How a Webinar Presentation Generated 10,000 @SlideShare Views in 1 Week

October 12, 2013


Photo credit: Flickr user sylvain kalache via photopin cc

Introduction

At DNN, we provide several webinars per month. Recently, we created a profile on SlideShare. We now publish the presentation from each webinar on our SlideShare account. SlideShare was working out quite well for us – we could tap into their “60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews” (source: SlideShare).

Our webinar presentations were receiving anywhere from 200 to 900 views. And then it happened. We did a webinar on content marketing and posted the presentation to SlideShare. Within 1 week, the SlideShare received 10,000 views!

Analytics - SlideShare PRO

Image: a chart available in SlideShare PRO Analytics.

Continue reading this post to find out how we generated 10,000 SlideShare views and pick up a few tips on how you can optimize the views of your own SlideShares.

Getting 10,000 SlideShare Views: The Logistics

1) Publish.

Upload Presentations via SlideShare

In the past, the number one question we received on webinars was, “will the slides be available?” With SlideShare, we answer that question before it gets asked. During the early part of the webinar, we’ll promote our SlideShare channel (e.g. list the URL on a slide).

We’ll let viewers know that after the webinar, they can visit our SlideShare profile to view (and download) the slides. I like to upload the webinar presentation to SlideShare an hour (or less) after the webinar is over.

We have less than 20 followers on SlideShare. This means that once we publish, we’ll receive a modest amount of views on SlideShare. As we receive more followers, we’ll benefit from more views upon publishing. But for now, we rely on other “channels” for promotion. So for now, this step was simply the beginning of the process.

2) Promote on social channels.

I’ll promote our SlideShare to our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles. In addition, I’ll publish it to our LinkedIn Company Page. On Twitter, I’ll look to see who tweeted (during the webinar) and send them “at replies” to let them know the slides are available. Posting to our Facebook page was a key step in this process – I’ll cover that later in this post.

3) Write a blog post related to the webinar.

I don’t find a literal summary of the webinar particularly useful. After all, you could flip through the slide deck or view the webinar on-demand. Instead, what I like to do is use the webinar as an opportunity to create original content. So with the slides as a “backdrop,” I author a related blog post.

I embed the SlideShare presentation within all webinar-related blog posts. And here’s where a significant “multiplier” took effect: shortly after publication on the DNN blog, the post was syndicated at Social Media Today.

An Aside: Embeds + Syndication = a Big Winner

So the secret’s out: we achieved 10,000 SlideShare views primarily via embedding the presentation and then syndicating it to a site (Social Media Today) with wide reach. Of all SlideShare views, nearly 75% came from “embeds” and over 90% of the embedded views came from Social Media Today. Page views on the Social Media Today article received a nice boost from the nearly 2,000 social shares received (as noted by summing the counts listed on the article page).

I happen to value embedded views a bit less – on the SlideShare site, the visitor arrived specifically to view your presentation. With embedded views, visitors are there to read your post and some may not see the SlideShare at all. That being said, an embedded view is better than none at all.

4) Receive endorsements.

While easier said than done, endorsements help to boost views. In our case, we received two key endorsements. The first arose from sharing the SlideShare to our 20,000+ fans on Facebook. Based on the traffic that our Facebook fans sent to our SlideShare, we were added to the “Hot on Facebook” section of the SlideShare homepage.

Next, the editors of SlideShare reviewed it and decided to list the presentation in the “Featured” section of their homepage. “Featured” has a prominent location on the SlideShare homepage, directly beneath “Top Presentations of the Day.” We made sure to share this exciting news via our social channels. Using social proof (no pun intended) helped to drive further awareness (and views) of our SlideShare:


How Attention Begets More Attention

Attention on the web can benefit from the snowball effect. The key is to get the snowball large enough so that it’ll roll. And once you find a hill that’s steep and long, you set it in motion. The key is getting “over the hump.” Once you’re there, the snowball starts to roll and there’s no stopping it after that.

1) SlideShare Likes.

SlideShare Like in LinkedIn Newsfeed

Image: a SlideShare “Like” as seen in the LinkedIn Newsfeed.

As your SlideShare receives more views, it’ll pick up a corresponding number of Likes. Once users “Like” my SlideShare, that action will appear in the Newsfeed of other SlideShare users following them. In addition, users who connect their SlideShare account to their LinkedIn account will have the “Like” appear on their LinkedIn profile. This, in turn, will appear in the Newsfeed of their LinkedIn Connections.

2) Shares on SlideShare.

