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Leveraging SlideShare for lead generation!

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The rise of visual content marketing is nowadays forcing the content marketers to re-evaluate their marketing strategies. The time has gone where marketers could solely rely on blog posts and white papers to get their message across prospective buyers and customers. It has now become vital to include visual element across all your marketing campaigns.

Why SlideShare?

SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing content on the web. It has become an essential part of any successful content marketing strategy for various businesses. It is considered to be more than just a place to upload your Webinar slides and has substantially become a powerful social community with a reported 60 million monthly visitors.

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Reading this information about SlideShare would certainly pop up questions like: Who are the users of SlideShare? From where does SlideShare get its content and community?

If we categorize the users of SlideShare, there are basically 4 large buckets behind it.

The first bucket is technology. Technology people are always the early adopters of a platform. The second large bucket is education and SlideShare is quite popular in this segment. The third bucket, which is also by far the largest of the entire segment, is the business segment. Businesses characteristically across the web are slightly late in terms of adopting a platform. This is true for SlideShare and also other platforms. Fourth bucket that I would like to pick out is essentially the non-profits and the government usage of SlideShare. So within these four buckets, this comprises almost 65-70% of our content as well as our community.

Now what about the rest 30%? So the rest of the percent is what we call the long tail of the internet, which are basically theusers that are using the platform for whatever reasons that suits them best. So these are individual users that share book reviews, paintings and humorous slide shows. This can also be described as the consumer part of SlideShare. The four buckets that I described previously were the professional bucket which is about 70% and marks the basic characteristic of the platform. The rest 30% which is in minority has its own role to play in the community.

What makes SlideShare tick?

The most significant thing that we have been able to create with SlideShare is that we have been able to evolve almost a new language for the conduct of business, which is basically a visual language.

We all are aware of the fact that visual content is driving the web. If you look at the success of platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, a huge part of the engagement that these platforms have is essentially through visual content.

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Our mission at SlideShare is to connect people through content and content through people. There is a lot of content that SlideShare has and the content is also being shared by the community. But our mission is not just to spread the content, but to help people connect with one another using that content, which is basically visual content.

SlideShare PRO and LeadShare

This infographic was created a year back and it is possible that if you are a user of SlideShare, you would have encountered this infographic somewhere. As I shared previously that SlideShare is a platform for content marketing. Here, we allow people to upload different kinds of content, which could be presentations, documents, PDFs and also professional videos. In fact, we are also in the process of building additional capabilities and tools that you could be used with this content either market yourself or your business.

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Based on this, SlideShare launched its ‘SlideShare Premium Offering’ in 2010, which is a self service model. Essentially, it is a kind of a means of giving people self serving capabilities for using SlideShare as a content marketing platform. You are offered different features so you can remove ads from your content, decorate your channels, upload professional videos, conduct professional meetings or initiate a lead generation program.

PRO Dashboard – easy access

If you have a SlideShare PRO account, this is what the PRO Dashboard looks like. The one that I have highlighted is the lead program that helps you to capture leads. As mentioned earlier, this is a self service program that allows you to generate leads just within enrolling for the program.

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Who is using SlideShare for collecting leads?

This is basically with regards to the global usage of SlideShare. Almost all classes of businesses use SlideShare. I would like to pick out 3 or 4 specific examples for explaining this in a better manner.

Salesforce is one of our early adopters. One of the great things about their usage of SlideShare is that they use all the formats that we offer in a very creative manner. That’s something worth pointing about the Salesforce usage.

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The second example worth mentioning is of IBM. IBM has actually done something which is extremely interesting and creative. The organization has a parent account on SlideShare, but they also realized that some of the best content producers on SlideShare included their top employees and expert at different aspects of the IBM business. They submitted the proposal of building an expert network, which we built for the first time for them. But now as you can see that there are a bunch of industry thought leaders who are IBM employees and are using SlideShare individually, but those accounts are also linked to the IBM usage. If you go to IBM channel on SlideShare, you will see lot of them aggregated there. Therefore, this is a very innovative way in which large global organization is not only showcasing their own usage, but also leveraging the content being produced by experts amongst their employees.

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Marketo is another organization that has tremendously used SlideShare. It is a very innovative company and is categorized as the thought leaders in the social space. In fact they had a great presentation about using LeadShare, which they uploaded a few weeks back.

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10 tips for generating leads on SlideShare

1.       Be a Thought leader/expert – First thing that is worth pointing out is that if you are a thought leader or expert, you have certain kind of specialized knowledge in your area. You can use this specialized knowledge to broaden the reach of your content and pull in new prospects on their journey to finding a solution to their problem.

2.       Have a catchy headline or title slide – Just as with any form of content marketing, you have only a brief moment to catch someone’s attention in the insanely fast paced world of social. Make sure that your opening slide is easy to read and well designed. This will give your slides a much better chance of garnering views, as the topic is now reinforced as your title slide.

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3.       Optimize your content for SEO – Creating presentations that rank for certain keywords is much easier to get than a good ranking for a post on your blog. Make sure that you include certain keyword-rich titles that give your presentations a fighting chance in the world of search engines.

4.       Make it visual –I talked about this in the early part of the blog. The content that performs best on SlideShare is the visual content. Try to use rich graphics or graphics and text in combination to try to depict your message, that content gets a lot of readership and views.

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5.       Share your content across multiple channels –The reason for SlideShare being useful across the social spheres is basically because it renders easily within blogs, Twitter and landing page. Moreover, it is also allows you to keep your audience engaged without having to leave their platform of choice for consuming your content.

6.       Get on the SlideShare homepage – It is true that content that gets on the homepage also gets an initial push. If you can create content that catches the eye of our editorial team, we will put you on our homepage without charging a single penny. This is unlike many other social platforms as the homepage is reserved like a big revenue opportunity, but we believe in putting the best content on our homepage.

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7.       Lead collection form A/B testing – There are many people that question on the kind of forms that should be created and where should the form be placed on the presentations. However, there is no best way of doing it as every piece of content is designed differently, it has different positive actions and what we suggest is that you do little bit of A/B testing yourself to figure out which content is creating best results. By default, the lead generation form is usually shown at the end of the presentation, but you also have the opportunity of placing it somewhere between your presentations.

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8.       Use PRO analytics to measure and improve – SlideShare has a fantastic analytics dashboard for its PRO customers that show some very helpful stats for each presentation that you publish. However, if you are planning to use SlideShare as a part of your overall content marketing strategy, then a PRO account can be a great investment. Additionally, it is also necessary to measure the key metrics around your presentation to see which ones are performing well. This allows you to view the referring traffic, breakdown of where the audience is coming from and much more.

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9.       Add SlideShare to your LinkedIn profile – As mentioned earlier, SlideShare is now a part of LinkedIn. In fact, this year we are likely to see many more integrated features. What you can do is that you can embed your presentations on your personal LinkedIn profile for additional views as well as credibility.

10.   Optimize CTA for viewers – When you are uploading your presentations on SlideShare, chances are that you are already putting your contact information on last slide of your deck. What we recommend is that you can do a little bit of optimization of the Call to Action on the last slide. You can make it visually appealing; you can mention your email ID or twitter link. This can create a great impact on the leads that you collect.

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