By Étienne Garbugli | May 15, 2013 | 0 Comment
This post was originally titled “How I created a presentation viewed by over 250,000 people on Slideshare in just 8 hours”, but as the numbers kept increasing to now well-over 2,500,000 viewers, the title no longer made sense.
A few years back, I wrote a blog post about how I had begun to write down everything I learned and the effects it had on my life.
From times to times, I try to share some of these insights. Sometimes, publishing these insights goes under the radar but, other times, the radar gets broken off the hinges…
Thursday March 28th, after a total of 8 hours of work, I published 26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20 on Slideshare and left for the evening.
The next morning was Good Friday; my expectations for the presentation were low.
When I woke up, I was surprised to find out that the presentation had made the Slideshare homepage. I knew what to expect; It was not my first time making the Slideshare homepage. I was happy getting 20 to 40,000 views, but I never expected that the presentation would stay there for 2 full days garnering over 2,000 views per hour.
Perhaps it was the long weekend and someone at Slideshare forgot to change the top presentations, but when they took down the presentation on Sunday, it had been viewed more than 65,000 times.
Out of sight, out of mind? Not in this case…
In the first few days, the presentation had been shared hundreds of times on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. By Sunday afternoon, people started clicking and 8,000 new people were viewing the presentation every hour. In marketing lingo, it had “gone viral”.
The presentation would keep this pace for the rest of the week. Along the way, it would get featured in the LinkedIn and Slideshare (twice) newsletters, be posted on the Reddit and Lifehacker homepages and, Business Insider would republish it on their Website.
— LinkedIn (@LinkedIn) April 3, 2013
The presentation was shared by big brands, influencers and many Websites I had never heard of. For the first week, I was unable to keep track of all the shares, likes and comments that were coming in. I tried to thank everyone, but at some point I could only give up.
It took over a week and a half for the traffic to slow down at a – still respectable – pace of 5,000 viewers per hour. The presentation had by far exceeded any expectations I could have had. All vanity objectives had been reached.
Views and shares are great, but they’re short-lived. What really drives value are the relationships created along the way. Brands pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for this kind of visibility. Is it worth it?
My real objective creating the presentation was to test out a marketing strategy for the book I’m currently writing. In that regard, the campaign was very successful and, I honestly think that I can almost guarantee 20 to 40k views for my future presentations using Slideshare as a blogging channel.
Creating a massively viral presentation in just a day may have been the most productive 8 hours of my working life. Unfortunately, expectations of success have gone up and this type of virality will be very hard to reproduce.
Even with a lot of research, going viral is not a strategy. I could have just as easily wrote a full ebook and created a 28-slide presentation to receive just a few thousand views. It’s important to be reactive in the face of virality, but virality can hardly be predicted. This time, I did not have enough availability to properly capitalize on the opportunities.
Going viral once is luck. If I do go viral a second time, it will mean that I have understood part of the system. Now, I at least have a wider base audience and a great portfolio piece.
Etienne works at the intersection of Technology, Product Design and Marketing. He’s a three-time Startup Founder, a five-time entrepreneur, and a UX research expert. Etienne is also the Author of Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want. Lean B2B is a framework used by thousands of entrepreneurs & innovators to reduce the risk of their B2B ventures.
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