Long Live SlideShare. RIP SlideShare.

Ross Simmonds

It sucks to write this post.

I’ve invested thousands into creating Slideshare decks and at one point proclaimed in front of thousands that Slideshare was one of the most underrated yet promising marketing channels for B2B:

Since January, I’ve been taking screenshots of the homepage of Slideshare because I had to make sure that my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. You see, I had a strange feeling that the “Trending” and “Featured” content on Slideshare was actually staying the same week after week… 

So, I put on my Sherlock Homeboy hat and put together a Slideshare deck showing what I found:

Whoa.

Month after month there were little to no changes.

Even after the 2018 Mary Meeker Report broke the internet (over 800,000 Slideshare views and counting) — the trending section on Slideshare stayed the same (this is ridiculous because there’s no way it wasn’t trending)!

This is surprising because a few years ago it really seemed like Slideshare was set up for B2B success. Even after being acquired by LinkedIn for more than $70 million dollars, it felt like Slideshare would win.

At the end of Q4 2014, LinkedIn wrote in its letter to Shareholders that:

SlideShare now hosts more than 17 million presentations and videos … SlideShare continued to broaden LinkedIn’s reach by approaching 70 million unique visitors.

That’s a lot of traffic! 

And traffic continues to be one of the benefits of using Slideshare. When looking at their average ranking for keywords being searched for in Google; they rank #1 for more than 100,000 of them:

I’ve taken a look at some of the various Slideshare accounts that at one point were generating hundreds of thousands of views on every deck they uploaded for many of them – their most recent decks have struggled to break beyond three or four digits.

Take the folks at Buffer for example… Their decks generated hundreds of thousands of views when talking about social media. But their most recent deck on social media marketing hasn’t cracked crack 5,000.

They’re not alone…

A few years ago, I was generating hundreds of thousands of views on a deck but today my decks struggle to break into 5 figures. Are people tired of presentations and decks?

I’m not sure…

But it appears that the lack of traction and ability to drive results on Slideshare is also something that Microsoft & LinkedIn has recognized. Take a look at some of the activity levels of the LinkedIn Slideshare account over the last few years:

When LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft; the number of Slideshare decks being uploaded to the LinkedIn account plummeted and the last time they shared their quarterly results on Slideshare was June 2016.

So where does that put us…

I think it’s fair to say that the glory days of Slideshare are behind us.

I’d love to hear what you think of all this and what the future holds for Slideshare.

Do you still use it for your own presentations? Have you seen your results drop?  What do you think led to the downfall of Slideshare? And what do you think it would take to turn the ship around?

About Ross Simmonds

Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist who has worked with everything from Fortune 500 companies to startups to drive results using digital marketing and technology.

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