Back in February 2013, Forbes published an article that proclaimed SlideShare as the "quiet giant of content marketing." However, a large number of marketers and advertisers seem to be under-utilizing the platform; either because they're unconvinced at the its effectiveness or because they simply don't understand how to use it. But whatever their reasons, failing to use this platform to its full potential means missing out on a ton of opportunities.
This is particularly true for content marketers working in the B2B sector. As it gets more and more popular, it's becoming clear that SlideShare is revolutionizing B2B content marketing. Following is a list of four key ways it's doing so.
Better Returns than White Papers
For many B2B marketers, white papers are a crucial part of the marketing arsenal. After all, more than 4/5 of buyers used a white paper as part of making a buying decision. But while they were incredibly popular in years past, white papers are declining in effectiveness due to factors like marketing overload, readers' shortening attention spans, or simple lack of personalization. Although the latest versions of white papers are changing to respond to this (interactive white papers are an excellent example), B2B marketers are increasingly using SlideShare to reach a broader base of customers.
In many ways, this platform has a wider potentiality for its various applications. See this list of inspiring Slideshare presentations for a glimpse at SlideShare's capabilities. After checking it out, one thing should be clear: White papers can't really compete with the cool designs and user-friendly interfaces.
Image via Flickr by The Daring Librarian
Since the site was created in 2007, SlideShare has had more than 10 million presentation uploads, drawing 50 million visitors and 3 billion views a month. The platform has a worldwide user-base, with most of its uploads coming from Europe, Asia, South America and the United States. Considering these possibilities of worldwide visibility, this means that your SlideShare content could have a very far reach indeed.
Higher Lead Generation & ROI
In many ways, the platform is a B2B content marketer's dream due to its formidable capabilities. Not only does it have native lead-capure features that yield an excellent ROI when done correctly. These presentations allow marketers to leverage content downloads to collect contact information from users. The slides can also be designed to collect this content information directly, usually via the final slide in the presentation.
This means that presentations offer two different opportunities to generate leads, whether you want your presentations' users to purchase your services or order Verizon Internet. These features also work in the platform's api / widget, so you'll also be able to get leads generated from other sites where your presentations have been embedded. Clearly, then, SlideShare is a powerful platform for B2B marketing.
Becoming known as a thought leader is a major asset in the marketing world. It's a key asset for building up your business by allowing you to raise your visibility, establish credibility and increase brand loyalty among potential clients and customers. But in order to reach this point, you have to craft a persona that carries a great deal of authority; you also have to get people to hear your message.
If you make the right moves, though, you'll be able to stand apart as a sough-after expert for high-level speaking engagements. To this end, the SlideShare platform naturally lends itself to establishing marketers and positioning them as thought leaders. A well-done SlideShare shows that you've mastered the six pillars of a successful thought leadership strategy: It's essentially an idea-dissemination engine that allows you to demonstrate that you've done the research and are capable of developing ideas that have traction.
So you're working in the B2B content marketing field, but you aren't using SlideShare yet (or if you're failing to use it to its maximum potential), then you'll probably want to rethink your tactics. It's clearly altering the face of the B2B world in countless different ways. Now it's time to have your say: Are you using SlideShare for your own B2B outreach efforts? What kind of tips do you have for using it, and do you agree it's an important strategy to pursue?