How Using GIFs Can Enhance Your Content Marketing

GIF Family Guy

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.

optimizing content on social media

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:

GIF American Apparel

Ben and Jerrys GIF

Diesel GIF ad campaign

Kraft Foods GIF advertisement

GIF Google

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 for endless options.

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Why Google Plus Matters for Marketers

google plus logo

I’ll admit when I first heard about Google+, I wasn’t thrilled. I thought: no, please, not another social networking site. It began to feel like every other day something new came out, and they pushed and pushed, and they were all going to be the next big thing.

Plus (no pun intended), I already had Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts, which took loads of effort, time, and commitment to stay active. I didn’t need another social media site—or so I thought.

I will tell you: Google+ is necessary for brands and marketers. Here are a few reasons to get on Google Plus:

  • 359 million monthly active users are on Google Plus. This is huge audience your company could be reaching, but isn’t because it’s not on Google+.
  • 70% of business brands have a presence on Google Plus. Who are these brands? Oh, they’re just your competition.
  • Google favors Google+ Pages in search engines results. This could mean a higher ranking for your company on Google search results.
  • +1 is clicked more than 5 billion times a day. Consider a +1 a “vote” for your company, like a favorite on Twitter or Like on Facebook.

P.S. Take a look at the ranking factors for Google search

ranking factors on Google search

  • Google+ is growing at 33% per annum. This is an incredible statistic for a platform just three years old. It’s also beating Facebook.
  • Google+, Twitter, and Facebook are the top three social media sites used by marketers. You should be on all three.
  • Brands’ Google Plus posts generate nearly as much engagement per follower as their Facebook posts and almost twice as much engagement per follower as their Twitter posts.googleplus interactions
  • 20 million unique mobile monthly users are on Google+. If you haven’t heard, mobile is everything.
  • Authorship (your picture + link next to search result) helps improve click-through rates. This helps you build influence.
  • Circles make it easy to group different people into categories and share the right content with the right audience.
  • Google Hangouts. These integrated video chats allow multiple users to “hang out,” or connect, in real-time. Think of all the opportunities to interact and engage.

And in case you’re not convinced, here is an awesome video about Google Plus that should do it for you:

So, next time you tell someone about Google+ and get a reaction like this….

G+ Mean Girls

…you’ll know exactly what to say.

Join me on Google+ and let me know how you like it!

Digital Media Consumption: Statistics and Trends

Curious about the latest stats and trends in digital marketing? GO-Globe breaks it down in an awesome infographic, with statistics on how much time people spend consuming digital media, through what devices, when, and how it’s changed–and changing–over the years.

These facts are helpful to marketers who want to better understand how to reach those key audiences and optimize digital content.

Digital Media Consumption - Statistics and Trends
Infographic by- GO Globe Hong Kong

The Ten Critical Things Public Relations Students Must Know About Google Analytics

Knowing how your audience interacts with your website is crucial for your success. Google Analytics is free and relatively easy to use for tracking websites, blogs, Facebook pages and more.

 google analytics

  1. Google Analytics provides information on who visits your site, where they come from, and who is most valuable to your organization, which allows you to better identify your key audiences.
  2. The platform tracks the search terms people use to find your site and what they search within your site, which provides information on what your buyers are really looking for.
  3. You can learn how people find your site, whether from search engines, direct links, or referral links on other sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  4. Google Analytics tracks how many people visit your site and when spikes in traffic occur to show you what content is most popular.
  5. It tracks how much time people spend on your site and which pages retain users the longest so you can better tailor your content.
  6. The platform shows how people interact with your site, whether they download your documents, play your videos, or click your call to action links to help you best position your content.
  7. You can discover what keywords drive people to each page on your site and which keywords bring the most conversions.
  8. Google Analytics tells you which browsers/OS your audience uses to help you make smarter decisions on your sites layout and design.
  9. The platform shows which marketing initiatives and online ads of your campaign are most effective.
  10. It also allows you to pinpoint where people leave your site. If you know what exactly drives people to leave, you know what to focus your efforts on improving.

How Businesses Are Using Pinterest: the power of visual images

Pinterest is a web and mobile application that offers visual discovery, collection, storage, and sharing. Users create and share collections of visual bookmarks, called boards. Boards are created when a user selects an item and pins it to a new or existing board.

Basically, it can be seen as a counterpart to Google, in which users know what they are looking for. Pinterest, however, is all about discovery.


Photo found at

More often, people are using Pinterest to shop. In fact, 70 percent of users use Pinterest for inspiration on what to buy, and 69 percent of consumers claim to have found a product on Pinterest that they bought or were interested in buying. Businesses such as Target, Nordstrom, and Whole Foods are tapping into the visual-oriented social network to promote their brands and drive users to their e-commerce websites.

Target, for instance, launched its Target Awesome Shop, which features the top-trending items on Pinterest and the top reviews on When you click on a pin for more information, you are redirected to, where you can add the item to your shopping cart. As a result, Target has seen a 70 percent increase in traffic from Pinterest to, according to Target Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Jones.

Quick Tip: Publish high-quality images and use Rich Pins for a higher chance of your post being viewed and shared. There are five types of Rich Pins: product, place, movie, recipe, and article. If you’d like to promote a product, Rich Pins allow you to provide information on pricing, location and availability. Pictures that contain a product’s price have a higher click through rate than those that don’t.

