The Strategy of Managing Customer Reviews

The reality of today’s consumers is this: customer reviews are a huge piece of the puzzle. They establish your business as trustworthy and reputable, but they also determine how your website performs. There’s a procedure to follow when it comes to collecting, posting, and managing customer reviews. The Get Smart Group encourages all of our clients to follow a specific Review Management Strategy. We’ve posted it here so you can follow it, too.

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  1. Ask everybody for a rating & a review in a private email.
  2. Ask positive reviewers to post their review on social media.
  3. Repost them on your website.
  4. Deal with negative reviews – want to learn how? We can help!
  5. Managing customer reviews is easy with the right reports.
  6. Avoid the temptation to fake it.

Ask Everyone for Reviews

If your business isn’t asking for reviews now, you need to be. Ask everybody for a review, no matter how big or small their purchase is. Encourage people to leave reviews in more than one place. Here are some ideas:

Show Those Reviews on Your Website

Having customer reviews and/or testimonials on your website will actually help your page show up better in search results. Google favors pages that have customer reviews on them, and those reviews will show up in regular search results. One way to make sure the best reviews are automatically posted is through Get Smart Reputation, which reaches out to your customers and gently reminds them to share their experiences. “When the customer has a 4 or 5 star review, it is automatically shared on multiple ratings platforms. Now here is the best part! When negative feedback is left (3 stars or worse), the dealer is notified before any feedback is posted to the public. This allows the dealer to address a problem they may have never known about and – in most cases – change a negative response to a positive one that can then be shared,” says Tim Warren, The Get Smart Group’s Sales & Customer Relations Specialist. “This program isn’t just a benefit, it’s a necessity for our clients.”

Deal with Negative Reviews

Negative reviews are inevitable, so you’ll need a procedure to deal with them. Respond quickly to negative reviews by reaching out by email or giving the reviewer a personal phone call to try to work out the problem. Leave a comment on the review so potential buyers know you’re working on the situation or that it has been resolved. Many times, a customer will come back and leave a follow up review about the customer service received as a result of the review, which gives potential buyers peace of mind that you’ll take care of them, too.

Managing Customer Reviews with Regular Reports

You need a way to visualize all of your online reviews so you know what people are saying and where they are saying it. There are custom monitoring & reporting tools that we use, and Get Smart Group Reputation provides all of the relevant customer review information you’ll need so you can manage all of your customer reviews across a variety of online platforms.

Avoid the Temptation to Fake It

Today’s buyers are quick to identify a pile of bologna as a pile of bologna. If your business has 100 reviews and they’re all 5 stars, that’s a red flag. Most people expect that a business is going to have a couple of 1-star reviews. Sometimes people are crabby – potential buyers are okay with that! What you should strive for is mostly 5 stars, then 4 stars, and hopefully only a few 1, 2 or 3 stars.

Bonus Tip: When You’re Starting From Scratch

If you currently don’t have any reviews on your website, this information might motivate you to get started! That’s good! What’s not good is asking all of your past customers to write reviews at the same time. The leading customer review sites have meticulous algorithms that will hide certain reviews if they seem like they’re not spontaneous. Yes, you should as past customers for reviews, but be strategic about how you do it.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT GET SMART REPUTATION NOW

If you need help adding customer reviews and testimonials to your website, we’re here to help! Take advantage of our free 30-minute consultation today.


Customer Reviews & Testimonials

The key to the success and prosperity of your business is trust. That means the big question to ask yourself is this: How do you show your customers that you’re trustworthy? Think about the the last time you made a purchase. How did you do your research? If you’re like the average consumer, you probably began by looking at customer reviews.

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The Influence of Customer Reviews

A well-written review could make or break your company’s reputation. Why are they so influential?

