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The Marketer’s Guide To SlideShare

I want to show you a big opportunity that leads to other big opportunities. This “opportunity” gets 60 millions visitors per month and has an Alexa Rank of 174. You don’t want to miss out on it, do you?

The good news is that you can handle this. I’m not talking about writing an article for the New York Times. And, so far, there isn’t very much competition to face while taking advantage of this opportunity.

I’m talking about “The Quiet Giant of Content Marketing,” also known as SlideShare (a social media website where you can upload your presentations and show them to the world). SlideShare’s features make it the ideal tool to grow your business. It’s a crowded site with a highly targeted audience and low competition.

You can use SlideShare for many purposes. For instance, you can:

  • Get traffic
  • Rank better on Google
  • Grow your followers
  • Get email subscribers
  • Build your brand
  • Create your own uses

If you use SlideShare in the right way, you’ll find it’s a very powerful tool. Let’s into how you can take full advantage of this amazing website…

The Foundation: How to Make an Astonishing Presentation

The most important rule of SlideShare: if your presentations aren’t good enough, you won’t get anything from SlideShare.

People are just one click away from another page. So if you don’t get their attention quickly, you won’t get a second chance. Your presentations have to be magnets. They have to grab people’s attention from the start to the end.

I don’t want to teach you how to make a good presentation. I want to teach you how to make a phenomenal presentation. The kind of presentation that people can’t stop watching.

To make a phenomenal presentation, follow these three steps:

1. Work on Your Content

The content will make the difference between good results and great results. Insert something worth talking about in your slides.

You have three main options:

  1. Show something shocking
  2. Explain useful information
  3. Evoke emotions

These are the three kinds of content that perform the best on SlideShare.

The following is an example of a shocking presentation by Empowered Presentations:

This is a great example of useful information by Illya:

To have a sense of how you can evoke emotions, take a look at this example by Chiara Ojeda:

Once you choose your topic, think about a great title. Your title has to seduce people to watch your presentation, or they’ll shift their attention to something else. A great example is the title of Jesse Desjardins’ presentation “You Suck at PowerPoint“:

you suck at powerpoint

Not only is the title great, but it’s also designed in a fantastic way.

Now that you have the title and the topic, you can start brainstorming.

Take a piece of paper (or open a Microsoft Word document) and list all the things that you can think of concerning the chosen topic.

Remember that you are making a presentation, so you’ll choose only the best information from your list. Get rid of all the unworthy stuff.

You can integrate your information with searches (Google will be extremely helpful).

2. Construct a Clear and Linear Structure

It’s of vital importance that you construct a clear and linear structure for your presentation. Think of your presentation like an engine: if one piece is broken, the engine won’t work properly…or won’t work at all!

Forget about complex structures. People don’t remember the slides that they have seen already. They are feeling your presentation. They focus only on the slide that they are viewing at a given moment.

The ideal structures for presentations are lists and stories. Think of a way to present your content like a list or a story. They are the best ways to deliver your message.

Here is an example of a list from one of my presentations:

The following is an example of a story by Slides that Rock:

3. Create Marvelous Slides

Your presentation is like a cake: it could be delicious; but if it’s not visually appealing, no one will eat it.

Most people don’t spend enough attention on design when they make their presentations. This is the reason you’ll see many ugly presentations on SlideShare.

Think about a black and white slide, full of text, and with a horrible spatial disposition. You want to make the opposite.

In my opinion, the following presentation is the best guide for making a marvelous slideshow:

Follow the concepts in that slideshow, and you’ll make a spectacular presentation. These are the links to the free sources mentioned in the presentation:

How To Increase Your Reach on SlideShare

Once you have your presentation, you have to upload it on SlideShare and promote it. You want to do a good job of promoting it because you want to increase the number of people you can reach with your presentation.

Here are some suggestions for promoting it:

1. Share it on Facebook

You have a good reason to share your presentation on Facebook: if you get enough views on it, your presentation will be shown in the “Hot on Facebook” box (it’s on SlideShare’s homepage).

hot on facebook

You want your presentation to appear here: it will get many additional views.

2. Share it on Twitter

With about 15-30 tweets (the number varies from day to day), your presentation will be inserted in the “Hot on Twitter” box (on SlideShare’s homepage under the “Hot on Facebook” box). This is a great incentive to share your presentation on Twitter.

hot on twitter

You want your presentation to appear here: it will get many additional views.

3. Share it on LinkedIn

Again, if you get enough views on LinkedIn, your presentation will be inserted in the “Hot on LinkedIn” box (under the “Hot on Twitter” box).

hot on linkedin

You want your presentation to appear here: it will get many additional views.

