November 19, 2014

How NOT to talk about your location on Slideshare: a case study

Social media marketing is even more popular in economic development, it's a cost-effective way to attract new companies into your location. is the #1 social media platform for C-level managers, so it worth to understand the best practices of economic development slidesharing.


A less successful SlideShare presentation can deliver great lessons, so this time I chose a SlideShare from VIA Vasterbotten Investment Agency, Sweden. I hope they won't take it amiss and understand my effort - to improve their performance and to draw lessons for every one.

If you view these slides, maybe you agree with me: Vasterbotten is definitively a great location for touristic investments. The problem is the way how the Agency is talking about the opportunities:

#1 Don't talk about yourself.
Human brain would be overloaded with advertisements, if our brain didn't use 'ad filters'. It means, we simply filter all advertisement-like information, switch off TV ads - and don't read advertisements on SlideShare. The presentation above is a bit pushing, sales presentation, I would be surprised if VIA agency got any sales lead based on it.
Instead talking about yourself, talk about the buyer, this is the old and proven rule of sales. More exactly: turn your location's features into investor's benefits. E.g: Vasterbotten has 5 airports, so investors benefit in tourism: your hotel can be reached by a 100 million market in 1 hour travelling.

#2 Don't forget to compare competing locations
Site selection is about collecting and comparing information about several, not rarely 20+ locations. Are you sure that busy site selectors have enough time and energy to read all location's 29 slides?
Instead making promotional slides on SlideShare, create site selection support slides. Do site selectors' job, and collect and compare information about your major competing locations (and be honest, skip the tricks). Believe me: site selectors will be very thankful. Maybe you won't be the final location in each investment projects, but you will get much more sales leads and investors will put your location much more often on their long list.

#3 Data-driven content marketing is not equal to provide statistics
One of the largest problem in investment promotion (economic development) when investment agency tries to hype the location, without any factual background. Vasterbotten Agency avoids it: they provide tons of dry statistics. Do you remember 5 important data from the slides above? That's it. Data-driven storytelling focuses on some few, important, not self-evident data, and creates stories around it. E.g a guest family shares some experiences using Vasterbotten's 28 ski-slopes. Some sentences and an image only, but everybody will remember the 28 ski-slopes.
Regarding visual engagement, try to embed YouTube videos into your slides. E.g: I use the following video in my Eastern European automotive site selection slideshare (the CEO of Mercedes-Benz Hungary talks about how they have choosen the location):

#4 Don't miss call-to-action
The last two slides of the Vasterbotten presentation is about "next steps" and "contact information". Not bad, I like the "next step" slide, but it has to be improved. The call-to-action of a Slideshare presentation (but any good marketing content on the web) provides a bit more: tell exactly to your slideshare viewer what to do next. Give a  strong reason to contact you, direct him/her to your website, provide deeper information in a downloadable industry white paper etc. Don't let your viewer finish your slideshare without any reaction.

I'm really curious about your remarks and opinion: how to make better economic development SlideShares?