Similarly, social shares from your SlideShare (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest) promote your presentation to an whole new audience. If an influential Twitter user tweeted your SlideShare to her 10,000 followers, your presentation could receive 100 instantaneous views.

3) We’re all drawn to popular items.

I think it’s human nature to be drawn to popular items. When we pass a busy restaurant, we’re apt to wait in line for 1 hour to get a table. When we pass a restaurant with no tables occupied, we’re afraid to become their only customer.

When I scan the “Featured” presentations on the SlideShare homepage, my eyes are naturally drawn to those with the most views. Sure, the title is important, but if a presentation has 10,000 views, that signals an endorsement of sorts (from others).

How to Hit The Mark on SlideShare


Photo credit: Flickr user modenadude via photopin cc

I try to kill two birds with one stone when I assemble a webinar presentation: as I create each slide, I try to optimize it for SlideShare at the same time. I could always go back (after the webinar) and re-work the deck for SlideShare, but I’ve come to realize that optimizing the deck for SlideShare also creates a more effective webinar.

1) Pick a hot topic.

I subscribe to 50+ sites (via feedly) on marketing, social media, SEO and more. Of late, it’s challenging to get through a feedly session without 10+ posts with “content marketing” in the title. So the timing was good for us: a webinar and slide deck on content marketing was sure to get some attention.

2) Use decent visuals.

If you have a designer available, take advantage of that. If not, you can assemble graphics and visuals on your own, but pay attention to design. You may have the most useful content in the world, but poor visual design can compromise both credibility and attention.

3) Optimize for “productive scanning.”

People don’t read blogs, they scan blogs. If you’ve gotten this far in this post, I bet you’ve scanned this post’s headlines, rather than reading each and every word (thank you very much, if I’m wrong about this).

SlideShare takes blog reading to an even skimmier level: visitors can flip through the deck quickly and find key points they can take away. So make your SlideShares easily scannable and use each slide as an opportunity to deliver actionable advice. The more wisdom you can impart, the higher likelihood of gaining a Share or Like.

4) Include useful hyperlinks.

When I do research for a webinar, I’ll often find useful articles that inform my presentation. I like to include links to those articles, both to give credit (to the source) and provide viewers with a place to receive more detailed information. When you upload your presentation to SlideShare, confirm that all of the PowerPoint hyperlinks are functional within your SlideShare.

Conclusion

Incorporate SlideShare into your content marketing mix! Use it to widen the reach of your content. There’s 60 million monthly visitors out there: make it easy for them to find you via compelling content.

In closing, I’ll note that we upgraded to SlideShare PRO. Because of all of the views we were getting, we wanted to use the lead capture feature of PRO to invite viewers to contact us for more information on our products (review SlideShare’s premium plans).

And Here’s the SlideShare.

In order to gain even more views of our SlideShare, I’m embedding it below for your viewing pleasure.

Note: originally published on the DNN Software blog.


Stand Out From the Crowd with Unique Content Marketing

October 5, 2013

Photo credit: Flickr user theirhistory via photopin cc

Introduction

A recently published report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs noted that 93% of B2B Marketers are using content marketing. Let’s hope you’re not a part of the 7%. With such a high rate of content marketing adoption, competition is fierce. Not only is your content “up against” your direct competitors; you’re also fighting for attention against all other B2B marketers.

Let’s say your content is about marketing automation, while another piece of content is about Hadoop. If your reader chooses to read the Hadoop article and forgets to return to your marketing automation piece, then you’ve “lost” that mini-battle. In this piece, I’ll cover tactics you can use to stand out from the crowd. Since everyone’s doing content marketing, you need to attract attention by being unique.

Create a perpetual motion machine of content.

Consider the top content marketers. They’ll publish multiple times per week on their blog (some may even most multiple times per day). They’ll create new videos, white papers, eBooks and webinars each and every month. They publish so much content that readers can’t even keep up (and that’s OK). And, they don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.

Marketers who create a perpetual motion machine of content are unique. And it’s this uniqueness that creates a sustainable advantage for them. Consistently churning out high quality content is not something competitors can easily copy.

Vary your content formats.

Good content marketers re-purpose their content. Great content marketers vary with a purpose. You’ll want to take that webinar and create multiple pieces of content from it: a Slideshare, a podcast, a white paper, a few blog postings (and a little bit of gravy to go on top).

But don’t pigeonhole yourself into a fixed set of media. If you’ve been doing webinars and blog postings for years, plan to do something completely different next quarter. How about a video-based comedy skit? Or a bus tour to visit customers? Maybe doing your next eBook in the form of an audio download (with 25% set to music)?

