Category Archives: Infographics & Memes

Create Better Content for SlideShare

SlideShare has become a key distribution channel and a powerful content marketing tool – and businesses worldwide have taken note! With its 60 million monthly unique visitors and 215 million page views, SlideShare has launched into the top 120 most-visited websites in the world. It’s also now the world’s largest community for sharing presentations and other professional content.Content for Slide Share

What this means for content marketers or any business who wishes to enhance their marketing efforts, is that SlideShare could be a relevant tool to incorporate as part of your strategy. However, just like any other content you share on the web, it must provide value and insight to your viewers in order to really have an impact. Let’s take a look at 7 different ways you can create a quality SlideShare presentation and effectively market it to their vast audience and to your own target audience.

  1. Understand the difference between SlideShare and PowerPoint

Foremost, it’s important to understand the differences that exist between SlideShare and PowerPoint. With a PowerPoint presentation, you are often in the room with your audience, giving a speech along with your PowerPoint slides. This is why your slides don’t have to (and shouldn’t) convey every small point to your audience. You are doing this verbally.

For a SlideShare presentation that’s standing alone out on the web, you don’t have the benefit of being in the same room as your audience explaining or clarifying those details. These essential differences mean that your SlideShare presentation needs to communicate a complete message that can stand alone and doesn’t need anyone else there to explain to the viewer what they are looking at.

  1. Choose large and appealing graphics

Unless you want to bore your audience to death with page after page of white slides filled with content, you will want to put a special effort into making your presentation visually appealing with graphics and colors. Choose large and vibrant images that complement your text. Or consider inserting some infographics and video clips to convey your main points through different types of media.

  1. Appeal to a broad audience

Once you upload your SlideShare file to their vast community of users, it’s floating freely in the world where anyone can click and view your materials. For this reason, you want to make sure your content is written in such a way that is appeals to a broad audience and can be easily understood by people of various backgrounds and education levels. Anything that is too technical or lacking important details won’t resonate with the larger audience.

  1. Use font size and style to highlight important points

Since SlideShare is designed to be a standalone marketing tool, you won’t have your voice or hand gestures to emphasize the most important ideas to your audience. You can still achieve this by using different sizes and styles of font to highlight what you want people to remember. A bold, larger font from all the rest will be seen as a heading or a main point and will alert viewers that this is something they should note. Using different sizes and styles of font will also to create an aesthetically appealing presentation with visual interest.

  1. Make the information easy to digest

At some point in our life we can all remember have to read a terribly boring text book or article that is filled with endless paragraphs of black font on white paper. Without even headings or chapters to break up the ideas, it felt like one big blob of words. Chances are you tuned out before you really absorbed the main points. Avoid falling into this pitfall with your SlideShare content but separating your ideas into small, easily digestible bites and spreading them out over different slides. It’s better to have more slides with less content per slide than the opposite.

  1. Turn it into a PDF

Once you’ve put the final touches on your SlideShare, you’ll want to publish it in a format that gives viewers a high quality version and is compatible across many platforms. A PDF is the most recommended way to achieve this. The PDF will lock in your style and formatting so that your SlideShare looks the same to all viewers regardless of how they are accessing the content.

  1. Harness the power of SEO

Finally and most importantly, keep search engine optimization (SEO) top of mind when you are selecting the topics and content to include within your SlideShare. Because this content is hosted on the web and accessible to a vast audience, SEO plays an important role in how your SlideShare will get found. Research all the keyword options for your topic and focus on the ones that are most popular or most frequently searched.

What other tips and tricks do you have for creating better content for SlideShare? Share your ideas by commenting below!

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Filed under Brochures, Content, Infographics & Memes, Self-Publishing

What can we learn about marketing from CNBC’s marketing of The Profit?

Donald Trump. Mark Cuban.

Mr. Wonderful. 

Kevin oleary make up

In the last eight months, a new business teacher has emerged to entertain weary and wanna-be entrepreneurs.

Who is this new profit?

