When you embrace your role as a publisher and understand its importance in becoming a social business that means that you need to publish what your audience wants to read. If you’re a B2B marketer, SlideShare deserves your attention.
While SlideShare presentations may be lighter on writing than a white paper or ebook, it’s what audiences want to see. For me, content creation and content engineering are a matter of developing a story and telling it in the best format possible. As the amount of information increases online, and platforms get better at displaying images, it’s only natural that visual content becomes more appealing to online audiences.
I’m not crying over the decline in word count of the average marketing piece – and neither should you. Long, detailed blog posts perform better for traffic purposes, so there’s still plenty of opportunity to wax poetic about topics important to your audience. But you can’t deny the power of the image.
From Pinterest to Tumblr to Google+, images are becoming a modus operandi for communication online, and your organization needs to take notice and start speaking their language. If you’re a B2B, SlideShare is the place to do it.
SlideShare boasts 60 million visitors per month to the site, and they view 130 million pages. The majority of SlideShare users are involved in business and they run the gamut from small business owners to C-Level executives.
Here’s how to craft a visually appealing SlideShare presentation.
1. Narrow your focus on a single topic.
Most SlideShare users are professionals. They are busy. They want to be entertained and informed, but in the shortest amount of time possible. You can’t do that if you’re trying to summarize your entire industry position in one presentation.
In order to get focused, answer a specific question that your audience has about doing what they do better. For example, Linsey Fryatt shares specific, actionable tips for startups who want to seek out press attention. Her presentation is direct, specific and actionable.
2. Trim the fat.
The average SlideShare presentation has approximately 19 slides. In addition to picking a topic that is focused, be sure to edit your text liberally. Trim out unnecessary sentences, skip over ideas or topics that would take too long to explain and eliminate examples that don’t serve your purpose.
Try reading your slides outloud to see if there are any rambling sections or bullet points that aren’t necessary.
3. Remember the star.
The words in your SlideShare presentation are important – but the images are the star. According to the Picture Superiority Effect, concepts are learned more easily and frequently if they are delivered in a visual form.
MarketProfs takes this notion to heart with their cartoon like presentations. They not only feature drawn images, but the text itself is written in a fun and engaging style.
4. Optimize the “dressing.”
The words on your slides aren’t findable by search engines, so if you want your presentations to show up you need to optimize the supporting “dressing” on your SlideShare page. Your SlideShare profile and descriptions offer opportunity to use keyword terms and phrases that your audience is going to be searching for.
In addition to keywords, you can optimize with hashtags in your description. SlideShare’s top hashtags include #business, #statistics, #socialmedia, #market, #trend and #research – but your mileage may vary.
5. End with a non-partisan solution.
Your SlideShare presentations are your opportunity to show off thought leadership and industry insight – but they aren’t the place to drive the hard sell. Developing a presentation with a question just to set up your product or service as the solution doesn’t help you meet client needs – they want to be informed and/or entertained.
Focus on the value of the content first and make a general statement about how things could be improved. Then use SlideShare’s PRO tools to add a lead gen form or call to action after the bulk of the presentation.
Hubspot strikes this balance well. Their ultimate goal – at the bottom of their funnel – is to have people purchase their marketing platform. But their presentations are content rich and focus on one aspect of web marketing. At the end of each presentation, there’s an offer for more information – not a hard sell.
Are you using SlideShare? If so, I’d love to read your tips below. They may be included in a future post that dives into the storytelling of great presentations.