Using Gifs in Your Online Content

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gifs in content marketing

When it comes to digital marketing, visual content like images, memes, and gifs in content marketing are an effective tool for connecting with audiences everywhere. What started as a fun way to share silly moments or commiserate with friends and family is now a modern marketing tool with the power to launch your brand into viral Internet superstardom.

Why Using Gifs in Marketing Works

Although platforms like Facebook and Twitter have helped launch animated image files called gifs into the mainstream, they’ve been around for 30 years. Steve Wilhite of CompuServe originally created the gif in 1987 from parts of videos or multiple static images.

Since their introduction, animated gifs have attained viral status, mainly thanks to sites like Tumblr, Twitter, and Giphy. As an indelible part of Internet marketing, gifs are attractive marketing tools for both audiences and businesses for a few reasons:

They are easy to consume and fun to look at.

People love images. Gifs are fun and easy to consume, and they often invite people into an Internet-wide inside joke.

chrissy teigen cupcake

They take little time to enjoy.

Most gifs only last a second before they loop back to the beginning. Thus, gifs in content marketing are perfect for our culture of short-attention spans.

They offer call-to-action functions like flash sale or specials updates.

Gifs add a light-hearted bit of fun to different types of content. Try using some during your next marketing campaign to update your audience.

samsung gif

They can deliver emotionally impactful content

While we can often misinterpret text, an animated gif can help avoid misunderstandings about tone, messaging, or meaning or your ad campaign.

Gifs in Social Media Marketing

Brands using gifs on Twitter to connect with modern audiences

When it comes to advertising to modern audiences, gifs allow brands to combat the seriously short attention spans of audiences, especially on Twitter. Because audiences are conditioned to expect instantaneous gratification, gifs are perfect for capturing your audience’s attention in an engaging and easily consumable way.

The flexibility of gifs also gives companies the power and flexibility to offer a response to current events or real-time events. Create a quick-witted and quirky animation about an upcoming holiday or event. Or, publish a call to action to raise awareness about a natural disaster.

Animated gifs can help save the day when 140 characters just aren’t enough. To that end, using a gif to highlight a new product or service is an engaging and effective way to call your audience to action.

Making gifs that showcase new products through demonstrations is also an enticing way to highlight new features of your business while helping your brand to stay away from overt advertisements. Instead of feeling like you’re “selling something” to your audience, gifs give your brand the opportunity to connect with your audience through shared thoughts and emotions.

Brands using gifs on Facebook ads

Earlier this year, Facebook quietly added the option for brands to include animated gifs in their advertisements. When it comes to best practices for gifs in marketing on Facebook, there a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Use high-quality images and animation. Sloppy transitions or pixelated frames can do more harm than good in your audience’s eyes.
  • Be subtle, but effective. Trying too hard is the kiss of death when it comes to any advertising endeavor, but this is particularly the case with gifs. You have ten seconds at most, so keep transitions and your call to action clear and short.
  • Limit your use of text in the gif. Whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter, there will be room for copy in the body of the post. If you decide to incorporate words into the animation as well, limit the text to a branded message or a clear call to action.

When it comes to connecting with your audience through digital marketing on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, all entrepreneurs should spend at least a few hours deciding how to use gifs to promote and describe your brand. You may also want to consider seeking out a third party before starting your gif campaign to ensure your messaging is on brand and right for your audience.

Harness the Power of Gifs in Content Marketing

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Bri Padilla
Bri Padilla

The power of communication through our words has always had an indelible impact on my life’s experience and perspective; whether sung, spoken, or written, my love affair with words and their power to convey and connect people with messages has shaped my life and my career. Get to know Bri.

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