Why you should be using animated GIFs in your marketing

Why you should be using animated GIFs in your marketing
July 17, 2016 Madeleine Helme

When you go online they’re pretty much everywhere you look. Animated GIFs are constantly being shared on social media and other digital platforms to entertain and inform. But can you also use them to sell? More and more brands are adopting GIFs in their social media marketing, email marketing, and in their website content.

What are animated GIFs?

A GIF is a type of image file designed for use online. Animated GIFs stich a number of images together to appear like a video, in a similar way to a flipbook or traditional hand drawn animation.

Why you should use GIFs in your marketing

The fast-paced visual nature of animated GIFs makes them very eye catching. Marketers are constantly trying to find ways to grab the attention of their audience, and GIFs do exactly that. This can be especially useful for calls to action on a landing page or within email. Marketing best practice tells us to make the call to action stand out from the rest of the page in order to grab the audience’s attention. You can use an animated GIF as a call to action or to point the user towards a call to action. This is an effective way of grabbing attention and, therefore, increasing click through rates.

Animated GIFs are typically very short – only a few seconds long, but played on a continuous loop. This means that they don’t have to fight to keep the audience’s attention as they are quick and easy to consume. Because they are visual, the message they communicate is also much easier for your audience to process.

Animated GIFs allow you to show off multiple products or variations of a single product within the same space. A GIF could flick through some of your top products to highlight them to your audience, or show off all the different colors and styles of a product you have on offer. Another way to use animated GIFs to promote your products is by creating a short animation showing how to use a product or how your company makes it.

Something to keep in mind…

It’s important to remember that not all internet browsers or email clients will support animated GIFs. Anyone using platforms that don’t support them won’t be able to view the GIF in all its glory. Instead of the animation, these users will just see the initial frame of the GIF as a static image. To cater to these people, you should make sure that the first frame of your animated GIF contains all the important information and conveys the overall message of the GIF.

You also have the option of creating your own branded company GIFs. This is a great way to increase brand awareness online and create more interest and engagement around your brand. They’re easy to make, too, with the development of software to help you achieve it. To start with, you need a series of images to turn into an animated GIF. These could just be a handful of product pictures, or you can take still images from a video, for example. Some GIF-making tools allow you to create an animated GIF directly from a video, taking even more of the work out of it for you. Tools you can use to make your GIF include makeagif and gifmaker.

Try it out in your social media or email marketing to see if you can boost engagement among your audience with animated GIFs.

After working in marketing for two years I decided to become a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy watching films and television and keeping fit through going to the gym and practising taekwondo.