GIFs aren’t exactly new to the marketing scene, and you may be familiar with the age-old debate about how to pronounce the word itself. But whether you’re Team Gif or Team Jif, the reality is that GIFs hold a powerful position in the marketing world today.
While they may initially have seemed like a gimmicky spin on video content, GIFs can be used in a variety of scenarios for real impact on a company’s bottom line. Keep reading for a quick overview of how GIFs came to be followed by six ways you can put GIFs to use in your marketing efforts.
What Are GIFs?
GIF stands for Graphical Interchange Format, and the format was created in 1978 by a man named Steve Wilhite. At the time, Wilhite was a software writer who wanted to animate images using the smallest file size possible, and the GIF was born.
Today, we know GIFs as the moving images that loop continuously. They don’t require a play button to get started, and they can’t be paused or stopped like a full video. But thanks to Wilhite’s discovery of the small file size, GIFs are endlessly useful in the marketing world. They allow for dynamic content that doesn’t destroy load time or max out file upload size, leading to countless use cases for marketers everywhere.
Without further ado, let’s explore six key ways that brands can use GIFs to take their marketing strategies to the next level.
How Brands Can Use Gifs for Marketing
Engage with social audiences
First things first: audiences love GIFs. GIFs are often used as reaction images on social media platforms, so leaning into the art of GIFs is the perfect way to speak your audience’s language.
Show dynamic product imagery
If you’re promoting a product for your brand, you may be hoping to give viewers a better idea of what they’d actually be getting. Static images can only go so far, but sometimes, video content isn’t what you’re looking for either. For these in-between situations, GIFs allow you to infuse your imagery with some movement, showing the product in action or highlighting different features. Plus, the attention-grabbing format stands out on a product page.
Client: JR Watkins
Provide memorable information
If you need audiences to pay attention to key information you’re sharing, GIFs can help ensure they’re getting the message. Because GIFs move in a continuous loop, you can cycle through your most important points and trust that viewers will be drawn in by the movement.
Liven up emails and blog posts
Emails and blog posts can be notoriously text-heavy, but dropping static images throughout the text doesn’t always help. If you’re tired of using static images to liven up your text-based content, GIFs offer the same benefits and more. Because they’re dynamic, GIFs are even more likely than static images to give readers a break from the text and breathe life into the page.
Repurpose video content
If you’ve created a video content for your brand, GIFs are a great way to capture additional value from your investment and repurpose your primary video. Take the most exciting or informative moments from the video, and convert them into a GIF. You can then share the GIF across existing marketing assets to direct your audience to the full video or convey the key message for those who won’t watch the video itself.
Provide a shareable asset
Last but not least, if you create your own GIFs, you’re actually creating a shareable asset that audiences may latch onto for their own use. You never know which GIFs will become popular reaction images or viral loops, and if your brand creates a GIF that takes off, you may have users engaging with the content for years to come.
If you’re late to the GIF party, hopefully these six ideas inspire you to put them to use in your own marketing efforts right away. You might be surprised at how well they can help you reach your goals. Let us know what you find!