Marcus Lemonis- and his show, The Profit.  (Do you think the show’s name was purposeful?)

Lean in. We can certainly learn a lot about marketing from a network marketing machine trying to launch a new television show.

To start, watch CNBC’s The Profit.  It’s a newer show trying to build an audience in its second season.  At its start in August 2013, the show weighed in between 248,000 viewers and 254,000 viewers, but as of March 18, 2014, the audience grew to 415,000 in the 10 pm time slot thanks to the Worldwide Trailer Sales episode .

What has the series been doing to build its brand?

 

Airing Interesting Content

Piggy-backing off of the success of Shark Tank, the premise of The Profit is that accomplished businessman, Marcus Lemonis, can save failing businesses and ultimately generate profit, if current owners are willing to sell their majority shares for Lemonis’ infusions of cash, instruction, and hard work.  The Profit’s Worldwide Trailer Sales episode, for example, while controversial, ranked well with general audiences because it was a lesson in what not to do in business– don’t air dirty laundry in front of co-workers and employees.

The Profit team also delivers related business insights and advice via video and articles through the show’s CNBC web site.

Knowing your niche and casting stories that are interesting and insightful are integral components to success.  If you sell a service or a product, focus on delivering the best possible quality product.  Hire a team that understands how to deliver the type of content that’s needed for each channel. You can drive segmented audience traffic to your website or store, if you deliver a story that’s relevant, engaging, and right-sized for your customers.

I once had a college professor spilt our class into thirds.  Some of us were producers and had to conjure up show names and premises.  Some of us were advertisers trying to decide where we wanted to place our advertising, and the rest were sales people.  All of us voted on what shows we would want to watch.

The lesson?  In a public university college class, the most outrageous titles always won the popular vote and usually those had to do with sex, models, and alcohol.  Nice, straight-forward, and generally wholesome programming usually bombed.  Advertisers soon learned that they had to weigh exposure to more viewers against their brand’s image and associations.  Sales people didn’t want to get stuck selling low-rated shows to advertisers, so they pitched work more often with those producers who had a string of titles that resonated with audiences.  I learned that what I thought would go over big (nice, educational shows) didn’t and, in looking back, some of the voting was probably influenced by certain frats hosting the party that night.  The content has to fit the audience and be justified with numbers.

When I saw the Worldwide Trailer Sales Inc episode of The Profit, I had déjà vu.  That crazy episode- with the foul language and bad behavior, had all the makings of a winner in the ratings.

 

Real-Time Engagement on Social Media

So, after the show, @marcuslemonis stayed an hour longer to tweet with fans.  Without ruining the show for you (because it ends rather abruptly), this technique helped viewers to sort through reactions. What a great idea!  Use social media to start, clarify, or end conversations.  How?  Create a video or blog post about your service or product.  Then, expand upon the conversation in another channel.  Ask viewers to migrate there with you.  You’ll influence search, loyalty, and engagement with this technique.

Producers of the Profit received some decent feedback about the March 18, 2014 show and I suspect a sequel to the Worldwide Trailers episode was even discussed.  If not, the feedback was valuable for fine-tuning Season 3 criteria and upcoming episodes.  Test the market place for your product or service with feedback obtained from social media.

If anything, Twitter gave Lemonis the opportunity to share feelings and thoughts about the show.  He worked on developing relationships with his emerging fan base.The profit tweets

Lemonis uses his Twitter account to promote upcoming shows and to build his personal brand.  He asks for entries for The Profit’s next casting season and promotes contests that give fans chances to ask him questions and to meet him for lunch.

Is your CEO using Twitter to rally the troops and to promote your brand?

 

Create Memes

The Profit Facebook page employs another search marketing tactic.  It features memes.The profit meme

Take professional pictures of scenes from your story and add wording to those pictures to create memes or info-graphics that link to your website. People are more likely to share pictures and those shares- especially on G+ and Facebook can influence search engine results.  Pinners are even creating boards with sayings from the show!

What are your company’s sayings?  Take snippets of the CEO’s best speeches, add them to pictures, and ask the team to pin ‘em.

