We all love beautiful images. Our world is filled with text. We all suffer from infobesity, so anywhere we can insert a beautiful photo, a video, or show an image to explain something instead of text, our eyes fill with tears of gratitude, and when Slideshare was purchased by LinkedIn in 2012, I celebrated. LinkedIn has been (and still is for many) like a boring college textbook.
It then became very easy to add beautiful decks to your LinkedIn profile to highlight projects you have worked on (the keywords are… BEAUTIFUL DECKS! Don’t put up text-heavy slides that have more text than your LinkedIn profile). LinkedIn is still not the most visual of social media channels, so use this tool as a way to make your profile POP!
A study conducted at the Wharton School of Business found that 67% of the audience were persuaded by a verbal presentation that had accompanying visuals. Remove the visuals and that number dropped to 50%.
I first started using Slideshare to simply share my slide decks with audience members after speaking at conferences. I could load the deck and anyone could go and “have a copy of my slides” without me having to email them. I didn’t think beyond that. Sure I had my name and contact information on them, but I hadn’t unwrapped Slideshare’s true value yet.
I then noticed they were getting viewed by thousands of other people who didn’t even attend the event. That was when I started to see the marketing power behind Slideshare. I started adding a contact slide at the end as well as a slide that gave information on what we did at SocialKNX. I put a call to action, taking people from the last slide to a landing page that captured their email and delivered a value piece to them. Now Slideshare was becoming a lead generating tool!
Once the deck is loaded to Slideshare you can add a lead capture box, embed the deck into your website for an engaging marketing presentation sitting right in your sidebar or as a blog post. One way I like to use Slideshare today is to help extend the content created in each blog post and basically turn a single blog post into 10-20 pieces of great content.
Here is a content marketing example:
Write a blog post on 10 tips for creating something
Create a Slideshare deck with one tip on each slide with awesome images
Turn each slide into JPGs to use as tweets, Instagram posts, Pinterest images leading back to the blog post, etc.
I used to start with PowerPoint to create the deck and then export to Slideshare, but then I discovered Haiku Deck. Haiku Deck takes boring PowerPoint presentations that tend to get too text heavy and templatized, and turns them into art!
A couple tips for great Slideshare presentations:
Keep them short.
Remember the attention span of your reader is as short as that of a goldfish, and your potential customers have an attention span that is one second less than that! People are not going to stick around to read 87 slides any longer than they are going to stay awake during a presentation with that many slides. If you have a call to action at the end, you want them to make it there before slipping into a coma, and if you keep it short enough and interesting enough, they will want more from you.
Keep the text light.
Let your photos tell most of the story. Keep your bullets to 5 or fewer and aim for 5 or fewer words per bullet. No one wants to read a novel.
Don’t forget to add that contact page and a call to action at the end.
Don’t leave people wanting more and then they don’t know how to get it. Add live links in your presentation notes taking them to other content pieces on your website.
Slideshare now offers a wonderful landing page feature you can add to your marketing presentations. You pay approximately $8 per lead, but only if someone fills out the lead form. You decide when to have the lead box pop up during your presentation (after the 3rd slide, 5th slide, or at the end). Your LinkedIn account is charged, like running ads. Experiment with one.
Have you used Slideshare yet? What other ideas have you used or seen for this hidden gem? Do share.
Antonio gets up at 2am every morning to head out to sea, off the coast of Vernazza, a beautiful fishing village in Italy. He takes his boat out about 20 minutes further than the other fishermen. He knows just the right spot to fish each morning. Antonio sifts through his collection of nets, looking for the perfect one for the conditions that day. He throws his nets out and sits in the stillness of the dark early morning casting several lines off the side of the boat as well, each with different lures and bait. His work pays off. By 5am his nets are full and each pole has pulled in its share of beautiful fish. He heads back in to get his fish to market. Fishing is his life. He unloads all the fish but two, which he brings home in a brown paper sack for his wife Louise to cook for dinner.
At the market, every restaurant in the area has someone there to grab the fresh catch and bring them back for their daily menus. Some chefs come out themselves, not leaving this task to anyone else while others have their shoppers out gathering the supplies.
Now, why do some restaurants thrive and have waiting lists for hours each night, while others struggle to keep their doors open? Of course, it’s the way the food is prepared. It’s how people are treated when they dine at each spot. There are many factors that come into play, even if they all start with the same fish.
Marketing is like fishing. You can catch the attention of thousands and even drive them right to the door of your website, but if people don’t like what they experience once they get there, they move on down to the next spot.
You might be frustrated from trying every marketing tactic in the book. You see your traffic increasing. You have more people liking and following your content (like chum) but the sales still aren’t happening. It might be time to evaluate what you are actually offering.
Do you have a product or service that people are still wanting? If you are trying to sell a software that works on a home computer allowing kids to check in when they get home and let their parents know they are safe, you might be overlooking the fact that 10-year-olds have iPhones and can simply Facetime Mom and Dad. You might love your home computer but not understand that many families see the home computer as outdated, instead of using apps on tablets and phones.
Do you have a product or service with a price point that is too high for the audience you have attracted? You might have a quality product, but the audience you’re selling it to has no budget to spend on such items. Is there another audience you need to attract or do you need to retool the product to bring the price down? Your marketing may be attractive to your audience, but they’re just window shopping and drooling all over the merchandise.
Is someone else offering your product or service in a way that is easier for people to access or consume? Taxi companies thought their competition was other taxi companies until Uber came and took a huge bite out of their business. Walmart or Target offer great deals and yet Amazon keeps finding ways to get that same merchandise to consumers faster and free.
Do you have a message that you think the world needs and yet you forgot to check with the world to see if they feel the same way? Sometimes we fall so in love with our own messaging that we are blinded to the fact that no one else has.
We have seen several companies lured (had to work that pun in here somewhere) into this thinking. They keep throwing more money to marketing, thinking if we can just get more people to know about them, they will be successful. Perhaps the business needs to retool, rethink and realign with what consumers are looking for.
Keep your eyes on that horizon and see how consumers are behaving. What information are they really wanting? Don’t just trust your own thoughts and feelings. Do some research. Look at Google Trends. Watch college students. Do surveys of people other than your friends and family members.
You can bring all the fish in the ocean to your door, but if you’re not able to mix in the right ingredients that appeal to them, cook it and serve it up with a winning attitude, people still won’t bite.