Marketing guru Steven Van Belleghem is managing partner at InSites Consulting and author of “The Conversation Manager.” He is focused on growing awareness and extending the reach of his perspectives on marketing and his company’s vision – SlideShare is at the center of his efforts. With more than 1.5 million views, it’s safe to say he’s definitely doing something right, so we sat down with Steven to find out more.
InSites is a market research firm acting as change agents to connect brands to consumers; they work to help companies better understand the ever-increasing role social media plays in their relationships and apply “forward thinking” to effectively harness its power. Steven, who is InSites managing partner, is responsible for boosting the company’s own awareness and creating new relationships that help connect people to the InSites’ vision and brand.
Not surprisingly, this author of “The Conversation Manager,” which helps marketers integrate word-of-mouth into their daily activities, turned to social media to get the word out on what he and InSites were doing. “Our use of SlideShare evolved over time,” said Steven. “In the beginning, I saw it as a site I could post a few PowerPoint presentations on, but that changed quite rapidly. The moment I saw we had 60,000 views, was the moment I thought ‘we need to do something with this.’”
They saw the SlideShare Network as a way to share their content to boost their marketing thought leadership and brand with a global audience. Using SlideShare Pro, they created a corporate InSites Consulting Network, as well as personal channels for Steven and a couple of his colleagues (Joeri Van den Bergh and Tom De Ruyck).
“I personally see SlideShare as one of my most important places on the Internet,” said Steven. “It’s a digital autograph where people can see all the content I [and InSites] create. When people look at your SlideShare account, it shows them how good your content is – it shows that it’s appreciated by other people. I call it my content conversion point because it’s where I want everyone to ultimately end up.”
To date, Steven has enjoyed more than 1.5 million views of his content. He attributes much of his success to the attention he pays to everything he posts.
“You don’t just put something online and expect you will have people come – you need to create a content marketing plan and link to your presentations to extend your reach.”
Steven advocates actively managing content, which includes thinking carefully about the online profile you want to create and then embedding links in all other online locations – Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, national and international blogs, and everything else – to boost the reach and impact of that content.
“Eventually everyone who gets in touch with me through the digital world gets pointed to my content on SlideShare. Since I have been doing that, the number of downloads and views I receive have increased enormously. My last five to six presentations have about 50,000-60,000 views.”
Since InSites gets unlimited leads from all the downloads of their content, they are able to follow up with the people who are most appropriate – their leads have put them in contact with the press and academic world, as well as business people who want to talk to them about a business proposition.
“Our second objective is leads. SlideShare has certainly helped us internationally. This week I had an email from someone in Eastern Europe who would like us to do for them what we have done in Western Europe – those kinds of deals would never come to us without our SlideShare Network. We have academics who are doing research based upon our data, who would never have heard of us or contacted us without the slides we have online. For deals and exposure to markets that are not our home markets, SlideShare really helps a lot.”
InSites has fine-tuned some of their business practices based on the exposure and data they have gotten from their SlideShare Network. Noting that a lot of people found their content through Google, they broadened the tags they use based on their experiences with the search engine. They also found that two-thirds of the people who downloaded their content were from the US, so they started to have their English translations done by people native to America versus Britain to make sure it really spoke to them.
They plan to continue to use SlideShare as a key element of their branding and lead generation efforts. “We need to work on how to integrate our personal pages with the corporate page better in the future. It’s still a learning process, but we think it’s amazing that 1.5 million people have looked at our content – that’s incredible reach, we are really thrilled.”