How to Use SlideShare for Marketing

How to Use SlideShare for Marketing

Alexa estimates SlideShare to be one of the top 200 sites in the world. SlideShare itself claims to have 80 million visitors a month, most of whom arrive via search engines.

That’s a lot of traffic—so how can you use SlideShare to grow and market your business?

How to use SlideShare for marketing slideshare-marketing.jpg

By publishing content onto SlideShare, you can:

  • Siphon off traffic for your own website.
  • Generate leads.
  • Build authority and credibility.
  • Grow your search engine visibility.
  • Attract followers on your other networks.
  • Grow engagement on social media.
  • Plus various other benefits too…

Are those enough reasons to love SlideShare?

I’ll show you exactly how to create content on the platform, and how to use it for best advantage shortly.

But the good news is that:

  • It’s easy to do…
  • There’s very little competition…
  • Very few businesses take advantage of everything the platform offers.

Shall we begin?

Want the Quick Version? Grab our FREE cheatsheet on how to use SlideShare effectively for marketing—Download Now

What Is SlideShare?

In brief, think YouTube, but for slideshows.

Users can freely register and publish slideshows on the platform.

Just like on other content platforms like Medium, by publishing content regularly you attract followers which helps attract increasing engagement levels over time.

A Brief History of SlideShare

SlideShare was founded in 2006 by Rashmi Sinha and Jonathan Boutelle.

LinkedIn acquired the platform in 2012 for $119 million.

LinkedIn itself was bought by Microsoft in 2016, with SlideShare sold to Scribd in 2020, partly to help LinkedIn focus on their core objectives.

While it’s currently unclear how Scribd (the “world's largest digital library”) will develop SlideShare, it will apparently remain an independent platform.

Content will remain on SlideShare after the Scribd acquisition slideshare-content-after-scribd.jpg

What Type of Businesses Should Be Using SlideShare for Marketing?

If you’re in a B2B business, then it’s likely you will find SlideShare beneficial for marketing purposes.

This includes lead generation, building engagement for other content, and increasing traffic.

I have a little content marketing secret. It’s called SlideShare... With just 12 slide deck presentations and 3 infographics uploaded to SlideShare, I've had over 650k views of my content.

Donna Moritz, Social Media Strategist

SlideShare is less applicable to B2C marketing.

In terms of lead generation and traffic, SlideShare is similar to LinkedIn, and generally attracts a professional crowd who are generally affluent, and keen to develop their careers and businesses.

That means the leads and traffic you attract as a result tend to be high quality.

However, as I’ll show you, SlideShares can also be embedded into content you have published elsewhere, delivering a number of advantages.

So the SlideShare site itself is only part of the equation in terms of the benefits you get from using SlideShare for marketing.

How to Create a SlideShare That Helps Market Your Business

There’s no reason to start from scratch.

There's a much easier, quicker way to do it.

Create SlideShares by simply repurposing existing blog posts.

The process is straightforward and can be easily delegated or outsourced.

It's the exact process I use... here goes...

1. Create the Script

The first step is to create the script on which the slideshow will be based.

To do this, go through the blog post and construct a document that outlines the content of each slide.

This gives you the overall structure before you start creating slides for the presentation itself.

For example, if the following were the first couple paragraphs of the blog post:

First paragraph of a blog post ready for repurposing as a SlideShare first-para-slideshare.jpg

You might convert this into a script as follows:

Script outline slideshare-script-outline.jpg

This uses a very simple format to divide the content into different slides, with short, succinct text on each one.

Here are some general tips on creating your script:

  • Minimize the text on each slide—you want it to be easy for people to just scan and move to the next slide, keeping them engaged.
  • Create headline slides—this splits up the narrative and provides structure.
  • Use bullet points liberally—again, they help viewers scan the information and help hold their attention.

2. Build the Slideshow

The slideshow itself now needs to be built using appropriate software.

I prefer Google Slides, but you can just as easily use say Powerpoint or Keynote.

There are two main approaches people generally use:

  1. Have attention-grabbing images on each slide, with the text superimposed.
  2. Focus on the information, with plainer-looking slides which are still designed to be engaging.

Personally, I prefer the latter approach, which I’ll run through in more detail here. It’s quicker to create the slideshows, and you still get results.

Create the Look and Feel

Your first SlideShare is going to take longer to create as you’re starting from scratch.

But the good news is it then gets quicker and easier, as your first one can simply be used as a template.

So get started by creating the overall look and feel, before you start adding more slides and building the presentation.

Here’s how to approach it:

  • Aim for a consistent look and feel throughout—ideally this should match the style of your brand. This boosts results when people click through from your slideshow to your website or social media properties.
  • Add your domain name/logo to each slide—I usually put this in the bottom right-hand corner. This allows people to head to your website and find out more information about you even if they don’t reach a specific call to action.