  • They’re candid. The good, the bad, and the ugly… you’ll find it all… and it’s all unfiltered. If the product does or does not live up to expectations, you’ll find out by reading reviews and testimonials.
  • There’s no fluff. Reviews are relevant, short, and to the point. The customer doesn’t have to waste his time looking through irrelevant filler.
  • There are no buzz words or marketing lingo. Some companies use terms that the average customer isn’t familiar with. For better or for worse… the truth comes out in customer reviews.
  • They’re the opinion of the average consumer. The reader is an average consumer, too, so there’s an instant connection. Because of that similarity, the reader sees the advice as coming from someone he/she relates to.

The Amazon Example

Do you ever come across a product on Amazon that has no reviews? For most consumers, it’s a huge red flag… especially if it’s a significant purchase. If reviews show a potential buyer that a business is legitimate and trustworthy, a lack of reviews could mean the business is the exact opposite. As consumers, we are skeptical and cynical about products that have no reviews. If a potential buyer visits your website and sees that there are no reviews, it could throw up the same red flags.

The Stats Don’t Lie

There have been enough studies on the importance of customer reviews and testimonials that it’s no longer a matter of opinion. People buy from companies they believe they can trust. Statistics prove just how important it is to have them on your website.

  • 91% of potential buyers say that consumer reviews are the #1 aid to buying decisions.
  • 87% of people trust a friends recommendation over critic’s review.
  • Customers are 3 times more likely to trust peer opinions over advertising for purchasing decisions.
Do you have customer reviews online on sites for your business? If not, what does that say to your leads about your business? Now is a great time to get started adding real reviews and testimonials to your website! Visit this page to learn about our Reputation Management Tool and request a demo and pricing. 

Do SOMETHING with Facebook ads. Please?

Use Facebook Advertising

We’re having so much fun over here with Facebook advertising that I’ve been forgetting to write about it.  But that ends now…

By now you’ve probably been inundated with the fact that you need to be using Facebook to advertise to people.  It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, the people who buy what you sell are on Facebook.  Young, old, CEOs, entry level workers, your neighbor, your family…  Everyone is on Facebook.  Doing a bit of back-of-the-envelope-math on Facebook’s own data tells me that they’ve got north of 200 million active daily users in the US alone.  Of that, about 93% use Facebook on their phone.  Insane.

As someone who owns a business who helps other people advertise on Facebook, it’s frustrating to hear people who “don’t think it works” or say that it “isn’t worth my time”.  I guarantee you, someone in your industry is doing it now and they’ll only get better, and they’ll be ahead of you forever.

So, let me show you an example.

We have a client in the relationship space who is advertising on Facebook.  We setup landing pages, designed the ads, connected everything to Infusionsoft and let ‘er rip.  In less than one week, we have the following results:

Facebook Lead Cost

 

Basically, the two far right columns are conversions into their products.   What you’re seeing is them getting a new customer for $1.30.  So, unless you’re selling packs of gum online, you can probably make a profit if it’s only costing you $1.30 to get a new customer, right?

Another objection I hear is, “I can’t afford to advertise.”  Really?  We’ve run successful campaigns for $100/mo and I know you can too.  If you really work out your offer, setup your landing page correctly and start running ads, you’ll make your money back.  Without question.

Do Something!

So, all I’m asking you to do today is to please do SOMETHING with Facebook advertising.  If that means you go to the self help center, do it.  If you need to make a landing page, try ClickFunnels.  If you want to talk through it, get our Free Marketing Consultation.

You have no excuses and your business is suffering for it.


Three Simple Tips You Can Follow to Improve Your Linked In Networking Today

Hello... Is it leads you're looking for?Open admission right up front – I didn’t write these tips – these valuable snippets that will help ANY BUSINESS OWNER who has ANY kind of business with finding more leads on Linked in.  This is not an exaggeration.

Yes, I myself am a marketing “expert” with my own consulting company for Business Owners but I’m still learning all the time too. (Gasp!) This past weekend I had the privilege to attend an incredibly valuable Marketing Automation & Sales conference for Law Firms – called “The Rainmaker Retreat” hosted by Legal Marketing Expert Stephen Fairley in Las Vegas.