Marketo did a coloring book. Have a read through this Social Media B2B piece for more on that (and others).

Surprise people.

Each day at work, I either wear khakis or cargo pants (depending on how formal I feel like dressing). I pair a dress shirt with the khakis and a T-shirt with the cargo pants. What if I wore a suit and tie into the office? I’d be noticed and I’d receive comments from at least half of my co-workers (the other half would just think I’m unusual).

If people always expect you to do one thing, then do something completely different, to create attention. So do something that your audience isn’t expecting. Give them free product for a week. Write about a topic you’ve never covered before. Publish something that’s completely unrelated to your business.

Take a stand.

Rand Fishkin, Founder and CEO of Moz, took a stand against Google. By suppressing keyword data on organic search queries (but preserving that data for Google AdWords customers), Google is abusing its monopolistic position, according to Fishkin.

The statement from Fishkin drew a lot of attention. In fact, HubSpot’s Dan Lyons published a blog post with details of Fishkin’s stand, which he (Fishkin) communicated via video (you can find the video embedded in this Moz post).

Fishkin didn’t stop by just taking a stand, however. The bulk of his video informed marketers about how to adapt to Google’s changes. He provided a number of useful tips on how to work around “Not Provided” to infer some of the same data that we used to receive from Google.

So don’t just take a stand for the sake of it. Take your stand, then provide useful information related to it.

Produce and publish long form, ungated content.

Give us useful, in-depth content and “put it out there” for all to see. You’ll still need to produce gated white papers (to drive new leads), but add ungated content to your editorial calendar. A representative from Google once said, “we encourage original, high-quality content, since that’s what’s best for web users.” If your high-quality content is behind a registration page, then Google (and many others) will never see it.

Long form content is a golden opportunity right now: the field is wide open for you to produce useful content that both readers and search engines will love.

For info on how to produce in-depth content, have a look at these two resources:

  1. Search Engine Watch: A Great Strategy to Create In-Depth Evergreen Content
  2. Copyblogger: How to Write the In-Depth Articles that Google Loves

Finally, here are recent examples I’ve come across that are both in-depth and high-quality:

  1. KISSmetrics: How to Regain Lost Traffic with These Remarketing Strategies
  2. Buffer: 7 Big Facebook Changes You Should Know About for a Better Facebook Strategy
  3. Social Media Examiner: Content Marketing: How to Attract People With Content
  4. TOPO: Sales and the Buyer: Why Sales Misunderstands the Buyer
  5. Copyblogger: How a Stay-at-Home Mom Built a Million-Dollar Business

Conclusion

With 93% of B2B marketers doing content marketing, the bar has been raised. It’s no longer enough to produce content. In addition, it’s no longer enough to produce quality content. You need quality plus uniqueness to reach today’s reader. Are you ready to think differently?

Related Webinar

I presented a webinar titled “Content Marketing: 10 Tips in 30 Minutes.” Visit the webinar detail page to view the on-demand replay. In addition, you may view the webinar slides below.

Originally published on the DNN Software blog.


6 Reasons Lists are Awesome for Content Marketing

June 15, 2013

We all love lists

Photo credit: Flickr user born1945 via photopin cc

Introduction

Whether it’s a blog posting or a webinar, list-based content draws well. In fact, there’s a chance you clicked through to this posting because of the “6 Reasons” in the title (admit it). What makes list-based content so popular? Let’s count the ways.

1) They’re tangible.

Before you even click through to read a list-based piece of content, you already know that you can put your arms around it. By its very nature, a list makes a piece of content self-contained. It tells you up front what you’re getting: 5 of this or 15 of that.

2) Gives you a sense of pace.

Very rarely do I see a list-based piece of content in which each piece is overly long. You expect a rather brisk pace, as the author moves from one list element to another. Sort of like what I’m doing here!

3) Gives you a sense of progression.

Related to pace, list-based content ensures that you know precisely where you are. Let’s take a webinar. If the webinar has “5 Tips” in the title and the presenter is on tip number 3, then you know that you’re roughly 60% through her presentation.

4) Gives you a fixed beginning and ending.

Sometimes, you never know how long a piece of content will go on. List-based content tells you the ending point before you start. Even with a long list (e.g. “100 Reasons I Love New York”), you know when the piece ends.

And, if there’s a lot of content to consume, you know to pace yourself accordingly. With the “100 Reasons,” I’m apt to skim the list much quicker than “5 Reasons.”

5) Gives you the opportunity to pick and choose.

Consider a very long article. The further I progress, the greater the challenge for the article to “hold” me and keep me interested. If I know an article is 10 pages long and I’m not engaged by page 2, you’ve likely lost me.