You can link your domain name/logo to make it clickable, but there is a downside.

When you publish a SlideShare, notes are published beneath by extracting all the info from each slide. This includes any links (shown as plain text).

So when you have the same link on each slide, it looks pretty unappealing, a bit ‘spammy’, and may hurt engagement levels.

Creating the Presentation

The header slide—the first one in your presentation—should be visually appealing in order to attract attention and encourage people to view it.

This is what’s shown when your SlideShare is:

It should also therefore contain the title of the presentation so it’s clear what it’s about.

Most SlideShare’s are actually pretty poor in this area.

That’s largely because people have simply uploaded presentations used in other environments such as from the stage, and given little thought to the header slide.

For example, here’s what one from Dropbox looks like, presumably from a stage presentation:

SlideShare from Dropbox slideshare-dropbox.jpg

It’s not exactly compelling!

Whereas this one from Gary V makes it very clear what it’s about and is far more engaging:

SlideShare from Gary V slideshare-garyv.jpg

Just as the headline is the most important part of a sales letter, this header slide is the most important part of your SlideShare.

Its purpose is to get viewers to click on the presentation and view the next slide.

For each slide after that, the purpose of each slide is to get viewers to continue clicking through until they reach your call to action (I’ll talk about this next).

Just as with a sales letter (again), different viewers will have different approaches to viewing your presentation.

Some will want to read every word… others, likely the majority, will be scanning through.

You need to support both types of viewer.

Here are some ways to help do that:

  • Reuse images from your original blog post to support the information and make the presentation more engaging. To speed things up, include links to any images in the script (previous section).
  • Add additional images and graphics where they add value—for example, I sometimes use arrows and ticks for bullet points. For additional images, see this list of top free stock photo sites.
  • Use bold and italics for certain words on the different slides to increase engagement and make it easy to scan the information.
  • Similarly, use different colored fonts where appropriate.
  • As I’ve already mentioned in creating the script, use bullet points liberally. Increase engagement by using different graphics for the bullet points, rather than just a plain black dot.
  • Use curiosity and intrigue to compel viewers to click to the next slide. This can include asking a question to be answered on the next slide (e.g. How do we know that?), and using ellipses (three dots, ‘...’) at the end of the last sentence.

Include a Call to Action

In terms of how to use SlideShare effectively for marketing, this step is crucial, yet so many businesses neglect it, forgetting to add any call to action.

Or they add one, but then forget to actually link it through.

Just as you would add calls to action into blog posts, articles and videos, you must do so here too.

The most effective approach is to use your SlideShare as a tool for lead generation.

In other words, your aim is to convert SlideShare viewers into leads.

After all, they’ve found your information and are taking the time to go through your presentation—it’s likely they’re highly qualified.

It’s easy to do so:

  • Offer a relevant resource—in other words, a “Lead Magnet”. The more relevant your Lead Magnet is to the content of the presentation, the higher your conversion rate is likely to be. If you’re already doing the same back on the original blog post, use the same one!
  • Link through to a squeeze page—the easiest, quickest way to create one is via Optinopoli, using their Landing Mat creative (particularly if offering the same Lead Magnet on the original blog post).

For maximum click-throughs, make the link friendly:

  • Not everyone will realise they can click it. So it should be uncomplicated, memorable, and short enough to type in.
  • The domain of the link should match your domain name if referenced elsewhere in your slideshow (such as your domain name/logo in the bottom right corner)

Your call to action can work well on your final slide, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mention it elsewhere as well.

After all, you’re offering a relevant resource of value to people, so why not mention it earlier?

This will increase your conversions. Just as most people don’t tend to watch YouTube videos right to the end, it’s the same with SlideShares.

And if you end up repurposing your SlideShare as a YouTube video (more on that soon), it increases the benefits there too.

3. Upload to SlideShare

Before uploading, carefully review the presentation to make sure it doesn’t contain any typos or errors which can damage your credibility and kill conversions.

For best results, get someone different to look over it. It’s hard for anyone to see their own typos!

Once finalized, you'll need the presentation in PDF format to upload it to LinkedIn.

In Google Slides, this is simply a case of going to File > Download as > PDF Document from the menu.

Click File > Download as > PDF Document from the menu google-slides-download-pdf.jpg

(Note: as an alternative to downloading a PDF version, you can also upload files to SlideShare direct from the cloud, such as from Google Drive or Microsoft’s OneDrive).

Then log into SlideShare, and click the Upload button on the menu bar.

Click the Upload button in SlideShare slideshare-upload.jpg

While it’s uploading, check your title, and enter a description.

