“Creating 279 Versions of Why Someone Should Buy Your Stuff Is Insanity”: Michael Brenner on SlideShare

4 minute read

Upland Admin

If you’ve worked in content marketing land for a bit, you’ve probably heard Michael Brenner’s name. He’s formerly the Vice President of Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP, currently Head of Strategy at Newscred, author of the B2B Marketing Insider blog and a turned-to source for expertise.

And one reason people keep turning to Michael is his demonstrated knowledge of SlideShare based on the presentations he’s created for SAP. We asked for some wisdom as part of our Masters of SlideShare project, and he obliged. Here’s the full interview with Michael.

When did you first start using SlideShare and what drew you to it?

I first started using SlideShare 3 years ago. I was creating so much content that I saw it as a great way to get additional exposure.

How do you “visualize” a SlideShare before starting it? How many iterations do you typically go through?

“I try to think about how to tell a good story.” @brennermichael #SlideShare

I try to think about how to tell a good story. Most of my presentations are for a live audience. So I usually start with something provocative and ask why a certain issue is important. Then I move into some data that supports the need for change. Finally, I try to show how to solve the challenge. The things we’ve tried and what we’ve learned. SlideShare is a great platform to help people learn from your mistakes and successes.

What metrics do you pay attention to? And how do you accurately measure the value of a SlideShare presentation?

Like all our content marketing efforts, we track reach, engagement and conversion. It starts with reach. And not just volume numbers but also who are you reaching. You can generally get insights into this through some of the social shares.

“@SlideShare is a great platform to help people learn from your mistakes and successes.” @brennermichael

That leads to the second metric of engagement. Do people like it, share it and comment on it?

Finally, does the SlideShare drive clicks, and, for some, form submissions.

What infrastructure needs to be in place to consistently produce great SlideShare presentations?

There needs to be a culture of thinking and acting like a publisher. Creating 279 versions of why someone should buy your stuff is just insanity. Delivering something like 99 Facts on The Future of Business (140,000 page views and counting) just helps a brand like ours to reach a new audience, so we can set the right context for our brand conversation and ultimately convert them to customers and influencers.

Is there any mistake or dud presentation you’ve done that’s led to valuable lessons for new SlideShares?

I have learned that just uploading presentations for a live audience to SlideShare is not the best way to gain success. So for SlideShares like the 99 Facts we added “tweet this” functionality.

I’ve also started adding voice-over text to presentations so that the SlideShares really tell a story such as in What Is The Future of Marketing? and It’s Time To Become A Publisher. Now I’m seeing twice as many views, likes and shares just by thinking about how to make these presentations stand on their own.

For someone just getting started with SlideShare, what would be your first piece of advice?

Tell a story. Use pictures of babies, puppies or cats. And always make the customer the hero of your story.

“Always make the customer the hero of your story.” @brennermichael #SlideShare

What kind of promotion do you do to get the word out about your SlideShares?

I share every SlideShare I upload on every social channel I can but from there, I think it’s up to the audience to decide.

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