Fortunately for any readers of this article – it turns out that not everything that happens in Vegas stays there.

Sometimes you marry a cute guy you met there at a business conference for lawyers (well, that’s what I did). And sometimes great ideas that are planted in your head turn into worm holes you can’t help but travel down and you must keep exploring until at some point matter collides with matter and a BLAMMO, a new universe is formed – Or at least you decide you must share what you have learned. Here is where I find myself today.

Yes – the article title said 3 tips, but again, why stop at 3 if there are 1o I can share? After all, the title “10 simple tips” sounds more time consuming and less motivating right…?

Stephen is one of the most organized and motivational educators I have encountered in my time working in the marketing field. As a marketing consultant who believes in measurable ROI – absolutely DEMANDS it for my clients and for my own business, I love what Stephen’s company is doing for the Legal Industry. Yes I endorse Stephen on Linked In.

These principals apply to ANY business or practice owner who is using Linked In now OR would like to be using Linked in for better networking, marketing and lead generation in their business. Read on and then take the steps he suggests. I started making these improvements 15 minutes into his talk on this topic – and by the end of the day I had 100 more profile views and connections on Linked In.

  1. Keyword load your title – Law firm marketing expert, legal marketing, business coach, best selling author, marketing expert for lawyers  YOU MUST HAVE A PHOTO / HEADSHOT 
  2. Fill out your work history and keyword load it – describe your business but focus primarily on: the kinds of clients you want to work with, the types of professionals you look to refer clients to and receive referrals from, success stories / case studies, Results you have achieved for your clients – linked in just added more options – be sure to fill it out completely!
  3. Connect with people you already know – CONNECT WITH YOUR LEADS ON LINKED IN – use this awesome tool to upload lists of your leads or referral partners easily https://www.linkedin.com/fetch/importAndInviteEntry  (link is case sensitive)
  4. Give recommendations & Then ask for them  (get at least 10 or more recommendations)
  5. Update your profile weekly – content from your blog, snippet from articles youve read, case study, new project you’re working on, a “win” you had for a client, a seminar you’re going to or giving, a networking event you’re attending
  6. Monitor who is looking at your profile each week – connect with those who are looking.
  7. Join groups for refarral sources and / or potential clients (2 million groups on linked in!, 8000 groups started weekly!, people who are active in groups get 4x as many profile views as other people).
  8. Consider starting a group for your target market or potential referral sources – this is a lot of work and must be updated each week to stay relevant.
  9. Connect Directly with potential referral sources – send a connection request, send an inbox message, see if they would be interested in meeting face to face
  10. Invite them to lunch! Don’t make lunch a pitch fest – listen and ask probing questions 80% of the time, talk about yourself 20% of the time.
  11. You can edit what you’ve been endorsed for – delete the ones you don’t have and add the ones you do.

TIP – if you use the linked in app on your smart phone, you don’t need someones email address to send them an email.

Do you WANT to do more in your business this year? Then follow this advice and “Make a decision to take action. Not making a decision is actually making a decision.”     Stephen Fairley


LowestRates.com – a Get Smart Group Customer Success Story

Lowest Rates (lowestrates.ca in Canada and lowestrates.com in the U.S.) is a price comparison site, much like Expedia or Hotwire, but instead of offering prices on travel, it compares personal finance products. The site has access to mortgage rate from over 30 banks and lenders in Canada. And, if someone is looking for insurance or credit cards to fit their needs, the site offers quotes from over 10 providers.  “We want to empower people to more easily understand personal finance and make the right choices for their unique needs,” says Justin Thouin, co-founder and CEO.

lowestrateslogo

Justin explains that, before working with The Get Smart Group, Lowest Rates saw nearly 100% of its traffic through organic search, but wasn’t doing much beyond a monthly newsletter from a reacquisition standpoint. “We were doing a great job of acquiring our customers, but getting them to come back to our website, cross-buy products and staying in the forefront of our customers minds – we weren’t doing a good job of that,” Justin says.

