Linkedin SlideShare (SlideShare) is a B2B social media channel for sharing a wide range of genres, including presentations, videos, white papers, e-books, infographics and more. Referred to as ‘the world’s largest professional sharing community’, the channel reached 70 million professionals with 18 million uploads in 40 content categories, ranging from education, technology, government & non-profit, food and more. (Linkedin Slideshare, About us)
The emerging social media channel is one of the few social media channels for B2B integrated marketing communications (IMC) of brands – enhancing pull marketing strategies particularly in SEO (search engine optimization), building brand values and propositions and developing networks with their targeted and business partners.
Who is SlideShare?
Photo source: Utah State University Extention, https://extension.usu.edu/innovate/htm/content-management/slideshare
Backed in 2010, one of founders Rashim shared SlideShare’s vision in an interview with IndiaKnowledge@Wharton, School of Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. ‘SlideShare’s Rashmi Sinha: ‘We Wanted to Reach Millions’. According to Rashim, she and her husband founded SlideShare they wanted ‘to do something that would have much broader impact’. The vision of SlideShare is to turn ‘Powerpoint’, a common business communication tool into ‘social’. Businesses have to develop original content themselves and build up their networks through knowledge sharing. She said SlideShare generates revenue through its ‘wealth of relevant content’, instead of advertising. In other words, the portal is able to quantify the value of content. Using pay-per-click, ‘Linkedin Lead Generation’ allows businesses to insert contact forms in between slides in order to reach their target customers.
Even though SlideShare is catered for business professionals, anyone can access to the portal free-of-charge via their Facebook and Linkedin accounts.
The free access strategy can help businesses to communicate with new customers
Back in 2003 when SlideShare was launched, it had reached 60 million visitors and generated 130 million page views. (Steve Olenski, Forbes.com, SlideShare: The Quiet Giant Of Content Marketing). In 2012, Linkedin, the world’s largest professional network, acquired the company for about $118.75 million. (Linkedin, Press Release, Linkedin to acquire Slideshare)
Photo source: Linkedin SlideShare, http://www.slideshare.net/about/logos)
Jonathan Boutelle wrote in his blog that the founders of SlideShare left the company in 2015 (Jonathan Boutelle, SlideShare: The founders have left the building)
Key features of SlideShare useful for IMC
Companies use IMC in order to develop profitable relationships with their customers through targeted messaging across communication channels and data gathering (Professor Jaclyn Rhoads, MMC5506, Week 2 What is IMC?) Users often use an analogy of ‘Youtube version of Powerpoint’ for SlideShare. In addition to presentations, companies can upload documents, whitepapers, infographics, videos on the portal.
Google will index all SlideShare materials every day in its search engine. Companies can bolster traffic in their slides through adding in title, tags, categories and descriptions in their materials. The ‘discoverability score’ feature can help improve SEO of companies’ content.
Companies can track the performance of the slides including number of clicks of each slides, views, downloads etc.
Companies can also download analytic reports for data analysis.
Firstly, professionals will have their Linkedin or Facebook accounts connected to SlideShare. This encourages two-way communications between comapnies and customers.
Secondly, companies can improve SEO by sharing their materials in social media platforms including Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+ and embed them in their websites and blogs.
Networking with professionals
Companies and business partners and customers can get connected when they ‘Follow’ each other.
Professionals can view all the content in SlideShare via its mobile app.
Statistics show that majority of people outside the U.S. using the app to access to SlideShare. The engagement of users in mobile app is nine times more than desktop. (DMR, By The Numbers: 19 Amazing Slideshare Statistics)
SlideShare strengthens branding
1. SlideShare is pull marketing for businesses
Pull marketing refers to strategies of creating sales of products and services in the interests of customers.(Marketing Schools, What is Pull Marketing) Consumer behaviours change due to the growth of internet and social media. Companies want their customers to seek out products and services by providing them with customer-focused, targeted messaging. As one of the founders of SlideShare Amit Ranjan said the mission of the company is to visualize ‘language of business’ and use content as a medium to connect people with businesses and vice versa.
To achieve this, SlideShare initiate special features to help businesses reach their customers by providing targeted and quality content. These include allowing Google to index all content in SlideShare in search engine and sharing content on social media channels, blogs etc. For example, KPMG, known as one of the ‘big four’ audit and accounting firms in the world, has been uploading a variety of content on the company’s SlideShare in order to help them generate traffic for their website dedicated to their social media feeds.
