Shhh, want a hear about a great way to market your business online?  Want to discover a little known marketing strategy that won’t cost you a cent?  Ok, here it is.  The best-kept marketing secret is… SlideShare.  Owned by LinkedIn, SlideShare has over 70 million visitors per month, which makes it one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world.  And yet, despite it’s incredible global reach, most businesses are NOT using SlideShare to market their business.  According to Social Media Examiner, “Since few marketers consistently upload content to SlideShare, there’s much less competition than on the other social channels. In fact, SlideShare is the only major content marketing platform left where you can generate some nice content exposure from day one.” (7 Ways to Use SlideShare for Your Business by David Waring)

SlideShare is an incredible tool any business can easily use to share their expertise with a large audience.  Simply upload a presentation, infographic, document, or video, and you’re off and running.  While you do have some leeway on the type of content you can upload, the majority of SlideShare presentations are your typical PowerPoint style presentations.


In the event that you would like to take advantage of this best-kept marketing secret, here are some best practices for creating a stellar SlideShare presentation:

1. Focus On Your Audience

Before you even begin designing your presentation, think more about what your target audience needs and less about what you want to say.  Your SlideShare presentation should help your viewer.  Always try to avoid just selling your stuff.  Remember, you want your customer to know, like, and trust you.

2. Use Presentation Software Tools

While SlideShare does allow you to upload ANY type of PDFs, not all PDFs look good.  So, instead of creating a traditional 8.5 x 11″ PDF using Microsoft Word, it’s better to use PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote, etc. to create your presentation slides.  When you use a traditional presentation software program you automatically build slides at the optimal size (600×800 pixels) for easy reading online

3. Keep it Brief

While there are no set rules on the ideal length of a SlideShare presentation, less is best.  Try to keep your presentation short and to the point.  According to SlideShare, research shows 45% of the presentations uploaded have 10-30 slides and that the average number of words per slide is 24.

4. Use Images

The best presentations shy away from slides with lots of text and/or bullet points.  Instead, engaging presentations strive for minimal text and vivid images. Try to use high quality photos, simple charts, and eye-catching illustrations.  Studies show that visuals are processed 60,000x faster than words, and can increase a viewer’s comprehension by 89%.  Some of the most popular SlideShare presentations contain just one idea or thought per slide.

5. Font Suggestions

Aim to use a font size that’s large enough for viewers to easily read your slides from all digital devices – desktop and mobile.  Font size should be no smaller than 24-30 point size.  Also, it’s a good rule of thumb to only use two fonts styles.

6. Choose your colors carefully

Much like your choice of fonts, you want to use colors sparingly.  It’s a good idea to use your brand colors to maintain consistency in your marketing efforts.  When in doubt, try to use a contrasting color scheme, so your text stands out from the background.  A good rule of thumb is to use 2-4 colors max.

7. Add Hyperlinks

While creating your SlideShareSlideShare presentation include hypertext links that lead back to relevant pages on your website. You have the option of inserting hyperlinks in both the description of your presentation and directly on your slides.

8. Include a Call-to-Action

Always be sure to include at least one call-to-action in your presentation.  With SlideShare you can embed hyperlinks, or simply add your phone number, email address, blog, social media channels, etc. on the last slide.  In addition, remember to fully complete your SlideShare profile so viewers can learn more about you.

9. Search Engine Optimization

Use relevant keywords in your SlideShare presentation’s title, description, and tags.  Doing this will make it easier for people to find your presentation while doing an internal search on SlideShare, and also when they do an external search engines like Google.  Keep in mind that over 80% of SlideShare’s viewers come from searches, with at least 20% coming directly from Google.

10. Promote Your Presentations

Be sure to promote your presentation across all of your social media platforms (ex. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest).  You can even connect your social media accounts to your SlideShare account so your social media audiences automatically see any of your updates.  Another idea is to break your presentation up into multiple images and share with a link to your social media programs and/or your email newsletter.

So, are you ready to start using this 100% free marketing tool?  I sure hope so.

Here’s a great collection of SlideShare presentations to help you learn how to master SlideShare like a pro:

  • Introduction to SlideShare for Businesses

  • Getting Started With SlideShare

  • How to Make Awesome SlideShares: Tips & Tricks

  • 10 Ways to Win at SlideShare SEO & Presentation Optimization

On a final note, if you need some help with creating engaging PowerPoint presentations and eye-catching graphics, stayed tuned next week for more information on our new Graphics 202 online course.

Hi, I’m Gillian Whitney, a Video Marketing Coach specializing in LinkedIn video. Learn more about the services I provide and/or connect with me on LinkedIn.