Justin and his team saw an opportunity in working with The Get Smart Group to provide a better service to consumers by providing them with educational pieces and helping them save money. Utilizing The Get Smart Group’s Infusionsoft program for the majority of email communication, Lowest Rates works toward engaging its customers more on a regular basis.

The program sends an email to new customers when they visit and set up an account on the site. Lowest Rates also sends two weekly emails through the Infusionsoft program: an informational email on Mondays to help educate consumers and a “lowest rate of the week” email every Wednesday as a special offer that should catch the interest of the lead database. “Infusionsoft also manages our database of customers and allows us to slice and dice that list to target market them as needed,” Justin explains.

Lowest Rates has seen significant improvement in its retention numbers since working with The Get Smart Group and implementing the Infusionsoft email marketing program. “We definitely have better engagement from our customers. We’ve stayed top of mind with them and we’ve been able to share with them other products that we have to offer. We acquire feedback more frequently because we create a personal, one-on-one relationship with each of them. And we generate incremental revenue through the cross-selling of products, whereas we weren’t doing that before.”

Justin reports that working with The Get Smart Group has certainly improved their business. “We’ve only had the pleasure of working with Scott directly so far. He’s responsive and his expertise has added value to our company.”


Is Your Email Campaign Stuck in the Age of Desktops?

Tips and Tricks for Making Your Emails Mobile Friendly

By: Andrew Lisa

When you send an email, assume it will be opened on a mobile device. Emails that aren’t optimized for mobile are hard to read, difficult to navigate and easy to close and ignore. Emails should look great on desktops, but also on cell phones and tablets. This way, your recipients have no problem reading them when stopped at red lights, at dinner with loved ones and anywhere else smartphones are used.

Subject Lines:mobile-email-marketingEDIT Less is More

Subject lines should be short, containing just a few powerful words — like newspaper headlines. Anything over 40 characters and you run the risk of your subject being cut off and disappearing into ellipses oblivion. Long, convoluted subject lines lead to unread emails.

Bigger is Definitely Better

Get your mind out of the gutter. We’re talking about fonts, here. On a smartphone, 11-point font looks like the fifth line down on that chart they make you read at the eye doctor’s office. Everyone who isn’t Gilbert Gottfried hates squinting. Don’t go under 13 points, and consider taking it all the way up to 15. Don’t get fancy. Avoid web-embeddable fonts and stick with the tried-and-true HTML options like Georgia and Arial.

Stack Pancakes, Not Links!

Links are like rival gang members in prison — it’s best for everybody if they are kept far apart from each other. Fingers aren’t stylus pens. When someone tries to click your phone number, but they accidentally click your email address because the two links are right on top of each other, that person hates you forever.

 

Focus on Formatting

Stick to one column. Multiple columns on small screens create clutter, reduce visual impact and increase the odds that it won’t look good on different devices and platforms. Most importantly, it makes people zoom, and people want to zoom about as much as they want to install another Adobe update.

Don’t make your email more than 600 pixels wide, which is the industry standard because it fits virtually all screens. Many devices can handle more, but you should play to the lowest common denominator — because it is sadistic and evil to make anyone scroll side to side just to read your email. Also, avoid using background images, menu bars and other visual distractions.

Picture Perfect

Most email platforms block images by default, so avoid using them to display crucial information. If you use images, keep them low-res. Although bandwidth is less of an issue than it used to be, high-res images may take a while to load, which gives your recipient time to loathe your existence and unsubscribe.

CTAButtonsGSG

Calls to Action

Include a specific, clickable call to action. Don’t make it an Easter egg hunt. CTAs should be obvious and should show up in more than one place. Now repeat the following phrase three times while holding a rabbit’s foot:

I will not put my CTA buttons anywhere near my unsubscribe button.

