SlideShare is a platform that truly made an impact in the online world since day one. It filled a gaping hole in digital technology by becoming the first presentation sharing website – something that content marketers, educators, professionals, and even students need. Today, it has grown into such a big community and is now catering to over 60 million unique visitors each month. Despite its enormous audience, 85% of content marketers do not use SlideShare. You want to be among the 15% that capitalizes the ability to promote presentations online and establish an authoritative image. Aside from sharing presentations, SlideShare is also packed with features that can help you make the most out of the platform. One of the most useful is the built-in analytics dashboard which allows you to measure performance, collect insights, and identify where your ideal audience is coming from. You can also integrate lead capture forms within your presentation to build a following as you go. There’s a lot more to discover about SlideShare that can fill an entire article, but it is best to leave it for another post. Instead, you can refer to this infographic from Infobrandz that does an excellent job in outlining its benefits. Without further ado, here are five ways to maximize your success with SlideShare. #1. Maximize Visual Content Always remember that SlideShare is a visual platform. It is not meant for blogging or news sharing, so you should avoid creating bland and flat-out dull slides that contain nothing but text. Focus on creating a compelling visual experience that captivates your audience right from the cover slide. To keep your audience engaged, you should include powerful visual elements such as infographics and videos. Whether you want a professional presentation or a humorous one, you should set the tone from the first slide and be consistent with it. However, remember that the visual aspect of slideshows is only there to keep the audience focused. Charts and graphs can be useful for organizing data, making it more readable. However, to maximize the value of your presentations, you also need to focus on the text aspect, which leads to the next point. #2. Focus on a “Story.” Many presentations fail in delivering an experience that flows and makes sense. Take advantage of a presentation’s linear format to control the pace of communication. See it as a “story” with all the necessary parts – the beginning, conflict, pivotal point, climax, and a strong conclusion. If you are trying to tell a story, then you should structure your presentation like one. Do not unveil the climax right off the bat and build your audience up first. For example, start by stating a problem and then use another slide to emphasize the consequences. You should also make things clear and avoid confusing your audience with fluff. Remember that you do not have a slide real estate at your disposal, as the ideal length of a presentation is only around 8-15 slides. #3. Focus on Your Audience In addition to focusing on a specific topic, your entire presentation should also focus on a specific audience. Make sure your content is aligned to their journeys and can help them with what they are trying to achieve. For example, if you are trying to promote a product, focus on the problem of your customers instead of your brand. Avoid sounding too sales and offer practical tips on how they can deal with their problems. An excellent strategy to improve the user experience is to provide links to relevant resources. You should also link to valid sources when including statistical data to improve the authority of your content. Make sure that by the time your audience finishes the presentation; they’ve learned something actionable. Moreover, as a marketer, it is your job to push them into taking action (preferably with your brand) using one of the most important elements in presentations. #4. Include a Call-to-Action Remember that your ultimate goal with your presentations is to gather leads. Of course, branding your presentation and getting approval from the audience you’ve helped can benefit your image, but you also need to be ROI-oriented and optimize for bigger gains. In this case, you need to include at least one call-to-action or CTA that can lead your audience to a relevant landing page. CTAs can ensure your audience get real results with the information they’ve learned. This completes the entire experience for them and cements your credibility as an information provider. To add a CTA, you can directly embed the link within the slideshow or use SlideShare’s Lead Generation tool. With this, you can customize lead form questions and identify where it appears. Finding the ideal position for your lead capture form, however, requires some planning. While adding it near the end of the presentation makes it less likely to be seen, adding it early on (not on the first three slides) means your audience may not be engaged enough to take action. So if you are planning to include the form within the presentation, try to find the middle-ground where you’ve already established the key points and provided substantial information. Alternatively, you can add the capture form at the very end of your presentation or once the audience hits the download button. The advantage of this is that the form will be exposed to those who are highly interested in what you have to offer since they went through your entire presentation. This means they are stronger leads with higher chances of being paying customers. Just remember that this approach is more reliant on the quality of your presentation. #5. Have Promotion Strategies Finally, you need to take the extra steps that will increase the discoverability of your presentation. A good start would be to leverage your reach in social media and professional networks such as LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. It is also a good idea to promote it on your blog or in your mailing list. When promoting SlideShare presentations, you cannot ignore optimizing for search engines. Be sure your title, meta description, content, and filename are all keyword-oriented. For the title, remember to keep it around 50-60 characters long, so it appears correctly in SERPs, increasing the overall click-through rate. Building links to your presentation is also a reliable strategy to improve its search engine placement. However, this requires a full-blown link-building strategy that includes content development, blogger outreach, and so on. To improve the discoverability of your presentation within SlideShare’s search engine, make sure you use the right tags. You can use up to 20 tags for each presentation. Just remember to use the ones that are relevant to your content. Conclusion SlideShare presentations are powerful assets that every marketer should have under their tool belt. With the right strategies, it can provide your audience a genuinely engaging, educational, and actionable experience – making your brand one step closer to thought leadership and an authoritative image. ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. 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