Small business owners need to get the word out to as many potential clients as possible for the lowest possible cost. Part of this, as many know, is through digital marketing and creating great content that can be shared, but it can be time-consuming. What if there was a short-cut?
In 1990, Microsoft released PowerPoint, a package that allowed people to use their computers to create presentations. Up until that point, the only alternative was to print out onto acetate or draw live using felt pens to engage your audience.
It took a while for the software to be widely adopted, but eventually the business world saw the benefit of being able to use this new tool and it had a certain novelty value. It livened up meetings all over the world, but then things went wrong.
It became so ubiquitous and so easy to use that everyone seemed to find a use for it and before long, people complained about “death by PowerPoint”.
I remember being sent a presentation by one of my sales team that had 90 slides. This was meant to be used at a meeting with a customer! Can you imagine that?
PowerPoint is still as popular as ever, but how could this be? Surely everything is web based these days? Its format is proprietary and goes against the grain of the “open web” so why is it still being used? In fact, why do people still use presentations at all?
The answer lies in the development of websites that can take presentations and convert them into web-ready slideshows for viewing anywhere.
SlideShare is one such website that received a boost by being absorbed into the huge LinkedIn Empire.
Surely this would send shivers through the spines of people who had ever sat through a two-hour presentation? As it turns out, any such worries are unfounded. It seems this new outlet for an old technology has yielded some fantastic content that is being watched and shared far and wide.
The beauty is in the simple way the system works. Upload a presentation (yes, from PowerPoint if you like), and it is instantly viewable on-line. Not only that, you can get embed code to share it on your website. It’s a lot like YouTube in that respect, and that helps it get shared across the web.
Obviously, if you were going to be presenting to a client, then the benefit to you would be the ability to upload your slides and have them available anywhere. Having the presentation available on the web can be particularly useful if you’re showing it at their offices and you can’t plug your laptop into their network. Just use their PC to browse to your already uploaded slideshow, and you’re away.
But there’s more. You see, people are using it for far more than that. The key is in the way it forces you to create bite-sized bits of content that are easy to digest. A major part of content marketing is about sharing your knowledge and SlideShare helps you do that easily.
Let’s think about our opening paragraph above. I spoke about making it easy to create and publish more content, so consider this idea. What if, after you’ve created an excellent blog post, you then create a slideshow that turned this text into easy to understand titbits of information?
You can probably see where this is going, but it gets better.
The resulting output of a converted slideshow is that the content is in HTML5, an open format that is readable by web browsers, other applications and best of all, Google. Yes, SlideShare presentations can be read by Google, with all those lovely links intact.
This means that if your presentation is good enough and it gets shared, it could end up on a website with all those links coming back to your site.
How to Exploit This Resource
Luckily, creating in this new format is easy if you plan your blog post in advance. By their very nature, slideshows lend themselves to small bits of information, maybe with images explaining detailed points. So when creating your blog or article, consider laying it out in sections that will easily translate into a presentation format.
Types of content that are particularly suitable for this are lists or step-by-step how-to documents. If you can write a post like that, then converting it into a presentation is easy.
Then, create a front page that you will use in all your presentations from now on and a back page that has all your contact details. Make sure everything is displayed, including your website, phone number and email address.
Then just create your pages, keeping the design as simple as possible and without using fancy fades and transitions; people are likely to flick through the presentations quickly to find what they’re after.
When you’re done, you can upload to SlideShare and then grab the embed code that you can use to put the slideshow on your website, maybe even on the same page as your article.
It won’t take very long for you to start getting views, having your publications shared and finding new customers engaging with your content and eventually, your company.
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