Before you hit “send,” make sure to test your message on multiple devices, both Android and iOS. Beyond that, the basic rules of traditional email marketing apply. Make messages scannable. Avoid large blocks of text, stick to the central message, put the important stuff at the top and always offer something of value.


Getting Your Ducks in a Row | Using a Marketing Calendar

By: Michelle L. Cramer

So, now that 2015 is nearly behind us; do you know what to expect from 2016? Have you planned your events, specials and marketing efforts for the year?GSGDucks

 

Chances are, you have an idea in your head of what your marketing efforts look like. And you probably even have a few dates floating around when you plan to implement certain things. But it’s likely that it’s all just a disorganized jumble… and maybe on a slew of sticky notes scattered around your desk and office (or maybe even a Google calendar reminder or two).

Set Things in Stone

A marketing calendar is really a necessity for staying on task with your marketing goals and seeing your business grow. However, we’re not oblivious to the fact that putting a marketing calendar together for the first time can be intimidating. Start small; you’ll be surprised at how it soon comes naturally to effectively plan ahead.

“The starting point would be just putting when you events are on your calendar and making sure to set up an email broadcast to go out to customers two weeks before your event – one email is a good start,” Ali Reynolds, our co-founder and sales manager, advises. “Give yourself a reminder two weeks before your event so that you can get the email written and sent out in a reasonable amount of time.”

Ali also believes that having a Facebook page for your business is a good way to start toward a full-fledged marketing calendar, because posting to social media should be a part of your efforts. “And reach out to a marketing company and ask for a free consultation – most companies will do that and there’s value in that, even if you don’t end up hiring them,” she says.

Help is Available

The Get Smart Group, of course, offers free consultations. Beyond that, however, we can assist you in the process of getting your marketing calendar fully established for the rest of the year. We have a couple of options when it comes to full-involvement:

  • Managing Your Marketing Calendar – This starts with an in-person meeting where we come to your office and sit down with you to establish your marketing calendar for the year. We examine your deliverables and make a corresponding plan, broken down by month. Then we provide you with a proposal for the monthly management of your marketing calendar and take it from there. You put the work in our hands.
  • Kick-Start Day of Marketing – The second option is for us to come for a planning day, lay out a monthly plan for the year and simply charge a fee for the planning process. You take it from there and implement all of the strategies throughout the year.

With either option, The Get Smart Group feels it’s important to have face-to-face time to implement a strong strategy. “Some people have marketing departments, but they just need help getting organized,” Ali says. “Having us there in person is a really great way of getting stuff done fast.”

When we’re managing your marketing calendar for you, we do a monthly check-in call to touch base, give results for the previous month, verify what’s planned for the next month and see if there is anything else you’d like to add to the calendar. “This gives us a little bit of flexibility for last-minute opportunities, but without the last-minute rush and panic,” Ali says. “This built-in room to breath means a higher quality marketing campaign overall.”

Implementing the Plan

Once you have your big events and sales on the calendar, you can fill the rest of your marketing slots by breaking down each of those items. Map out an email campaign, social media posts and advertising, blog posts and landing pages on your website, Google Adwords promotions, print ads and radio spots – when they will need to go live and when the materials will need to be ready to make that happen. Whatever you do, Ali advises that visuals be included. They are very important for grabbing attention.

Even if you don’t use The Get Smart Group for piecing it together – or any outside help for that matter – implementing a marketing calendar will take the success of your business to the next level. Take the time to plan out the rest of 2015 and you’ll quickly see what a difference an organized strategy will make.


High-Flying Loyalty: How to Keep Customers Coming Back

By: Nathan Evans

In the hit NBC show The Office, there’s an episode where Dwight, the office manager’s slavish devotee, has a potential job offer at a competitor company. “I feel like what I’m getting paid for here is my loyalty,” he says. However, in an aside to the camera, Dwight intones gravely “But, if there was somewhere else that valued that loyalty more highly…I’m going wherever they value loyalty the most.”

