Slideshare, a site for sharing presentations, documents and pdfs, took the next step in improving their business monetizing strategy. They have announced the release of Slideshare Business, a new way for businesses to interact with the customers and, also, help Slideshare make money out of their business. In fact, this is their first paid offering ever since they opened shop three years ago.
Slideshare Business essentially offers two products, one targeted towards getting customers and the other towards connecting with customers.
- Adshare: This is a way to promote your documents with 20 Million Slideshare visitors, most of them professionals, with targeted ads. Instead of a text ad or banner ad, adshare helps business target audience contextually with their contents stored in the documents. Unlike the text and banner based ads, where the marketing message is limited to just a few characters or banner space, here you can offer an entire document highlighting your product/service. For 25 cents a click, the cost is not all that expensive either.
- Leadshare: This is a way to connect with your potential and existing customers by collecting information about them, about their needs, etc.. Such an information will give a business lot of leverage to target the customers in a better way. This is akin to the approach taken by various businesses using whitepapers and webinars but in a more cost effective way. It is possible to embed the form in the document or while downloading a document or through a link. The costs range from $1 to $22 per lead depending on the information collected and the targeted geo-locations.
This is a smart attempt by Slideshare to increase their revenues while increasing the number of users to their site. For anyone to start promoting their content in adshare or collect information in leadshare, they have to become a member of slideshare and use it. This increases the number of users in their site while they also pay to promote their content in slideshare. The biggest advantage of using slideshare’s adshare over, say, Google’s contextual ads is the quality of visitors you get. In the case of Google, the chances of your ads getting clicked by people not having interest in your business are more and it is less likely in the case of slideshare because slideshare doesn’t command the traffic like Google and most of their visitors are professionals coming to look for something relevant to their interests.
Having said that, I have some concerns too.
- I really want to know about the controls they have to stop abuse and cause economic drain through the clicks. I tried to find some information on the Slideshare website but couldn’t find it. For a small business, 25 cents a click fee could add up really big through abuse and I would like to see the kind of controls they have to prevent it and when it happens, help the business to minimize their loss. Setting a spending limit is not a defense to such loss. It only helps in the budgeting and users cannot be expected to use it as a defense to stop click fraud. I hope Slideshare comes up with more information on that front.
- In the case of Whitepaper, a business can make sure that the visitor gives them their information before they could even see the content. Same is the case with webinar. There is no way businesses can implement such a wall here. Well, as an end user, I hate such walls that forces me to give out information but I am wondering if businesses will be comfortable with the features in slideshare where their content can be viewed without giving out any information.
Overall, this is a good move by Slideshare and it is time for them to target businesses with products relevant to their service usage. I think they got it well with these two products. I am eager to see the response from the customer side.