Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Do people really voluntarily view PowerPoints on Slideshare?

You’ve heard me complain about dying a death by PowerPoint and I try to minimize the use of PowerPoints when talking, giving workshops whenever possible. Sometimes that’s possible and sometimes it’s not.  But there’s actually a place where people view PowerPoints voluntarily!. LinkedIn’s Slideshare has about 60 million active users, according to my friend over at the Social Media Hat.

Related reading:

How to do a two-hour workshop without PowerPoint


And while that’s a far cry from other networks – like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it’s still something, plus it’s easy to use – especially if you already have PowerPoints that you’ve used. Take those PowerPoints and upload them to your account. Your account is linked to your LinkedIn account and you can push share them over there, too. LinkedIn has over 100 million active monthly users, by the way, so the audience is getting bigger every time we share content on additional channels.

Once you upload your slides to Slideshare you can also pull that upload onto your website via an embed code – and  with a related blog post, for example. (More on how to embed multimedia on websites.) I unfortunately have two Slideshare accounts – I think that happened because I signed up through different channels years ago, but either way, the PowerPoints I’ve uploaded over the years have been viewed thousands of times. In fact, just eye balling the accounts it looks like my Slideshares get more views than my YouTube videos. And dumping uploading existing PowerPoints takes a lot less work than uploading a YouTube video.

I ran quick Twitter poll to see what people on Twitter  say about it:

Almost 100 people took the poll. Just to remind everyone on how few people actually participate (beyond reading) online, the poll tweet was seen by 5,700 people. So, less than 2 percent of people who saw it actually participated.

Just something worth remembering. Build the overall audience before worrying too much about people commenting, liking, etc. <Steps off engagement soap box>

So, 53 percent still said there’s no way they will voluntarily view PowerPoints. Conceptually speaking, I’m with them most of the time, but we do know that people – including me – view slides on Slideshare. So, of the 47 percent who admitted to that, half said they do because they can view at their own pace. The other half because the decks are informative. Of course, decks need to stand on their own to work on Slideshare.

Viewing at your own pace also aligns with all kinds of other behaviors today that have trained us to do things on our own schedules. We watch TV shows when we want, answer emails at our pace, etc.

Watch this video, for example: Stand up if you get upset if people call without warning:

I would have stood up. Voicemails go into the same category. They are too linear. You can’t skip ahead and listen at your own pace. I watch TV on my own pace, too. Commercials don’t make me wait. They push me to go do something else.

Invite your friends to learn about Slideshare:

Follow me on Slideshare here or connect with me on LinkedIn here, but state that I invited you here.

Related: How YouTube owns my TV time

That’s probably the biggest advantage of Slideshare versus having to listen to somebody present read slides to you. If a slide deck on Slideshare isn’t informative anymore, you just leave. Most people won’t do that in meetings.

You can also allow people to download your deck and collect their email address and sign them up for your email newsletter or promotions or whatever. That does cost money payable to Slideshare but given the value of having people on your email list you might try it.

Slideshare can and should have a place in our digital marketing efforts – especially if you use PowerPoints anyway. Just be sure nothing confidential gets posted.

Here’s to better PowerPoint slide decks and maximum distribution.

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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