7 Tips To Create Captivating SlideShare Decks To Attract Customers

Do you need to revive your SlideShare decks to make them more engaging? Are you thinking about repackaging your conferences, meetings and unique ideas into SlideShare decks, but not sure where to start?

Here are 7 tips to create captivating SlideShare decks to grow your audience and attract potential customers to you.

SlideShare is the hub to the world’s largest business content sharing community. It has a unique audience compared to other social sites used in content marketing. Knowing your audience’s core desires and business challenges is always the first step to creating relevant and useful content regardless of the format.

Many of you are already communicating your ideas through PowerPoint or Keynote presentations, but they’re simply filed away. It’s time to dust them off and tweak them for new SlideShare decks. These tips will give you ideas to create, recreate, and optimize your presentations.

Here are the 7 tips.

The 7 Tips

Experiment with these tips and find out what will connect with your target audience. I hope they inspire you to do something completely different.

I’ve studied dozens of SlideShare presentations and tips from creators before I jumped in. I don’t believe there is just one process for success. Many factors are involved of which design and content are just two of the ingredients. If you’re not getting the results you expect, adjust your approach and try new tips.

1. Homework First, Topic Second

In the Education category, Fit Small Business has created over 100 SlideShare decks in 8 months, with over 260,000 views. Here is their latest deck.

Most of the decks created by Fit Small Business are from longer articles and typically have 25 slides. They average three new SlideShare decks a week. The main way they distribute them is by embedding them into the relevant blog posts. This allows people to get more details and guides them through their content. Be sure to check them out!

Fit Small Business SlideShare

Homework

Fit Small Business suggested to ask yourself three questions:

  1. What is your target audience interested in reading about?
    This is the key question. What topics do your potential customers want to know more about? What questions are not being answered? Simply give them what they want.
  2. Do you have the ability to produce content that is better than the competition and will stand out from what is already out there?
    What unique insights can you add to make your content rise above the rest?
  3. Is this an area strategic to your business?
    What is the purpose of your content?
    I’m going to add one more:
  4. What action do you want your audience to take (the call to action)?
    What do you want your audience to do after they view your content. Your call to action can easily be created in the slide deck.Don’t be over promotional. Keep it to the last slide. Or try adding one towards the beginning of the deck, AFTER you tell readers what they will discover in your SlideShare.Be sure to place it after the third slide in the deck to maintain the link to your landing page or site. SlideShare removes hyperlinks in the first three slides. They put the needs of the user first.

SlideShare’s mission prioritizes three things:

  • Find content
  • Upload and share insights
  • Market content wider and smarter

SlideShare's Mission

Topic

Ok, now pick the topics. But choose topics that make people think.

Trigger emotions and tell a story about what’s possible or what challenges people are experiencing.
Inform with well-researched facts, emerging trends, or interview highlights.
Spark interest through breaking news, product comparisons, how-to tips, or hot # list decks.
Tap into curiosity and summarize a live event, webinar or even a case study.
Entertain and share quotes, funny stories, and metaphors. 

2. Pick the Content Type

SlideShare currently allows you to import four types of content:

  1. Presentations
  2. Infographics
  3. Documents
  4. Videos

See the SlideShare FAQ for the complete list of supported file formats and video codecs. In this article, we will focus on presentations or slide decks.

Keep in mind you can repackage your content into each of these four types. You will be able to reach more people, see which one gets the most exposure, and which one produces the most leads. Test different formats, titles, and even cover designs.

For example, check out the SlideShare infographic below created by SlideShare Content Marketing.

SlideShare then decided to repackage The Quiet Giant infographic into a deck of SlideShare slides.

After reviewing the analytics the infographic beat the deck in all areas. It had:

  • 1.2x more views
  • 3.5x as many shares
  • 10.7x as may comments
  • 2.4x as many likes

The advantage to using a slide deck is that you can incorporate a call to action right into a slide for easy access. Below is the call to action that SlideShare Content Marketing added to their deck.

The Quiet Giant Call To Action

They uploaded The Quiet Giant on November 8, 2011. I discovered it late September 2014, and it had 110,333 views.

