What is a slide deck? Well, if you’ve spent any time in a classroom or in business meetings then you’re likely all too familiar with slide decks — the ever-present slideshow (usually PowerPoint) clicking along behind the teacher or speaker. Slide decks’ relationship with academia and boring meetings have many online content creators steering clear of this medium, but, in truth, they are still a great way of presenting information, are entertaining (if you do them right), and can bring your site enormous amounts of traffic.
Besides the fact that it’s smart to regularly mix up your content offerings (people get bored with the same stuff over and over again), slide decks have several inherent benefits, including:
- Easy to make and view - There are a variety of slide deck creation programs, and several sites where you can upload and view them.
- Include multiple types of content (audio, written, and visual) – Allows for better explanations and more points for engagement.
- Downloadable – Viewers can download and reuse your material (nearly everyone would rather use an awesome slideshow made by someone else than create their own), which means more brand exposure.
- Shareable – In addition to downloading, people can link to your presentation and share it via social networks. This helps you reach a much larger audience and increases backlinks.
Who Should Use Them?
Those in technical industries seem to use slide decks more than others; however, virtually any business can use them as part of their content creation strategy. With the ability to include words, pictures, videos, charts, graphs, audio, screen captures, and more, there’s not much you can’t say with a slide deck. So, whether you need to explain something, share information, or simply relay visuals, a slideshow is a simple, effective way to get it done.
For instance, if you sell products that require assembly, why not create a step-by-step slideshow explaining how to put them together? By adding pictures, words, and videos, you can offer a much more comprehensive guide than a dull instruction manual.
Or, if you usually write a weekly “how-to” blog post for your B2B followers, try mixing up your standard blog format with a slide deck. Since viewers can only see one slide at a time, the presentations tends to better emphasis a systematic approach and tells a progressive story.
To get the most out of your presentation, you should obviously follow basic slideshow guidelines (not using too many words, not having too many slides, etc.), but in regards to SEO and driving traffic, here are 10 tips to follow:
1. Upload your presentation to a major slideshow service – There are several online slide sharing services available, namely SlideShare, Scribd, and Docstoc. All of these are widely known and have perks, such as displaying popular presentations (those with a lot of traffic and social shares) on their homepages, which means the ability to connect with a totally new audience.
2. Use enticing titles and first slides – Users scan through a list of relevant slideshows and, based on titles and first slides, decide which presentation to view. If you can create something enticing (that begs to be clicked on) you can get a ton of attention.
3. Embed on your website too – By embedding on your own site, you take back some control over traffic, brand awareness, and viewer experience. One idea is to create two separate titles for the same presentation (one used on your website and one for the slideshow service). Then primarily direct/share the URL associated with your own page while having the version on the slideshow service act as another means for people to find your content.
4. Invite others to reuse – If you do post the presentation on your website, let visitors know it’s okay to reuse the material as long as they reference your page. This is a fantastic way to get more backlinks!
5. Publicize it – There are many ways to publicize your slideshow, but one very effective way is through a webinar. Being in front of even a small audience can give your presentation much more energy, and launching it as an event creates buzz and excitement.
6. Post/announce URL before and after show – Start your presentation with a link to your slide deck or by saying something like, “Feel free to download or share my slideshow. You can find it as this URL.” This immediately lets people know it’s okay to reuse your stuff (with proper credit given) and it encourages folks to start sharing right away. Also, restating it at the end (after you’ve impressed them) acts as another reminder to share.
7. Shorten URLs – Try to shorten your URLs (bit.ly works great for this) and give them a catchy title that refers directly to your business or the title of your presentation. Doing so makes your URL easier to remember and share, and those who don’t immediately click on your link may decide to access it directly later.
8. Perform analytics – If you embed a slideshow on your own webpage, it’s easy to see how it is performing using your own analytic tools. However, you can also monitor you presentations on, say, SlideShare by upgrading to the Pro version, which allows you to track numbers of views, engagement, and more. With this information you can better determine which of your presentations gets the best response and adjust your strategy accordingly.
9. Put links on the slides – Another way to direct people back to your site is by including related links on the slides themselves. So, if you are using a graphic, photo, data, etc. on your slide that’s also on your website, put a link below the image to allow curious viewers to follow it to your site where they can learn more.
10. Include narration text below slides – Most people who watch your slideshow won’t listen to you present it, but will simply scroll through the sldies online. This can detract from your presentation since viewers won’t be getting your descriptions and insights (only seeing the visuals). You can counteract this and relay your whole message by adding explanatory text below each slide (you can leave this out when presenting in person). Limit the text to a few sentences as you wouldn’t want to talk longer than that on each slide anyway.
With their huge potential for SEO and increasing traffic, don’t let visions of school lectures or endless board meetings keep you from creating your own slide decks. By including multiple elements and using good practices, you can make presentations that are interactive, engaging, and in no way resemble anything designed by your English teacher.
How is your business using slide decks as part of its content strategy? Share below.