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SlideShare to let companies sponsor 'channels' on its site

SlideShare, a site where business presentations and documents can be posted, viewed, rated and commented on, now lets companies sponsor and create microsites to promote their products and services, the company said.

The new service, called Channels, is intended to let companies leverage the site's growing traffic, which is mostly made up of business decision makers, said Rashmi Sinha, the company's CEO and co-founder. SlideShare attracts about 25 million unique visitors per month who view about 60 million pages, she said.

Companies can be a sponsor of a Channel focused on a specific topic, such as virtualization, or they can create a Channel just for their brand. For example, Microsoft set up a microsite specifically for its Office suite.

Channels joins two other marketing services SlideShare launched last year. AdShare lets companies run ads on the site that are relevant to the content people are viewing. LeadShare prompts users to provide contact information before or after viewing a presentation in order to receive more information about the vendors and their wares. “Now you can do an integrated campaign on SlideShare,” Sinha said.

Social media and social networking sites, which depend largely on content users create and upload, have struggled to generate revenue proportional to their popularity through conventional online advertising. Even large sites like Facebook and MySpace have spent years developing and trying out alternative advertising formats in search of approaches that prove more effective.

Sinha is confident that SlideShare will succeed with its marketing services because its user-uploaded content is focused on business information that the site's audience finds valuable and engaging. “SlideShare is a professional sharing community where you connect through content,” she said.

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