Jokes aside, many of your customers may feel the same. You can build a business on manipulations (incentivizing people to buy your loyaltyproduct or vote for you or share your content) but real loyalty comes from a totally different place. To get someone to complete not just one transaction with you, but two, five, twenty — to come back over and over and over — you have to have more than a nice jingle or a discounted price.

Loyalty is Crucial in Downturns

Southwest Airlines has a reputation for low-cost flights and having fun on the job. In the months and years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City, airlines were mauled by a drop in flights and extra security measures. Several airlines filed for bankruptcy. Southwest, on the other hand, was receiving personal checks from people all across the country. Completely unbidden, Americans who liked Southwest’s LUV-ing spirit, were satisfied with their low-cost flights, and admired their way of doing business (or could we sum all that up as loyalty?), were sticking by the company in their hour of need.

That’s loyalty you cannot buy, trick or manipulate.

How does one foster this kind of loyalty?

  • Be authentic. What that means is that every choice you make, every product or service your company puts out, should be in line with why your company exists. As Simon Sinek says in his book Start With Why, “people don’t buy what you do…they buy why you do it.” You can review our Get Smart Group “Why” HERE   
  • Treat customers like people. We’ve all had that customer service person who really made us feel special — so special we went online and wrote a review, or told friends about it. When customers stop being potential marks or conversions and start being living, breathing people we do business with, they will see us as more than vending machines.
  • Be respectable. Think back to a mentor, teacher, boss, or friend who you’d walk to hell and spit through the gates for. Loyalty is the word, but your respect for them is the why. If your customers don’t respect you, they won’t stick with you when someone else offers them BOGO.

One-Offs vs. Long-time Relationships

Some businesses are transaction-based. There isn’t much point in fostering loyalty among voters when you’re running for President, which is why candidates can make all kind of campaign promises (the business term is manipulations) and get away with them. On the other hand, business that rely on repeat customers cannot afford to engage in one-off sales tactics. Take a look at the manipulations the U.S. car manufacturers were using before the 2008 financial crisis. They work in the short-term, but when times got tough, car-buyers weren’t mailing in free checks to GM saying “hey, you were there for me.”

If you’re not fostering loyalty, all you’ve got is a bunch of Dwights.

Are we giving you the kind of loyalty you expect? Shoot us an email and let us know how we are doing.

 


Google Keep: Note based apps vs. Pinterest…what’s more useful?

About a year ago, I got a text from my old friend Susan. She wrote, “I just followed you on Pinterest.” A few moments later, she followed up with, “I just checked. You’re literally the only man I know who has a Pinterest account.”

Whats the True Potential with Pinterest for Marketing? 

users-of-pinterest -genderWhy did I despise Pinterest so intensely? Maybe I wasn’t born with the tools required to comprehend its complexities. I had known, of course, that Pinterest is dominated by women across all age groups, with something like a 70/30 gender split. But I never considered that my simple lack of estrogen would keep me from being able to navigate an app.

Bad enough I’ve never been able to figure out women, but now I can’t even understand their social media sites. Perfect! 

I originally joined because I wanted an organized place to save online content to revisit later. What I found was a hoarding app and a social-media site rolled into one platform, without being really great at either. One of Pinterest’s many unforgivable flaws is that after pinning something, I would come back later to find that just a thumbnail of the webpage’s main image had been pinned instead of all the content that I actually cared about.

A few weeks after I began my experiment with the image-based social bookmarking site, I closed my account in frustration and Susan again went back to following exactly zero men on Pinterest.

Evernote is Safe for Now – paired with Google Keep – it’s a plus for Men.

Pinterest is wildly popular and growing quickly. But it is flawed as a hoarding app (especially when it comes to saving text-based content) and it doesn’t have the reach of the top-tier social media networks.

