Online marketers like (as in "enjoy") different social media for different reasons. Oddly, SlideShare, which has been around for just six years and was recently acquired by LinkedIn, doesn't make all that many "must-have" lists.
It should. SlideShare rocks.
According to their own press release, SlideShare helps professionals discover people through content, and content through people. I'll vouch for that because this is indeed the experience I've had with the service. In fact, I have a fairly long list of reasons why SlideShare means business.
On most social media, you're bound to find users of all shapes and sizes, including of course, a massive teen set who mostly have found a new sandbox to play in. Such is not the case with SlideShare. It gets 60 million visitors a month from a highly professional audience. In fact, it gets 3, 4, even 5 times as much traffic from business owners as compared to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. (See the "Quiet Giant" infographic here.)
Online marketers come at return on investment from many different angles and frankly, it's not a debate I tune into closely. That said, most B2B marketers agree SlideShare, which offers lead capture functionality, delivers a healthy and easily measurable return on investment.
Graduating from the free version to SlideShare Pro enables you to generate leads for your business with your presentations, documents and videos. You can even do a small amount of customization to your inquiry and choose some options to best fit your needs and style.
Also, as part of its $19/month Pro version, SlideShare provides an analytics dashboard. And though that might sound like no big deal, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how simple, straightforward and useful the data actually is. At a quick glance you can learn where your traffic came from, keywords used to find your content, see if and how your stuff was shared, and so forth.
Sorry. I don't mean to get all geeky here, but it would be unfair not to point out SlideShare easily integrates into marketing automation and CRM systems. Also, with just a couple of clicks you can embed your SlideShare channel into your LinkedIn profile page. I'll show you mine (if you show me yours-or not).
Like YouTube, SlideShare makes it remarkably simple to embed your documents inside your website and blog. It's a copy and paste operation. And it looks like this:
While all social media is essentially about sharing content, by its definition, SlideShare is focused on sharing marketing content. Its purpose is for engaging potential customers. In my mind, if content marketing ranks in your company, you should be using SlideShare. The presentation I put up this week (21 Ways to Attract Customers with Magnetic Content) was viewed over 500 times on day one earning it a spot on SlideShare's front page showcase of popular content.
SlideShare leverages search engines. The entire content of your slideshow is indexed and can show up in search results.
Anything you upload can be downloaded by your visitors. Or not. You can turn the download feature on or off for each piece of content.
Okay, so you shouldn't believe everything you read, and clearly, the proliferation of social media forces you to do some serious "truth" filtering and fact checking. However, in my opinion, SlideShare users generally deliver credible content.
$19 a month. Agree to a longer term and the fees are even lower. Seems like a no-brainer if you're able to capture leads with your SlideShare content.
Your SlideShare presentations can include YouTube videos or you can upload video directly.
When you go Pro, SlideShare removes ads and offers you the ability to customize the look of your page. Here's a nice example from Pew Internet. Your SlideShare profile can also include links to your website and social media accounts.
SlideShare keeps you informed by offering a variety of email preferences allowing you to receive notifications for the precise activities you care to know about. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a couple of alerts via email informing me my presentation was featured on SlideShare's "Popular on Twitter" and "Popular on LinkedIn" channels.
Get this: I had some questions about the features offered in the paid versions of SlideShare. I picked up the phone and called and a real live person answered the call and stayed on the line with me until all my questions were answered. And there was no bill for this rare service. Plus, if you contact them via their form, they get back to you within a day. Look, they promise.
Do you have any questions?
Please ask. I'll do my best to help you understand SlideShare and the many reasons why I think you should take it seriously.