AdShare+LeadShare=SlideShare for business

Today we released two premium services for SlideShare. (see venturebeat, techcrunch, om malik, and our blog). One product (LeadShare) helps you use your documents on SlideShare to collect contact information from potential customers. The other (AdShare) helps you get more targeted traffic to your documents. We’ve been working on this for six months now, so I’m really happy that we can finally talk about it! Here’s a quick overview of what we’ve built, and why I think it’s cool.

This service lets you put a “contact me” form on and around your document on SlidSshare. It appears next to the document, on download, inside the document, and inside any embeds of the document: so basically everywhere. ;-> We let you collect not just contact information (like address, phone number, etc) but arbitrary survey questions (e.g. “What size company do you work for”, or “When do you plan on buying a new CRM system”). If you’re a business and already have documents on SlideShare, you can turn this feature on and immediately start adding new potential customers to your sales funnel. Pricing starts at $1 per lead, and goes up as high as $22/lead if every single option is enabled (you probably won’t need every option though).
Here’s the cool thing: we’re inverting the standard process of “tell me your name, rank, serial number, and underwear size and I’ll let you read my promotional business literature”. I think that process is broken, and isn’t a friendly way to begin a relationship with a potential customer. With LeadShare, you share your document and THEN ask for contact information. People only fill out the form if they legitimately WANT to get in touch with you. This fosters trust, leads to higher lead quality, and gives you access to a much broader audience of potential customers (because your documents can be found using search engines, and can be shared viraly using platforms like twitter and facebook). I think it’s a more open and friendly way to do b2b marketing.
The other service we’ve built helps you get more views for your documents on SlideShare. We use the text of your document to promote it against similar documents in a special “promoted” area on the document page. Sometimes it can be hard to get noticed on SlideShare. AdShare will help you get more views from the kind of people that are likely to be interested in your content.
Here’s why I think this is an interesting new form of advertising. 1)It’s a very high level of engagement. On average people spend 3 minutes looking at a document on slideshare. When was the last time you spent 3 minutes looking at an ad?
2)It’s very highly leveraged. You’re not just buying a single view, you’re buying social and search engine traction for your content. Popular traffic becomes more popular on SlideShare as people bookmark it and forward it and blog about it, so if you give your documents a “boost” by promoting them they’re likely to be embedded, bookmarked, tweeted, and search indexed, leading to continual “free” views. Of course, if your content sucks this is unlikely to happen. Like every form of advertising, the quality of the creative matters. ;->
AdShare costs only .25 per document view (.35 per document if it is geo-targeted). And if you’re using LeadShare, you can use AdShare to drive more targeted views to your lead-generating documents. Whoa!
I’m sure you can tell how excited I am about us launching these new services. Please take them for a spin and let me know what you think. Is this a useful way to connect with your customers? What features should we ad? What do you think of our pricing model? The comments area below is where you can have your say.