Google Keep, is the first platform to bridge the gap between note-taking apps and social media.

As a note-taking app, it enables users to create, collect and save notes, audio, web content images and more, just like Pinterest. It comes with a menu of cool organizational features, which give the impression that Google is attempting to muscle in on Evernote’s turf as the top dog of hoarding apps. But part of Keep’s lure is that it actually works remarkably well in conjunction with Evernote, instead of attempting to replace it. As Lifehacker pointed out, the two were never meant to be in competition, although early comparisons stoked that discussion. The real magic is in Keep’s ability to seamlessly sync with Google Drive.

Google+ and Keep: The Beginning of Social Note Taking ?

As TechCrunch noted shortly after the launch of Keep, Pinterest has more consumer appeal than any social bookmarking site in the world. But since Keep is not social, it poses no immediate threat to Pinterest.

All that could change, however, if Google merged the “social plumbing” it has built with Google+ into the foundation of Keep, which it easily could. More than 10 million people have downloaded Keep, and the more content they collect, they more likely they are to want to share it. If Google merges Plus with Keep, Pinterest will be squared off against a sleeker, simpler version of itself — one that is backed by the Google brand and gazillions of Google loyalists.

Then, I’ll finally have an easy, time-saving place to store the recipes I’m never going to cook and the workouts I’m never going to do. Just think of all the spare time that will leave me with to try to figure out women.


New Kid in Town: Slideshows are the New Infographics

Although most people had never heard the term “infographic” in 2008, it wouldn’t be long before the wonderful little picture explainers would revolutionize content marketing — and for good reason.

Infographics show information instead of telling it. They are fun. They are compelling. They are easy to digest. They are shareable. They make a direct appeal to the human brain’s insatiable craving for visual learning.

A (Really) Brief History of Infographics

Early humans created the first infographics on cave walls 30,000 years ago in modern-day France and Spain, using pictures of animals to convey data about hunting. But the real genesis of infographics can be traced to 1992, when Microsoft released PowerPoint version 3.0. Although installing and using the software was only slightly easier than killing saber-tooth cats with spears, regular people could now create compelling digital graphics without a design team.

By the start of the second decade of the 21st century, content was king, and infographics were the kings of content. The use of images to convey data had grown by 9,900 percent between 2007 and 2013 — a year that saw infographic production rise by one full percentage point every single day.

Content marketing had reached its pinnacle — everyone loved infographics.

But as our cave-dwelling ancestors learned all too personally, a newer, better, more highly evolved version is always just around the corner. In 2013, Forbes called Slideshare “the quiet giant of content marketing.”

professional audience

Slideshare: Infographics — and So Much More

Forbes had a point.

With 60 million unique visitors a month and 215 million page views, Slideshare is in the top 120 most-visited websites in the world. Everyone from Mashable to the White House uses the social slide-hosting site — and they should.

Slideshows give you all the best qualities of infographics. They present information visually, instead of through boring text. They can reduce enormous swaths of complicated information down into digestible chunks. They are easy to create (again, thanks PowerPoint!) easy to share, they drive traffic and people naturally retain their visual content.

But compared to flat, static infographics, Slideshare presentations are just so … well … alive.

linkedinplusslideshare

Purchased by LinkedIn in 2012, Slideshare quickly evolved into an important business tool. Today, Slideshare receives 500 percent more traffic from businesses than YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. Mobile views jumped 223 percent in just one year between 2013 and 2014, and 20 percent of Slideshare visitors arrive there directly from Google searches.

It is also far more comprehensive, versatile and all encompassing. With Slideshare, you can incorporate webinars, presentations, videos, documents, PDF files and, of course, infographics. So you don’t have to give up your first content marketing love just yet — but you might, once you feel the power of slideshows.

Slideshare presentations today are doing to infographics what infographics did to plain text articles — making them look like they belong in a cave.