They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I’m inclined to agree, but up to a point. There is absolutely no denying that images are the favored form of content these days, second only to video, which experts predict will be the top form of content in 2016. Unless you already have a solid reader base for your blog, if you don’t include visuals in your posts, readers are likely to pass up your post for another, more visually interesting one.
But the need for visual content doesn’t just apply to blog posts—the same goes for tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, Google+ posts, and any other social media content. You could write a blog post filled with beautiful and illustrative images, only for your post to go unnoticed once you try to promote it.
Think about it: when you scroll through your Twitter feed, are you more likely to click on a tweet that has an image or one that doesn’t? Images communicate messages to your brain faster than text. That’s why it’s important to not only give readers a taste of your post through a headline or a promo sentence, but also through a strong visual that encapsulates the spirit of your post.
If you’ve already put visuals into your post, you’ve done the leg work. You should have a couple of high quality images that you can also use to promote your post. When I say high quality, I do mean high resolution, but I also mean brightly lit (dark photos are generally less eye-catching) and relevant in terms of subject matter.
Now it’s time to repurpose one or a few of those images to be used across multiple platforms. There are a number of different ways you can go about this.
How to Repurpose Visual Content Across Multiple Platforms
1. Make an infographic.
Infographics have really blown up. Marketers love them, educators love them, and Pinterest loves them. Infographics are a great way to repurpose not only your visual content, but also your text content.
On the Venngage blog, we try to accompany almost every post with a summarizing infographic. That way, readers can use the infographic as a quick reference, which they can easily share to their own pages. Infographics are also a good way to keep readers on the page even if they don’t feel like reading the entire post—by placing the infographic either under a short post or closer to the beginning of a long post, they can look over the infographic and decide if they want to continue reading.
To repurpose your content into an infographic:
- pick the most relevant and central points (you may have to edit it to shorten text),
- choose the central, most illustrative images, and
- create an outline to ensure that the content still makes sense in its condensed form.
2. Make a social media banner.
As I mentioned earlier, you will want to attach images to your social media posts. To do this, you might need to adjust your image dimensions to fit each specific platform. Here’s a great quick guide to the different social media image sizes.
Depending on where you post your image, you may also want to edit some text onto the image. For example, an image posted to Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest can be made more eye-catching if you place a particularly inspiring quote on the image.
Before using stock photos, consider the platform to which you are posting. Stock photos are generally fine to use on places like Twitter or Facebook, but you’ll probably have more success on Instagram if you post an original image. This means that you won’t necessarily want to use the same image across all platforms—rather, personalize your images depending on where you post them.
After all, if you just use the same images as everyone else, you’re still going to fall into the trap of content that is uncreative and uninteresting to readers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this image crop up in blog headers and on Twitter:
3. Make a SlideShare.
Similar to repurposing content into an infographic, you can pull key text and images from your blog post and turn it into a SlideShare, although SlideShares cater towards more of business crowd.
SlideShares are another great way to summarize your more in-depth blog post through a more visually-driven medium. They can be kept in your back pocket should you ever have to do a presentation. This is a perfect opportunity for you to incorporate your branding into the presentation.
Remember, adapting your content to SlideShare involves resizing your images to SlideShare’s dimensions (800×600).
4. Make a video for YouTube.
I did say that video content is on top this year, didn’t I? Don’t be intimidated by the thought of video production—making a video can be as simple as creating a slideshow of images, narrating over the images or adding music, and posting it to YouTube or Vimeo. You could also use the screen capture on your computer to walk viewers through a process.
If your blog post is instructional, then a tutorial video can be an incredibly useful content addition to your post. Embed the video right in your post to add another dimension to your content, and link back to the blog post in the description of wherever you post the video.
5. Use a multi-pronged approach.
However you choose to repurpose your visual content, try to pick at least two other ways. Yes, this will involve more work than if you were to just publish your post and shoot a quick tweet about it, but the work will pay off. The goal is to have as many channels pointing back to your blog as possible, as these links will remain over time for new readers to discover over and over again. Target readers on multiple platforms and you’ll see your blog’s community grow!