You’ve got a lightbulb over your head, which is full of ideas for killer marketing materials, but getting from each flash of insight to a useful piece of collateral that you can actually purpose to reach leads and prospects is slowing you down. If the bottleneck isn’t the content but the creation, why not turn to a free tool that does everything?
Google Presentations is a simpler, easier, shareable version of Microsoft Powerpoint, with lots of marketing potential. Forget just making corporate training slides, and look at it as a one-stop layout tool for whatever you want to create. If you’re old school, it’s like a desktop publisher without all the overhead, and you don’t need a specialist to put it to work. Here are just some of the items you can create with Google Presentations:
Animated Slide Show
Whether it’s a standard image-slider with captions or a slideshow of pithy client testimonials, you can quickly whip up a slide show in Google Presentations. It will provide you an embeddable code that will automate the slides at a certain speed, let people navigate at their own pace, or both. Slideshows make excellent additions to your landing pages, home page, or blog posts, and can take less time to generate than a video.
Do you have a series of client deliverables you want to feature as examples of your work? Products, reports from the services you provide, or pictures of sites, locations and properties you’ve worked on – even images of happy clients can fill out a digital portfolio. There’s no quicker way to get one live than dropping it all into a Google Presentation and either publishing/linking out to it or embedding it on your site.
Presentation tools like Google Presentations are an incredibly fast way to lay out text and augment it with charts, images, quotes, and supplemental information. You gain control over how much info appears on the page, and in what format, without having to worry about your text flowing past the ‘fold’ or turn of the page. Export your presentation as a PDF, and you have an instant e-book for inclusion on your site or an e-book store like ejunkie. A 30 page e-book is more than sufficient as digital material – no need to be Robert James Waller and write the online equivalent of a 3-inch thick paperback.
By the time you outsource an infographic, and go back and forth on iterations of edits, you may have forgotten your original intent – plus you’re losing valuable time. Infographics that scroll forever, or are too large to be useful (the reader has to zoom to the point of needing graphic software to take in all the content) are vanity items more than content marketing tools. You can whip up one sheet infographics of any useful size, with images, color scheme, and interesting fonts right within Google Presentations. Export as an image or PDF, and you’ve got a useful, shareable piece of snack content to enhance your brand.
You’re using YouTube to push out interesting videos that reach people at each stage of the sales and client process for your company. Some tell a story, others are tours, some solve interesting problems and hit leads and prospects where they live. But they’re branded yet, and you don’t have time or funds to get a full-fledged video lead-in/lead-out going. You can place your logo, colors, and contact info on a slide, and do a different version with value proposition for the exit. Each slide can become a static image or visual you can capture in a screen recording to add to the start and end of your videos. Use either your usual video editing software or even Youtube’s own at youtube.com/editor
If you’re not doing a “head” video, where it’s your face talking on the screen, but want more of a voiceover with visuals, Google Presentations fits the bill. It can either look like a presentation, with standard presentation layout (titles and bullets), or a little more free-form, with text appearing and transitioning on the page (including special effects), or you can make background images full frame and write over the top of them for some pretty impressive video constructions. Use any standard screen recording software, like CamStudio, and you’re off to the races with video marketing. Anything from video blog posts to tutorials and standard marketing videos can be crafted easily in Google Presentations, and cloned for modification and re-use.
There’s a social network for virtually every media format today – video (Youtube), images (Pinterest), and text (every social network). So, of course there’s one for slideshows and, like all effective social networks, it’s also a search engine. Slideshares can generate some incredible leads and social reach. You can easily put fancy ones together using even the basic features of Google Presentations, export as a .PPT (Powerpoint) file, and upload to Slideshare. Ask yourself what you can teach, what insight or inspiration you can offer, what you actually have to say beyond the ‘pitch’. Brand it, and say it with slides.
Guide or White Paper
You want to offer some downloadable PDFs for use by leads, prospects, and existing clients at each stage in the game? Google Presentations lets you organize your thoughts and presentation layout on the page in ways that feed each other creatively. You create a thought bubble coming out of a paragraph on one page – that makes you think of doing pullquotes on every page, and what tidbit is really central, quotable, and memorable that makes the page worth reading. When you’re done, save as PDF and store it on your site, or just publish it to the web and include the link on your site. Even if it’s meant for print consumption rather than digital, you can now print from anywhere, when you’re mobile or traveling, since Google Presentations is in the cloud.