The Quiet Giant Sept 2014

Three weeks later, see below, the views reached 128,208. That’s 17,875 more views in a just three weeks and 932 more embeds into other blogs and websites.

The Quiet Giant Oct 2014

Remember the upload is just shy of three years old and is still going strong. How’s that for the life of a piece of content. It’s the result of good content marketing. Which leads me to the next tip.

3. Think About “The Life of a SlideShare”

Just because your presentation didn’t have the stats you had hoped for don’t give up. If you picked a trending or enduring topic, be patient. Many presentations pick up speed again after a few years if your topic trends, and through embeds on blogs and websites, which can take time. The embeds are automatically tracked by SlideShare as you saw in The Quiet Giant infographic.

If your SlideShare was a big hit, there’s a good chance it could take off again.

One idea to catch the wave is to advertise your SlideShare at conferences and live events. I discovered a fascinating blog post on Bamboo Innovator by Ross Mayfield on the most viral decks on SlideShare. Check out his SlideShare called Viral Waves.

The number one spot was taken by Internet Trends 2013, a SlideShare by Mary Meeker of Kleinier Perkins Caufield & Byers in the Technology category. It snagged 1 million views in four days after it was delivered at the D11 Conference. It also received loads of press and blog embeds.

Currently it has over 3,263,092 views.

4. Tell a Short Story

Don’t think typical PowerPoint presentations. Tell a story instead. Craft as few words as possible to get your message across while selecting colorful images or graphics to stir the imagination. They’re memorable and get to the big idea fast and easy.

Check out this deck by Slides That Rock.

5. Get Found: Think Search

How are people finding content to share?

Just like your website and blog, what keywords and phrases are people searching for on your topic? Which ones will you use to help them find your SlideShares?

When you upload Slideshare content, the text is automatically transcribed to make it easy for search engines to find it. SlideShare content is often featured in Google’s organic search results.

This is a glimpse of the upload process:

  • First, go to Explore to pick the key category that fits your content and your expertise. There are 39 options to choose from. Some of the most popular categories are Business, Marketing, Technology, Education and Travel.SlideShare Explore
  • After you upload your content, you can edit three options to help people discover it.
    1. Optimize the title by adding keywords or long-tail keywords/phrases that people type into search engines. Try adding them at the beginning of the title if it makes sense.
    2. Write a good, informative description of your content. Be sure to integrate relevant keywords, but don’t over do it.
    3. Add up to 20 tags relevant to your topic and content so people can easily find it in the SlideShare search.

    Also include keyword phrases in your slides.

    There are several others factors to consider. For more details about search and ways to use SlideShare in your daily work environment, check out these resources:

    Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz recommends including presentations in content marketing and SEO strategy on SlideShare’s Blog. Rand Fishkin is the founder and CEO of SEOmoz, a search optimization and social monitoring software company.

    8 Ways to Get the Biggest Marketing Bang Out of SlideShare
    , by Joe Chernov, VP of content for HubSpot. It’s a post from 2012 but loaded with great tips.

    6 SEO Steps for Successful Content Marketing Using SlideShare’s Secret Search Sauce
    , by Mark Sherbin contributor at CMI.

    A Tip from Mark Sherbin’s Article:
    Create short blog posts around new SlideShare presentations you have created, and embed those presentations into the posts themselves. If you convert older blog posts into SlideShare presentations, make sure you go back into those posts and update them with the SlideShare embed too.

    Other Tips:
    Embedding your SlideShares in blogs and sites drives more traffic to your deck and gives you a higher ranking in SlideShare.
    You can also embed your SlideShare into your landing pages to make them more engaging.

6. Make Your Title Slide Eye-Catching

The first thing your audience sees will be the thumbnail of the title slide which is page one. Make sure it gets noticed by adding the following tips.

