YouTube for presentations. That’s how I’ve most often explained SlideShare to people when asked about the site. However, some new business-focused enhancements make it a much more useful marketing tool, IMHO.
For those of us in the corporate world that seems to live and die by PowerPoint, SlideShare presents a great opportunity to make those decks our organization is so good a producing available to a wide audience for viewing and sharing. And, according to an article today in eMarketer, Americans want brands that inform them.
I opened my SlideShare account two years ago when I was being asked to speak about bringing Dell into the virtual world of Second Life. Around that same time I opened an account for Dell that is now managed by the Corporate Communications team.
However, as my speaking opportunities have become fewer and farther between, I began to visit the site less often and am now discovering that I’ve missed out on many enhancements! And, I’m not just talking about the cool viral metrics they now show on their home page for what presentations are “Hot on Facebook” and “Hot on Twitter.”
What led me to revisit what you can do with SlideShare was a combination of hearing talk about their new SlideShare Business services and my own snide remark on Twitter about someone else’s presentation on SlideShare.
On October 12, I followed a link to a WOMMA presentation regarding the FTC’s new guidelines for bloggers. I began clicking through the slides manually as I’d always done with SlideShare presentations before and found every other slide to be a duplicate. To which I dashed off this tweet: “ok, i know repetition is good 4 memory & this slide show probably sounded better w/a speaker talking 2 it, but really? http://womma.org/diresta…”
I then filed in my mind an idea for a post here about what not to do with presentations on SlideShare and expected to use that presentation as my prime example. I intended to point out how presentations that might make sense when you were speaking to them needed to be edited for an audience that can’t hear you before you post them to SlideShare.
Well … it’s a good thing I usually think longer about and do more research for my blog posts than I do my microblog tweets.
The first time I looked at it, I had not noticed the little yellow triangle in the top left corner of the presentation that told me it was a Slidecast.
Slidecasting, it turns out, is a new multimedia option on SlideShare for viewing slide decks synchronized with an audio file. It allows you to take slides and audio and link them together using SlideShare’s free, web based interface. You currently have to find your own host for the audio file, but SlideShare says they may host those in the future, too.
While the visuals remained a bit boring, listening to someone narrate the slides made them much more impactful than silent viewing had done. There’s a lot of potential here, I think, to reach your online audiences! Wouldn’t be surprised, too, if the audio hosting might be SlideShare’s next line of revenue.
A couple of their first revenue-generating options are the other new features that I think makes SlideShare an even better tool for businesses – especially small business on tight budgets: LeadShare and AdShare. They group them together under a title of SlideShare Business and explain it with this presentation:
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You only pay for LeadShare if you collect a lead, and you only pay for AdShare if you get a click. And the cost of those payments is more than reasonable for small and medium businesses – much less large enterprises used to paying much more for lead generation.
Measuring the ROI on social media is a much-discussed challenge (see: Mashable, The BrandBuilder Blog, eMarketer and of course, a presentation on SlideShare, or two) and SlideShare Business looks to make it that much easier. Sure, a long-term relationship with your audience should still be the ultimate goal, but having metrics like this makes it that much easier for you to justify your social media investment.