Here’s where the “chunking” of list-based articles has an advantage. The first 10 of your Top 100 list may have lost my interest, but I can continue scanning through the list to pick out (and read) items of interest. I’m much more likely to make it to item 100.

6) Gives you convenient reference points.

In this era of social sharing, list-based content provides convenient reference points when sharing a post. For instance, if you like this particular point, you may be inclined to tweet this post and say, “I like number 6.” (feel free to tweet that now).

Conclusion

As a final point, my unscientific analysis tells me that list-based content tends to be shorter. So I’ve kept each point succinct, which makes this post short and sweet.


This Week: HubSpot Inbound Marketing Virtual Conference

June 14, 2011

Introduction

According to HubSpot, “The Internet has profoundly changed the way people learn about and shop for products. To connect with today’s buyer, you need to stop pushing your message out and start pulling your customers in. The rules of marketing have changed and the key to winning is to use this change to your advantage.”

HubSpot is hosting the first ever virtual conference on inbound marketing.  It’s this Thursday (06/16) from 11AM to 5PM ET.

Session: Inbound Marketing for Your Virtual Conference

Previously, I wrote about how content marketing can drive registrants to your virtual event.  I’m excited to share similar thoughts at the HubSpot virtual conference.  I’ll be joining Eric Vreeland, HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Manager, in a session titled “Inbound Marketing Best Practices for Your Virtual Conference.”  Our session kicks off the virtual conference at 11AM ET.

Save the Date

Virtual conference details:

Date: 06/16/2011

Time: 11AM – 5PM ET

For further information: http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-webinar/inbound-marketing-virtual-conference/

Disclosure: The HubSpot virtual conference is hosted on the INXPO virtual events platform (my employer).


Virtual Event Audience Generation via Content Marketing

June 13, 2011

Introduction

Email marketing is far from dead. For proof, look no further than Groupon, which recently filed for an IPO. Groupon’s business hinges on “daily deal” emails to their growing audience of subscribers. For virtual events, email blasts bring in 75% (or more) of the registrations [my estimate].

Despite Groupon’s success, virtual events’ reliance on email blasts is not sustainable. In this post, I introduce the concept of applying content marketing to generate an increasing percentage of your virtual event registrations.

Content Marketing is a Renewable Resource

Develop content that promotes your virtual event – and, remains viable well after the event is over. Market your event, while creating sustaining content at the same time. In the process of driving registrations to your virtual event, you’re also creating “inbound marketing,” – your content gets indexed by search engines. Content becomes a renewable resource, which can generate ongoing “returns.”

Email blasts, however, are a different story. You may open that Groupon daily deal email, but an offer to attend a virtual event may not garner the same interest. In addition, “repeat sends” of the same offer have diminishing returns. Get it right with your first offer, because subsequent blasts (to the same list) are dangerous. You’re more likely to generate opt-outs than opens or clicks. Email blasts are interruption-based, while with content marketing, users find you while they’re actively looking and searching.

Virtual Event Planners: The New Media Company

Consider the goals of a media company:

  1. Generate an audience (and associated lists)
  2. Engage the audience
  3. Sustain (and grow) audience loyalty

Virtual event planners are media companies. For virtual events, the above 3 steps become:

  1. Generate registrations (audience)
  2. Engage registrants (so they attend)
  3. Create a great event (so they come back next time)

Content marketing should be leveraged to generate a high attendance rate (i.e. number of attendees divided by number of registrants). Email reminders do not qualify as content marketing. In addition to reminders, share valuable content with registrants on a regular basis, leading up to the virtual event.

Content Marketing Portfolio

Never fear, you don’t have to build a media company on your own. Instead, leverage key stakeholders in the virtual event and invite them to provide content:

  1. Speakers
  2. Exhibitors
  3. Partners
  4. Your employees

The types of content you should be publishing:

  1. Blog postings (your blog)
  2. Guest blog postings (related industry blogs)
  3. YouTube videos
  4. Social sharing (of the above) via your social media channels
  5. Occasional email touches (to registrants) with valuable content [include an opt-out]
  6. Earned media

This content should be mixed and matched to attract new registrations and to interest existing registrants into attending the live event. An added benefit of all this content? Inbound links to your virtual event’s registration page, which increases its ranking with search engines.

Conclusion

Developing quality content is not easy. With a heavy reliance on email blasts (for virtual event audience generation), however, content can be a secret weapon. It’s your natural and untapped resource – and it’s renewable! Share your thoughts in the comments below – how are you using content marketing for your virtual events?


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