of companies.
One final note, at the end of the article, Eugene is giving away a professional presentation template so you can make a nicely designed presentation.
Since we’re all about transparency at Grow and Convert, we want to mention that it’s an affiliate link. The template is totally free, but if later you you decide to buy something from them, we’ll get a share of it.
If you’ve been following us you know we’re not really trying to create products or think about revenue yet, and that’s still true, so you won’t see any pushy sales from us on this.
We just think Eugene’s strategies are actionable for content marketers at companies and based on actual experience. Which means a perfect fit for our site. We thought this product would be useful for our audience if someone was interested in learning more about scaling Slideshare.
Hope you enjoyed the post!