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How to Repurpose Content for Paid Social with Jonathan Bland

How to repurpose content for paid social with Jonathan Bland

How often do you repurpose content for paid social? It’s an interesting one, because although it seems like the obvious thing to do it’s often overlooked.   

The powerful combination of repurposing video content for social media, and running video ads, really comes into its own with webinars. 

To cover this in detail, we speak to co-founder of Omini Lab Consulting, Jonathan Bland. Omni Lab is a demand gen agency for Seed to Series C B2B SaaS companies. They help their clients build a pipeline they can be proud of. 

Over the last 14+ years, Jonathan has worked for four SaaS companies, consulted with more than 100, helped 1 get acquired, 1 reach unicorn status, and has helped them generate millions in net new revenue. He’s also seen a handful of those startups go out of business...including his own SaaS business so he knows many of the mistakes as well as the triumphs. 

He’s a vocal advocate for repurposing and gives advice on what makes good ad creative and how to repurpose content for paid social.  

Listen to the full podcast episode here:

Watch the highlights video below or head over to our YouTube channel for the full episode in video format.

Jonathan raises the point that often as marketers, there’s the mindset of always chasing the next piece of content. Once something is done, it’s time to move to the next one and the next. While, it’s not that you never need new content – obviously you can’t repurpose forever – but if you don’t repurpose at all it’s a massive missed opportunity.  

The power of repurposing for paid social  

Imagine a scenario where you’ve got a webinar that you have promoted well across paid and organic social, and your email database for example, and you get a good response. People attend!  

There’s great interaction and afterwards you have a recording of the event. You put that recording on your website – it might be gated content, or not – but that’s where it sits.  

And that’s where it dies… 

An all too familiar scenario but what if, instead of viewing that content as done and moving onto the next piece, you break that video up into highlights and repurpose those highlights to promote the webinar across paid social 

Jonathan says, “You can drastically, 10x the impact of your content, 10x your reach and the amount of consumption of that content, by your ICP, in the world of paid.” 

He shared an example of a webinar he repurposed for a client – 33 people watched the live version, but through the process of repurposing and paid social it got 11,500 views. And, he says. That’s just one example.  

How to repurpose content for paid social with Jonathan Bland

It’s a big ask for people that have never heard of your business, to commit to something like a 45 or 60 minute interaction. People aren’t going to take that step unless they are really interested in the topic.  

So, by repurposing the content you’re saying, ‘okay, you might not be ready for the full 60 minutes but here’s one or two minute clip to get you interested. 

How targeting the right audiences works  

When setting up social media ads, Jonathan talks about the benefits of retargeting – these people are already engaged with your brand, they know who you are and what you do. You can create all sorts of retargeted audiences across different platforms and add a 30 day layer, a 60 day layer and a 180 day layer… which is time since their last interaction with your brand.  

“Typically for me, in the 30 day layer, it's all about offering social proof, things of that nature. But once someone's three months out, but they've still been exposed to your brand, they've had some level of engagement. That's a great place to put a newsletter signup or webinar clips for example. Because it just brings people back again,” Jonathan explains.  

What makes good ad creative? 

So you’re using paid social to get your content in front of your ICP. But how do you make it stand out? We see so many ads on a daily basis and while most just pass us by, some stand out.  

We ask Jonathan about this illusive magic element that captures our attention…  

1. Have your face front and centre 

A big no-no is video ads with a long 3-4 second intro, with a logo and music before getting to the actual content. You have literally a split second to catch the eye of someone scrolling passed so don’t waste time. If you haven’t offered a hook and there’s no face you’ve lost them. 

“For me, that’s a big thing with video creative,” says Jonathan. Make sure you have your face front and center right from the beginning. Go straight into whatever the hook is and then deliver the content.  

2. Creative in-channel content 

When promoting eBooks and guides for example, what you'll commonly see is a picture of a book and a headline and a CTA. That’s all. But if it’s a compelling headline you have a huge opportunity with that creative to optimize for more in-channel consumption – so for example using data from that e-book or guide to create graphs, or carousels or static image ads. So people who are scrolling and not clicking on your ad are still seeing your content and hearing your name. “Interestingly, many times we find that the clickthrough rate's are higher in some cases after optimizing for in-channel content. 

3. Authentic vs hi-production videos 

Having run a number of tests using highly-produced videos alongside authentic, unscripted, face-to-camera videos over the past quarter, Jonathan has found that every time the more authentic-looking video content performed better than the high production version. “I think it's just because it blends in. It looks more like something that you'd engage with versus an ad. Achieving that is the tough part!”  

How to repurpose content for paid social with Jonathan Bland

Repurposing written content for paid social  

We’ve covered repurposing webinar and video content for paid social, but what about written content?  

Jonathan says that they often work with written content, turning it into image carousels for LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as single images. It makes great visual, scroll-stopping ads.  

He provides one example of a client who create highlight reels in video format from their blog posts, and then embed them into the blog and use them as paid ads as well. This client also ran a customer case study and had one of their marketing managers record a quick video that highlighted some of the takeaways – so they take a piece of content that was just sitting on their website in text format and turned it into visuals and video and ad content.  

Think like your consumer 

If you start to think like how you consume as a buyer, you'll quickly realize that the action that you don't take a lot, is to immediately click on ad and go hang out on a website and start reading all their blog content, Jonathan explains. So you don’t necessarily want your CTA to take people off the platform that they are choosing to be on, because why would they leave? Plus, the algorithms of that platform will limit your reach for encouraging people to do that…  

“Most of the time, what you're doing is scrolling through the feed and consuming content right there in-channel. It’s zero-click content. I have talked hundreds of people about this and you ask them, what's your behavior? What do you like? Walk me through the experience’. And those are the types of things everyone is saying.’ 

LinkedIn, Facebook, or any ad channel, make their money off of ads. So the longer they can keep eyeballs on their channel, the more impressions they can deliver, the more ad clicks that they can get. And ultimately, that's what advertisers want and they will incentivize users to encourage that behavior.  

Takeaway tip 

Another interesting point Jonathan made is that when clients create a lot of organic content, on their personal LinkedIn for example, then their paid ads do a lot better, because people are already familiar with them and what they do and they have built up a certain level of trust, via that organic content.  

It makes a huge impact. We definitely tend to see higher engagement rates and we're trying to get more clients to invest in having an organic strategy 

Jonathan’s tactical hack 

Take an organic post that got a lot of engagement maybe 20, 50, 100 likes – whatever a lot of engagement is for you. Take a snapshot of that post and use that image of the post as the actual ad itself. “It looks like a regular, organic post so it blends into the typical thing we’re used to reading,” Jonathan explains. “So you take a really cool, organic, engaging post and then use the social proof inside your ad. Instead of waiting for social proof to build up on your ad itself. 

We’ll just leave that there!  

Jonathan has loads of brilliant insights to share. To hear more from him find him on LinkedIn and check out Omni Lab Consulting 


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