By ZACH REUTLINGER
SlideShare Presentations: Visual, Shareable, Valuable
Are you looking for a new way to promote your business? Today, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about SlideShare: the world’s largest community for sharing presentations.
Why SlideShare? Presentations are a visual way to share information about your business, products, and services. Heavy on images and light on text, SlideShare presentations are perfect for an audience with a short attention span. Think busy professionals and potential customers who aren’t ready to commit to reading a white paper or long blog article.
Throughout this post, you’ll learn why SlideShare is so valuable, as well as my best practices for creating and promoting an outstanding SlideShare presentation.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at SlideShare by the numbers.
Impressive Slideshare Statistics
Over 18 million presentations uploaded to date
One of the top 100 most-visited websites worldwide
More than 80% of SlideShare’s 70 million visitors come through targeted search
Mobile engagement 9x times greater than that of desktop visitors
Share the above infographic on your blog by using the following code:
<img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54496153e4b05e7d0fe6fd22/t/5632909de4b0072b5769f9fe/1446154397771/Why-Use-Slideshare-Infographic.png" alt ="Why Use Slideshare Infographic"><br>
Infographic by <strong><a href="http://delmainanalytics.com/">DelMain Analytics</a></strong>
This SlideShare presentation shows more about the strengths of the platform:
SlideShare can be a powerful tool to build brand awareness, promote your content, and generate leads.
SlideShare presentations, like blogs, are an excellent way to demonstrate your expert knowledge. SlideShare is widely used too. Contributors include the Stanford Graduate School of Business, SXSW, and even The White House.
Check out this popular SlideShare deck by Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt:
That presentation is informational, easy to digest, and visually interesting.
Search Engine Rankings
SlideShare presentations can have real value when it comes to ranking well in search engine results on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Trying to rank for certain keywords can be easier on SlideShare than on a blog on your website, primarily because SlideShare is seen by Google and other search engines as a high-value, trustworthy site. This is also known as having a high domain authority.
Additionally, SlideShare presentations are easy to embed on other sites, just like YouTube videos or Instagram posts. In fact, I’ve already embedded two SlideShare presentations in this post so far.
Once embedded, these presentations act as incoming links to your original content which can help improve the search engine rankings for your own site!
When creating SlideShare presentations to boost your search engine rankings, treat them like any other content. Research and use long tail keywords in both your title and description. Long tail keywords are more specific words and phrases that may not get searched as often, but are easier to rank for (and may have more value) than broader and more general keywords.
Imagine you sell a variety of hats on your website. A broad keyword would be “hat” or “hats.” Many other sites are trying to sell hats, making this keyword very competitive and difficult to rank well for on Google or other search engines.
A better long tail keyword would be “Los Angeles Dodgers throwback fitted baseball cap.” See the difference? Not as many people will type that exact search into Google, but the ones who do really know what they are looking for!
By being more specific and targeting lower volume, high value searches you can rank well for keywords that bring true value to your business.
Leads are the fuel for your business’s sales engine. Without leads, you don’t have anyone to sell your products or services to. And SlideShare presentations are a great way to add fuel to that engine.
Customizable lead forms can be inserted within a presentation, after a particular slide, after a presentation, or whenever a download is requested. While this is a paid service, these leads integrate with popular sales tools like Hubspot and Marketo.
See how Achievers used SlideShare to generate leads and 42,000 views in seven days!
Tools to Help You Create a Great SlideShare Presentation
Good design is crucial to creating a SlideShare presentation that is viewed, shared, and commented on. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a design expert to create a great looking SlideShare presentation.
While you can always use PowerPoint or Keynote to create your presentations and upload them to SlideShare, there are online tools that will help you create high-quality presentations.
Prezi offers a modern spin on old-fashioned presentations, with a variety of templates to help you get started.
Haiku Deck is a way to create online stories that are simple, beautiful, and fun.
Canva is a fantastic tool for non-designers. Use it to make graphics, slides, presentations, and more. It’s incredibly powerful and has almost no learning curve.
Before You Start Building: 4 Principles of Presentation Design
Let’s take a look at 4 principles of visual presentation design:
Next, remember that SlideShare presentations are not the same as PowerPoint presentations. Your SlideShare presentation will need to stand on its own. You won’t be there to narrate or answer questions from your audience in real time (although you can engage with them in the comments).
Choosing Your Topic
Not every topic is a great fit for a SlideShare presentation. You need to find a topic that is both appealing to your intended audience and one that can be communicated visually.
Remember, SlideShare presentations should be more than just text!
A great topic is specific enough to appeal to those already familiar with it (and who may be interested in buying your products or retaining your services), but broad enough to engage and pique the interest of someone just learning about your field.
It’s a delicate balancing act, but by thinking deeply about your SlideShare’s topic, you’ll be able to make a smart choice.
Here are some topic ideas to get your creativity flowing:
The blog posts already on your website. Blog posts that can be described visually make great SlideShare presentations. Bonus if the post teaches something about your business.
Statistics. It can be hard to communicate data and statistics well on your website. Even when they are relevant to your visitors, stats can look boring when they’re listed out on a web page. When they’re presented visually, though, statistics can be very impactful (think infographics).
Step-by-step instructions. Want to teach your audience how to do something? Using a combination of visuals and text allows you to give step-by-step instructions one slide at a time.
Titles & Tags
When choosing a title for your SlideShare presentation, make sure you optimize it like you would any other webpage. That means you should limit the title to 70 characters or less.
You can use this tool to make sure your title won’t be cut off when it appears in Google results
Your SlideShare presentation’s category doesn’t matter as much as its tags.
On SlideShare, you’re allowed up to 20 tags. There’s no downside to using all of them, so be creative and think of those long-tail keywords that your audience may be looking for.
With a 3,000 character limit you have plenty of real estate to be as detailed as possible. Include relevant keywords and the full URL of your home or landing page within the description as well.
The First Slide
First impressions matter and people do judge books by their covers.
That’s why the first slide in your SlideShare presentation matters so much. Don’t limit yourself to a simple title card. Instead capture your audience's interest with provocative text and images.
It’s also important to remember that the first slide of your presentation is used as a thumbnail in SlideShare’s search results. Keep that in mind when designing your first slide.
Best Practices for Images & Text
When designing your presentation, remember that great SlideShare presentations tell a story in visual form. Remember that most people will be viewing on a phone or tablet, so make sure your presentations are mobile-friendly. SlideShare’s audience isn’t looking to read a dense block of text.
Limit yourself to a sentence or two of text on each slide-- on average, a slide in a SlideShare presentation has only about 24 words.
However, text still plays an important role in terms of Google and other search engines’ rankings, so you should make sure to include the most important keywords for your topic.
SlideShare automatically creates a transcript of the text in your presentation. This helps Google add your SlideShare presentation to search results, a process known as “indexing.”
How Many Slides?
There isn’t an agreed upon answer for the best length of a SlideShare presentation. Most presentations, however, have somewhere between 10 and 30 slides.
My advice is to let your story dictate the length of your SlideShare presentation.
Don’t feel the need to add extra slides just for the sake of appearances. Remember that prospective viewers can see the number of slides before they click on a presentation and too many slides can actually discourage some readers.
The Final Slide
Your final slide should include a relevant and captivating call-to-action. Most commonly, that’s a link to your homepage, a contact form, or additional relevant or interesting content, like another presentation, blog post, case study, or white paper.
Ask a question on your final slide and encourage readers to reach out to you with their answer.
Don’t forget to include your contact information, including email and phone number.
Sharing & Promoting Your Presentation
Creating a compelling, engaging, and informative SlideShare presentation is only the beginning.
You’ll really start to see your SlideShare presentation succeed once you start promoting it. And the key to a successful promotion is to have a plan in place before you upload your presentation to SlideShare.
The more people that view your SlideShare presentation in a short amount of time after you upload it, the more likely it’ll be promoted and shared on the SlideShare homepage, which can lead to thousands of views very quickly!
Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn
SlideShare presentations are easy to embed and share on the most popular social networks, including Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. When sharing your presentation, try using a provocative question in your post to encourage clicks and views.
If you’re active on Twitter, tweet your SlideShare presentation to your followers and use the hashtag #SlideShare.
Your Own Blog
Your own blog is the perfect place to distribute your SlideShare presentation. Write a post with a brief introduction and then embed your SlideShare presentation. That’s all there is too it!
Or you can include your first slide in your blog post and link it to your SlideShare presentation to entice readers to click through and view your presentation.
You can also embed SlideShare presentations that you (or someone else) created throughout longer blog posts to illustrate or explain a complex topic.
Track Results with SlideShare Analytics
SlideShare has great analytics! They’re free for all users and allow you to see traffic, source, country of origin and other metrics, as well as outbound clicks, downloads, or email shares.
Keep an eye on how your SlideShare presentations are performing and use what you learn to improve the next presentation you create.
No matter how you promote your SlideShare presentations, consistently publishing new SlideShare presentations is a great way to build a following, drive traffic to your website, and engage with potential customers and clients.
You’re Ready to Present!
If you’re marketing your business or professional service to other businesses or directly to customers, SlideShare is a great addition to your marketing toolkit.
It’s a unique, visual medium that’s easily shareable and can give you real results. There’s just nothing like a beautiful and captivating SlideShare presentation.
I’d love to see a SlideShare you created. Share a link in the comments below or email me directly.
If you’d like to learn more strategies for marketing your business, and see our tips in action, here’s a SlideShare Presentation I created to show how you can put your business’s website to work:
ZACH REUTLINGER - DIGITAL MARKETING SPECIALIST
A modern day Renaissance man, Zachary has worked as a martial arts instructor, metalworker, music teacher, chef, and market researcher. A serial entrepreneur, he has a passion for marketing strategy and technology. Prior to joining DelMain Analytics, he earned his MBA at Southern Oregon University while running the Small Business Development Commission’s Market Research Institute. He enjoys composing and performing live music, attempting intense fitness routines, and cooking ridiculously tasty food.