Content marketing in the B2B world has always a tricky proposition at best — as many of its purveyors will tell you, it’s sometimes counterintuitive and often requires a fairly steep learning curve. SlideShare, which was acquired last year by LinkedIN, has increasingly become a silent titan in this particular niche.
For the uninitiated: SlideShare is a slide hosting service that allows its users to upload presentations formatted as PowerPoint, OpenDocument, PDF or Keynote files. Users can rate the presentations, leave comments, and share content from this platform — allowing for interaction that is highly social and potentially viral (particularly when combined with the site’s widgets and API). And as it grows ever more popular, this platform is changing the face of B2B content marketing. Here are six key ways that it’s doing so.
It’s Gaining Traction in All Corners of the Web
Image via Imgur by SlideShare
According to a fairly recent post on SlideShare’s own blog, the site has had a total of 10 million uploads of presentations since it started in 2007. It attracts 50 million unique visitors per month, with more than 3 billion slide view a month (as SlideShare has observed, that breaks down to 1,000+ slide views per second). The site’s most popular categories encompass a broad spectrum of topics, including business, technology, education, travel, health, and many more.
And its use isn’t confined a single part of the world. surprisingly enough, this platform’s popularity seems to be spread fairly evenly across the globe, with the majority of its uploads coming from Europe (31%), Asia (24%), South America (23%) and the U.S. (19%). Clearly then, the site has the potential to reach every nook and cranny of the Web.
It Yields a Measurable ROI and Solid Lead Generation
SlideShare has a built-in lead capture function, and most B2B marketers will agree it has a high ROI. When users try to download the file for the presentation, it can be set to require them to fill out a short form. The presentation itself can also be formatted to include an interactive contact form (usually on the final slide), which allows users to submit their information on their own volition.
While the quality of leads generated by the latter method is likely higher than former, your presentations are given two crucial points for generating actionable intelligence. This is augmented by the fact that both of these features work in the widget, so you get these opportunities when bloggers embed your presentations into their blogs as well. All of this means that SlideShare is a potent tool for reaching your desired market.
It Has a Professional Audience of Engaged Users
Image via Imgur by SlideShare
The site gets three to five times as much traffic from business owners than other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and yes, even LinkedIN. Given this, it’s a no-brainer that SlideShare is the perfect place to create B2B-targeted content. Many B2B marketers are shifting their content marketing strategies to focus more fully on this platform as a result.
It Helps to Establish Professionals as Thought Leaders
It’s no small task to become recognized as a thought leader in your particular field. You have to cultivate a reputation that’s one part innovator, one part visionary, and one part guru. But perhaps above all else, you have to get people to actually listen to what you’re trying to say.
After all, nobody ever landed a featured spot as a TED speaker without first distinguishing themselves as a thoughtful and interesting orator. As observed in this presentation from financial expert Mark Weinberger, SlideShare is instrumental in helping professionals get invited for public speaking or conferences. This is a crucial step in becoming a true thought leader in your field, and it can also pay off in terms of extra leads, opportunities, and even direct revenues for speaking gigs.
It Takes Existing Presentations & Enhances Them with SEO Features
Image via Imgur by SlideShare
This is one of the more understated ways that SlideShare is revolutionizing B2B content marketing. This feature means you can take your existing presentations (ones you’ve presumably created for purposes of presenting to your internal employees or to clients, etc.) and place them on a highly visible, highly searchable platform. Your presentations’ primary audience will comprise traffic from organic search, social networks, and other SlideShare users (respectively).
The social-network-style interface also allows your slides to be found by users who are already engaged with similar content. Effectively, this dynamic allows you to maximize the potential of your presentations with little more effort than an upload.
It’s Increasingly Replacing White Papers
For all intents and purposes, the traditional white paper has become an antiquated concept. While just a few short years ago, they were all the rage in the B2B marketing sphere, marketers are reporting that they’re increasingly seeing diminishing returnsfrom this once-mighty marketing format. While the new generation of white papers has evolved somewhat to combat this, it’s pretty clear that B2B marketers are turning toward SlideShare more and more.
As a platform, SlideShare is far more dynamic than a white paper could ever hope to be — just check out HubSpot’s list of the 20 Inspiring SlideShare Presentations every Marketer Should See, and you’ll be able to get an idea of the potential it offers. With eye-popping designs, comprehensive takeaways, and well-grounded advice, it’s hard to see how white papers really will be able to compete as the dominate medium in this niche.
At this point, you can probably this platform’s potential for B2B marketers is virtually limitless. If you’re doing content marketing in this field and you aren’t yet utilizing SlideShare to its full potential, then it’s high time to get onboard. After all, it’s changing the complexion of B2B marketing in numerous ways. But assuming you have been using this platform, what have your experiences been with it? In what other ways do you see it changing the game?