If you have been using GIFs for a while, then you’re already aware of their power to spice up your online conversations. Although they’re considered to be light and funny like memes, GIFs are becoming a growing trend for business marketing in recent years.
You may be asking yourself, “Why should I utilize GIFs for my business”? In a nutshell, GIFs are a quick and easy way to add eye-catching animations to your social media posts, emails, landing pages, blog posts, and more! Here’s what you need to know about implementing GIFs.
What Is a GIF, exactly?
GIF is an acronym that stands for Graphics Interchange Format. Merriam-Webster defines GIF as “a computer file format for the compression and storage of visual digital information; also: an image or video stored in this format.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/GIF
GIFs were invented in 1987 by Steve Wilhite, a U.S. software developer, to use animated images that did not have excessively high file sizes. So, GIFs have been around for more than 30 years—longer than the internet itself!
In the simplest terms, it’s a small graphic that moves like a video, but plays on a loop.
The advantages of incorporating GIFs into your business content
Now that you know what GIFs are, the next step is learning about their marketing capabilities. Here are three benefits you may be interested in:
#1. They grab more attention than images.
GIFs have eye-catching motion and more energy, which makes it easier for your content to stand in social feeds, emails, ads, and more. GIFs are perfect for quick-moving social media feeds because they often last for a few seconds. This means they can quickly grab your audience’s attention while effectively communicating your brand’s message.
#2. Your customers love them.
GIFs are more popular than ever! They are also a great way to insert popular culture into your content. Perhaps you’ve seen some GIFs from your favourite TV shows – The Office, Schitt’s Creek, or Friends. Chances are many of your customers like those shows too! This incorporation will allow your followers to engage with content they can relate to. GIFs are also easy for people to share onto their own social media accounts or in emails.
#3. They are mobile-friendly.
GIFs can be used instead of videos, which might slow down your site’s speed and negatively affect the user’s experience. With their smaller file sizes, GIFs will help maintain a fan’s video engagement without requiring a significant bandwidth.
Ways to use GIFs for business
Before using GIFS, you should first determine whether they will be relevant to your audience. However, for most brands, they will be well-received, particularly if you are targeting a tech-savvy demographic. You also need to determine what mood, or vibe you want your content to relate – GIFs can be excellent for conveying a feeling when you pick the right one!
Social Media Examiner offers fantastic ideas to consider for incorporating GIFs into your marketing strategy:
- Tutorials and How-To Guides
- Product Spotlights and Uses
- Company and Team Introductions
- Awards and Accolades
- Sales and Discounts
- GIF Collections for Customers
When it comes to using GIFs in your company’s branding, you have more possibilities than you might think. Naturally, you’ll want to share them on social media. You may also consider adding them to emails, blog posts, and even your website. Here at MYOB, we occasionally sprinkle GIFs into our clients’ content. We also recently updated a client’s website with GIFs for their “Meet the Team” pictures. https://verto360.com/about/ The unique GIFs not only enhance their website, but also add a humanizing touch.
How to make GIFS of your own
Now comes the fun part – making a GIF! It turns out they’re quite easy to make and much simpler than creating video files.
There are numerous apps available for creating your own GIFs and many are free. With the help of these tools, you can upload photographs and make a GIF from scratch. You can use interesting extras like text overlays, filters, backdrops, graphics, emoticons, and other customizations in addition to your own photos. Perhaps you already have a video that you want to turn into a GIF? There are video-to-GIF converters online as well.
If you’d prefer not to make your own GIF, there are dozens of GIF search engines and libraries that house billions of them. One of the most popular sites is Giphy, which has more than 700 million daily users — and those visitors watch more than 11 million hours of content on Giphy every day. (https://giphy.com/about)
Over to you
GIFs can be a terrific business marketing tool and a fun way to bring energy to your content and messaging, and they’re here to stay!
If you’re interested in learning more about how we help businesses grow through social media and content, we’d love to talk to you about it! Feel free to call or contact us through our website.
Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger