SlideShare has been an important tool for marketers and salespeople for several years now, but some business leaders are still unsure how to get the most value out of this powerful platform. With approximately 70 million unique visitors navigating to SlideShare every month, salespeople have a huge opportunity to expose their brands to new audiences by publishing on the site. More importantly, creating and sharing SlideShare content opens additional avenues through which you can connect with customers and give them the information they crave.

SlideShare can be used to effectively distribute different types of sales and marketing assets. A quick stroll through the featured stories on its homepage reveals a plethora of diverse presentations. To build deeper connections with your potential and existing customers, here are the top four types of content your sales reps should publish to SlideShare.

How-to guides and step-by-step instructional content

Customer product education can be a tricky thing to get right. You understand that it’s important for users to have as much instructional information as possible to facilitate success with your product. After all, easy product adoption is a key component of the customer experience, and it’s estimated that nearly 90 per cent of all companies now compete mainly in the arena of customer experience.

The issue is that clients often resist reading and internalizing this content. How many products have you purchased in your lifetime, and the first action you took upon opening the box was to throw aside the instructional booklet, never to pick it up again? We’re left with a conundrum: Users report a negative experience when they don’t realize the full benefits of their purchase, yet they are often resistant to efforts at product education.

That is why it’s up to you to create compelling content that convinces users to learn how to fully take advantage of your product—which can also improve their overall experience with your company. Enter SlideShare: It gives you the opportunity to present your customers with easily digestible how-to presentations in a visually appealing package.

Visual content has been en vogue in the digital world for quite some time, and the trend will not reverse itself anytime soon. Combine this with the fact that 65 per cent of humans are visual learners, and you have a powerful opportunity to convey value-added educational information in a way that will help your audience process and retain it better.

The key to executing this strategy really is in the word “compelling.” If there’s one thing that holds companies back from creating engaging instructional content on SlideShare, it’s that these types of guides have a tendency to read dry and rote. Make sure every component of your how-to guide is complemented with high-quality images to keep the audience interested and engaged throughout.

Conference presentations and event materials

When you’re considering what type of content will be most beneficial to publish on SlideShare it’s vital to view the question through the lens of customer value. Ask yourself, “What can I promote on SlideShare that will actually be valuable to them and that they can’t easily get anywhere else?”

You know your customers. They’re busy people with professional and personal demands competing for their attention, and they simply don’t have the time to attend all the conferences and events in their industry or read all the materials that would strengthen their knowledge base and potentially give them a competitive edge.

Many forward-thinking leaders already view LinkedIn as a premier source for industry education and professional development. Since they inherently expect this kind of value-added content on the platform, posting useful presentations to SlideShare makes perfect sense.

Additionally, savvy sales professionals know that relevant presentations and event recaps are an important tool in the lead-nurturing process. SlideShare is simply one more high-profile outlet that you can use to disseminate this content and get it seen by the right people. You can add custom tags to your posts to make it easier for your leads to find presentations that will be valuable to them. For instance, you can choose tags that associate your slides with a recent conference or event, or employ tags that are relevant to your customers’ industry.

Original research and compelling statistics

Sales professionals are constantly looking for unique ways to build more credibility with their prospects. Credibility, of course, leads to trust, and customers want to purchase from salespeople they trust. It’s one of the fundamental tenets that make the sales relationship similar to other relationships: Until a person trusts you, they’re reluctant to open up and lay the foundation for what could be a long-lasting and mutually beneficial connection.

Publishing case studies and research supported by statistics on your website is crucial for building credibility with your leads, especially in the early stages of the buying process. Data from Accenture reveals that 94 per cent of B2B buyers engage in online research prior to speaking to a sales representative, and during this period they want to see that your company has factual evidence to back up its claims.

Instead of only publishing case studies and research results in long format on your website, you can use SlideShare to break up the content into compelling slides that tell a story backed by data. This format allows you to showcase your most powerful statistics on a single slide where they will stand out and grab the reader. Graphs, tables, and charts can also be used to convey a significant amount of information in the space of one slide.

This presentation—Humans Are Predictable: Exploit It In Eight Charts—provides a cogent demonstration of this concept. It’s densely packed with easily digestible statistics that tell a very specific story about habitual human behaviours. The visually interesting nature of the slides keeps the audience engaged and eager to click through the entire study, and the frequent presence of relevant data lends the piece an organic credence.

Credibility with contemporary buyers can’t be faked: People have more information available to them than entire communities had access to in the pre-digital era. By using SlideShare to present information to customers that is actually useful, you can form the beginning of a stable business relationship. Additionally, if you publish a study to SlideShare that is visually exciting and well researched, you will have a greater chance of getting it featured on the SlideShare homepage, increasing your visibility even more and connecting you to a broader audience.

Industry news, information, and analysis

We’ve established how the average buyer has numerous demands competing for their attention. Industries are evolving, whether incrementally or rapidly, and buyers often don’t have the time to stay informed about all the important happenings in their field or niche as much as they would like to.

This gives salespeople another opportunity to have a meaningful impact on their customers’ lives. According to LinkedIn, B2B buyers are five times more likely to engage when a salesperson has uncovered new insights about their industry or business. Buyers will appreciate that you have taken to the time and effort to produce and deliver useful information, instead of just launching into a sales pitch every time you contact them.

White papers and blog posts detailing industry trends can work well in this regard, but readers also have a tendency to disengage if they are too long or there are stretches that are lighter on useful information and substance. With SlideShare you can take the most valuable sections of your white papers and create slides that will hold the reader’s attention more thoroughly. Check out this example, 25 Disruptive Technology Trends 2015-2016, from business strategist and digital analyst Brian Solis. At 37 slides, this presentation moves at a fast pace, yet it is still able to detail dozens of important trends that impact anyone who uses digital technology as a part of their business.

The most important factor in using SlideShare is to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find the information they are looking for in the presentation. Using this platform forces you to edit out the fluff and create a streamlined roundup of industry news and trends that your prospects will willingly seek out.

Salespeople can leverage SlideShare as a tool to showcase expertise in a way that ultimately helps audiences accomplish more at their jobs. Consequently, your presentations may attract better prospects, too, who may be more eager to retain your services or purchase your product.

Learn more about how social media and sales go hand-in-hand in our eBook, “The What, Where, Why, and How of #SocialSelling:”

 

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