Playing the Odds of Content Marketing Success: Tips for Creating Luck on SlideShare

June 10, 2015

shutterstock_279402836-BLOGBy Ian Lurie

Let's face it: Content marketing is 50% luck. You can do everything right and end up talking to a wall. Or you can produce something you’re not proud of and watch it sprout giant, glowing meme wings.

I am not implying that content marketing involves lack of skill. It’s exactly the opposite. Content marketing success is all about being in the right place at the right time. That’s luck -- and you can position yourself for it.

SlideShare is a great place to get lucky: It supports highly visual content you create using tools we all know how to use (check out Haiku Deck or Canva if you’re new to design). It has 70 million monthly unique visitors. And it’s integrated with LinkedIn, so your LinkedIn profile gets a nice boost every time you upload to SlideShare.

Having uploaded nearly 100 SlideShares, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. Below, take a look at some lesser-known tips and tricks to use both before and after you publish. Using these, you’ll make your own luck in no time.

Use New Content To Boost The Old

This is the tip most people forget: Add a slide (I usually add it at the end) promoting your related presentations. Old SlideShares that got very little attention when first uploaded might get a lot more after your audience reads your latest masterpiece.

Using new content to boost the old is content marketing’s best trick. It broadens audience access to your presentations. It may even make an older presentation a hit.

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Convert to a PDF -- With Links

Unless your presentation contains video, upload it as a PDF (Acrobat format). It’s fantastic at maintaining fonts, layout and overlays where PowerPoint and Keynote uploads sometimes fail.

Using PDFs also lets you do some nifty linking stuff that doesn’t always work from PowerPoint. Use it to link to those related presentations, too.

In the example above, the slide thumbnails link to those presentations. It’s not scientific, but look at the little boost my 5 Lessons presentation got when the linking presentation went live:

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After they see something great, content consumers always ask, “What’s next?” Answer that question and you keep their attention. Make it easy for readers to head to that related presentation.

Answer Comments

Once you publish, answer comments. If people praise you, say thanks. If they ask questions, answer. If they make suggestions, get clarification. In my experience, anyone you answer becomes a follower. That grows your audience. A bigger audience means more potential influencers and (you guessed it) sets you up to be lucky.

Do the Nitty Gritty

And of course, you can’t forget the basic “must-do’s” to make your presentation more easily discoverable:

-Fill out the keywords field

-Write a detailed description

-Announce the new presentation on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest (and any other network that makes sense)

-And, take the 10-foot test: Open your cover slide. Now, walk 10 feet away and look at it. Does that slide make sense? Or is it covered with little tiny words and images that run together. If the former, you’re good to go. If the latter, stop and re-work to make it legible and something people want to click on.

-Make your cover slide really great. Read this post on killer cover pages to learn how. If you do, it’ll pass the 10-foot test with flying colors. A great opening slide makes more people head to slide #2, which means more people read slide #3, and so on. Entice your audience with each impression.

Content marketing requires good fortune, and fortune favors the prepared as much as it favors the bold. So be prepared.

READ MORE: 3 Must-Read Decks on Content Marketing

About Ian

Ian Lurie is CEO and Founder of Portent, a full-service internet marketing agency he started in 1995. He writes and speaks everywhere he can, including Entrepreneur.com, Mashable, MozCon, ad:tech and Seattle Interactive Conference. He's a bit of an addict, really.

You may find him teaching his kids to play Dungeons and Dragons on the weekends, or dragging his tongue on the ground as he pedals his way up Seattle's ridiculously steep hills.

You can read some of his recent work at www.portent.com/onetrick and www.portent.com/data/content-inventory, or have a look at some of his SlideShares here.

Photo: Oleksandr Yuhlcheck/Shutterstock

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