Content Marketing involves creating and distributing beautiful, valuable, click-worthy and share-worthy content as a means for attracting and retaining customers.
The concept of “Content Marketing” is nothing new, but the methods for delivering new and fresh types of content are evolving.
One of those methods is the idea of slide presentation, and walking the viewer through a set of instructions or process in a visually-enticing way. In simple terms, you create a slide deck with PowerPoint (which is probably the easiest and most common software platform for slides), and you can upload it to a number of websites that will display your slide deck. This approach can generate more awareness for your brand, more traffic to your website, and also some distinct SEO advantages, which we’ll talk about later.
For now, let’s discuss the process of creating a SlideShare presentation:
Plan your strategy
The most crucial step to any content marketing initiative is the planning process, and with SlideShare it’s also important to plan your presentation before you create it.
Before you begin, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is going to view my slide deck?
- What questions of theirs will I need to answer?
- Who are the key influencers in my industry that I should target?
- How will my viewers be motivated to share this slide deck?
- What are some specific calls-to-action (CTAs) that I can insert into the slide deck?
Once you have your strategy mapped out, you can create the flow and design of your slides.
Design your slide deck
A slide deck designed for a content marketing campaign is not like a PowerPoint presentation that you would run through in a meeting. Since you aren't going to be narrating the slides for the people viewing them, it’s important to make each slide as self-explanatory as possible. Here are some things to consider:
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1. Create an introductory slide
This first slide will be the only image displayed on SlideShare as people are browsing through decks, so it should be eye-catching and enticing. There are a number of sites that have a collection of free, creative commons images to use for your slide deck, including:
Use an eye-catching color for the background, and place an image in the slide to draw people’s attentions, like this:
2. Create a call-to-action template for the rest of the slides in the deck
This is something that I have learned through trial and error. As with any content marketing strategy, one of the areas of focus should be driving relevant and qualified traffic to your website, and you can do that with calls-to-action located in key areas within your slide deck. You can either do this by including links to related blog posts or linkable assets on the last slide of the presentation, or within specific slides throughout the deck. One method that has been particularly successful for me is to segregate an area of each slide to house a clear CTA. This maintains a look of consistency throughout the deck, and ensures each slide has an equal opportunity to send traffic to your intended destination.
3. Give just enough information away to make sense and invite clicks
You're not "giving away the farm" here, but still giving enough info to the viewer that the slides can stand on their own. For example, if you're providing instructions on how to properly harvest a crop, provide the basics of the process, but still encourage the viewer to click your CTA to see "the rest of the story".
4. Encourage social shares to become "hot"
How do those decks end up on the homepage of SlideShare.net? It all begins with a solid promotion strategy for your slide deck. Here are some tips:
a.) Share it on social media
According to Kissmetrics, you have a good chance at having your slide deck featured under the "Hot on Twitter" section on the home page if you get 15-30 tweets. The same goes for Facebook and LinkedIn shares, and being featured under those categories on the home page. Once your deck ends up on the home page, it has the opportunity to go viral, and gain a massive number of views and additional social shares.
b.) Embed it in a blog post
You can gain additional views for your slide deck if you embed it into a blog post on your website. Viewers also have the option to embed the deck on their own websites, so you can encourage that as well.
c.) Build links to it
The easiest way to gain visibility for your SlideShare deck is to build links to it. You can do this within your guest blog posts, your own blog posts and through social media channels.
The links in your SlideShare profile page, and the links within the slides themselves are nofollow, but there's still a definite advantage for your SEO campaign with a popular SlideShare deck. TJ Welsh, director of SEO with SEO.com explains the value of these nofollow links:
"While they do not pass on link juice, they do create relevance for a given topic. Slideshare creates a transcript of your slides, which Google and other search engines are able to crawl. As search engines crawl the Slideshare account, they can trace the content back to your website through the Nofollow link. The Nofollow link builds an association between whatever you publish and your brand. Google also creates an association between certain keywords and your brand, so include your brand name somewhere in the presentation."
5. Track the wins
You can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your SlideShare decks by tagging the URLs in your CTAs, and tracking the traffic in Google Analytics. Create the URLs in Google's URL Builder by providing the website URL, campaign source, medium and name. Once you have the tagged URL, shorten it with goo.gl or bit.ly and place those shortened URLs in the slides.
The best KPIs in Analytics to measure the effectiveness of your SlideShare deck include:
- Total referral traffic from SlideShare
- Time on site
- Pages per visit
- Bounce rate
There may be other KPIs you need to measure, so be sure to map your specific goals before you publish your slide deck.
There you go! Really, the best way to discover a winning formula for SlideShare is to experiment, test theories and track your results.
Have you had success with SlideShare? Post your comments below!