As the social media gatekeeper for my clients at Schubert b2b, I am constantly seeking ways to get better results – new followers, more valuable engagement, qualified leads, etc. This is why I was so keen on SlideShare’s PRO feature. It offered some basic lead generation tools at a very reasonable (almost questionably low) price…but it didn’t last long. And when SlideShare announced last August that it had discontinued new sign-ups for its PRO feature, I was torn.

Some of my clients were already PRO members, while others were still ironing out the details before signing up. For current PRO clients, this wasn’t bad news. It meant that they were able to keep most of the lead features while eliminating the monthly membership fee. For my other clients, I assured them that SlideShare was working on a newer, better lead generation tool that they would also soon have access to. While this was true, nobody really had any idea when SlideShare would re-launch its improved lead generation tool.

So now, after a year of suspense, SlideShare has unveiled its new lead generation feature. With several upgrades, such as a more customizable lead capture form, LinkedIn AutoFill, and integration with Hubspot and Marketo, SlideShare claims that its users can generate more relevant leads and create a better viewing experience for its prospects. But we just want to know, was it worth the wait?

Customizable lead form

SlideShare’s new lead form gives give you more control over what information you can gather from your viewers. The PRO form was relatively static, with the option of including fields for name, location, company, contact info, title, industry and space for the viewer to leave a brief message. The new form now gives users the option of adding custom questions. This enables companies to either add another required field, a personalized message, or a multiple-choice question. The multiple-choice option appears to be the most valuable, especially for companies trying to gather info that could be too lengthy for most lead forms (ex: “What is your primary use of simulation technology?” or “Which of the following best describes your current coating application challenges?”)

Users now also have more control over the placement of the lead forms. Typically, PRO lead forms would appear before the last slide of the presentation or after a designated slide. However, lead forms can now also be prompted to pop up as a viewer is trying to download a presentation. This will be handy for those companies that experience a high number of downloads, but not many form fills.

Marketing automation

To improve how users view and analyze their incoming leads, SlideShare has enabled integration with both Hubspot and Marketo. In just a few clicks, companies can sync up its marketing automation software so leads are directly sent to the software’s lead database. They can then be viewed in Hubspot directly, or exported as a .csv file. While this doesn’t help to increase the amount or quality of leads, this feature does help save marketers time by allowing them to better analyze and respond to leads as part of a larger ongoing campaign.

…But it’s going to cost you

The biggest change with SlideShare’s new lead tool isn’t in its functionality, but rather in its pricing. It appears SlideShare has smartened up a bit and began charging more for what is arguably the most valuable feature on the site. SlideShare now charges its LeadShare users on a pay-per-lead basis. This sort of payment structure is not uncommon in the online marketing world, but at $11 per lead, it feels like a big blow to the wallet of users who had previously subscribed to the $13 per month PRO tool. Perhaps SlideShare’s biggest mistake was charging so little in the first place.

With these new features and pricing plan, your best bet is to chat with your marketing team about an effective strategy so you can get the most leads for your loot.

Do you have an opinion on SlideShare’s new lead generation tool? We’d love to hear from you.

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