  • Craft a Snappy or Informational TitleThe title is usually the first thing that grabs your audience’s attention. Craft a title that has the best chance to attract them. Research the keywords and keyword phrases your audience would use to find content on your topic.Come up with several titles. You can always test them to see which one gets more traction. The same goes with the cover page, which is next.
  • Create an Easy on the Eye Design
    A captivating image, an interesting graphic, or an easy on the eye design can all make your presentation standout. Study the content in the Most Popular and the Editor’s Pick categories to see what content is trending. Is it the sleek designs, captivating images, great titles, or is it the creators of the SlideShares who have a big audience?Speaking of audience, what would captivate your ideal viewers? In the case of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2013 deck, it did not have an eye-catching cover, but the title was clear. It was also filled with interesting trends and introduced at a big conference that got loads of press and blog embeds to make it viral. All without a captivating cover. See what works for you.

7. Brand Your Design

Be sure to make your brand part of your design. You want people to view your slide decks and identify with your company.

  • Pick a color scheme of 2-3 main colors, or use your brand colors.If you break out different categories in your presentation choose a color for each category. You can also use color to highlight specific words. Just be consistent in all your SlideShare decks.
  • Create a simple and easy to scan design.
    Check out this SlideShare. It was listed on Today’s Top SlideShares and hits all the major points. It has a snappy list title, 20 Small Acts of Kindness and an eye catching cover.  It also has a simple, easy on the eye design. Check out page three to see the details.

  • Don’t use fonts that everyone else is using.
    Choose unique Fonts that stand out. It’s more interesting. Pick two, and use one to emphasize a word or a thought. A bold but pleasing font can stand out without having to use an image. Add a color for emphasis, as in the SlideShare, Slides That Rock.TIP: Be sure to save the powerpoint deck as a PDF and then upload it to SlideShare to maintain the layout and the fonts you select. Otherwise, the fonts may be substituted and the layout altered.

  • Use a contrasting background color to the font color in the slide. This makes it easier to read the text at a glance.
  • Brand each slide with your logo. Keep it small and out of the way.
  • Now for the number of slides … I’ve seen, keep it short, up to 25 slides. Others say, up to around 60 slides. I think it depends on your design and the story you tell. Remember Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2013 deck had 117 slides and it was the most viral presentation on SlideShare.

Finally …

  • Find Extraordinary Images
    SlideShare is a visual medium. Images, charts, diagrams, and drawings are critical to using SlideShare and getting the best results. People expect to see creative images and graphics that help to quickly tell the story.As Dan Roam explains in Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations, “Extraordinary things happen when adding pictures.” Pictures play with our imagination, stir our emotions, and make things more believable.Use behind the scene photos, original snap shots, or unusual stock photos. Don’t use the most popular stock photography shots that everyone else uses. Be original.Check out this awesome image-filled SlideShare called Why Content Marketing Fails by Rand Fishkin, the co-founder and Wizard at MOZ. You’ll see killer, authentic photos that make the presentation sing.Why Content Marketing Fails

Here is a list of a few sites to find unique images and many are free. Look beyond the first
few pages of images for the real gems.

If you need help with images or the design, go get it. It will be worth the investment. Remember your content can catch a wave and live on for years in SlideShare.

Summary of Captivating SlideShare Decks

SlideShare is an essential tool for many businesses. It’s a place to visually show and tell your story and capture an already engaged audience of over 60 million unique visitors a month.

Your content and your brand will endure a long life cycle at SlideShare. You have the opportunity to get constant exposure, shares, and referral traffic, along with the ability to drive traffic to your home base to generate leads.

Experiment with these 7 Tips to Create Captivating SlideShare Decks. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. We all do. Adjust and improve.

  1. Homework First, Topic Second
  2. Pick the Content Type
  3. Think About “The Life of a SlideShare”
  4. Tell a Short Story
  5. Get Found: Think Search
  6. Create an Eye-Catching Title Slide
  7. Brand Your Design

Use these seven tips to create new decks; repackage your interviews, whitepapers, blog posts, and other content; or optimize your existing presentations into captivating SlideShare decks.

Use the resources in this article and dig deeper. Imagine and create your own ideas for SlideShare decks that become viral.

There is still a lot to learn and great potential in using SlideShare for your content marketing. Treat it like other social networks you use in building a community and following other experts. If you need more help with SlideShare hop on over to their blog. They have loads of information on creating and using SlideShare content for your business.

Are you using SlideShare in your content marketing toolbox?
Do you have other tips to share from your own experience?
Connect with me on Twitter @DebMonfette.

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