Even though GIFs mainly started out on content sites like Reddit and BuzzFeed, they have exploded to become another important element for your content and social media needs. No longer should you limit your GIF usage to only impressing your colleagues, but the perfect GIF also will work on your company’s blog and social media channels. Although load time was once an issue that restricted GIF use, Imgur just announced that GIFs will now load at faster speeds because files are smaller. With this momentous news, there is no reason you can’t leverage animated images for your business.
Animate Your Updates
Include GIFs in your status updates and tweets. GIFs now have the power to play on both Facebook and Twitter and have mobile capabilities, which is great for the newer and larger smartphone screens like the iPhone 6. GIFs can be a good stand alone update or be included as part of a tweet.
For example, the Los Angeles Kings have one of the funniest Twitter handles. They effectively used a GIF from Arrested Development to bash the rival Arizona Coyotes. And, their use of GIFs to showcase highlights from their games are really what make their marketing successful. You can follow their example by updating your followers with the latest company news. You can use it to explain how a new product works or simply to make them laugh. A buffering video embedded from YouTube is sure to lose attention, but now a GIF can load in a matter of seconds.
Some of our favorites:
Boston Blizzard Signing
GIF Image Source: shortyawards.com
Liven Up Your Newsletters
You have already been nicknamed “The GIF King” by your friends and family for your ability to find the perfect GIF for any situation. Translate those skills to enhancing the messages you send to your email subscribers. However, make sure all your GIFs are relevant and productive and not wasting your customer’s time.
You can use the GIF as an instructional tool to explain how to use a new feature on your website, to showcase your newest line of products or to improve click through rates. Dressed Up! is a great example of how GIFs helped their marketing campaign. They saw a click through rate increase of 26 percent when they included a GIF, reports Campaign Monitor. To help make your GIFs relevant, you may want to consider making your own or using a tool like makeagif.
Energize Blog Posts
BuzzFeed helped kick-start the GIF revolution in blog posts. Static images are boring, but relevant, moving images will keep your reader engaged. Even though the standard GIF format has proven extremely versatile, the dexterity of the moving image is more apparent in blog posts. Here are some of the best ways to use a GIF:
- As a punchline to a joke you made.
- To explain any instructions you made in a post.
- To highlight a product.
Now, with all this praise for the GIF, it is important to not go overboard. The moving images can prove to be a distraction from your writing and stray the reader away. The more relevant and emotional the GIF, the more useful it becomes.