I was going about my day today, texting friends, checking emails, perusing social media, I realized that no matter where I looked, I encountered GIFs (or Global Interchange Format). They were being used in Facebook ads, emails from my favorite stores, I even saw a few popping up in website content.
Why do these entertaining little video snippets seem to be everywhere lately? Probably because they are a fun way to share a message. If you've ever sent GIF's back and forth with friends for family instead of just texting, you know what I mean. Also they are the perfect bridge between static images and videos, they can tell a story or convey an emotion in a little bite sized package.
However, there are some companies and organizations that probably shouldn't hop on the GIF bandwagon. For example, if you have to maintain a high level of professionalism in all marketing content, or if your audience is simply one that wouldn't appreciate the beauty of a well placed GIF.
But if your brand is one where you can be a bit more casual with your content and experiment, here are 4 reasons why I think GIFs can be a great addition to your digital marketing content:
1. They grab attention.
It’s natural that when you are scrolling through social media, images are going to catch your eye. But static images have gotten to be a bit stale, so people have started to turn to video. And while videos are even more eye catching because of the motion, many videos play automatically as you scrolled by them. These videos can sometimes be quite annoying (especially if you have the volume turned up on your phone or laptop). GIFs are a great way to grab people’s attention with motion the way that video does without the interruption.
GIF’s can also be attention grabbers in emails as well. Lately, I have been getting more and more emails that have header images that are GIFs instead of static images, like this one from Kate Spade:
2. They can help share your brand’s personality.
Now that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (with the help of Boomerang) all support GIFs why not take advantage of it when you are talking about your company culture. Instead of just posting staged photos or live streaming your office shenanigans or company events, post a GIF instead! It will be more engaging to people perusing social media than a simple photo and doesn't require the time commitment of a live stream. Bonus - creating a delightful GIF takes a bit more creativity and effort, which people appreciate.
3. They can showcase products or services in a new way.
Let’s say that your company is introducing a new product. You could simply just announce it on social media or via email by sharing an image of the product. Yes, it might be effective, but why not do something more memorable? Like this GIF that announced the collaboration between Nintendo and Vans. It shows the shoe, but has the look of an old-school Nintendo game, and is much more engaging than a standard picture of the shoe would have been.
4. They are a great way to tell a story.
Telling your audience a story is a great way to make a connection with them. If you can evoke an emotion in your audience, they will be hooked. A long video or with hundreds of words of text are not the only way to tell a story, a well crafted GIF can as well. Take this GIF from Coca-Cola's Tumblr account: