5 Steps for Slideshare Success

By Monica SmithJuly 21, 2015

When it comes to content marketing, is your B2B brand taking advantage of all the best social sharing options? You may think the answer is yes—chances are you’re already blogging and maintaining a constant flow of branded material across social channels. But if Slideshare isn’t part of that repertoire, you could be missing out on a big opportunity.

Slideshare, a social sharing site where users can post and view slide presentations, has been dubbed “The Quiet Giant of Content Marketing,” with brands rarely investing the same degree of time and effort that they reserve for other content marketing efforts.

So why should your brand bother? For starters, Slideshare gets more than 70 million unique monthly visitors. That’s a ton of a traffic, and Slideshare’s primary demographic is business professionals seeking high-caliber, work-related content. In addition to helping build your brand’s thought leadership, a well made Slideshare deck can earn thousands of shares, yielding more traffic to your website, better search engine rankings, and new followers and email subscribers. Here are five steps for developing a successful SlideShare presentation:

  1. Content Comes FirstMuch like composing a knockout infographic, or any other piece of marketing collateral, content must come first. Keep your intended audience in mind and focus on providing valuable insights as simply as possible. “How To” slide decks are particularly successful. Get your point across quickly and concisely—the average SlideShare presentation has only 14 slides with each slide containing fewer than 25 words.

    To make sure you’re not going overboard on verbiage, remember the oft-ignored golden rule of PowerPoint: one idea per slide. And no, that does not mean one main idea, seven supporting sub-bullets and two additional paragraph-long concepts with coinciding diagrams. It means just one impactful sentence.

  2. Design Share-worthy Slides
    Strong visuals are essential to attract viewers and combat dwindling online attention spans. The quality of your photographs, graphics and overall design will drastically impact the success of your Slideshare presentation, including whether viewers are engaged enough to click through to the next slide and whether they’re willing to share your presentation. Nowhere is this more important than the cover slide, which dictates whether viewers will take the gamble of opening your deck at all.For visually stunning slides, use big, bold, high quality images. If your brand doesn’t have access to original photography, try Unsplash for gorgeous free stock photos. Alternatively, skip the photos and use graphic design or hand illustration to achieve your desired visual effect.

    Next, entice viewers with eye-catching typography. Ditch the standard Powerpoint fonts and seek out two to three typefaces that support your topic and message. Great looking slides are the goal, but readability is still key: keep font sizes large and use discretion with handwriting- and script-style fonts to ensure the type is clearly legible.

  3. Pay Attention to Format
    Whether you’re building your deck with PowerPoint, KeyNote or design software, make your slides 1024 pixels wide by 768 pixels tall to ensure that your content will fill all the available space without any awkward margins.Unless your deck includes videos, be sure to export and upload it to Slideshare as a PDF. This format is your best bet in terms of preserving fonts and image quality and it allows you to embed links—a great way to send viewers to your website, social sites, or related content.
  4. Optimize and Share
    Once you’ve successfully uploaded your presentation, take two more minutes to fill in the SEO fields. No really. Seriously. Just fill them out. It’s tempting to skip this step but a detailed description and relevant keywords are crucial for helping viewers find your content.While keywords and a strong title will promote organic viewership through the Slideshare platform, the best way to ensure your presentation gets the eyes it deserves is to promote your content through social media. Link to your presentation on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and any other social channels your company employs.
  5. Continue the Conversation
    Though it can be tempting to sit back and relax, there’s one more step if you really want to get the most out of your Slideshare deck. Because you’ve chosen an interesting topic and crafted your deck using the best practices above, your presentation may well elicit feedback.Capitalize on this attention by engaging with your audience to the fullest extent possible. Answer questions, say thank you to compliments, take note of suggestions and offer additional resources and information to those who appear genuinely interested. People you respond to will have a positive view of your brand and be that much more likely to follow you and recommend your content to their networks. Success!