Nordstrom uses Pinterest a little differently. It uses Pinterest to decide which merchandise to feature in stores, with a special red tag on shoes and handbags most popular on the social network.

Whole Foods uses Pinterest boards to capture the company values in areas such as community and the environment, healthy eating and education, and natural and organic foods.

For inspiration, check out How 5 Businesses Are Using Pinterest to Creatively Promote Their Products

Good News For The Holidays

Pinterest has proven to be a major force in holiday retail, helping consumers find products and retailers identify trends and market to the right consumers.

Pinterest Grid

Photo found at

A study of Pinterest users by market research firm Lab42 found that 54 percent spend more time on the site during the holidays and 94 percent say it has changed the way they make their holiday preparations.

Over the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday, Pinterest doubled the revenue sent to retailers on Black Friday. And on Cyber Monday, Pinterest revenue more than tripled.

Marketers and retailers, take note.

How Does Pinterest Compare to Other Social Media

Compared to other social medias, Pinterest generates double the referential traffic than Twitter, Google and LinkedIn combined. This is a great opportunity for marketers and retailers, who have the opportunity to capitalize off the power of visual images.

Pinterest shoppers spend significantly more, averaging $140 – $180 per purchase, compared with $70 – $100 per order on Facebook.

Check out this Pinterest VS Twitter VS Facebook infographic for more information.

Some Key Facts About Pinterest to Consider

  • The majority of users (68.2%) are female
  • Fifty percent of users have children
  • The majority of users (27.4%) are between the ages of 25 and 34
  • Annual household income is $100,000+
Pinterest Infographic

Infographic by Modea, found at

How are you using Pinterest?

The Ten Critical Things Public Relations Students Must Know About Google AdWords

Google AdWords is a pay-per-click marketing service that allows you to create and run ads for your business. Advertisers can bid on the keywords that they want to bring up their ads in the search engine results page. Google decides which ads are displayed and in what position based on each user’s maximum bid and quality score.

google adwords

  1. The single most important factor is relevance. Google wants to connect searchers with ads that match their search query and give them what they are searching for.
  2. AdWords has customizable options that can be used to narrow your audience by location, time of day, language, browser, or device type to help you hypertarget your audience.
  3. You can discover how effective your keywords are and refine them to develop effective campaigns.
  4. AdWords provides a Keyword Tool in case you have writer’s block to help you find relevant keyword ideas.
  5. It gives you a major advantage over your competitors with potential to receive more clicks from search results.
  6. The service enables you to advertise to prospective customers who are more likely to search by topic rather than your organization’s name, as current customers might.
  7. You can target your ads on mobile phones, tablets, and other devices, which are becoming increasingly popular.
  8. High quality score lowers your cost-per-click and leads to more impressions. You can improve your quality score by implementing relevant keywords and an easy-to-navigate landing page.
  9. You can set a limit on cost per day, allowing you to budget your campaigns.
  10. You can use Google AdWords in other ways, such as selling your car, getting accepted to college, landing a job, or even a date!


The Official “EW!” Music Video feat. Jimmy Fallon and Goes Viral

I’d like to discuss my favorite video out right now, the “Ew!” music video featuring Jimmy Fallon and In the video, plays the role of, a ditzy teenage girl in a bright yellow dress, rocking pigtails and orthodontic headgear, and Jimmy Fallon plays the role of her brace-faced and equally colorful BFF Sara—”with no ‘h.’”

The BFF’s break it down and rap about things they think are EW! Among them, “FaceTime and reclining in airplane seats and then Vining.” It’s hilarious and catchy. It’s that song you can’t get out of your head and can’t help but sing along.

Have you noticed the impulse to recite: “Seriously seriously, EW! EW!”?

Written and produced by, the video went viral within hours, as it was most likely intended. It’s been viewed 11.4 million times in just ten days, and placed No. 2 on Billboard Trending 140, as well as No. 26 on Billboard Hot 100. Impressive.

Check out Jimmy Fallon’s response to the success, here.

I might have been the last to know that “Ew!” is actually a video series by the Tonight Show, with previous videos featuring guests such as Taylor Swift, First Lady Michelle Obama, Channing Tatum and Will Ferrel. This (embarrassingly late) discovery led me to wonder what caused this video to go viral while the others had not.

Here are a few reasons I’ve come up with so far:

Jimmy Fallon Ew

“What’s up with those duck lips? EW!”

1) It is relatable—the video includes teenage slang words such as “OMG” and “WTF” and pokes fun at relatable situations. Cue the awkward school dance scene and the overly confident step-dad that ruins the party. 

2) It is easy to share—in just one click, you can share it with all of your friends, on any social media channel. When I first watched the video, I shared it on my Twitter, Google+ and Facebook accounts. And now I’m sharing it here with you, just like that!

Jimmy Fallon Ew Video Set

Photo found at

3) It is incredibly well produced—from the kick-ass beat, sets, and wardrobe to the special effects and bullet motion, this video is a masterpiece production. You can tell it was well planned and thought out and that it’s a high quality video. 

4) It is for our entertainment—it isn’t trying to sell us anything! So many videos out there are just to sell us some product or service, but we appreciate “Ew!” more because it is purely for our entertainment. It succeeds in making us smile. And isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

5) It is (also) for charity—Surprise! The proceeds from “Ew!” actually benefit charity! Two to be exact: the SeriousFun Children’s Network and’s Foundation. This was surprising and delightful fact to learn.

Let’s see what you can add to the list!