7 Ways Using GIFs Can Amp Up Your Marketing

Inbound Marketing
Vye-Blog-_0041_7 Ways Using GIFs Can Amp Up Your Marketing

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 GIF

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.

United States of America History Flag GIF

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.

Avengers GIF

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 GIF

 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.

Our team at Leighton Interactive created a GIF for Bernick's to direct users to an infographic on their website

6. Use GIFs in email marketing

According to an A/B test conducted by BlueFly, emails containing a GIF pulled in 12 percent more revenue than their non-animated version. It will draw more attention and can keep your readers engaged. It also can allow more click-throughs on your emails with clever animations like Ann Taylor Loft used here:
Ann Taylor Loft GIF
This approach to utilizing GIFS in email and other forms of marketing is growing. And they can also be used to highlight our company's culture, like what we have at Leighton Interactive. Check it out below.

7. Highlight your company's culture

GIFs are a fun way to demonstrate a small portion of your company’s culture and by connecting your audience to you. It can give them a view inside your company by who you are, what makes you laugh, and what a daily workday looks like.
Leighton Interactive Tribe


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.

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