New media has seen a GIF takeover. Even though GIFs have been around since the late 1980s, with the first GIF being created in 1987 (crazy, right?), they didn’t become a “thing” until recently. GIFs have transformed our visual language, enhancing our “soundbite” culture. There isn’t a single type of digital platform that hasn’t yet felt the “GIF effect.” A well thought out, and timely GIF will typically drive more engagement than a static image.
In 2016, it was noted that GIF making site, Giphy, surpassed 100 million daily users who send 1 billion GIFs daily. Giphy connects with a range of websites and apps, including Facebook messenger, Twitter, Slack, and others.
Marketers are taking notice of the growing GIF trends. And if you haven’t begun incorporating GIFs into your content marketing strategy, now’s the time. Here are just a few of the many reasons to begin using GIFs.
They’re easy to digest
Our society places a huge emphasis on instant gratification. In a time where people work with 20 tabs open on their laptops while simultaneously side eying a Facebook feed or Instagram Story, it’s critical to make an impact quickly. In 2015, over 100 million GIFs were sent on Twitter. GIFs are visually appealing and easy to rapidly digest.
Cheaper Alternative to Video
It’s not complicated to make GIFs. There’s a ton of GIF makers out there today. Giphy, Gifmaker.me, and Imgflip, are just a few of the platforms available for effortless GIF production. Although making a GIF will still require creative savvy, they don’t necessitate the same level of technical skills needed for a longer video. Being able to tell a visual story is far more engaging than one told via text. And when the images are moving, that’s even better.
They are Uniquely Digital
GIFs=the Digital Culture. GIFs are the grandmother of all other popular digital content. Before there was Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or even AOL 5.0, there were GIFs. Incorporating such a quintessential digital piece of content into a modern marketing strategy is awesome sauce, indeed.
GIFs are Smartphone Ready
It’s ironic that one of the oldest forms of digital content would be so perfect for smartphones. Because GIFs last only a few seconds, their file sizes are much smaller, creating a rapid upload time. Additionally, their integration with the most popular social media networks make GIFs perfect for seamless upload. Twitter and Facebook messenger even have GIF keyboards to make the process of sending GIFs more convenient.
Perfect to Incorporate in Email
Using an animated GIF adds a dynamic component to a campaign that static HTML heavy e-mail templates lack. A number of campaigns use animated GIFs for amusement and optimized engagement. Essentially GIFs in email work like images. All you need to do is host them, capture the URL and paste into your email template.
GIFs are an excellent way to shake up your content marketing strategy when used appropriately. People love them! That said, don’t inundate your audience with GIFs just because they’re trendy. Like any other facet of your marketing mix, they need to be used strategically to prevent “GIF fatigue.” When used well, GIFs are a super fun and relevant tool for marketers, just like all dynamic content.
It’s easy to incorporate dynamic content in any format – just ask us how!