4 Reasons B2B Marketers Should Love SlideShare

by contributor on August 23, 2010 in Social Media

When I visited each Eloqua office to conduct the Social Media Workshop, someone asked: If you could only use three social media platforms, which would you pick?  My answer was: (1) the corporate blog (SEO benefits, gives authority to staff voice, allows for color commentary on news), (2) Twitter (real-time, real-time, real-time), and (3) SlideShare (and that was before the company released its new Pro accounts, of which Eloqua is one of the first to launch).  Sure if I were a B2C marketer, my list probably would have started and ended with Facebook (and thanks to Eloqua star Adrian Chang, one of the best dressed guys in marketing, Eloqua has a vibrant Fan page), but we were talking B2B marketing, and for B2B marketers, a branded SlideShare Channel is vital.  Here are four reasons why:

1. Speed.  In most companies, several layers – procedural and personnel – exist between the content owner and the website.  Publishing to the website can be an inefficient process, especially when SEO and SEM justifiably commandeer the attention of most Web professionals.  SlideShare short-circuits the publishing system by allowing marketers (or staff in truly inspired companies) to upload files, e-books, webinars, presentations, videos, images directly to a corporate-branded Channel without having to shoehorn the content into a carefully architected website.

2. Leads.  This is a new feature in SlideShare Pro.  If you insert a form into your content, SlideShare will capture the viewer’s profile and, through its LeadShare API, automatically import the contact into SalesForce.com.  Seriously, what other social network focuses on actual lead capture and sharing? 

3. Feed.  Think of your content as the food supply for your prospects.  It’s self-indulgent to expect to feed all of them with one source (your website).  People are more apt to discover your information “in the wild” (Exhibit A: Eloqua’s Social Media Playbook and Content Grid were accessed/downloaded more than 20,000 times on sites other than our website).  If you are not bringing food into the wild, then you are only nourishing a small percentage of your hungry audience.

4. Personality.  As a venue for expression, SlideShare fits somewhere between a corporate website (“personality by committee”) and a staff Twitter handle (“personality by impulse”).  In other words, it gives brands an opportunity to reflect their personality more than they might on their own domain.  (The Eloqua Channel plays off our social design motif and reinforces our Revenue Performance Management positioning – check out the artwork that accompanies this blog for some of our early design concepts, as created by JESS3.)

Alternatively, you could simply survey the early adopters and decide if they are leaders worth following:  Edelman Digital, Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence, Razorfish, Dachis Group, JESS3, Dell Enterprise  and, oh, The White House.  In the meantime, if you like this post and our approach to content marketing/social media, follow us on SlideShare (those who do will be rewarded with some fresh content that’s scheduled do make its debut there tomorrow).

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  • Jesse Desjardins

    I uploading a presentation 4 hours ago and already i’m up to 1,000 views, I think SlideShare is pure awesomeness.

    STEAL THIS PRESENTATION! – http://www.slideshare.net/GlobalGossip/steal-this-presentation-5038209

  • http://www.jontusmedia.com Jon Buscall

    Slideshare is extremely valuable from a business perspective because, like those good old creative writing exercises, it allows you to SHOW your audience what you’re all about, and not just TELL them.

    Plus the story-like narrative slides encourage are easily understood.

  • http://eloqua.com Joe Chernov

    Hi Jon,

    So great to hear from you. I “share” your perspective (no pun intended, ok, maybe a little). Should marketers embrace SlideShare en masse, I wonder if the platform will contribute to improved storytelling skills across marketing? Now that would be an accomplishment of the highest order!

    By the way, we must be sharing a mind-meld, because today’s blog post, set to go live in an hour, gives you a shout out. Stay tuned.

    Yours,
    Joe

  • http://www.leadsloth.com Jep Castelein

    Joe, I really like the design of the Eloqua SlideShare page. It’s nice how the banner and the background are ‘one’. I may steal that idea for my own SlideShare page :-)

    I did find that presentations with a lot of text work best on SlideShare. The presentation should be easy to understand by itself (without reading speaking notes).

    A lot of my presentations are very visual (see http://www.slideshare.net/leadsloth), so they really need the voice-over, otherwise you miss essential information. I will try out SlideShare’s Slidecast feature, which allows you to add a voice-over to a presentation.

    Also, I’m thinking of retooling some presentations specially for slideshare: maybe add some text balloons to clarify the main points.

    Finally, I find it annoying the eBooks that are landscape format are put in the “presentations” section, rather than the “documents” section. They should really fix that.

    But overall, I really like Slideshare as a way to find a wider audience for my content.

    • http://eloqua.com Joe Chernov

      Jep,

      Great points. I agree that the “notes” field doesn’t do a lot to augment the presentation, so visually-oriented decks do suffer. I haven’t tried Slidecast, either. But you’ve inspired me to try it!

      I completely agree that landscape files are routed directly into the presentations folder. That’s frustrating and seems to be an easy fix. (Though it seems HubSpot has solved this: they have landscape files in their documents section module: http://www.slideshare.net/hubspot)

      Oh and I’ll consider your adoption of our skin “inspired by” versus “stolen from” ;)

      Joe

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