A while back I created a post for people with tools to improve their social media posting. These tools are great, but I always felt like I was missing something. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that Microsoft PowerPoint is more than just a presentation tool. I’ve now almost fully converted to using PowerPoint over sites like Canva or Protopea. Yes, it’s not designed for a digital marketing person, but with the steps below I’ll hopefully shed some light on this content-producing powerhouse.
Why PowerPoint is so Good
We’ve all used PowerPoint in one shape or form. From late-night high school presentations to editing images because you don’t have Photoshop. And that’s where its beauty lies. Its diversity. Many people think it’s just an overprocessed presentation tool. But look under the surface, and you’ll be able to see it has way more potential.
It’s Basically Free
If you’re running Windows or have to deal with people who use it, there’s a good chance you have PowerPoint on your PC. Many large software tools like Photoshop or Illustrator are not cheap. If you’re really tight on a budget, there’s even Google Slides, in which my tips below can still be used. I just prefer PowerPoint because of its offline functionality.
PowerPoint is Easy to Use
As mentioned above, we’ve all used PowerPoint before in some shape or form. And, even if you haven’t, it’s intuitive enough for anyone to use. Also, with the latest updates, it helps marketing people too (more on that later). Many tools like Canva, being so useful, still lacks an offline mode. With PowerPoint, you’re able to make edits offline as well as online through Office Live. You just need an Office account, which is becoming more and more useful these days. Plus, with OneDrive integration, you can enable the autosave feature while using it offline in case you’re worried about that.
New Updates Bring Useful Functionality
Take some time going through the new features. You’ll be surprised in how far PowerPoint has come since its days of WordArt.
Icons can now be added when selecting Insert > Icons. Usually, this would involve searching online, using sites like Flaticon to find a suitable icon. Now you can easily select from a range of useful icons. To change a colour, you simply have to change its Graphics Fill property. Want more functionality? Convert it to a shape to change individual elements.
Design Ideas is a new feature that I like to use, too. When you add a new slide or want to modify an existing one, selecting Design Ideas (found in the Home tab) can help out with some inspiration. This is especially true for slides where you’d want to rearrange images and text.
Templates have also received a much-needed upgrade. The old ones are still there, but I like that they give you more options now. If you’re not a fan of any of these, then I recommend slidesgo. It’s free, can support Google Slides and PowerPoint and their designs are top quality with many different designs to choose from.
How I use PowerPoint for Digital Marketing
Right, so now we know why it’s good – how can we put PowerPoint into practice? I’ll break it down with an example that is loosely based on a current client of ours. Instead of creating a standard image link in LinkedIn, we decided to change it up a bit.
Above shows a standard way of posting on LinkedIn. It’s good because of many different factors I won’t get into now, but what I’m focusing on is the visual content. Right now, it’s just a picture, linking you to the website.
Step 1: Decide on what you want to make
Naturally, don’t go rushing off designing something in PowerPoint without a clear strategy. For me, it was to show off a blog post in the form of a fancy-looking report. I wrote a post as to why this is useful here, but for now, I wanted a report to be created. I had my content, images and links to various downloads.
Step 2: Set up your content size, colours and fonts
As this is a report, I set it to portrait. This can be changed in Design > Slide Size > Custom Slide Size.
Now that I have my dimensions set up, I can move onto my colours and fonts. We want to set these up now in order to prevent making lots of changes later on. If you have your business’s colour and font styles, this is where to include them.
I highly recommend that you save your file now, as you can now go back to it later if you want to create new content from this template.
Step 3: Add in your content
Now comes the fun part! Add in your content and go wild.
If you want to really look professional, use Guides by right-clicking on your slide and select Grid and Guides, then enable Display drawing guides on screen. To add a guide, go back to Grid and Guides and select Add Horizontal / Vertical guide.
It might take some practice, but after a few attempts, the process becomes easier. If you’re really stuck on content, look at PresentationGo. They have tons of great infographic content which can easily be edited for your convenience.
Step 4: Save it as a PDF and upload to social media
Once you’ve added in the pages you need, save it as a PDF. This makes it great for people to download, view and distribute if needed. When you want to create a post now, instead of having a standard image, you have a great-looking and informative content piece – right there on LinkedIn! For busy people on the go who don’t have time with clicking on links, this is perfect. Also, all those clicks on your report really add to your engagement.
Above is the final result. A PDF report right there on LinkedIn. As you can see, the engagement is much higher. Yes, other factors can play a role, but it’s still worthy in my book. What do you think? Is this a crazy idea? Is Canva the be-all and end-all of content posting? Let me know in the comments section below!