4. Share it on Pinterest

Pinterest is great for promoting images, videos and presentations.

If your presentation is excellent, share it on Pinterest, and it will get a big increase in views.

5. Share it on Your Blog

You want to insert your presentation in your blog to increase the number of views it gets.

If your presentation happens to be the one that gets the highest number of views on a given day, you’ll be featured on SlideShare’s homepage.

That means that you’ll get lots of views.

How to Get Real Results

Now you have a great presentation, and you know how to increase its exposure. You have to decide what results you want to accomplish with SlideShare.

You have to focus on just one goal, or you’ll waste time and energy. Think wisely about your priority.

SlideShare doesn’t allow live links in the description of the presentation. That’s bad. It’s like playing baseball with an injured arm.

You have one way to bypass this problem: you can insert a live link inside your presentation.

this is a link

You can bet on it: that is a live link!

Given that people are engaged when they watch a great presentation, you have just one place in which you can insert your link and still keep getting clicks. That place is your last slide.

If your presentation resonates with people, many of them will click on your link.

Notice that many people don’t know about the presence of live links in the presentations. You can solve this problem with two simple tricks.

1. Insert a URL

Insert a URL in your call to action. Avoid “Click here” links and such.

If you insert your URL, people who are interested (but don’t realize that there is a live link in the presentation) can insert that URL in their navigation browser.

Many people are lazy, so insert a small URL on your call to action.

call to action

I inserted the URL so people who don’t recognize the live link can type the URL in their browser.

2. Insert an Arrow Toward the Link

Even if someone doesn’t know about the live links inside the presentation, he’ll start wondering what the arrow is all about. Due to this, the magic will happen: he will move his mouse over the link and the cursor will magically change from normal to link cursor. The click is very close now!

call to action arrows

These arrows bring more clicks!

How to Get Traffic from SlideShare

If you want to get traffic from SlideShare to your blog, you can insert the URL of your homepage on your call to action. The homepage is the shortest link for a domain, so it’s easy to remember; and even lazy people can type it in the navigation browser.

You may want to make people visit one of your posts or one specific page instead of your homepage. In that case, you have two options.

1. Insert the URL of Your Homepage

You can write the URL of your homepage on your presentation, but it will be linked to one of your posts or pages.

In that way, people who don’t recognize the live link, have a short url to insert in their browser. Lazy people are more likely to insert a short URL than a long URL. Even if they don’t land on your page/post, they will arrive on your blog.

link pointing to landing page

I wrote my homepage URL, but its live link points to one of my pages.

2. Insert a Shortened URL that Points to Your Page

With a shortened URL, you will bypass the problem about the length of the URL. However, there will be another problem: a shortened URL often isn’t appealing. When a person doesn’t recognize a clear domain, he’s likely to hold back from clicking…let’s be honest, a shortened URL doesn’t communicate trust.

shorten link

This is a clear use of a shortened URL.

Think about which is your favorite strategy and use it.

The call to action toward your blog/post/page works great when you can offer something related to the topic of your slides. For example, if your presentation is about social media and you have a great post about social media on your blog, say it. People will be more likely to click that link.

How to Use SlideShare to Rank Better on Google

SlideShare is an authority website. It ranks much better on Google than most of the sites online.

You can take advantage of that to bring your content to the top ranking of Google.

Let’s say that you want a high ranking for the keyword “landing page optimization.” It’s pretty tough to rank at first place for that keyword. If you make a presentation on SlideShare that is called “10 Easy Steps to Landing Page Optimization,” you will have an easier task.

how to build your brand keyword

For the keyword “how to build your brand,” my presentation ranks on the 4th page of Google. With a brand new blog, I wouldn’t ever accomplish that. Notice that with some additional backlinks, I can climb Google’s ranking.

Notice that SlideShare works very well for long tail keywords. Usually there is low competition for long tail keywords, and you can be sure that SlideShare has a higher power than most of the competitors. By using long tail keywords in the title of your presentations, you can easily reach the first place on the SERP.

For example, many people search “How to get traffic from Facebook” on Google. That would be a good long tail keyword. Remember that the more specific your keyword is, the less competition there will be (but your presentation will get less traffic from Google if it reaches the first rank).

To increase the ranking of your presentation, you can point backlinks to it. There are many ways to do so. I’ll explain the most effective here:

1. Embed Your Presentation on Your Blog

Embed your presentation on your blog, especially if you have a quality blog. Your presentation will get benefits from that.

You can build backlinks toward the blog post in which you embedded your presentation, and you’ll hit two birds with one stone: your blog post will rank higher and your presentation will rank higher, too.

