student-run marketing firm at Stephens College, Columbia, MO


The Gif of Marketing


Think about when you scroll through a website or on Facebook. What grabs your eye? Most likely, that answer is things that move. Whether it’s a gif or a video, you will at least give it a second more of your time. Gifs are becoming more popular in brands. They are cheaper than videos and increase engagement from consumers. They can be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even used in email marketing. Moving images capture interest quickly and are easy to consume. Using animated gifs has been a trend since 2015 and is only growing in 2018.

It has been found that people remember text more with a visual component. With all the clutter on social media, it is easier to take in stories that don’t make you work to learn. More companies are finding gifs to be a vital part of their social media strategy. Companies are finding a significant increase in clicks and sales when using gifs. For example, Dell found a 109% increase in sales after they started sending animated gifs.

Of course, this doesn’t mean spamming social media users with gifs every hour. That would lose its effectiveness. Here are some tips when incorporating this trend into your brand’s marketing.

1. Use your tools.
To start, here are some sites that will help when finding gifs or creating them. They are easy to use, which makes it quicker to pop out content.
Giphy GIF Maker
Giphy Slideshow

2. Make them simple.
Don’t overload your audience with visuals. Know what’s important to share with them and let the gif focus on that. The clearer the information is, the quicker the audience can process it.

3. Know your audience.
Humor is appreciated by certain groups, but others don’t appeal to humor or the same humor at least. Understanding what movies your consumers are fans of or what they are interested in will help when choosing or creating gifs. This grabs their attention and holds it when there is already a positive connection your brand can make with them.

4. Consider the silent timeline.
85% of users watch with sound off. To be fair, gifs are already muted. But going into video or having any movement on screen, it is important to make the story easy for the audience to understand. This could mean subtitles or visually directing eye flow. This helps the reader focus on what’s important.

5. Have original content when possible.
As much as every other person appreciates snippets from Mean Girls, a lot of gifs are now overused memes. Again, it depends on your brand and who your audience is. Having original content will help your brand stand out and add to the content.

Overall, motion in marketing is only growing as a trend. When used correctly, audiences are engaged and there is a lot of opportunities to connect. With only a few seconds to grab someone’s attention, having a story told out through movement will not only perk their interest but hold onto it longer. Just remember to make it relevant to what your message is for your brand and don’t overdo it.

Fun fact, the creator of the Gif pronounces it with a soft g. (Aka Jiff.)

Gif created by Stephanie LeBlanc.


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