In the content marketing world, we dedicate an enormous amount of time and effort to create genuine, compelling, and valuable content for our blogs. We work tirelessly to come up with new, unique ideas for blog content that will keep our audiences engaged. It’s a struggle. Even seasoned marketers find it hard to come up with fresh content ideas week after week.
What if I told you it doesn’t have to be that complicated?
By repurposing blogs posts into new social media content, you can leverage the power of social media to help you reach new audiences and stimulate engagement from existing content. You can get all the benefits of fresh content without developing any new content. Interested?
Here’s how to make the most of your existing blog content by repurposing content in visuals for social media:
Focus on reusing content that has already proven successful in its current format. Typically, that’s evergreen content: blog posts on highly valuable, relevant topics that are always in style. If you’ve been in the content marketing game for a while, you probably already have a pretty good idea of what those topics are.
Alternatively, identify older blog posts that performed remarkably well at the time of publication or promotion, but dropped off your radar more recently. Dig into your Google Analytics data to find top posts based on traffic and conversions. Use social listening tools to identify the posts that garnered a ton of engagement and links to some of the major platforms. If you focus your attention on posts that have already proven to resonate with your audience, you’ll dramatically improve your chances of success down the line.
Once you’ve picked out your favourite top-performing blog post, pan for the ‘content gold’ that will translate into engaging social media content. Make a list of the most useful insights from the post (the kind of insights that made your post a hit in the first place). Try to summarize the core message of your post into a few key points.
Here are a few ideas for pieces of content that perform well as visuals on social media:
As you comb through your older content, you may come across some out-of-date ideas. This is the perfect opportunity to update that post with new information, and repromote it to your audience! This can help if you would like that blog to keep ranking higher.
According to eye-tracking studies from the Nielsen Norman Group, digital audiences spend more time looking at relevant, information-carrying visuals than they do reading text. That means the trick to repurposing blog content successfully for social media is to make it visual. To do this, find visual representations of the key ideas you generated in the previous step to help you communicate those messages at a glance.
If you’re not a professional designer, you might find this a little daunting, so here are a few of my favorite tactics for making things visual:
Visualize statistics and survey results in charts and graphs
Turning a small dataset into a simple line chart or bar chart is an easy way to create visual impact and make data more memorable. As you can see below, Coschedule regularly uses this tactic to share insights from their own research on Twitter. You can throw together a nice-looking chart in minutes with a visualization tool like Datawrapper or Beam.
Find icons that visually reinforce keywords
Icons are simple, visual symbols that are used to represent real-world concepts. They can help add personality and visual interest to otherwise boring text, as seen in another image from CoSchedule’ s Twitter feed below. There are a ton of free icon libraries available on the web, but check out the Noun Project for “the most diverse collection of icons ever”.
Find stock photos that sum up the major theme of the post
When all else fails, turn to stock photos. They’re the quickest way to make eye-catching social media content on a budget. Search stock image sites for photos that match up with the general topic of your post, but don’t get too literal. The more abstract the image, the better.
Now that you’ve spent a bit of time combing through your content for useful tidbits of information, and found some complementary visuals, all that’s left is to put it all together.
For longer summaries, roundups, lists, or timelines, you might want to invest some extra time and effort and make an infographic. For simple quotes, tips, hacks, and statistics, or image creation couldn’t be easier. Simply head to your favorite graphic design tool, pop in your text next to your image, and pick a color scheme that will resonate with your audience (just like CoSchedule has done, below):
Here are a couple design tricks to make your social media content shine:
Design Trick 1: Use a high contrast color scheme to draw attention to keywords
Right now, color schemes are all about contrast. Especially in the noisy world of social media, high contrast color schemes are absolutely essential for helping us stand out against the crowd. Stay away from minimal, neutral color schemes and use bright pops of color in your social media images to command your readers’ attention. MailChimp has absolutely nailed this tactic in their Twitter images:
Design Trick 2: Use photo filters to make stock images less visual and more of a decorative design element
The internet has been around long enough that most of our readers are savvy enough to recognize stock photos from a mile away. Counter this by using stock photos as decorative design elements instead of core features of your designs. Use bright, trendy gradient overlays to stylize boring stock photos.
Finally, to really get the best bang for your buck, you can take that image you just designed for, say, Instagram, and repurpose it for other social platforms. By making minor tweaks to customize the image for every platform, you can give your content even more life, and reach even more audiences.
Here’s a quick rundown of the ideal image dimensions for the major social channels:
Don’t forget to write great copy for each post, either. Every post should have a catchy hook, a few appropriate hashtags, and a link to direct your readers back to that original blog post.
Repurposing old blog posts into fresh social media content is the quickest, easiest way to improve your content strategy. It can help drive traffic back to existing content, while potentially boosting your reach to new audiences and generating more engagement. With these simple strategies, you can stop wasting precious time coming up with new content ideas, and start making the most of your best content.
Midori spreads visual communication tricks and tips as Design Evangelist at Venngage, a web-based infographic design tool. With a background in biomedical visualization, she’s particularly interested in helping people communicate complex information. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.