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Using Animated GIFs in your Marketing

From captivating blog posts and informative case studies to enlightening inforgraphics and entertaining videos, the range of content possibilities is vast. But if you’ve previously dismissed the idea of animated GIFs as an effective marketing medium or don’t know much about this increasingly popular tool, then now is the time to recognise and realise their potential.

Animated GIFs are basically a series of still image frames that have been put together into a single file to look like a continually playing video. Although they are quite rudimentary and often low quality, animated GIFs are used all over the Internet, particular on social networks in the guise of amusing memes.

For that reason, they get shared across a number of social platforms and have the power to go viral. Hence their potential to be a huge marketing success for any business that chooses to produce one.

Why use animated GIFs?

They’re quick to load and easy to consume

Extensive pieces of copy take a long time to read while lengthy videos sometimes need to buffer before they work. An animated GIF solves both of these problems but can still provide value to your audience.

What’s more, animated GIFs don’t exactly require much focus or attention to understand and consume. The considerable size of the Internet can be a bit overwhelming, but these bite-sized pieces of content deliver a clear and concise message without wasting too much time.

They’re entertaining, enjoyable and have emotional appeal

Even if Internet users want usefulness and value from content, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t be entertaining as well. Animated GIFs give you the opportunity to be creative with content that causes a reaction or resonates with people.

Whether it’s happiness, concern, contentment or fear, arousing the audience’s emotions or evoking their feelings can be incredibly powerful, especially in terms of marketing.

They’re convincing and make excellent calls-to-action

After grabbing the audience’s attention, you’re able to guide their eyes down a specific path or to a certain location. This enables you to strengthen your argument and relay important messages.

That being the case, it is incredibly easy to make your animated GIF into a compelling call-to-action. Coming up with new creative ways to persuade or reassure prospective customers can be difficult, but animated GIFs overcome this hurdle.

Where, when and how to use animated GIFs

Just like any other type of content, deciding where to place and distribute animated GIFs is entirely up to you, but a lot will depend on your business and marketing objectives. However, when you’re next browsing a website, social media profile or looking through your email inbox, you might be surprised at how widespread animated GIFs are.

Software provider Jive has animated GIFs on the company’s homepage in order to show customers just how flexible and versatile its solutions are. Verizon took to social media and decided to show off this medium on its Google+ profile while Tiffany & Co has used animated GIFs in email campaigns.

Perhaps the best bit of all? Animated GIFs are incredibly easy to create. With a set of images that tell a story or convey a message, search the Internet for a GIF creator and you’ll be greeted with an abundance of options. Alternatively, produce your GIF in Photoshop if you have the necessary skills.

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