How to use GIFs to enhance content marketing campaigns

Thought these short animations are often used to entertain, pros can also use them to take a visual strategy to the next level. 

Visual content is an important part of any brand’s social media presence, and for marketing campaigns, GIFs are an important weapon in your visual content armory.

The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it can process text, so it’s no wonder that a picture is worth a thousand words (in fact, it’s worth 60 thousand.) A GIF is worth even more by combining several pictures into one short video.

“GIFs are a mini-vehicle for storytelling, capturing emotions, and communicating them in a concise way that words and pictures alone cannot,” said Joe Puglisi, Senior Creative Strategist at Buzzfeed.

The short, moving imagery can communicate information in a uniquely clear and succinct manner. Additionally, they are fantastic for conveying concepts to a multilingual audience without requiring any translation whatsoever.

The Internet may use GIFs for sharing entertaining looped videos and animations such as this one:

But GIFs offer a large, and often untapped, potential for marketers to bolster a brand online.

This email newsletter from Anthropologie is a great example of a GIF being employed in a more productive, but fun, way:

Keep these few things in mind when using GIFs for marketing:

1. Use them in moderation. Going “GIF happy” and overdoing it will actually have the opposite desired effect, and can make your page feel overwhelming to visitors. There can be too much of a good thing.

2. Keep it useful. GIFs that function as how-to guides, product demos, or instructional guides are a great way to convey a lot of information efficiently.

They also can be better than blog articles or long-form social media posts. For example, this GIF shows how to make an earbud holder out of two clothespins.

In just a matter of seconds, it conveys complete instructions that would require at least a half-page of text if written out. What’s more, the GIF version is more visually appealing, memorable, useful, and shareable.

3. Don’t forfeit quality. Using a GIF doesn’t mean your graphic designs or images should be any less crisp, well designed, or beautiful.

Using low-resolution or poor-quality GIFs can cheapen your brand’s image and undermine your company’s professionalism.

Knowing the basics of marketing with GIFs is important, but so are having the right tools to make your own. Here are a few top recommendations:

  • GIF Brewery. This iOS app can be found in Apple’s App Store. It’s $5, but if you plan to use GIFs often in your marketing campaign, it’s definitely worth it.
  • GIF Brewery enables you to convert video files into GIFs. Its features will let you select only a portion of the video, choose the image and overall file size, add text, and more.
  • Recordit. You can record from your computer screen and turn it into a GIF with this free software. It is perfect for generating instructional GIFs, and even lets you select which part of the screen you want to include.
  • Party Party. You can easily make GIFs in the form of stop-motion videos from your phone with this iOS app, and then add a variety of filters, frames, and effects.

Creating GIFs is one of the many great visual-related things it does, so it’s definitely worth the 99 cents the app will cost you.

Following these tips will get you started using GIFs in your marketing campaign. From creating high-quality GIFs to using them to the greatest effect, you can take visuals to the next level with eye-catching animations.

Fernando Cuscuela is the co-founder and CEO of Everypost. A version of this article originally appeared on the company’s blog.

(Image via)

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