The saying goes “A rising tide lifts all boats” – the idea that improvements in the general economy will benefit all participants in that economy (Wikipedia) and attribute the saying to John F Kennedy.
With a free business model reliant on goodwill, community and the viral dissemination of free content, paid for by SEO & Viral traffic seeing advertising, it is a pretty viable concept.
It is quite possible that the direction they have taken is what works best for them as a technology company and is what their customers expressed a willingness to pay for, and based on Eric Ries’s article today, they went through various questionaire and testing phases to reach their eventual public service offering.
But lets flip things around a little
Alien Marketing Concepts
- Build a landing page with a presentation on it and an opt in form, and also include reciprocal links to all your business competitors.
- Drive PPC traffic to a Dmoz listing that includes not just your link, but also all your competitors
- Pay for traffic to a landing page you can’t split test effectively
- Encourage viral distribution of your marketing materials which then link to a site containing content from all your competitors
- Using a lead capture process that doesn’t use your own lead capture forms with your autoresponder, possibly with a confirmed/double opt-in.
- The purpose of creating an infographic is to drive links to Flickr
A Different Perspective
- Build a landing page with your presentation on it, and all links and actions on the page benefit you directly as a marketer.
- Drive PPC traffic to a landing page you have full control over, and any viral distribution of your content creates a traffic funnel directly to your properties… only
- Have complete control over your landing pages – create 10 different versions of your presentation materials and split test their performance.
- Lets be honest – viral distribution of content rarely happens without a push – that takes time and money. You want to maximize your ROI with complete control over the funnel, and benefit directly from any links.
- This isn’t dodgy leads from a conference where you don’t know whether you have permission to send them marketing messages. You want a clear process that works with your autoresponder directly, and the ability to immediately market and segment the traffic, maybe even sell without human intervention.
The Biggest Failing Of Slideshare
This is a presentation from one of the people I most respect in tech, Dave McClure, because he “gets” marketing – it is quite possible 50% of the visits I have made to Slideshare have been to view updates, though most of the time I have viewed presentations on his blog, or followed a tweet.
3 links to Slideshare
Dave has been driving traffic to his presentations
But that is fair enough… it is a free service, we can all be kumbaya for the greater good of the community.
Pro Branded Channel
Only 2 links… one to a banded channel – the branded channel is the only place with a link back to Edelman… and it is nofollow.
This presentation has been fairly popular
There has at this time also been 150 tweets, 72 Facebook shares, 159 Facebook Likes & 67 Slide Embeds
What an amazing marketing success and branding exercise for Edelman Digital, after all the first point raised in the presentation is:-
1. Marketing in the age of streams
Your customers, consumers and employees are no longer only visiting static Web pages but participating in conversations which increasingly occur off domain in “streams” flowing from Facebook, Twitter and even apps. In order to catch them, you must be highly relevant in their streams.
Which has resulted in zero comments on their original blog post
… and not ranking for the title of their own blog post
David Armano does a little better with his blog post, which was a syndicated (and attributed copy) of the original with a further 5 comments, 33 Facebook likes.
Lets see a comparrison between Slideshare & Edelman
Now imagine all those Tweets and Facebook shares had been directed to the Edelman blog post concentrating the viral message to a single point.
I haven’t analysed all the sharing activity, but I exect a fair number didn’t link directly to Edelman in any way shape or form.
Links – especially editorial links cost a lot of time = money.
Edelman have a huge amount of social currency to play with – the co-author Steve Rubel has a very popular Twitter account, a popular blog etc, and as a very early adopter I am sure a large percentage of anything he Tweets gets picked up by bots that can help magnify the social proof.
Topsy actually shows 109 Tweets, but only 34 of those are looked on as influential.
I would look on this at least as a partial failure… the big problem is that this is probably the most popular Slideshow Edelman have published on Slideshare.
All Roads Lead To Rome… Via Timbuktu
I understand social media isn’t direct marketing – you can’t control the message all the time, or where it takes place.
9 months ago I layed out a lot of this in emails to Slideshare via their advisor & investor Dave McClure when they launched their initial pro offerings… where you might pay $7 for a lead generated by a Slideshow on your own LinkedIn profile.
This new offering is a vast improvement, I am sure it will drive a lot of business – but is still not the offering it should be. Or it is not the product offering I would envision as being ideal…
It may well be ideal for Edelman clients where the development of a landing page or posting a blog post takes 3 committee meetings, 2 rounds of golf, and signoff from the legal department.
However my opinion is you are effectively paying to promote Slideshare rather than driving visitors into an optimized sales funnel.
I spent a little more time digging around for a good video sample to share from a Pro account holder.
The only problem is I should really flag it as a potential copyright violation as it was created by the guys at Royal Pingdom… maybe used with permission or Jess3 were the creative agency that created it.