Presentation site SlideShare aims new products at businesses

SlideShare, a site for uploading and sharing presentations, unveiled a new section today called SlideShare Business. Co-founder and chief executive Rashmi Sinha says the site’s users skew more heavily towards the business world compared to your standard document-sharing website like Scribd or DocStoc, so SlideShare Business highlights products to help those businesses get more attention or sales leads, while also making SlideShare money.

SlideShare Business includes two initial products — AdShare and LeadShare. AdShare, as you might guess, is an advertising program on the SlideShare site, but it’s not about your traditional banner ads. Instead, the ads take the form of SlideShare presentations, which businesses can pay to feature next to related searches or presentations. Sinha says those ads can be explicit sales or marketing slides, or they can come from businesses who just want a little boost for their presentations. SlideShare will only charge advertisers for users who actually view the slides, she says.

“This validates what I’ve been saying for a while, that slides are a great advertising format for getting a point and a message across,” Sinha says.

LeadShare, meanwhile, is a way for businesses to use presentations to get sales leads. It’s a common practice to use white papers and reports to get those leads, Sinha says, but it’s a “high friction” process, where users have to answer long questionnaires about themselves before they can even read the report. LeadShare can be used for that kind of traditional lead generation, but it’s really meant for something a little more user-friendly.

As they’re viewing a presentation, one of the slides (the first, third, or last) asks the user for a little information, which can be required or optional. That’s a better way to target potential leads, since you’ll hear from users who are actually interested in what you’re doing, not just everyone who fills out a form to get to your presentation. And where traditional lead generation costs $40 to $100 per lead, SlideShare will cost between $1 and $22, Sinha says.

San Francisco-based SlideShare also just celebrated its third birthday, and Sinha says it has 20 million unique monthly visitors. The company raised $3 million from Venrock and assorted angel investors last year.

Here’s a presentation (from SlideShare, natch) outlining the new products.


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