Kelly Services: Reaching out to the B-to-B audience - a SlideShare case study

April 26, 2012

In an interview, Todd Wheatland, VP of thought leadership and marketing at Kelly Services, explains how their use of the SlideShare Network is helping them rethink their content strategies and effectively tap into SlideShare’s professional audience.

As an outsourcing and consulting partner to many of the world’s leading companies, Kelly Services is all about business innovation. It’s one reason they started experimenting with the content-sharing platform of SlideShare. “It’s a place where people were doing cool stuff and were willing to push the envelope,” said Todd. That appealed to Kelly Services, which began using the platform to house some of their content, particularly event related presentations that didn’t have a real home on their corporate site.

“Once we started using SlideShare, I kept meeting people in different venues who said they came across our content and found it really useful,” explained Todd. “Some said they even used our presentations for internal meetings to educate their colleagues. We realized it was very powerful to be able to extend our message and empower potential clients to look good with information we provided, particularly since they remembered it was us who had given it to them.”

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The B-to-B company quickly began using SlideShare Network to tap into SlideShare’s audience – which totals more than 60 million visitors and three billion slide views a month. “The people who visit SlideShare are business people coming to obtain information and expose themselves to new ideas,” said Todd. “We liked that SlideShare gave us exposure to that business audience on a scale we couldn’t reach on our own.”

They also liked they could reach that audience in a way that mirrored their content strategy. “We are focused on thought leadership - it’s important for us to demonstrate the knowledge and strengths of our very talented individuals. Being able to highlight and promote individuals through the SlideShare Network is in perfect alignment with our strategy.”

Kelly Services has also taken advantage of the flexibility of the platform to experiment with when and how they generate leads with their content. They are able to quickly discover which kinds of content work best with which audiences and figure out when it makes sense to capture information or link back to their site.

"You choose where to place lead-generation forms, and can customize the form, itself, to say whatever you want," Todd explained. "If you use a marketing automation system, you can mimic the same fields in your SlideShare forms, and then integrate the data you capture. We have found, overall, Slideshare’s price-to-lead ratio can be exceptional."

The integration with other sites, such as LinkedIn, is also valuable to Kelly Services. SlideShare’s ability to embed content in other sites, and allow people to easily share it with their groups and peers, via LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, is a valuable tool for companies looking to increase the reach of their content, without losing visibility into where it’s going.

The analytics provided by the platform “is helping us identify, confirm and question which stages of the buying cycle are most appropriate for different pieces of content,” said Todd. “What we have learned from the SlideShare platform is influencing what we publish. We have already started modifying the way we present research - including a lot more infographics to enable people to capture the essence of the story quicker.”

Kelly Services also noticed “a higher audience pick-up rate on SlideShare for videos, in some cases significantly so, than what we have seen on other channels, including YouTube,” said Todd. In the near future, they plan to try SlideCasting for events and leverage SlideShare more for their video assets. They also expect, given the success and audience alignment of SlideShare, to modify more of their content and create new content specifically for the platform.

“We are really comfortable with SlideShare,” Todd confirmed. “We feel they are on an evolutionary path that embraces the role of corporate players, while firmly maintaining the integrity of the product for end users. It allows business users to engage with us on their terms, in an impartial environment that still enables us to have a professional interpretation of our brand – making it a great compliment to our corporate assets.”

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