In the last several years, interruption advertising has been ‘interrupted’ by a new more elegant way to reach customers called content marketing. And, one of the leaders in this field is SlideShare, which has just been acquired by LinkedIn.
SlideShare has made a name for itself by offering an online hub to share presentations, documents and professional videos. As with Pinterest, the visual mode of sharing information is becoming one of the key hallmarks of the web in 21st Century.
Websites hosted on professional hosting platforms can benefit from a broad content strategy that includes sharing white papers, slides, podcasts and video.
SlideShare describes its content marketing approach as a way for businesses to provide content that their customers want or need, in exchange for their attention, a clear alternative to interruption advertising symbolized by traditional methods such as billboard advertising.
“Not only do ads interrupt customers, but they also rely on brief moments of time to capture attention and deliver a message that will hopefully lead to a sale. Billboards have only a few seconds to convey an important message to customers before they zoom by, and television commercials hope to capture customers’ attention before they decide to leave and heat up dinner during a commercial break,” said SlideShare.
Content marketing on the other hand implies creating content in the form of blog posts, presentations, free reports, YouTube videos, etc., and offering this content to customers for free in exchange for attention.
As one of the top 150 sites on the web with over 60 million visitors a month, SlideShare’s brand of content marketing obviously works.
“We coded up the first version of the site over four months, and the site went live with simply a story on TechCrunch. The day we launched, we were completely unprepared for the volume of presentations that were immediately being uploaded from all over the world,” said SlideShare.
“We mostly grew by word-of-mouth and virality. The only business deal I aggressively pursued was when I heard that there might be a LinkedIn developer platform in the works. I activated every connection through advisors, investors, and friends, determined that SlideShare be part of LinkedIn’s platform.”
SlideShare reports that since then they have collaborated with LinkedIn numerous projects that formed the basis of the acquisition.
The transaction is valued at approximately $118.75 million, subject to adjustment, in a combination of approximately 45 percent cash and approximately 55 percent stock. Subject to the completion of customary conditions, the acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of 2012.