SlideShare is a social network that allows you to post content in presentation format (e.g. PowerPoint), and can be viewed by the general public. It has an insane Alexa ranking of 121 and boasts 55 million unique monthly visitors with 130 million monthly page views. Or, as SlideShare wonderfully puts it, “that’s like reaching an audience twice the size of Canada.” Unlike any other social network we’ve discussed (other than LinkedIn, who purchased SlideShare), the main demographic of SlideShare is business-to-business. The six most used tags on SlideShare are “business, statistics, social media, market, trends, and research.” Below are some of the reasons behind SlideShare’s immense success.
We recently blogged about the emergence of visual-centric platforms, and SlideShare offers a wonderful balance of images and writing. Success on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine and YouTube often require design and video production resources. SlideShare makes it easy as most of us learned how to make a PowerPoint deck in middle school and many of us already have completed presentations somewhere on our hard drives. All it takes to be successful with SlideShare marketing is to open up PowerPoint and create a slideshow. This allows all of us, no matter our graphics skill level, to become visual sharers and creators of easily digestible content.
Get More Traffic with SlideShare
The search engine optimization (SEO) that SlideShare offers to its users is almost unparalleled. Below we’ll tell you how you to optimize your content on SlideShare for SEO. When you upload your slides, SlideShare pulls text from your presentation for SEO. This means that if you create popular keyword-optimized presentations, people can find you much easier on Google search.
On SlideShare, it is very easy to find similar topics to the one you are currently viewing. Thus, if you use the correct keywords in your presentation title, you have the option for making more impressions by showing up in the window on the right next to the viewed presentation.
When LinkedIn acquired SlideShare (for $119 million), LinkedIn allowed users to add presentations to their profile. This offers multiple benefits. One benefit is the ability to insert a striking visual presentation into your generic LinkedIn profile. Another benefit: the more one’s LinkedIn audience talks about the presentation, the more likely SlideShare is to feature it on its front page. If your presentation makes it to the front page of SlideShare, get ready to see your views increase exponentially.
SlideShare PRO Features
SlideShare PRO accounts start at $16 a month and help to ramp up your SlideShare marketing efforts. The free account offers you the ability to track one presentation, and very limited analytics.
SlideShare allows its premium users to insert forms into their presentations, so that they can see who exactly has downloaded a file. As the author, you can decide when the form is shown. Make your content gated by requiring your viewers to fill out the form (it auto populates if the user is already registered on SlideShare) before being able to view your presentation, or just suggest they fill it out at the middle or end of your presentation. As the marketer, you are able to define the fields you wish to capture (demographics, psychographics, etc.). One negative, however, is that you must download these leads and put them manually into your CRM.
With a paid account, you can find out who is accessing your presentations, who is referring your audience, and which presentations are the most popular with your target market. With an unpaid account, you can still see who is looking at your presentations and where they’re coming from (SlideShare, embedded views or URL). However, silver, gold and platinum accounts offer its users extensive analytics, video uploads, branding and lead capture.
(Statistics on an unpaid account)
Optimizing Your SlideShare Presentations for SEO
The title of your SlideShare presentation is what is pulled up in the search browser, so an informative, concise (70 characters or less) and keyword-optimized title is gold. Use keywords that are relevant to your subject matter like “How to” or “Top 10.” Long-tail keywords still are a great way to gain higher rankings in SEO, so consider using them in your title, presentation or description.
SlideShare enables you to add up to 20 tags. As mentioned above, the top 6 are business, statistics, social media, market, trends, and research. While it’s still unclear if these hashtags factor into your SEO ranking, they will allow people to use the internal search in order to find your content.
SlideShare provides you with a 3,000-character meta-description. However, try to keep the character count low (about 160 characters) and make sure it matches the query and user intent.
While creating your presentation, make sure that you’re using keywords. SlideShare will transcribe your presentation, which is directly translated to SEO. However, SlideShare does not transcribe image text or text in the note fields.
Bonus: SlideShare allows users to add audio to their presentations by using Slidecast.
Including links on slides of your presentation helps with search engine indexing. PM Digital did a great blog post on SlideShare SEO, in which they discovered that hyperlinked URLs are much more successful than anchor texts or a linked object.
The B2B audience present on SlideShare is unparalleled to any other social network (other than LinkedIn). While it is a perfect meshing of visual and textual content, make sure you remember that the more images you use, the less opportunities you have to use text (keywords) that search engines are utilizing in order to rank your presentation. If you’re looking for some more information, check out these top five SlideShare marketing tips by Kristina Allen (@allenkristina).