We’ve all heard the saying – A picture is worth a thousand words. But what if you need to convey something worth more than a thousand words? Say 1001? Here are three letters that’ll help you out: GIF. Whether you pronounce it with a hard G like in “gift, or a soft one like in “jif”, the popularity of GIFs is indisputable.
Short for Graphics Interchange Format, GIFs were actually invented in 1987 and has risen, fallen and risen again through the years. Now, although social content is slowly moving away from images to video, there’s no denying that GIFs are still at the top of the game.
As Adam Leibsohn, Giphy’s chief operating officer, says,
“We are starting to see this behavior where people are using content and culture to communicate—they’re not using words anymore.”
Using GIFs for your brand
Probably the most convenient thing about GIFs is that they’re a short form video that is more condensed and loops endlessly. They take very little time to enjoy, offer call-to-action capability, and deliver an emotional impact that can connect your brand to your audience. They also show that you’re up to date with internet trends – an important point for digital marketers.
“So many studies have shown that captivating imagery leads to better engagement. If you can interact with those images, even better,” says Michael Peggs, CEO of Marccx Media, “Branded GIFs are the perfect combination of content marketing and interactive communication.”
GIFs give brands a sense of very much being part of web culture; Your message might be serious, but the way in which it is delivered says you understand how the web is consumed. You also get to use a platform that highlights the creativity and playfulness in your approach.
Creating your own GIFs
Of course, if you’ve got Photoshop, you could create a GIF for yourself – there are a few tutorials out there that can teach you how. But if you’d like a faster way of creating GIFs, here are some apps that can help you get started:
CloudApp allows you to capture, screen and upload videos as an easily shareable GIF or silky smooth 60fps high quality video.
A Mac app that lets you convert videos on your computer to GIFs, GIF Brewery allows you to customize your GIFs. Some examples include playing your GIFs in reverse and adding text overlays/ color effects.
Created by Instagram, Boomerang allows you to post a GIF in a fun way, from your own phone camera. The app takes bursts of of photos, combines them and creates a short looping clip that you can immediately share.
How to use GIFs
If you’re considering using GIFs to incorporate into your brand marketing, here are a few ways other brands have been using GIFs on Facebook!
Cinemagraphs are GIFs that combine still photography and video to produce a brilliant effect. Typically, the entire GIF is motionless except for one or two elements, providing a juxtaposition between the motion and the motionless.
2. Games and activities
If you’re looking for a fun way to produce a Facebook post, why not do it in the form of a GIF? Here’s an example from Cheers. It manages to showcase the snacks that the store offers, as well as turn it into a fun mini-game!
3. Product promotion
What better way to showcase your product than to show it in a 360-degree view? GIFs are especially great when launching new products – which is exactly what Small Potatoes did with this GIF promoting their new takeaway cups.
4. Tell a story
GIFs can help you tell a story or provide information in a short span of time. Even better, they can turn boring facts and statistics into something fun and engaging. This example is what McDonalds did with their Signature Collection Burger fun facts.
5. Reaction GIFs
Aw thank you so much! -Julia pic.twitter.com/ymsRiwpU0z
— Buffer (@buffer) September 19, 2016
Reaction GIFs are great in helping your online personality shine. Is your brand struggling to create an online personality? Reaction GIFs can help you cement your social media presence and help your brand feel more authentic – fans love brands they can relate to and have a close connection with!
So whether GIFs are your thing or not, the truth is that they are here to stay (at least for the time being!). Creating and uploading GIFs might be time consuming but the results prove they’re worth the effort. Of course, you could consider outsourcing to a digital marketing agency that’ll help you utilise GIFs in the most effective way 😉.
And as a parting note, we’d definitely like to point out that the correct pronunciation of the word is “jif” and not “gif”.