Your description needs to sound engaging and contain plenty of keywords to help your target market find it, both on SlideShare and search engines like Google.

Aim to make this 2-3 sentences long.

While uploading add some details about your presentation slideshare-upload-settings.jpg

Then:

  • Select the most relevant category from the dropdown.
  • Add several keywords as tags, including ‘long tail’ keywords (3-5 words or longer)

Once you’re done, the Discoverability Score should be at max.

Check your Discoverability Score is at max slideshare-discoverability-score.jpg

Click Publish to make your SlideShare live.

Free Resource: Grab our FREE cheatsheet on how to use SlideShare effectively for marketing—Download Now

How to Promote Your SlideShare

Once done, it’s time to promote your SlideShare.

By sharing your presentation and driving traffic to it, you are:

  • Driving up the view count for your SlideShare—this boosts credibility, as well as visibility on SlideShare itself.
  • Spreading your message and attracting leads
  • Showcasing your expertise in your social channels
  • Increasing engagement for other content. More on that shortly…

Here’s how.

Share on Social

Share the link for your presentation across your social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

But don’t use blink-and-you’ll-miss it marketing, sharing it just once and then forgetting about it…

Aim to share it several times over the next few weeks and months to attract as many eyeballs as you can, and convert social media followers (low value) into leads you can communicate with directly (high value).

Embed in Blog Posts

The useful information your SlideShare contains can be used to enhance blog posts back on your website and help engage visitors, providing additional value.

By encouraging visitors to stick around for longer, this helps your search engine rankings, increasing search traffic.

It also converts more of your visitors into leads (see the Call to Action section above).

Plus, more viewers means a higher SlideShare view count, benefitting you in the ways mentioned above.

Embedding the SlideShare is easy.

Click the Share button just beneath the SlideShare.

Click Share click-share-slideshare.jpg

You’ll then see a couple of ways to embed the SlideShare on your blog.

Get the embed code embed-code-slideshare.jpg

1. Embed

For Wordpress, you'll generally need to use the WordPress Shortcode option below.

But if you do want to use this option for whatever reason, do so via the Code editor.

Access this by clicking the top three dots to the far right of the menu, and then click Code editor.

Switch to the code editor in Wordpress embed-wordpress-slideshare.jpg

Copy the Embed code from SlideShare, pasting it into the required location in your post.

You'll also need to use the Embed option if you're on a blogging platform other than Wordpress.

2. WordPress Shortcode

More simply, you can paste the shortcode directly into your post.

Paste into your post paste-slideshare-shortcode.jpg

TIP: To control the size of the embedded SlideShare, add width and height parameters to the end of the shortcode. Here’s an example:

Add width and height parameters to the SlideShare shortcode slideshare-shortcode-width-height.jpg

Embed in Content on Other Content Platforms

SlideShares can be similarly embedded in content you have on other platforms. Each only takes a few seconds to do.

Again, this:

  • Increases your SlideShare view count.
  • Attracts new leads.
  • Boosts engagement with and visibility of the content you’re embedding it into.
  • Helps to showcase your expertise and grow your audience.

Medium

Embedding a SlideShare into Medium is as easy as it can be—you literally just have to paste the link.

After a second or two, your SlideShare will be shown.

Embed your SlideShare into Medium by just pasting the link slideshare-embed-medium.jpg

LinkedIn Articles

LinkedIn was, as mentioned, the previous owner of SlideShare, and it’s easy to embed your presentations into LinkedIn articles.

To do so, click the icon in the left-hand margin, select Slides, and then just paste in the link for your SlideShare presentation.

Embed your SlideShare into a LinkedIn article embed-slideshare-linkedin.jpg

Share on Your LinkedIn Profile

SlideShares can be featured on your LinkedIn profile, helping to:

  • Showcase your expertise.
  • Generate leads from profile views.
  • Increase your SlideShare view count.

To do so:

  • Scroll down your profile to the Featured section and click the + icon.
  • Click on the Links option.
  • Paste in the link to your SlideShare.

Add a SlideShare to your LinkedIn profile slideshare-add-featured-linkedin.jpg

Your SlideShare will then be automatically imported, including the description you added to your SlideShare when first uploading it.

How to Update a SlideShare

One big drawback of SlideShare is that you can’t update an existing SlideShare on the platform.

The only way to do it is to start afresh with a new one, deleting the old. That means:

  • Your previous likes and other stats don’t get carried over,
  • It’s published on a new link.
  • It breaks any embeds for the previous SlideShare.

This feature used to be available, but was removed shortly after Microsoft bought the site in 2016.

We can but hope SlideShare’s current owners, Scribd, will see the light and bring it back.


Now you know exactly how to create a SlideShare, and promote it.

