We’ve all seen them – on social media, news sites, blogs, product ads, or emails we receive. They are everywhere! And though GIFs aren’t new, the level of engagement they provide for almost any platform and purpose is now higher than ever.
In this quick post, let’s find out what makes this visual content great as well as popular. What makes it one of the must-haves in your online marketing strategy?
What is a GIF
Animated GIF is a series of still images joined together into one single image that plays in a loop. It ends with a file extension (dot) gif and is a format that moves, twirls, or waves repeatedly. Although still debatable, it’s commonly pronounced with a soft ‘g’ as in gift.
Basically, GIFs have been around us for almost three decades now, used to be for geeks in subreddits, but for the past couple of years it’s been an increasingly popular format which is now mainstream, used by the biggest fashion brands, getting gazillions of views and now omnipresent on mobile too.
What makes GIFs so popular
GIFs like memes, is a witty piece of content which favors visual or image-based communication. This makes it a powerful tool to speedily pass on information or express a point without having to go through a series of gray texts or a long video.
GIFs also speaks the language of internet in terms of speed, entertainment, and functionality. They are easy to consume, appealing and also effective. Plus, they are fun and gives a perfect description of almost any social situation you find yourself in.
No doubt, it’s the same reason why the behemoth social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumbler and more have integrated them in their main features.
Check out this crazy stats about the usage of GIFs online
- 23 million GIFs are posted to Tumblr every day, it’s the most popular media type on the platform
- Facebook Messenger on mobile sees more than 5 million GIFs pass through daily
- According to Twitter, people shared more than 100 million GIFs through tweets and DMs in 2015 only (play the GIF on the right to see how it displays on Twitter)
- Giphy, which provides a search engine for a vast library of GIFs, has raised more than $23 million.
And we don’t expect this data to be decreasing as Slack counts more than two million GIF integrations each month.
Moreover, other than just igniting humor, GIFs on its “serious side” are used increasingly to tell a story, explain a piece of information with more depth, or conduct a conversation. For an instance, just recently a NASA astronomer created a GIF that charts 250 years of planet detection in just a minute.
— Stephanie Holt (@Step_Holt) November 30, 2016
And that’s just how versatile GIFs can get.
Ways you can use GIFs
1. To engage with audience
GIFs have been a powerful mean used by the big brands to communicate with their audience. An animated image is a fun way to connect with users and express feelings in any situation. Take this sample from Twitter:
— LANO Yoga (@LANOYoga) November 21, 2016
2. To create powerful ads
Got a sizzling hot deal for your customers? Check out this GIF ad released by Amazon during its Black Friday email campaign. The animated fireplace featuring a variety of devices is just hard to ignore!
3. To show off a product
A quick glimpse of product previews is one of the proven strategies to instantly hook up a prospect buyer and this has been flawlessly shown on a GIF about Kate Spade’s new “Joannie” bag collection.
4. To animate data
Another fancy way to use GIFs is to animate data. Just like what Google did during the last US Election (2016) They created a GIF to present real-time count to help people stay in the loop for the recent electoral updates.
5. To offer a sneak-peak
Thinking of a fresh way to give a quick preview of your next gig, product launch, or upcoming release? Creating a GIF teaser can be the perfect way. It’s better than images, but cheaper than videos!
6. To show steps
With the plethora of tutorials we see online – from make-up, food recipes, DIYs and so much more, there is never a place for an animated GIFs. The latter makes steps a lot easier to explain using loops of images rather than words.
Not sure how to create your custom GIFs? Don’t GIF up! : )
GIFs may not be as easy to produce as they seem but, don’t worry! There are tons of animated GIFs made available online, you can simply search for the perfect GIFs to suit your mood and needs. Here is a great list to start off. You may also create your own using some of these amazing tools here.
Animated GIFs are now taking over the internet and they are going far beyond what static images can do. They are shared millions daily across different social platforms and lots of the big brands like Amazon, Google, Kate Spade, even NASA and counting have learned to tactically incorporate this on their marketing endeavors.
GIFs are so versatile they can sum up a story or a large chunk of information into a digestible sequence of frames which are often enjoyable, entertaining and magnets to interest.
They are also useful to skyrocket audience engagement, create powerful ads, show off a product, provide bite-size sneak-peeks and so much more.
By the way, our team at Youzign is very excited to release Gifzign – our newest drag-n-drop tool which will make it easy for anyone to create GIFs on the fly! This will be available for preorder this Sunday, 4th of December 2016. We’ll be mailing out more details about this beta offer in the next few hours, but you can check it out here. Thanks!