Lemonis and The Profit are also on Zeebox.  What’s Zeebox? It’s a place where TV fans go to hang-out with cast members and fans of their favorite shows.  The conversations in these micro-communities give producers feedback and insights, while feeding additional information to fans.

 

Create Videos

The Profit shares about ten full-length episodes on its website. It then breaks those videos into smaller tidbits with inserts of business advice from Lemonis.  You can do this, too.  What is your company’s story?  Its mission?  What does it do well?  Educate your customers, your employees, or your partners with a YouTube channel filled with useful videos.

 

Cross Promote other Channels

If you own other properties or are in relationships with partners, promote each other.

Lemonis tweets to Shark Tank investors, interviews with CNBC, and appears on CNBC’s Power Lunch.  The Profit even sponsored a Nascar raceLemonis is also visible promoting the show with interviews like this one with the HuffPost. Stories and interviews are cropping up on blogs like Inc., My Web Writers, and Ken McCarthy.

The result?  More exposure.

Growing ratings.

Increased profits for the companies vested in the show.

 

Marketing Take-Aways

What can you learn from the marketing of CNBC’s new show, The Profit?

  1. Know who you are and what you want to say to customers.
  2. Promote your mission in sound bites and actions through tweets, posts, memes, and videos.
  3. Be available. Stay engaged with customers.
  4. Cross promote. Find like-minded partners and help each other by interviewing and promoting each other.
  5. Provide relevant content that your niche will actually want to digest and share.

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Filed under Business Strategy, Content Marketing, Facebook, Google Plus, Infographics & Memes, Marketing, Pinterest, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media, Social Media contests, Twitter

12 Steps to Create Your Own Infographic

My Web Writerseaselly_visual

It seems like there are infographics to cover every topic. There are even infographics about infographics. What if you have information that you want to tell others, but there is no premade infographic that has all your information? It’s time to make your own. Stumped on how to do that?  Follow these 12 steps to create your own.

Infographic Prep Work

1.      Plan it Out. Know what information you want to give to your readers. Keep your message short, simple, relevant, and original.

2.      Be Specific. Give your readers more than superficial details. Go in depth. Be sure you have correct information. Correct and specific details build your credibility.

3.      Balance Information with Graphics. Infographics shouldn’t be too wordy, but they do need words to get your point across.

4.      Grab Attention with a Headline. Your headline brings in readers. Make it snappy!

5.      Keep Attention with Sub-Headlines. Sub-headlines draw your readers’ eyes through your infographic. Give your audience reasons to keep reading.

 6.      Match Your Tone to the Information. You do not want to detract from your message by making light of a serious topic. Humorous information loses appeal if it is presented in a serious tone.

You’re half way there!  Once you have the information portion of your infographic lined up, it’s time to focus on the graphics.

Designing Your Infographic

1.    Find a Template. There are many websites that offer free templates that you can use, but most of them require you to register with them.  The three largest sites are infogr.am, piktochart, and visual.ly.  There are also templates that work with Microsoft PowerPoint from this blog post. No matter where you get it from use a design that catches the eye.

2.    Choose Your Colors. Use color wisely. Too many colors look chaotic, but too few look boring.

3.    Choose Your Fonts. This is not the time to use every font you can. Focus on readability and restrict yourself to only a few font choices.

4.    Create Your Graphs. Just like with the sources for templates, there are many websites that create graphs for you. Microsoft Excel is also another source for graphs if your information is already in a spreadsheet.

5.    Create Space. As you are putting all the pieces together remind yourself, infographics that share too much information look messy. Allow some open space around your graphics for a more readable finished product.

6.   Put it Out There. After you create infographics, they won’t go viral overnight. You’ll have to work to get them noticed. Share them on Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

It may take a few tries to create the perfect graphic. If you have a relevant message and are using good information people will want to share it. ~Megan

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Filed under Content, Facebook, Google Plus, Infographics & Memes, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pictures, Pinterest, Social Media, Tumblr