When engaging in content marketing and social media marketing, most of the attention goes to platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. However, there are also a number of other sites worth exploring, most notably Slideshare.

Slideshare is essentially a document-sharing site that gives you the ability to create and post PowerPoint presentations, white papers, articles, infographics and more. If you’re engaging in content marketing, this creates some great opportunities for you to share in-depth content with your target audience, and then promote that content using other social media platforms.

A number of key benefits for content marketers

There are myriad benefits to using Slideshare in your content marketing efforts, not the least of which is search engine optimization (SEO). The site offers some fairly surprising referral traffic, allowing you to post content and then link it back to your website or blog. You can optimize your Slideshare content with your target keywords for even greater SEO value, keeping in mind that today’s Google likes rich, informative content over all else.

For businesses and organizations looking to become “thought leaders” in their field, Slideshare presents a terrific opportunity to develop and post content that gives your readers what they’re looking for. You can write and share fairly extensive documents, including white papers and long articles that truly delve into some thick subject matter. This is particularly helpful for B2B companies that deal with complex issues on a daily basis — such as accounting firms and corporate law practices.

There are also many different applications of Slideshare documents, as the platform allows you to easily embed your presentations, articles and white papers on your blog or other social media profiles, including LinkedIn. For example, below is a recent Slideshare presentation our team developed:

Sharing our presentation in this blog post was incredibly easy. All I had to do was copy some code made readily accessible on Slideshare, and simply paste it within my blog content. This process is essentially the same regardless of the type of blogging platform you use.

Leveraging Slideshare

Slideshare is fairly simple to use, and you can post documents in a variety of formats. My personal favorite is to create a PowerPoint presentation and save it as a PDF document. I’ve done the same with white papers, writing them in Microsoft Word, saving them as a PDF and then posting them to Slideshare. (Please note that saving in PDF is not a requirement, but rather my personal preference.)

Slideshare is available for free, although it does offer additional services for subscription rates. If you want more robust measurements of your readership and would like to explore promoting your content, I would suggest trying a subscription. Otherwise, the free version works just fine.

Finally, to get the most out of Slideshare, check out what others (if any) in your industry are doing. Review the types of content they’re posting and see if there are any opportunities to provide insights that they’re not offering. If done right, Slideshare can be an important and truly engaging aspect of your overall content marketing strategy.

Steve Bailey is president of ProPRcopy, a copywriting firm offering professionally written articles, white papers, blog content, social media content and more for businesses across a wide range of industries.