2. Increase the Reach of Your Presentation

Grow the reach of your presentation to get better results. When many people watch your presentation, chances are that someone will find it interesting for his audience. That leads to embeds by people who watched your presentation.

3. Embed/Link Your Presentation on Guest Posts

When you write a guest post for an authority blog, you have the chance to embed your presentation or to insert a link back to it. That doesn’t mean that you can be spammy. Insert your presentation only if it adds value to the post.

How to Grow Your Followers with SlideShare

Do you wish to grow your Twitter followers? Do you wish to get more likes on your Facebook Fan Page? Do you wish to enlarge your Google Plus circles?

You can do all of them (and many more!) with SlideShare.

The only thing you have to do is insert the right call to action at the end of your presentation. Just ask people to follow you on Twitter.

increase twitter followers with slideshare

An example of how to get more Twitter followers: ask them.

In the same way, you can ask people to like your Facebook Page, to add you to their circles on Google Plus, to follow you on Pinterest, and so on.

Notice that you can integrate SlideShare with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The most useful integration is between Twitter and SlideShare: when you link them, the tweet button on your presentations will add “by @YourUsername” to every tweet.

twitter mention

The integration between SlideShare and Twitter does a great job. People who tweet our presentation will mention us.

The integration with Facebook and LinkedIn will just help you to easily share your presentations on these social networks (nothing worth talking about).

How to Grow Your List with SlideShare

You probably have thought about this already. You can make a specific call to action to get email subscribers.

You can do it in a “ninja way”: make a normal call to action, but point the live link to your landing page.

ninja link to grow list

That is a ninja link! People who click that link will land on my landing page.

Or you can make an explicit call to action: tell people that they can get your lead magnet if they visit your site.

explicity call to action

An example of an explicit call to action: explain what you offer.

You can even think about making a specific landing page for people who come from SlideShare.

How to Build Brand Awareness

Do you care about your brand?

You can use SlideShare to make sure people know your brand.

Mars Dorian gives us a great example of how to use presentations to build brand awareness. He has a unique drawing style that he uses on his blog. He applied his style to his presentation to increase his brand awareness.

As you know, one of the key points to build a brand is to tell your story. Each person has a unique story. Your story is one of the most powerful ways to be remembered by people and to be perceived as different from the masses. Here is a unique story example by Kaili of Empowered Presentations:

You can make people start associating your company with some specific colors. This was the purpose of my presentation about building a brand: I wanted people to start associating the light blue color with the Blog Growth brand.

How to Make Anything with SlideShare

You can accomplish many other interesting tasks with SlideShare. The following are some examples:

I used my SlideShare presentations to land a few guest posts…like this one on KISSmetrics!

Ethos3 used its presentation to sell its book. Really good idea!

use slideshare to sell

Ethos3 used its call to action to sell its book.

Emiland used his presentation to get a job. He reached his goal, and other people followed his strategy later.

land a job with slideshare

Congratulations Emiland! His idea to search for a job using SlideShare was great and effective.

Empowered Presentations uses its presentations to drive people to its other slideshows.

get views

Empowered Presentations is right: once you watch one of its presentations, you may want to watch others.

Some Final Words

SlideShare offers many interesting opportunities. There isn’t much competition yet, but this won’t last long. My advice is to get on board as soon as you can.

Your Turn

These were my suggestions, now let me hear your opinion. Do you have some other ideas about the goals you can accomplish with SlideShare? Do you have some tips about SlideShare?

Let’s talk in the comment! ;)

About the Author: Mauro D’Andrea is the founder of Blog Growth, the blog where he helps people to reach their internet marketing goals. If you want to succeed online, take his 12-part course “Online Income from A to Z” for FREE.

  1. Illiya Vjestica Nov 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Hey Mauro & KISSMetrics. Thanks so much for featuring my slides – this is an awesome blog post. I loved reading it.

    I’ve been reading this blog for a long long time now, what a lovely surprise I had to see my own presentation staring back at me.

  2. This Rocks! Thanks so much for this info. I’m all over it.

  3. Wow, this has to be the most epic and complete Slideshow how-to manual I have ever seen.
    Congrats Mauro,
    and thanx for including me among those fellow kick-ass presenters. What an ass-kicking collection !

    • Thank you Mars! Don’t exaggerate with the compliments: I could blush :)

      You are welcome! You deserved it when you made that awesome presentation.

  4. @coryjim / CEO of @empoweredpres Nov 21, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Mahalo Kissmetrics and Mauro for featuring us not once, not twice, but three times within this all encompassing blog post about the power of Slideshare! There were some presentations that were brought to our attention too!

