When most small businesses think about social media, they automatically think Twitter and Facebook. If your business caters directly to individuals I think it is hard to argue that you should not have a presence on both. For B2B businesses, however, there is a better option. In this article I am going to tell you about slideshare, why I think it is the best avenue for generating leads for B2B businesses, and exactly how you should use it to do so.
Why is slideshare great for marketing your B2B business?
slideshare is where your audience is
As I look through the most popular presentations page on slideshare.net I see titles like Productivity Hacks From LinkedIn Influencers, High Performing Firms - Winning Through Culture, and The Most Important Small Business Trends In 2014. Compare these to the most popular content on social networks like Facebook and Twitter (where Miley Cyrus and pet pictures rule) and it’s not hard to see why slideshare is better for B2B businesses.
The slideshare format works well for “boring” business topics
The summary format of a slideshare presentation is a great way to get your main points across without cluttering up your message. As anyone who has ever read a long white paper about a particular industry, product, or service knows, 99% of people skim these documents for the main points. Why risk your potential client missing one of the primary points that you are trying to convey, by adding a lot of additional details that they are not reading anyway?
slideshares help your company stand out from the crowd
Put yourself in the shoes of the decision makers that you are trying to reach through your content marketing efforts. Think about how many blog posts, magazine articles, white papers and other forms of content this person sees on a daily basis. Now think about how many slideshare presentations come her way. What do you think is more likely to stand out?
You can generate leads directly from the presentation
Last, but certainly not least, is that slideshare gives you the ability to collect leads from your presentation when you sign up for a pro subscription. This gives slideshare a huge leg up on other types of content marketing, where it’s hard to know exactly who your content is reaching. This also allows you to more directly track the business that your content marketing efforts are generating.
How to create slideshares that generate qualified leads for your business
First, and most importantly, you need to choose the right presentation topic. If your slideshare presentation is just one big sales pitch, people are not going to view it. That does not mean that you cannot use your presentations to sell your products, it just means you have to give something else of value, in addition to the sales pitch.
How do you do that? A good place to start is by understanding the primary types of content that people like, and then adapting those general topics to your business. The popular copywriter Jon Morrow has written a free ebook outlining the 6 most popular types of content on the internet, which helps with this process. I have summarized the 6 types of content he covers below. To show that these can be used for “boring” B2B businesses too, I give an example presentation title for each category that a Plumbing Supply Wholesaler could use.
1. How To
People love to learn how to do new things and if you teach them something useful they are much more likely to trust and buy from you.
Presentation Topic Example: How Any Plumber Can Earn More In 2014
People have been overloaded with content so they love to be able to consume content in summary format. As discussed this is one of the reasons that people love slideshare presentations, and turning your slideshare into a list makes it even more likely to get viewed.
Presentation Topic Example: 25 New Tools Every Plumber Should Be Using (We have used this technique for our website with great results, The Top 25 Blogs For Small Business Owners.)
3. Threat Avoidance
People want to know when there is a potential threat that they were not aware of, or when they are having the wool pulled over their eyes in some way.
Presentation Topic Example: 10 Things Your Plumbing Supply Company Isn’t Telling You (Notice how I combined that one with a list)
It seems that everyone is too busy these days. We also feel overwhelmed by all the information that has become available to us in recent years. Because of this many people are now trying to simplify their lives and their businesses by getting back to the basics. Zen presentations tap into this trend.
Presentation Topic Example: The Minimalist’s Guide To Plumbing
These presentations leverage someone or something famous among your potential clientele to help peak people’s interest and lend credibility to your presentation.
Presentation Topic Example: What Mercedes Benz Can Teach Us About Plumbing
Many people want to be successful but everyone wants to avoid mistakes.
Presentation Topic Example: 7 Costly Plumbing Mistakes That Lose You Clients
Now that you have your topic you need to outline and design your presentation. This topic is covered in the slideshare’s blog here.
How to setup your lead capture
After you have signed up for a pro account you can access the lead capture setup under your pro dashboard. The title and description of the form you see above are both customizable, and you have the ability to add and remove input fields as well. As you can see Hubspot is offering free ebooks and webinars in exchange for the viewer’s email.
The pro dashboard gives you the ability to create multiple forms, which is valuable for testing out different title, description and input field configurations to see what converts the most viewers into leads for your business. You can choose to have your form display during or at the end of your presentation, as well as to have a “get in touch” button at the bottom of your presentation which launches the form.
Gold subscribers can also add a custom set of questions to the form, and “Geo Target” who the form shows to. This means they can set things up so that the form only shows to people in certain locations.
Time to get started
You should now have all the information you need to get started generating leads for your business from slideshare. Why not get started today?
David Waring is the editor-in-chief of Fit Small Business. He currently writes a weekly column on helping his dad with online marketing for a real estate business which is available here.