How Your Slide Deck Can Make Event Marketing Easy

by Crystal Paradis-Catanzaro

Got a speaking gig coming up and wondering why on earth it’s taking you so long to get your slide deck ready? Well, don’t worry, all that effort you’re putting in can totally pay off, and beyond just the event itself.

There’s this really cool trick I came up with just before one of my speaking gigs at a local meetup. I posted my slide deck in a blog post on my website right before I went over to the event — and that one action brought surprising results. It was really effective at getting attendees (and those following along online) to my website. This one action caused more of an increase in web traffic than I’d seen from any previous speaking engagement. My inner marketing nerd rejoiced.

Such a simple step.

You’re probably spending countless hours on just your slide deck — hours can go into simply finding the right images. So don’t just let your slide deck die after your event. Get the most marketing bang out of your presentation buck. Keep it going by repurposing that content.

Your brilliantly insightful slide deck can broaden your audience far beyond that one event, and it can keep bringing you traffic and fans.

Here’s how.

Pre-Event Marketing: Building Buzz around your Speaking Engagement

Your job doesn’t begin once you get up in front of the crowd — your job begins as soon as the event is announced. You’re bringing to the event lineup not only your expertise, but also your audience. It’s an unspoken duty of yours to help with pre-event marketing. Promoting an event to your own audience is a great way to build a relationship with the folks that invited you to speak.

Also, the more people to attend the event to see YOU in particular, the better an audience you’ll have. They’ll be more receptive. They’ll laugh at more of your jokes. They’ll live-tweet your presentation with more gusto. It’s a win-win. Get your people there. Here are some tips on pre-event engagement.

Include a Few Really Helpful Resource Links in Your Slide Deck

Hopefully your talk is jam-packed with useful advice anyway. Make sure that some of advice can be enhanced with a link. It mightbe a really good resource you’re recommending, or a blog post you’ve previously written that explains more about a subject you touch upon. Include this link on your slides (a bitly link if possible — so you can track how many people use it). The point of this is to make sure that your audience has a really good reason to go find your slides after the event, to access the URL of this super awesome tip.

Pre-Blog About the Event to Let People Know Where to Find Your Slides

Of course, you should be promoting the event in general in the weeks leading up to it, but in particular, I find it’s really helpful to publish a blog post before the event on your website that specifically states that you will be posting your slides from the event in that blog post. This gives people a link to bookmark ahead of time if they’re interested in your topic. Depending on how you have your website set up and what your content calendar looks like, it may make sense to wait until a few days before the event so that it’s the first post people see when they go to your website. If you share a link in your presentation to your slides, if it’s not just your regular, straightforward URL, people are WAY less likely to bother to write it down or go to it. A bitly or otherwise customized link isn’t as mentally easy to remember as a domain name. So make sure your post is super visible from your homepage, and simply direct people there.

Build a Twitter List of Event Attendees

If you can build the first (or the most comprehensive) Twitter list of attendees for the event, you can get some great Twitter engagement and event links to your Twitter list by other promoters of the event. People will get notified if they are added to the list, and you can share the list on the official event hashtag for some good retweets/subscribes.

If the event does not publicly display a list of attendees, you can still make a list of the event host, sponsors and speakers. This list is a great way to promote the event before you have your slides done — and positions you as an authority of the event. You’re already building buzz so that when you start teasing your slide deck, you’ll have an audience in place, intrigued to check it out.

(Don’t know how to make a Twitter List? Check this guide.)

Post Your Slide Deck on SlideShare and Embed It in Your Blog Post Before Your Event

Sure, it’s a bit of spoiler if someone happens to refresh your blog post before you get onstage, but this is not very likely — and unless there’s some big surprise announcement, it’s not going to ruin anything anyway. The best part of your presentation is YOUR presentation of it, right?

I think it’s helpful to publish your slides before you get onstage because if someone wants to check your site from their phone when you get up to talk, it’ll already be there. And then they’ll be impressed that you’ve covered your bases beforehand. Once people walk out the door of the event, if they haven’t already connected with you or saved the URL to watch/download later, they’re way less likely to remember to look it up later.

