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).