2. SlideShare complements branding
According to Drew Boyd’s video ‘What is a brand’ in Lydna.com, a brand is ‘a promise to customers’. He talked about five brand processes: brand values, positioning, value proposition, building awareness and measurement. SlideShare is a great tool for companies for branding. Companies can share their industry insights and operational experiences, or being thought leaders to develop brand values. For example, MSL Groups, global communications company, share infographics, documents, presentations and ‘Critical Conversation’ on SlideShare. I was impressed by the company’s e-book of food communications. The visuals of different food products are eye-catching and the content is unique, discussing the trend of communications in food industry.
Presidential candidate of the United States Hillary Clinton also shared videos on SlideShare. (I am not sure if the purpose of opening the portal for Mrs Clinton is for commercial activities. Perhaps she wants to bolster the SEO of her campaign) One of the videos, ‘Trump rooted for the real estate crash’ generated 17,439 views and 16,787 embeds.
I’ve created a prezi to discuss SlideShare is crucial for SEO and branding. Feel free to check this out and leave your comments.
3. Professional networking
SlideShare can leverage Linkedin to share share content within professional networks. Businesses and professionals can seek for quality content in the hub and connect with others by ‘following’ the brands or individuals on SlideShare or through Linkedin. Companies can collect contact information from their potential customers by using ‘Lead form’ function from ‘Lead Generation’. They can send or contact their customers with targeted messaging through different means including email marketing. Some companies wants to leverage their employees’ network, allowing them to share companies’ presentations. For example, IBM allows their employees to share presentations of products, industry trends etc. on SlideShare. (Steve Olenski, Forbes.com, SlideShare: The Quiet Giant Of Content Marketing). This can help companies build their networks from their current employees and reach their targeted customers.
Linkedin SlideShare Help, https://www.linkedin.com/help/slideshare
Linkedin SlideShare, About, http://www.slideshare.net/about
Knowledge@Wharton, The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania, SlideShare’s Rashmi Sinha: ‘We Wanted to Reach Millions’, http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/slideshares-rashmi-sinha-we-wanted-to-reach-millions/
Steve Olenski, Forbes.com, SlideShare: The Quiet Giant Of Content Marketing, http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=http://www.forbes.com/sites/marketshare/2013/02/28/slideshare-the-quiet-giant-of-content-marketing/&refURL=&referrer=#68fe23a4561b
Jonathan Boutelle, jonathanboutelle.com, SlideShare: The founders have left the building, https://jonathanboutelle.com/2015/01/24/slideshare-the-founders-have-left-the-building/
Professor Jaclyn Rhoads, MMC 5006 Introduction to Multimedia Communication, Week 2: What is IMC?
Laura Wallis, Slideshare.net, http://www.slideshare.net/LauraWallis?utm_campaign=profiletracking&utm_medium=sssite&utm_source=ssslideview
Marketing Schools, What is Pull Marketing, http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/pull-marketing.html
Social, KPMG, https://home.kpmg.com/xx/en/home/social.html
MSLGROUP, Slideshare.net, http://www.slideshare.net/mslgroup?utm_campaign=profiletracking&utm_medium=sssite&utm_source=ssslideview
Hillary Clinton, Slideshare.net, http://www.slideshare.net/HillaryClinton?utm_campaign=profiletracking&utm_medium=sssite&utm_source=ssslideview
Johnny, massplanner, SlideShare and Linkedin Marketing: How to Use the Two Platforms to Grow YOur Business, http://www.massplanner.com/slideshare-and-linkedin-marketing-how-to-use-the-two-platforms-to-grow-your-business/
Marguerite McNeal, AMA.org, Stacking the Deck with SlideShare, https://www.ama.org/publications/eNewsletters/B2BMarketing/Pages/stacking-the-deck-with-slideshare.aspx
Leyl Black, Marketing Bootcamp, 5 Strategies for Using SlideShare in Your Marketing, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242168
Lance Brown, WTWH Marketing Lab, 8 Reasons Why SlideShare is Important for Social Media Marketing, http://marketing.wtwhmedia.com/8-reasons-why-slideshare-is-important-for-social-media-marketing/
DMR, By The Numbers: 19 Amazing Slideshare Statistics, http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/slideshare-statistics/
Andri Kristinsson, blog.Linkined.com, Discover the People Behind the Conent on SlideShare Mobile, https://blog.linkedin.com/2014/09/04/slideshare-mobile-update
Kristina Allen, Convince and Convert, Top 5 Slideshare Marketing Tip, http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/top-5-slideshare-marketing-tips/
Drew Boyd, Lydna.com, ‘What is a brand’, https://www.lynda.com/Enterprise-Marketing-tutorials/What-brand/171053/372366-4.html