Animated GIFs: do you pronounce it “Jif” or “Gif” and what are they?
According to the creator, Steve Wilhite, it is pronounced “Jif,” just like Jiffy Peanut butter, but I say you can pronounce it however you’d like.
If you've read BuzzFeed blogs or visit sites like Tumblr, you should be pretty familiar with GIFs. In the most basic form, GIFs are animated images used from video or photos that loop continuously and are suitable for the web. Today, they are seen all over social media with online memes and popularly used within blog posts. According to the New York Times, Tumblr said it had 23 million GIFs posted to its site every day. And that number is expected to grow. When Facebook began supporting GIFs, more than five million of the animations were sent daily through its messaging app.
Since GIFs are becoming more and more popular on the web, they've become a great tool to connect with users. They can also have a profound impact on your marketing strategy. Here are seven ways GIFs can benefit your marketing:
1. GIFs are easy to consume
Let’s face it. It’s tough to capture users’ attention for more than a minute these days. Animated GIFs allow the user to engage with the format more quickly and consume the content easily.
Cinemagraphs created an Instagram ad campaign by bringing standard images to life and catching the audiences’ attention with subtle animations.
2. GIFs can tell a story or explain a process
GIFs are effective in communicating your message quickly and succinctly. It can be easier to explain something in an image than it would be with words. You can use GIFs for step-by-step how-tos, quick recipes, following along with processes, or telling a story.
This GIF of the United States flag and others from Credit Card Compare trace the evolution of nations' standards for their flags. Fascinating, right?
3. GIFs create emotion and show personality
This is probably the most popular on social media - how people are expressing themselves through GIFs in reaction to a certain situation or event. GIFs are great for adding humor to your posts (or messages) and allow you to connect to your audience. They also can showcase the personality of your brand.
Best part of the super bowl was the Avengers: Endgame trailer.— @TheRealCorbett1 February 3, 2019
The Daily News showcased this year's Super Bowl commercials in GIF form. The one about the newest Avengers movie got me and plenty of others emotional.
4. To show off a product or an offer
You can give your audience a closer look at your product in a GIF to show off some of the details that help entice them to purchase or download.
Sprout Social used a GIF to feature the newest functions and interactions of their iPhone app.
5. To play a video
Are you looking to direct more users to your video? Use your video in GIF form! It will give users a sneak peek of your video and make them want to watch the rest.
6. Use GIFs in email marketing
7. Highlight your company's culture
Beware of copyright
A note of caution: If you or your company post content frequently in a highly regulated area online, or might be cautious of using copyrighted work on social networks, it might be beneficial to consider the risk attached to using GIFs. To be safe, you can create your own GIFs here:
Movement attracts attention. You can see for yourself how engaging GIFs are. Imagine how well these can work for your marketing. Draw some attention to your brand and go get giffing.
Give a little.
Get a lot.
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