by Adam Noar
Do you know that SlideShare gets over 70 million visitors per month … and of that 80% comes from targeted search!
This indicates that SlideShare is a great opportunity to tremendously raise brand awareness and build a relationship with the right audience.
But, the thing is:
SlideShare is a highly underused. In fact, only 15% of marketers used SlideShare in 2014.
But those that are using SlideShare correctly (i.e., creating SlideShare’s that rock!) are reaping huge rewards. Heck, we’ve gotten over 1 million SlideShare views with only a handful of decks ourselves.
So today we’re going to walk you through all the steps of how to create an awesome SlideShare and get more eyeballs in front of your business.
Let’s get started with a helpful SlideShare creation tips infographic from Salesforce.com that nicely summarizes the tips we are about to share.
Here’s my take on the SlideShare creation tips from the above infographic:
Start with a clear message
First, identify the main message. What do you want your audience to learn? Then, break this message down into its simplest form. As you build out your deck you will want to make sure that all your slides tie into this main message.
Then, work from there to develop your presentation theme. You want something unique that connects with your topic and reflects what makes you, you. The theme should tie in with your message or your concept, or at least complement it. For example, if you’re writing about taxes, you’ll want to avoid an 80’s retro theme.
Create an attention grabbing title
You’ll need to give SlideShare a catchy title. It should follow directly from your main message.
Here’s some examples on the topic of presentations:
- You suck at PowerPoint – by Jesse Dejardins
- 7 Tips to Create Visual Presentations – by Emiland
- Slide Bandits – Your Slides are Being Robbed – by Presentation Panda
Ultimately, it needs to be immediately clear what you’re offering – save the metaphor for the content of the presentation.
Create a captivating deck of slides
Figure out the information you want to convey, and how to make that info flow within a compelling story. Group together the parts of the message that go together, and put it down in the most logical order – like, problem-solution.
Make the slides simple and easy to digest – stats are a great way to get the reader hooked, especially if you’re offering a solution to a prevalent problem. So your first slide could be something like: “80% of people are making pizza the WRONG WAY”. That’s the problem, so follow up with the solution.
Nail your cover slide
Next, we’re gonna go against the grain here and say do judge a SlideShare by its cover – you want your cover to rock because it’s the only thing (besides the title) that’s making people do that click thing with their finger. It should look stylish and include your title, and not much else. Way less is way more here.
This is one of the most important SlideShare strategies for getting views, as people will scroll through and only see your cover before deciding whether or not to click. So make it count!
That sounds simple, but we know it’s not. Stylish – what’s stylish? What’s a good theme? What’s a good color palette?
We knew you were going to ask that, which is why we put together this incredible list for you: The Best SlideShare Cover Slides of 2016. Just scroll through those to see what we liked, why we liked it, and get some inspiration for your soon-to-be masterpiece. This is a treasure trove of our best SlideShare presentation tips, so dive in.
We also have an excellent (you guessed it) SlideShare presentation on color! Check it out here. Color conveys emotion, sets a mood, and makes people feel certain things about you and your brand – make them feel the right things.
Perfect your slide design
Design, design, design! This is really where you want to shine. Spend time brainstorming the image you want to project, because all the design choices you make should reflect that, including color, font, and any graphics.
You should also use it as an opportunity to stay consistent with your brand – make sure to put your logo, URL, and social media channels on your slides. You don’t want it to be obnoxious, but you do want people to be able to find you!
Finally, on your last slide, make sure to include something for people to do (besides click on to the next SlideShare presentation, glazed-eyed and drooling a little). Typically you’ll want them to go to your website to find out more – so tell them to do that if that’s what you want!
Aside from all this stuff you should do, we have a list of things for you to avoid. Check out our presentation on it here, and avoid these common and awful mistakes. You’re ahead of the game already!
We get it. That vast, empty blankness of that slide can be really intimidating. “Less is more,” you think, “so I just won’t put anything.”
It can feel overwhelming to start from nothing, but you can do it! We have some excellent resources to help you out, too. These resources are basically guaranteed to help you find inspiration.
We’ve got a nice little variety on our list:
There’s Note and Point, for well-curated examples that tend towards a design theme. There’s Canva, which has a page dedicated to different layouts you can do. There’s Graphic River, which has tons of awesome PowerPoint templates for sale – not to toot our own horn, but our totally awesome template is on there and you should check it out (toot toot!). And of course, you can always browse around SlideShare itself for examples of what others in the community are doing.
Optimize your SlideShare uploads so people can find them
All of this advice is going to be about how to help people find you. You’ve just spent all this time and effort making an amazing SlideShare presentation – now you want to show off!
If you want a lot of people to find you, you’re going to want to go viral. If you want our in-depth list of tips for how exactly to do that, go feast your eyeballs on this. Not to brag, but we did get 1 million views on SlideShare. No big deal. Not like we’re experts or anything. (But seriously go read about it).
If you want the quick rundown, these are our recommendations:
Transcribe your deck and include your keywords in the transcription
Include SEO keywords that will drive traffic to your presentation; the longer and more specific the better. To help with this, make sure to transcribe your presentation into the notes tab – a lot of your phrases will organically drive traffic too.
Also, don’t forget to make sure your filename is relevant and also conveys the most important information – this will become your URL (and www.slideshare.net/mostboringpresentationever isn’t going to help you out).
Make your SlideShare findable
Continuing on the same theme, there are other strategies you can use to make sure people can find your presentation. First, make sure your settings allow it! If you have anything that is making it private, your SEO words won’t do anything.
You can also use categories to tag your presentation so people can search for those. The more relevant and specific, the better. Also, think about what you would search for if you were looking for your presentation, and add those tags in too.
Keep your audience’s attention
This one is a bit trickier, but SlideShare actually curates content to feature on their homepage – and they could choose you. Yes, you – it’s practically a Cinderella story.
Clearly, this has innumerable benefits. You have a much higher chance of people seeing your stuff, liking your stuff, and following your other stuff. Yay stuff! But how do you get the prince to take you to the ball? In other words, what are the ultimate SlideShare strategies?
Basically, follow all of our advice really, really well:
- Make sure your headline is on point. Say something shocking, indicate that it’s a list that can help them accomplish something or about stuff they simply HAVE to know about. You know what kinds of things make you click on them – model it after that.
- Create the most engaging and innovative cover slide ever. It’s a tall order, but your cover slide should be powerful, eye-catching, and straight to the point.
- Make your slides look awesome. Follow our SlideShare tips from earlier: use a consistent color theme, high-quality images, all that jazz.
- Write stuff that people want to read (and write it well). People are not going to want to feel like they’re reading the fine print on their auto loan. Make it suitable to your topic, but it has to be well-written and interesting.
- Be super clear about your message. Don’t waffle! Save that for breakfast. Get straight to the point and be very clear about what you’re offering.
- Make everyone want to be you. Think of the people who you admire and want to emulate – be like them for someone else.
The presentations that get featured tend to follow all those guidelines, plus be topical, super relevant, or in list format (we do love our listicles).
Be active within the SlideShare community
You want to engage with the community – don’t just throw stuff out there and expect people to come to you. Make sure you’re finding other people that are creating content you like, that interests you, and that’s relevant to your stuff. Then, let them know you like it by following them, liking and commenting on their presentations, and subscribing to their page.
You can also give them a shout out by sharing stuff you really like and embed their content on your site. You’ll want to read and respond to comments, too. It’s all about building a network and supporting the community. These are all ways you can learn how to maximize SlideShare for you and your business.
Measure your performance with analytics
Analytics can help you understand if what you’re doing is working. With analytics, you can look at:
- Total views: who is looking at your stuff?
- Social shares: where is my stuff being shared?
- Top countries: where are my viewers from?
- Top content: what is most popular?
You can also look at actions and traffic sources, too. Actions will tell you how many outbound clicks you’re getting, what presentations are being favorited, what comments you’re getting, who is downloading your presentation and who is sending it to their friends over email.
Traffic sources will tell you how people are finding you – if it’s through social media, searching on Google, within SlideShare itself, from an embedded link, or just a direct link to your site.
All of this works together to tell you where you’re marketing most successfully, and where can use some work. If you’re getting all your views through SlideShare, you know you can really capitalize on that population by focusing on it – but that also tells you that your other platforms aren’t working as well. Change it up, try something new, and see if that gets you the views you’re looking for.
SlideShare can be an awesome tool for your business, and if you use it the right way you can really get a good bang for your buck.
We love to use it not just to host our presentations, but to share tips with other people on the site and connect with the community. We hope this guide to SlideShare was helpful for you and gave you something to shoot for.
What do you use SlideShare for? Have you used it successfully for your business, or do you use it for something else? Tell us about it! Did we skip over something you love? Set us straight!