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Guest blogger - Katrina Manning
SlideShare is a slide hosting service that belongs to LinkedIn, which, in turn, belongs to Microsoft. This means that SlideShare integrates seamlessly with all LinkedIn sites and products and in the future will integrate with more and more Microsoft products.
On June 9, 2017, after the LinkedIn completed the acquisition, Microsoft announced that by the end of 2017 it would retire Docs.com, a platform that it previously used for file sharing.
In a message on the Microsoft Office website, Microsoft announced that it believes SlideShare to be the ideal platform for publishing content in various formats, including PowerPoint, Word, and PDF.
Currently, SlideShare has about 70 million users, which means that it can be a great lead generation tool. This article will share six ways you can use SlideShare for lead generation in your business.
1. Drive leads to SlideShare from LinkedIn
SlideShare belongs to LinkedIn and integrates with LinkedIn well. This means that one of the obvious applications of SlideShare slides is to use them as the next step in your funnel right after LinkedIn ads.
The benefit of this strategy is that the users will feel as if they didn’t even leave LinkedIn. At the same time, on SlideShare.net, you can make a presentation with as many slides as you want, which effectively means that it can work as yet another sales tool for your products and services.
When viewing presentations on SlideShare, your users will be able to see the number of slides. Typically, users believe that short presentations don’t have value. At the same time, someone may not want to go through a presentation with 200 slides because they believe that it's too long. Experiment with different numbers of slides to find the one that works for you. Use the tools described further in this article to generate leads even when your prospects do not get to the end of a presentation.
2. Use case studies and educational materials to generate leads
Arnold Taubman was one of the most successful shopping mall developers in North America. He wrote a book called “Threshold Resistance.” Taubman used the term to describe what prevents people from walking into a retail store but the term applies almost everywhere in selling and marketing.
You may be thinking that your offer to book a free demo is desirable when in reality prospects feel that they will have to deal with a salesperson that will try and close them. Making a buying decision may be too much to ask at this stage.
The offer with the lowest threshold resistance is an offer of free information, and that’s something for which SlideShare is perfect. You can craft a presentation to begin a relationship with your prospects, build trust and explain what pitfalls your prospects may have to deal with when choosing a product or service in your category. Doing so will establish a preference in advance of need and position you as an expert, which is the best position to be in when conducting business.
The more successful a person is, the more he or she wants to deal with experts. People are also used to the fact that experts have higher fees than non-experts, so you will also experience less price resistance and be able to charge more.
3. Place lead generation forms within your SlideShare slides
One of the big advantages of SlideShare is that you can place lead generation forms within your presentations. You can place them anywhere you want in the document, and you can do so more than once.
You can have lead generation forms with various offers after every part of your presentation and a final lead generation form at the very end. Obviously, you will get prospects who are more qualified if you only have a lead generation form at the end but having multiple lead generation forms can help you get significantly more leads. Someone may not have enough time to go over your entire presentation at the moment, which is why you want to capture their information and market to them directly in the future.
Hesitation and procrastination are some of the most common human behaviors. You have probably more than once arrived at a final order page where you needed to submit your credit card information and click one final button but never finished the order. This happens in all businesses and all media, be it an online store or a print mail-order catalog. You want to buy something, you make a note to yourself to buy and yet you never do buy. You get a phone call or an email and by the time you back to that page, you are focused on something else and ready to move on.
By allowing you to insert multiple lead generation forms into your presentations at the locations of your choice, SlideShare gives you tools to minimize the losses that occur from such hesitation. It is up to you to be sharply aware of the hesitation and procrastination of your prospects and doing what you need to do to have those who are almost-persuaded to leave you their contact information.
4. Add external links and calls to action to your slides
Not only can you insert lead generation forms and capture the information about those who are not willing to take a more significant step but you also can add external links and calls to action for those who want more information right here and now.
SlideShare presentations give you the tools to capture all kinds of leads.
You need to create documents that educate and at the same time provide instructions to those who are ready to buy. Often, people get so consumed with creating the best case study or white paper that they forget to include a call to action or contact information at the end.
A lot of failures and disappointments in marketing come from not giving directions at all or giving directions that are unclear and confusing.
People are busy, which is why confused people don’t decide to spend time figuring things out. Today consumers and businesses have more options available to them than ever. This is why if something is not clear to them, they will most likely leave.
If you examine almost any piece of information around you, be it a store sign or a restaurant menu or an icon on a website, you will find that it assumes people know something that in reality they do not.
Examine your SlideShare presentations for the presence of such presumed knowledge. Get rid of anything that may confuse your prospects. Have simple, concise, clear instructions and calls to action.
5. Share your SlideShare slides on social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
LinkedIn makes it easy to share SlideShare documents across all social networks. Use this opportunity. Often, your messages on other social networks are limited to a certain number of characters. Providing a link to a SlideShare document can be a convenient and straightforward way to drive your prospects to a place where they can learn more and take the desired action if they choose to do so.
6. Design your SlideShare slides with the end goal in mind
As you can see, SlideShare offers a lot of tools and opportunities to attract and capture leads. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be using them all. Your business is about your goals, not about using every tool available. Start with creating a funnel, a process, an ideal scenario for what your prospects need to learn and do to become your customers. Then, use the tools available to create the process. This way you will be focusing on the right things, which are your goals and your operations, and not on another new tool that just became available to you.