Posted by randfish
In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, we are going to be discussing how you can use slide decks for web marketing. I’ve been leveraging the power of slide decks for quite some time now and would like to share a little bit about what I have learned.
Please share some of your own tips about using slide decks for SEO, social and content marketing in the comments below. Happy Friday everyone!
Howdy, SEOmoz fans. Welcome to another special edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re talking about slide decks. A lot of folks talk about how different sorts of content can be used, can be powerful on the Web for content marketing, for SEO, for social. Slide decks are a particularly powerful and useful piece and one that I’ve made great use of and I’ve seen used in lots of different spheres. I think it’s actually underpowered, and I think it’s what I’d call underexploited or underused on the Web today, particularly in industries outside of technology.
Slide decks are easy for virtually anyone to see. They’re a simple, powerful way to present content. You can present visual content. You can present charts and graphs. You can even embed video. You can do all sorts of stuff, and they are easy to make possible because you can screen capture elements from all sorts of websites and then quickly show attribution. If I want to say, “Hey everyone, here’s how you do keyword research, and here’s to watch out for the exact match portion in the AdWords tool,” I can screenshot AdWords. I can screenshot the exact match. I can point that out. I can make that very visual and compelling, and I can have a progression that tells the story.
This is a great way to show off not just technical stuff, but anything where there’s photography, where there are visuals, where there’s information that lends itself to a narrative format. This common format that slide decks have, usually PowerPoint, is something that all readers can download and share, and that’s another excellent thing because it gives your content the ability to spread further and wider.
I’d use this in all sorts of places. I recommend using it on the slide sharing platforms, we’ll talk about those, embedding it in content that you’ve got on your site, possibly making specific landing pages for it. If you’re tape recording or videoing audio over it, then what you can do is you can add those in as webinars or viewable video. There are just a lot of options for this type of content.
I wanted to provide some best practices and some tips that we’ve seen. A few things here. Number one, I want to talk about the process. Now, typically, what I recommend if you’re doing a classic slide creation is to create your slide deck, upload it to one of these major services. SlideShare, Scribd or Docstoc, all of them have reasonably good audiences. My favorite right now is SlideShare, and the reason is that it’s relatively easy if you get a decent presentation, get a good presentation, get it some traffic and attention awareness, particularly in the social world, so a lot of tweets, a lot of Facebook shares, a lot of LinkedIn shares. SlideShare will put content that does well on its homepage, and it can be featured and that means a lot more visitors who never would have seen your content otherwise. If you have a compelling title that’s interesting to your particular audience and you’ve got a good first slide that captures the attention and awareness, even in the thumbnail format, you can do really, really well on SlideShare. This is true in Scribd and Docstoc as well.
The other one I recommend is Box.net or Dropbox. You can upload and embed from those services, and remember, you don’t just have to put the slide on these services. You can then embed on a page on your website if you want most of the traffic, the attention awareness, and the experience to be controlled and owned by you. We do this a lot. I’ll upload to SlideShare with one title, and then I’ll create a page on SEOmoz, just a static page, embed the slide there, and you can expand to whatever size you want, and then I’ll make that the URL that’s shared and that works tremendously well.
Once you’ve uploaded, give your presentation publicly, whether that means it’s a webinar that you do online, whether you’re giving it in person. If you’re not going to, you can skip this step. But if you do it, there’s something really, really powerful being in front of even just a small audience, and that is you can do this. Once you start your presentation, say, “Here’s my presentation. I’ve made all the slides available for download at this URL,” and then you make a quick, easy to remember URL. I usually use bit.ly to shorten whatever the URL is so I can say it’s at bit.ly/mytalk or bit.ly/inbound2012 or bit.ly/seoforstartups, and I’ve got a lot of these. This process is phenomenal because what you can actually do is get the audience to be sharing that content right away. Super, super cool.
Now, when you do that, make sure that you don’t just say, “Hey, here’s my URL,” but also say, “If you enjoyed this talk,” so you have it at the start, you finish your presentation, you go to the end slide and you say,
“If you enjoyed this talk, I would love if you shared the presentation download link on social media.” Super cool way to go.
Number three, you can use and reuse the slide on your website or blog in a post on a page through the embed and then invite others who see it there to be able to use the content, but they need to reference back to it. This is a great way to get something we all need – links.
Number four, watch your stats. Watch your stats from your blog post, that kind of thing. Watch your stats on SlideShare Pro if you’re using that. I’ve upgraded to SlideShare Pro so I can kind of see where things go and which presentations perform better, but they’ll show you number of views regardless. From there, you can get a sense of what’s performing well, what’s not performing well. Keep doing the good stuff, not doing the bad stuff, and you can find other people’s presentations and see, “Hey, what’s been really successful for them?”
Finally, a few tips for the slides individually. Number one, link to the content. Let’s say I’ve got a slide here. See how I’ve got the URL below the graphic? That’s what you really want to do, and you want that because that will send a lot of traffic. People were curious like, “Huh, where’s that chart come from? What site information? How can I learn more about that?” Click. Now, they come to your website. Now, you’ve captured them there.
Number two, let your slides do a lot of the storytelling work. If you’re going to use this format, remember that the vast majority of people are not going to be in the audience listening to you as you present. They’re going to be on the Web just looking at these slides, and so that means that you want to do number three, which is if you’ve got some extra narration work, some content that you need to say, let’s say I’ve got a big visual, but I don’t have any context for that, go ahead and put, you can put down here in the slide some text. Upload the version that has the text at the bottom. Present the clean version when you present in person, and this works phenomenally well, because then someone who’s getting the slide will see that in there. They don’t have to listen to any audio. If you can explain the slide in one or two sentences, that’s perfect. Honestly, you shouldn’t usually have slides that take 10 minutes to explain, 5 minutes to explain, a paragraph to explain.
Finally, make sure you have your download URL on the first and last slide of the deck, like I mentioned, because if you do that, you can get people sharing at the start of your talk and people sharing at the end of your talk, and people will always be asking you for that download link. This is a great way to make sure that lots of people are reaching these pages and getting your stuff.
Next week, I would like to talk with you about some of my tips for presentations, tips for building slide decks, tips for delivering presentations, and hopefully that will help. I’m even planning to send that video to the MozCon speakers. Hopefully, it will be some good stuff. Until then, hope to see lots more slide content from you all, and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday.
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