I’ve also covered many ways in which publishing SlideShares benefits your business.

So let’s now recap exactly how to use SlideShare for marketing so it’s crystal clear, including how to use it to:

  • Grow your traffic...
  • Build authority...
  • Improve social media engagement…

I’ll even show you how you can use your SlideShares to develop a presence on YouTube!...

How to Use SlideShare to...

Grow Your Traffic

There are two main ways to do this directly:

1. Show your domain name on each page of the presentation.

This can be via a logo or text on each slide.

As stated earlier, it’s best not to link it on each page or it shows repeatedly in the text beneath, which isn’t the best experience for viewers.

But viewers will still look up your website out of interest and curiosity.

2. Link directly to your website.

Do this where you have a call to action, which I covered earlier.

For example, you might link through to a squeeze page on your website that offers a useful free resource.

Generate Leads

Refer to the sentence immediately above!

Remember, the leads generated from SlideShares tend to be relatively high quality:

  • They’re people interested in the information you’ve provided.
  • They’ve been far enough through the presentation to reach your call to action.
  • By the time they sign up they already know a bit about you and your business.

Build Authority and Credibility

SlideShares present a showcase of your expertise. You’re sharing what you know.

That immediately gives you a certain level of authority and credibility in the mind of the viewer.

As your views to the SlideShare increase (I’ve covered several ways to do that), this adds social proof, further boosting your authority.

Grow Search Engine Visibility

As you’d expect, SlideShares show up in Google’s results.

If you’ve followed the suggested model of repurposing an existing blog post, this effectively gives you another opportunity for your content to show on search for particular keywords.

In other words, for a single keyword search, you could have both your original blog post and your SlideShare showing in the same listings.

Not only that, but SlideShares also appear on image search, showing the header slide of the presentation, which can help attract further viewers.

Attract New Followers on Social Media

There are a few main ways your SlideShares can help build social media followers:

  • Within your SlideShare, perhaps on your final slide, provide an opportunity for people to follow you, providing them with the relevant link. Here’s an example from a presentation sponsored by Hootsuite:

Include your social links social-links-slideshare.jpg

  • Provide your Twitter handle in the footer of each slide, alongside your domain or logo, so people can look you up. (Again, as mentioned above for your domain/logo, don’t link this directly).
  • Sharing your SlideShares on social and attracting followers that way too.

Don’t forget, you can attract followers and grow your audience on SlideShare itself, consisting of people keen to view other presentations you make available

Grow Engagement on Social Media

As just mentioned, share your SlideShares across your social media channels.

And remember, on channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, do so repeatedly.

Improve Your Blog’s Bounce Rate

Embed the SlideShare into a relevant blog post (covered above), and you’ll keep people on your website for longer on average.

Embed SlideShares into either:

  • The original blog post the SlideShare was repurposed from—this gives visitors an alternative way to get the information from your post.
  • Related blog posts—for example, show a SlideShare to help explain a relevant topic, but one that’s outside the scope of the blog post itself.

Over time this helps improve search engine rankings, attracting further search traffic.

Grow Visibility and Engagement on Medium

Are you repurposing content for Medium too?

If so, embed SlideShares into your Medium posts too. See above for how.

(If not, here’s why you probably should be).

When you do so, people will spend longer on your Medium posts, and this boosts your visibility on the platform, attracting more readers in future and growing your Medium audience

Create YouTube Content

SlideShare presentations can be easily repurposed into YouTube videos.

This can be an easy way for businesses to:

  • Gain or increase their presence on YouTube.
  • Build another audience.
  • Grow visibility on both Google’s and YouTube’s search engines.

There are a number of approaches to repurposing it. Try:

  • Recording your screen as you add a voiceover to the presentation.
  • Walking the viewer through the presentation with a face-to-camera video, editing the video later to add screenshots from the presentation.
  • A mixture of the two, with the presenter shown on screen as they go through the presentation—here are some recording tools that can do this for you.

It’s Not Just SlideShare…

Submit Your Slideshow to Other Presentation-Sharing Websites Too…

Although the most well-known, SlideShare isn’t the only show in town for sharing presentations.

Here are some other sites you can try submitting your presentations too for additional reach and visibility:

To Conclude

This post has detailed exactly how to use SlideShare for marketing—now it’s your turn to put it into action!

But don't end up forgetting everything you've read—grab our free cheatsheet with a summary of all the essentials from this post so you have it on hand to refer to.

For best results, submit presentations to SlideShare regularly and consistently, and see your results increase over time.

@byStephenDShaw

Stephen D Shaw is the founder of Trafficonomy—dominate search, build authority and influence, and attract non-stop streams of traffic and lead flow 24/7. Join our early access list and be the first to know as soon as this powerful new software becomes available.