Again, you want to make it SUPER EASY for people to find you — if your most recent blog post isn’t already on your homepage of your website, make sure to prominently feature a link to that blog post of slides on your homepage.

Use a Footer on Your Slide Deck with Your Information

Make sure you add a footer to your slides that contains your URL, Twitter handle, business name or another way to find you. This will come in handy if people take photos of your slide at the event, screenshot them later, or share them on Pinterest.

I found this tip too late for my last event — by the time I went to pin one of the slides, it was after the event and it was too late to re-upload the slide deck with branded footer. So if anyone repins my pin and takes the URL out of it… well, I’ll just never get credit! Lesson learned.

Start Your Talk by Telling People Where to Find Your Slide Deck

Now that your slides are already up on your site, you can TELL people when you get up there, “Go to my website and my slides are already there!” Again, this preparation will speak volumes about your organization skills — and your respect of your crowd.

This also allows your audience to be more present for your presentation, knowing they don’t need to copy down notes and links from the slides.

It’s also a good idea to have your social media posts pinned to your profiles with links to that blog post, for those following along at home. Schedule a few tweets through TweetDeck or HootSuite with the event hashtag, so that your account will be joining in the live-tweeting while you’re onstage. Pro move.

ICYMI: Post-Event Marketing Through Social Media Engagement

Bravo! You’ve given your presentation and bowed to the wild applause of your rapt audience. Great job! Now you get to share all of your wisdom again in bite-sized pieces over the next few weeks and months.

Here are some ways to keep the buzz going after the event.

Share About It on All Your Channels, For People Who Missed the Event

Use a great shot of you speaking to help promote this — your pals who weren’t there will see you up on a stage or with a microphone and be curious about what they missed.

Cross-Promote Other Presenters’ Recaps, Resources and Slides

Your own recap will be more helpful if you include resources from other speakers, too. And hey, maybe they’ll return the favor.

Tweet Thanks at Attendees and New Connections

Go through the event hashtag and connect with folks online that might not have come up to you in person. Thank them for attending and sharing your message. Another pro step is to connect people who met at your event who may not know each other yet. Being a connector of new friends is a great way to grow your networks.

Repurpose Your Presentation Across Multiple Channels

Let’s face it — people who weren’t present for your presentation aren’t likely to sit through the whole thing, unless they’re your biggest fans. But you can pull major points and tips from your slide deck and create smaller, actionable posts around them. Examples of useful repurposing of your presentation content:

Take an Actionable Tip and Turn It Into a Short LinkedIn Publisher Post

LinkedIn Publisher is a great traffic-driving tool. It’s a great place to share short, business-friendly advice on a certain topic. Pull an actionable tip from your presentation and share it as a standalone LinkedIn Publisher post. Include a link to your full recap blog post, driving interested connections back to your website.

Take a Pin-Worthy Slide (Quotes are Great for This) and Share It on Pinterest

Pinterest is another great medium for sharing single-slide wisdom. If you have a great quote in your preso, start there. People on Pinterest LOVE them a good quote. Make sure to link the pin back to your blog post on your website. People might download your image and repin it without including that link, but most won’t go to that trouble. And this is another good reason to put your URL or Twitter handle on all slides.

Write Separate Blog Posts Around Each Section of Your Slide Deck

Your presentation probably contains enough information for an entire series of blog posts. Break them down one by one. The beauty of using slide deck content on your blog is that you’ve really done all of the thinking already in your preparation for giving the presentation. So when it comes to writing out individual blog posts, it’s just a matter of executing the blog post. No need to rack your brain coming up with new ideas from scratch.

So easy it feels like cheating!

This is one of the secrets of effective and sustainable marketing: It doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to start from scratch every single time.

You’re putting a lot of time into your slide deck — why not keep sharing this info to provide benefit to your audience, and get the most marketing benefit from it, too? So think about implementing some of these tips into your slide deck as you prepare for your next talk. And drink lots of water. Hydration is important. Break a leg. You’re going to be great.