Nearing 200 million users, Snapchat has been on a meteoric rise since launching in 2011, and it doesn’t plan on changing that any time soon.
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.
A lot goes into creating a website, and some aspects (like content) are certainly more important than others (such as color). But that doesn’t mean color is not important. Color is important.
Many marketers know that color psychology has a huge impact on how people will perceive a business and how they interact with a company and its products.
So, do not carelessly pick your color scheme just to get things done. This is true for your website and your products. A study called Impact of Color on Marketing found that 90 percent of snap judgments made about products are based on color alone.
Another study found that 42 percent of shoppers form an opinion of a website based on design and color scheme, and 52 percent of shoppers don’t visit a website again if they don’t like its aesthetics.
It’s all about brand recognition. Colors play a substantial role in branding and have a big impact on how your brand is perceived. In fact, color increases brand recognition by about 80 percent. Color is important.
Did you ever wonder why there is an overwhelming amount of blue in logos and websites? It’s because it is universally appealing. Blue is honest and trustworthy; blue is safe. Any shade will do. Research shows that blue is the favorite color of the majority of the population, regardless of age and gender.
A lot of sites go with this approach:
Maybe blue is even a bit overused, but it is safe and it appeals to most everyone. When to use blue:
- Does your company succeed off of a high level of trust, like a bank? Choose blue.
- Does your company appeal to consumer intellect? Choose blue.
- Does your company appeal to both men and women? Choose blue.
Quick tip: it is important for new brands to specifically target logo colors that ensure differentiation from competitors (if the competition all uses blue, you’ll stand out by using purple).
Another common color used is green. Green symbolizes growth. Think of trees and plants—they grow. Green also signifies health and peacefulness. When people think of green, they think natural, calm, fresh, and full of life.
It is understandable then that big brands like Starbucks and Whole Foods use the color green.
Whole Foods and Starbucks use green to promote their values.
Another upside of green is that it’s one of the easiest colors for the human eye to process. Here are a couple of companies that make use of this:
When to use green:
- Does your company want to advance the idea of health? Choose green.
- Does your company want to create a feeling of wellness or freshness? Choose green.
- Does your company have anything to do with food, health, or nature? Choose green.
Take a risk with orange. Although orange is on the list of least favorite colors for women, it works for some companies, especially those associated with risk-taking. Think Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The danger is the appeal.
When people think orange, they think energy, vibrancy, excitement, and some risk. Orange also symbolizes confidence and friendliness.
Here are some brands that are successfully using orange:
Home Depot uses orange to appeal to an adventure-taking crowd of DIYers.
Payless uses orange because of its association with “cheap.”
And some others:
When to use orange:
- Does your company want to inspire a sense of adventure? Choose orange.
- Does your company want to encourage risk taking? Choose orange.
- Does your company want to emphasize inexpensive products? Choose orange.
Conclusion: Once you select your color scheme, it’s hard to change it. Give it a lot of thought and get a lot of different input. Be sure you’ve chosen the color most appropriate to your brand, or else people will not make the proper associations and brand recognition, or worse, they won’t return to your site.
Here are some helpful articles:
- The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding
- Color Psychology
- Psychological Properties of Color
What color does your online business use? Why?