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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

6 Business Benefits of Slideshare for PR Pros

By Christina Milanowski, Social Media Director and Account Supervisor at Maccabee Public Relations and co-author of the MaccaPR blog

Slideshare Why you should use it
Document-hosting social media channel Slideshare claims to be the largest community for sharing presentations. But, it's been around for nearly seven years (that's like a century in social media years), why should you care now? Because, my fellow public relations professionals, Slideshare's adoption has not reached its saturation point. Hundreds of Minnesota companies are NOT using Slideshare and missing big benefits. And, did you know the site currently logs 51.6 million monthly visitors? Yes, million!

Many companies are already creating great content in PowerPoint, Word and PDF – or content that can be easily tweaked to be in such a format. By thinking smartly about leveraging Slideshare as a new channel, you can get more miles out of your work – and in highly visual ways that will intrigue your audiences.

6 Benefits of the Often Overlooked Social Media Site, Slideshare

Slideshare Benefit #1: Rock at SEO!
Slideshare is an SEO powerhouse that we know from Brant Skogrand's recent MN PR blog post is an increasingly important focus area for PR pros. Slideshare can generate tons of referral traffic – from the link on your business channel to the links embedded in the document itself or descriptor box below it. It’s great for search, too. Slideshare auto-transcribes your entire document and puts the text just underneath it. This is genius for your keyword optimization practices! Plus, housing a document on Slideshare gives your company another robust result in Google (or Bing or Yahoo!) searches.

Slideshare Benefit #2: Amp Up Thought Leaders and Speakers' Profiles
We often recommend Slideshare to clients to augment speaking opportunities and thought leadership strategies. Has your CEO spoken to a trade or business group recently? To leverage that content and position him or her as a go-to expert, post the entire presentation to Slideshare (you can redact certain sections, if need be). Below, for example, well-known PR man Blois Olson shared his speech, tagged with the appropriate keywords. From this, Blois can expect to receive more traffic to his homepage (that’s linked to in his profile). And, the hidden bonus of housing his speech online is that he can share it more easily with interested parties. Speakers might also expect to receive comments, allowing them to connect with their audiences, get new ideas, and craft better presentations, ultimately leading to more speaking gigs.

Slideshare Benefit #3: Promote Your Content Marketing Strategy
Just as LinkedIn is more than resumes and job-hunting, Slideshare is more than just a document hosting service. Infuse Slideshare into your content marketing strategy to help publish and promote the content that you're already sharing via articles, white papers, blog posts, downloadable content… For example, when our agency's content marketing campaign was slow to generate new leads, we reinvigorated it by turning our downloadable content (a LinkedIn Marketing infographic) into a PowerPoint and posted it on Slideshare. It has since received 800 views and directed more traffic – and new leads – to Maccabee.

Slideshare Benefit #4: Maximize Your LinkedIn Potential
SlideShare is an approved provider for posting work samples on your LinkedIn profile. Currently, most LinkedIn users can house of-interest documents on their profiles with Slideshare, Prezi and Scribd. The feature, that is rolling out to everyone over time, allows you to display your Slideshare content in full color on a LinkedIn personal page, which could include yours or that of key staff. See how a MaccaPR blog recap document is displayed on my LinkedIn profile (bottom right) by simply adding a Slideshare link to it.

Slideshare Benefit #5: Use It as a Search Tool 
Think of Slideshare as a sort-of Google, but expect even more robust, list-based content. A search for "public relations" turns up more than 463,000 results! "[Slideshare is] also one of the best resources in terms of pure content," local PR pro Arik Hanson noted in his past blog post about great Slideshare presentations. "Go search Slideshare sometime for a particular topic–it’s full of decks from great minds across the world."

Slideshare Benefit #6: It's Highly Measurable!
Slideshare allows easy access to see how your branded content is performing. Measure Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest shares, document views, Slideshare likes, comments and embed totals, plus you can gauge your influence by the new followers and number of downloads is receiving. You can also analyze how much traffic your website receives from Slideshare by reviewing your site analytics. Below, check out the stellar metrics from the Content Marketing Institute's February posting.

6 Ways to Get Started On Slideshare 

In sum, Minnesota's PR pros should look twice at Slideshare as a social media channel. For its ability to measurably benefit your SEO, corporate/expert thought leadership, content marketing and LinkedIn strategies, it should not be overlooked. So, are you ready to get started? Here are a few ideas…
  1. Learn from the many corporations, nonprofits, colleges and governmental organizations are already actively posting and using Slideshare. Dive in by reviewing profiles and content. 
  2. Set up a Slideshare profile for the company you're working for and complete it with a company description, location, industry, homepage link, social channel links, and full-color logo. 
  3. Get your feet wet by uploading a PowerPoint, PDF or Word document (here are Tips For Preparing Your Slideshare Presentations). 
  4. Stay social, as Marcus Holt suggests in his MN PR blog post! Follow other people on the site and share, comment or 'like' interesting presentations that you stumble upon.
  5. Search the wide world of Slideshare content for future research projects. 
  6. Add Slideshare to your upcoming PR and marketing projects. 
I welcome your feedback in the comments section. In fact, I'd love to hear how YOU use Slideshare and how you've seen it done well.

- Christina Milanowski

P.S. Thanks to Ryan May for allowing me this opportunity to talk social with you! Here's hoping he is enjoying his much-deserved summer vacation.