How to Use SlideShare for Marketing and Generating Leads

how to use slideshare

Are you using SlideShare as a visual marketing tool? If you’re not familiar with this free presentation platform, here’s a simple guide on how to use SlideShare for marketing to increase the reach of your business and also generate leads.

What Exactly is SlideShare?

SlideShare is more than just a place to upload your webinar or workshop slides. It’s a content marketing social site that can optimize your company’s information and generate qualified leads.

Most companies spend their time looking for new customers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, fighting for that prime spot in the news feed. But SlideShare users don’t participate in that battle. They face less competition for their viewers’ attention.

And SlideShare users are connecting quicker and easier with potential customers searching for their information. With SlideShare’s simple optimization features, you can bring more traffic and added exposure from the first day that you post your presentation than you would tweeting a link during prime time on Twitter.

But don’t think that there’s less competition on the site. Just take a look at these SlideShare stats:

  • 60 million unique users log in every month.
  • 400,000 new SlideShare presentations are viewed every month.
  • More than 10 million presentations are uploaded per month.

All that traffic isn’t just to look at power point presentations. You can upload your product’s photos, how-to videos, presentation slides, PDF files and create tips pieces as in this example from Small Business Trends below:

And SlideShare is like the other social sites with the usual online behavior of commenting, downloading and ability to share your content.

How to Start Sharing

It’s pretty clear that visual content is growing and if it isn’t a part of your marketing plan, adding SlideShare into your mix is a great way to start.

There are a number of programs out there (both paid and free) to help you set up your slide deck. But the easiest way to start is to pull up your Power Point program included in the office suite (this the programs suite that includes Word, Excel and Notepad) in your computer.

Here are some tips for how to use SlideShare to help you create sharable presentations:

  1. Decide the number of slides.
  2. Your slides should speak for themselves and not require a lot of text.
  3. Use powerful images that help create your message.
  4. Be careful with the fonts you choose. Feel free to be creative but make sure that the text is readable.
  5. Your slides are like story – there should be a beginning, a middle and an end.

Turning Content Into Leads

Now, you’ve created your presentation on a topic that’s relevant to your target audience. How do you get those qualified leads?

After you upload your presentation to SlideShare, make sure you add in these two simple steps:

  1. Set up your lead generation form: SlideShare has the option to embed an interactive pop-up form at the end of your presentation. You can set this up for users to enter their information to download your slides and/or to get connected to your company. If the user is a SlideShare member and they’ve logged in before coming to your form, then the lead generation form will auto-populate the users’ contact information. The whole process is easy for both SlideShare members and those who just came across your presentation.
  1. Add in clickable links: You’re not able to add clickable links to the first three pages of your presentation but you can add links to any other slide after the third one.

It’s a pretty simple process to add in links. Just this follow these steps:

  • Add in a call-to-action button or text copy in your slide to let the reader know that this link will give them more information.
  • Highlight that area and select the menu option of ‘Insert’ and then click on “Hyperlink.’
  • Add in your website link in the hyperlink area.

Your presentation now has interactive links.

How to Optimize SlideShare to Get More Traffic

Just like with any other content you post online, you want to make sure that your audience can find your SlideShare presentation. And like everything else on SlideShare, just doing a few easy steps can help your content reach more potential customers.

Here are some optimization tips for you to use:

  1. Presentation file name – Use your keywords or phrase in the title of your presentation. This not only helps your content get found in SlideShare, it also helps your presentation get indexed in a Google search.
  2. Presentation description– The first 155 characters of your presentation description will come up in Google search results.  SlideShare allows you to have a longer description in their search results so feel free to add more key words and phrases when you complete the SlideShare description area.
  3. Tags – Similar to other social sites, use the tags that are relevant to your presentation and not just ones that are trending.
  4. Category – Include the correct categories that fit with your presentation. SlideShare users run a category search so make sure that your content is located in the correct section so your presentation can be found by more people.
  5. Interactive Links – As I mentioned above, make sure you add in clickable links to your presentation, especially on the last contact me slide. Adding in these links increases your site traffic, thus growing your online reach.
  6. Sharing Links – Don’t forget to set up your presentation for sharing. Check your settings to ensure that the share/embed feature is on to make it easier for readers to share your content.

Need More Ideas to Create Your SlideShare?

Take a look at one of my favorite SlideShare examples below that walks you through the presentation development steps:

While social media is great resource for businesses, it’s also constantly being filled with online noise.  Business owners are struggling to figure out how to create visual content to grab our customer’s attention before they wander down another companies’ social feed.

SlideShare gives you a place to stand out from the crowd. This traffic-building social program offers your customers a place to read through your visual content at their own pace while they’re learning something that helps them grow their business. It’s a place to grow your reach with potential new customers while increasing your engagement with your loyal fans.

And with some research, planning and social sharing, your SlideShare presentations results can bring your site more traffic and qualified leads than just posting updates on Facebook.

Computer Photo via Shutterstock


Penney Fox Penney Fox is the developer of the Social Media Images that Convert online program. If you’re struggling to create your social media images, this 4-week online course will teach you the quick and easy steps to develop branded images in 30 minutes or less. Visit Inner Social Media-ness to learn more about time management social media marketing tricks to help your small business fit social media marketing into your already crazy busy day.

14 Reactions
  1. Thanks for the clear overview! I was just wondering if clickable links in pdf’s uploaded in Slideshare also only work from the 3rd page on. I am having difficulties with this with my uploaded pdf’s. Since I won’t generate any leads without having clickable links, I was planning on re-writing my pdf’s to PowerPoint.

    • You’re welcome Lind! I would consider shifting your content into a power point format. That way, you’ll know that your links will be clickable.

  2. I have used Slideshare before to promote and the result was phenomenal. Maybe it is because it gets indexed by Google fast.

    • You’re right Aira – I think it’s the Google indexing plus the fact that you’re not fighting against so many other companies on the main feed and in the internal Slideshare search.

      I’m working on a new social media time management workbook launch in the Fall and I’m definitely going to include a Slideshare presentation as part of my promotion and marketing mix.

  3. Great post! It should be noted that the ability to add a contact form at the end of the presentation is only available to PRO SlideShare users.

    • You’re right John – the contact form is included in the PRO version. I wanted to include it in this post to let people know that this lead generation form is an option for you to use with your presentations.
      Thanks for sharing that information for the readers!

      • I should have gone down to this comments section at first. I actually researched many posts & from the comments on your blog, came to know that the Inserting a Lead form is just for the PRO users.

        I intend to go for the PRO, which Linked in has paused, I think, or I don’t know.

        Is there any way to this ?

        And yes, your advise on shifting the PDF’s into a slideshow makes sense to insert clickable links.