Animated images, also known as GIFs, have dominated the online world. Just take a look at Buzzfeed and its brilliant use of GIFs. The team over there has truly mastered the art of viral sharing, largely through list posts of images and GIFs.
“GIFs are a mini-vehicle for storytelling, capturing emotions, and communicating them in a concise way that words and pictures alone cannot,” said Joe Puglisi, Senior Creative Strategist at Buzzfeed.
The importance of visual content cannot be understated. We live in a time of increasing competition and decreasing attention spans. Studies show that captivating images lead to better engagement. According to a research survey by Software Advice and Adobe, images are the most important factor in optimal social media content.
GIFs offer the potential for marketers to increase brand awareness, show off products and services, and showcase company culture in a unique, compelling way.
Here are some brands that are taking full advantage:
Here are some best practices for using GIFs:
- Use them in moderation—don’t go GIF crazy. Overdoing it will have the opposite effect and overwhelm your audience.
- Keep it useful. GIFs that function as how-to guides, product demos, and instructional guides are great for conveying a lot of information efficiently.
- When sending out a GIF, determine the purpose. Do you want to promote a product, drive traffic to your website, or increase brand awareness?
- GIFs should reflect your marketing goals and promote your call to action.
- Include unique, trackable URLs that will help you track clicks.
- Use high-resolution and high-quality GIFs, just like you would with images.
- Work GIFs into your social media schedules.
When you’re ready to use GIFs in your content marketing, you can find many tools to make it easy to create your own, such as ImgFlip, Picasion, GIFmaker and GIMP. And if you’d rather use a premade GIF, check out Giphy.com for endless options.