    Great examples from everyone! Thanks again! We really appreciate the time it took to compile all of this! Look forward to more blog posts! – @coryjim : )

  5. you have down a very good job

  6. This is excellent. Thank you. I have a client who is really keen to use SlideShare – their business is in Eye Care so a visual blog is perfect. This is an excellent resource to kick start that campaign.

  7. Slideshaee and other docuemnt sites can be very effective for marketing. But sumply convertting your existing posts and articles into documents in not enough. You need to spend some time to format and customise your content for optimal delivery on each of these platforms.

  8. A treasure-trove of Slide-share tips

  9. Mauro, awesome content! Great work!

  10. Dr Kavita Shaikh Nov 28, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Thanks for such a comprehensive post and for sharing such valuable insights about what clicks (or rather what gets clicked) on SlideShare. This post rocks Mauro!

  11. Learned so much! Time to apply. Thanks so much for this, guys.

  12. This post is actually quite good, I don’t understand why you called it exactly the same as the actual book on Slideshare? Seems pretty deceptive?? For those who arrived looking for the REAL book it’s here

  13. Todd Wheatland (@toddwheatland) Dec 04, 2012 at 4:26 am

    I’ve had quite a few people send me this link over the weekend because the title has the same name as a book I wrote. I appreciate the concern (which I shared myself until I read it), but let me assure everyone that this post is not plagiarizing the SlideShare book of the same title. The confusion is disappointing but I’m sure not intentional and there are some good unique points made here.

  14. This is an awesome blog post. I loved reading it.

  15. Nice guide. Very thorough. I can vouch for the suggested number of tweets. I just had a presentation get featured after having about 20 tweets in an evening. It was a nice little boost, although being “Hot on Twitter” didn’t earn me near as many views as when I had a different slideshow featured in the top part of the page.

    Any idea how how they determine what’s “Hot on Facebook”? Is it based on likes, shares, or both, and is there a certain magic number like with Twitter?

  16. Shelly-Ann roper Jan 02, 2013 at 4:58 am

    Great marketing info to kick start a new year. This is the 2013 direction where search engine ranks is going. Whosoever is not using images, presentations and such are simply selling themselves short. Thanks guys.

  17. Great post you have here.
    I have only 1 thing to add – lets dont forget your company overall SEO strategy (if you have it).
    Slideshare can boost this, if you do it in right way.

  18. Animated Web Videos Feb 08, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Thank you Mauro. Very awesome post for driving high traffic. After Google Panda and Penguin it is very important to get visitors through Pinboards, Social Networks and Image Sharing sites. Achieving traffic with Presentation is a new way for webmasters. Thanks for the nice detailed post.

    • Hi Mauro and KISSMetrics, thanks for the comprehensive writeup on how to create the valuable backlinks that we need. I have written your pointers on my notepad for future reference whenever I am building the links back to my site. Once again, thank you.

  19. I got carried away with the beauty of Kaili’s slideshow that i forgot i was reading an article. lol. Very impressive post! Well done!

  20. Michael Neuendorff Mar 09, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I stumbled across this post while doing some research on SlideShare. It’s really good! Just the embedded examples make it worth reading, but of course your added commentary really brings it all together.

    Thanks for this comprehensive post. My tip to add would be to drive people over from YouTube to get presentations you might have short videos referring to and vice versa. People could go to YouTube from SlideShare to see the videos of the live presentation where you talked about content.

  21. Very relevant post, with all my favourite SlideShare superstarts too:) SlideShare has evolved so rapidly, but one thing has stayed the same, it’s largely earned media.

    With the myriad of upcoming features like :

    I have no doubt we’ll be seeing more SlideShare successes in the near future.

  22. Suzanne Doughty Apr 09, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    It would be helpful to put the date on your articles, so we’d know how recent your data is. Does SlideShare still bring in 60m views/month or has that increased? Is the Alexa ranking still true?

    Thank you.

  23. Good post. Is there any way to get a link in the description as well?

  24. Hariyaksh Mehta Sep 01, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Fantastic. great article. I always used slideshare to upload or download important documents but i swear i never realised it could be such a great tool. thanks for sharing this.

  25. I never knew that it was possible to have a clickable link on a slideshare presentation. Thanks for this.

  26. Excellent post. Is quite complete. I’ll use several of these suggestions to promote my blog. Do you know if other services like Scribd work in a similar way for marketers?

  27. Sapna Vibhandik Apr 16, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Very informative article. Thanks.
    I use to make idividual slide to make it more attractive. Canva is really easy, quick and perfect for such work.

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