Memes / Pins for Social Media
Whether you have no skill with graphics, or plenty, Google Presentations is a fast way to shell out memes for Facebook or Pinterest pins. Drop an image into a slide, put a text box over it and write what you want, changing the font and colors as needed. Instant meme. You can take and crop a screenshot, or just make it the size of an entire slide and save it as a graphic format for easy upload to social media sites or your blog. No firing up Photoshop just to do a meme or pin, or realizing you have it in the office but not on your laptop. Google Presentations is in the cloud, so it’s with you wherever you roam and have moments of inspiration or blocks of time.
Need an instant logo for a new web site or overnight social media presence? Just create a slide, add an image you drag to full size, and a text box you position anywhere under, over, or in front of the image. Save it as a graphic, and you’ve got a logo you can resize for any purpose and upload to any media. Create duplicate pages in the same presentation, and you can make different logo versions – some proportioned as squares for social media pages, some as headers for the same pages – you can even do different color backgrounds or content positioning to get a more horizontal or vertical style.
Getting a landing page campaign going and need to produce a matching pay-per-click (PPC) ad? Just like an infographic, logo, or meme, you can knock out that ad in a heartbeat with Google Presentations. What if you offer ad space on your web site to contributors but don’t have a design department and they don’t have an appropriate ad? You can quickly create 2-3 versions in a slide deck and present or share them easily to get them approved, and then save the one they like as an image that’s ready to go live.
Want to create an embeddable advertisement for other people’s web pages? Sometimes they can’t figure out how to add the linked image, or you want features that are more like a slideshow. Google Presentations provides an embed code you can hand them and say “here, just put this in the right place in your HTML code”. Google will brand the bottom of the ad, since they’re providing the presentation tool free, but that can actually enhance the perception of your savvy, hipness, and resourcefulness.
Web Site Mockup
You can mock up web pages right within Google Presentations. Lay out the header & footer, menu, sidebars, and main content areas easily, use colors and fonts to suit, and even drop in the content you want. Plus, if you’re doing a 10-page site, you’ve now got an easily shareable document, to which anyone you choose can make live edits, and which exports as a PDF or graphic ‘screenshots’. Instant specification!
While you’re at it, Google Presentations can be published on the web or exported as HTML sites for hosting on your own web hosting or server space (or even your hard drive for a company intranet). You can republish changes as often as you like, and even add interesting features like video and external links. It’s not the best tool for a permanent web site that’s sustainable long term but, for something quick, it can be up and running in moments and serve for a while to get a feel for what you want to do with your web site in the first place. You could even get a domain name from an inexpensive registrar or elsewhere and point your “dot com” there.
Some of us feel more comfortable putting a few headline ideas and bullet points down in a simple interface first than “pantsing” it by writing out a complete blog post start to finish (by the seat of our pants). Google Presentations is a great organizer for ideas. If you want to be even less linear, you can use it to create a chart, mind map, or storyboard to get your thoughts in order. Even after you have your blog post visualized, you now have an embeddable slideshow, set of screenshots/images, or charts and simple “infographics” to compliment and augment your blog post. For visual creators, or ADD, look no further than the simplest, fastest way to lay out whatever is on your mind and get it into sensible condition.
Google Presentations is wherever you are. You don’t have to buy it, and there’s not a lot to learn. Go to drive.google.com and log in with your Google Account. If you don’t have one of those, take a second and create one, since you’ll need it for marketing your business in lots of ways. If you have used G-mail or have a YouTube or Google+ account or Google business listing, you can just use those same login credentials for Google Drive, which is where Google Presentations resides.
However you get there, these are just the beginning of what you can produce with the tool. Internal policy manuals, results charts, illustrated reports… if it involves content (which marketing always does), Google Presentations can make your life easier. Make a template or two that suits your brand and style, and you can clone those instantly for as many purposes as content requires.
For clever use of your existing resources to make your marketing simple, fun, and effective, spend some time with MadPipe as your digital strategy guide. You get immediately actionable ideas that give you a previously unnoticed edge in your market.