SlideShare Business : A new way to connect with customers

October 6, 2009

For some time, we have observed that many of you use SlideShare for your business, from a one-person consulting shop to small company to large corporation. Our site surveys confirm this, most of you use SlideShare for your business, in one way or the other.

Today, we are launching a new section of the site : SlideShare Business for all of you who SlideShare for your business.

The first business service, LeadShare , lets you connect with customers through your content. Starting today, your slides and documents can be a two-way conversation between you and your end-viewers. They can contain a form embedded within (you decide what questions go into that form). The end-viewer can get in touch with you through this form (it's permission marketing!). You can go to your LeadShare dashboard anytime and view the leads you have collected.

How is this priced: You pay only if you collect a lead. Leads cost between $1 to $22 depending on geo-targeting and how much information you ask for. Collecting name and email addresses costs only $1. You can add phone number, address, multiple custom questions, geo-targeting and even content blocking. Maximum price (all features enabled) is $22.

The second product, AdShare lets you promote your content next to related content. For example, you might want to get targeted views for your latest enterprise software whitepaper. Just start an AdShare campaign - your whitepaper will show up next to enterprise software content, and on searches related to enterprise software keywords. Instead of using text and banner ads to drive views to your content, your content itself becomes an advertisement.

How is this priced:
You pay only if you get a click. Once again, there is no risk. If you don't get views, you don't pay. Pricing starts at $0.25 per click.

The AdShare algorithm favors high quality content. Content that SlideShare community likes (and clicks on) gets more views than content doesn't get clicked on. We decided on this pricing model so that our community has a voice, even though this is a paid service.

Finally, promoted presentations & documents are clearly marked (look for right column with "Sponsored" heading).

Its been three years since we launched SlideShare. It took us this long to launch our first paid services. We took our time because we regard our community as the most important aspect of SlideShare. We wanted to build something that works well within the community. We began by understanding how you use SlideShare. Both services are inspired by what people are already doing on SlideShare.

LeadShare and AdShare are powerful tools for sharing. They give you an edge, they increase the ROI of your sharing by letting you reach and connect with customers. They let you fulfill business goals (sales leads). But they still value the core idea of "Sharing" which defines SlideShare. They still require great content. Bad, spammy content will not get you clicks, or help you connect with customers.

We have been testing this in a private beta for some time. This is the beginning of the public beta. Try it out and tell us what you think. Remember, you need uploaded content in your account to begin. There is no cost to setup a campaign, and you can start with just a $1.

Check out SlideShare business here or learn more at the SlideShare Business channel.

Update: Roundup of coverage
From TechCrunch: SlideShare Lets Users Pay To Promote Content And Create Lead Generation Campaigns
From VentureBeat: Presentation site SlideShare aims new products at businesses