If your business has examined the world of meme marketing, then you’ve probably encountered the meme’s crazy cousin: the animated GIF. GIFs have dominated the world of online memes for some time, and marketers have started picking up on it.
A GIF (pronounced with either hard G or soft G) shows a series of still image frames which have been coded into a single file. How can a small business use GIFs to promote its brand and draw in customers? Today we’re going to take a look at how your marketing can get groovy with GIFs.
Where did the GIF come from?
The animated GIF has actually been around for some time. It was first introduced by Steve Wilhite of CompuServe in 1987 as a way to present a moving image. GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. During the 2000s, the animated GIF lost some popularity, but then made a comeback as people realized how they could feature them in unique and interesting ways. Twenty-nine years later, the GIF remains relevant and growing.
Why should a business consider using GIFs?
There’s lots of ways a company can implement GIFs, from personal blogs, to social networking platforms, to even (some) presentations and productions. If you’re unsure if your organization should implement a GIF marketing strategy, check out these benefits animated GIFs can offer:
- They’re easy to consume. In today’s technological age, it’s tough to capture customers’ attention and retain interest. Video tells a powerful story which a still image cannot, but can sometimes be too long to keep viewers’ attention; still images keep attention but can’t tell the same type of story. The GIF, on the other hand, offers a hybrid between a still image and video. Consumers can engage with the format quickly (like a picture), but still extract a lesson from the highlighted movement (like a video).
- They serve as a call to action. Because of the integrated movement of a GIF, they can easily serve as a call to action for your business, guiding the viewer’s eye along a specific path without being obtrusive.
- They’re effective. According to Visually, without visuals, people only remember 20% of what they read. Visuals are vital to your marketing cause, now more than ever. GIFs help enhance your brand with visual content which proves engaging, interactive and interesting, for less than the cost of video production, but with greater ROI than images.
- They speak the Internet’s language. Finally, GIFs demonstrate a way to bring your marketing efforts into the 21st century, because they speak the Internet’s language. The short, looping, silent moving images have pervaded the Internet to become a universally understood visual language of their own. They’ve become part of Internet culture, mobile-friendly and have huge integration on social networking sites. If your business wants to market online, GIFs will get you started.
How can I get started?
Fortunately, GIFs are pretty easy to make on your own. All you need is a series of still images (frames) which can be compiled together. These can be photographs you take yourself, clipart or files created in Photoshop. Make sure you know what set of images you will be using and how, together, they will convey your message. Once you’re ready to go, there are a couple of online tools that can compile it all for you: MakeAGif, Giphy, Imgflip and EZ Gif to name a few.
If your small business wants to boost marketing efforts and demonstrate your brand, GIFs are a great step to take. Whether you say GIF or JIF, these eye-catching, quick-moving images will show the company’s fun side, and boost product or service sales.