The number of social sharing platforms on the internet is increasing constantly, and there are already large numbers of them.
It feels like you can’t go a day without another one seemingly appearing from nowhere.
Slideshare has been around since at least 2007 but has been very much under a lot of peoples radar, including mine.
The site is simple enough in practice: upload a slideshow and share it.
However it has become incredibly popular, maybe not quite as popular as Twitter or Facebook, but it still commands a share of the social network market.
As one site put it, Slideshare is the “quiet giant of content marketing”. In 2011 it racked up over 60 million visitors a month and 215 million pageviews, which is a number that should be getting your internet marketing spidey sense tingling.
As the content is slideshow based, it also fits in perfectly with most online marketers current content sharing strategies.
Slideshare is free to use right now. They had a pro version but for whatever reason it is not currently available.
Slideshare itself doesn’t allow you (at least not yet) to create content online. You will need to use a program such as Microsoft PowerPoint to create the slideshow.
This can then be uploaded to Slideshares server. It’s very similar in a lot of ways to YouTube, just with presentations instead of videos.
Here are my top 5 tips for using Slideshare in your content marketing strategy.
1. Keep it short and sweet
The average number of slides per show is around 19. As well as that approximately 45% of the slides on the site are between 10 to 30 slides long.
Most content would happily fit into that bracket.
It doesn’t meant that you can’t go shorter, or even longer: there are plenty of 100+ slideshows available to view.
However for most audiences, keeping it within those average is advisable. You really need to consider your niche and target audience as well as the topic of the slide when deciding whether to prune your slideshow or not.
2. Be visually exciting
The best way to convey your topics message is via visual imagery.
On average there are around 24 words per slide, and this really suggests that the use of imagery with to the point supporting text is the way to go.
Not only should you make sure that your imagery is of a good quality, the image should also relay the message, so using visual metaphors is a great way to back up and stress the to the point text.
Allowing extra time to find or create appropriate imagery, or even hiring a designer to assist (if you have that sort of budget!) is worth it, compared to creating an half assed effort that won’t get shared.
3. Use Call to Actions
As mentioned, Slideshare presentations are images, so while you can add in URL’s, Twitter names and the like, no one can click them.
Slideshare doesn’t leave you totally in the cold though, you are allowed to add a call to action that can be used to to link back to your site or wherever you deem it should go.
Like with any other content, you need to make sure that the content of the slideshow has created enough value and interest to entice the viewer to click the call to action.
Using the promise of more information or a freebie is a great way to get people to click through, just like with other call to actions in other media formats.
4. SEO is still important
While the content of the slideshows are images, you can use Slideshare’s tagging feature and the title and description of the slideshow to add in much needed keywords.
Just remember not to keyword stuff, just like you wouldn’t keyword stuff your own articles.
5. Leverage your existing content
The great thing about using different media, such as slideshows, is that you can take your existing content and transform it into some new and interesting.
It also makes it easier in some ways to take a ready made article, and pare it down into more bullet point type sections. In fact, if you’re anything like me you may already have a draft that contains nothing but bullet points, that can be fleshed out a little.
It’s also possible to take content such as videos and infographics and turn them into Slideshare presentations as well – potentially you could take the existing graphics and video stills to use in the slideshow.
The Bottom Line
Slideshare can be used by almost any niche, whether it is visually orientated or not as the words used can easily have creative and powerful images added to increase the contents impact.
The main downside for me is the lack of a way to create the slideshows online. that being said, getting access to presentation software isn’t hard, for example there is Microsoft PowerPoint and Libre Office (a free office suite) also contains a presentation application.
The ability to share and even embed the slideshows help to increase the effectiveness of the Slideshare platform.
It’s free, so why not give it a go for your next piece of content.