If you haven’t noticed by now, GIF’s are everything! Although GIF’s have been around for many many years (and always pretty popular), this year it is making its mark and has become one of the biggest digital marketing trends for 2017!
What is a GIF?
GIF is an acronym that stands for: Graphics Interchange Format. It is an image that doesn’t contain sound just like a JPG or PNG, except it can move and contains animation which are usually created from parts of videos or multiple static images! GIF’s were actually introduced 30 years ago (yes, it’s been that long!) in 1987 by a man named Steve Whilhite (from Compuserve).
Why are they so popular now for marketing?
Photos are great for marketing and it is definitely preferred over just a “text only” status update. However, GIF’s are more effective in digital social media because they are right up there with the power of videos (and as we have explained before – Video is the top choice by all social media if you want to be seen!) GIF’s are basically short, approx 4 second videos and social media is treating them as just that – short videos. They are also easier and cheaper to make than a full video! In fact – blogs with GIFs also tend to have better search results.
Gifs are becoming a great (and funny) way to communicate feelings as well. This is why people love them. Twitter has been using GIFS for some time as a status update or comment/response. Instagram has an app called BOOMERANG that you can use to make and upload your own gif’s (and you can use the video on any other platform as well). Facebook has recently started using GIFS as responses to comments and updates. If you want to comment on a status you simply click on GIF and type in what kind you are looking for.
For example – think something is funny? Search: Funny
Want to say “oh my goodness” to something that you just can’t believe? Search: Oh My Goodness
Found out your favorite product is being discontinued and you are sad? Search sad
The options are endless. And honestly people love them. Forbes recently announced that Giphy passes 100 million daily users who send 1 billion GIFs each day. And although they have been fairly popular since their inception – this year they are blowing up! Today GIF viewers via Giphy watch more than 2 million hours of GIFs per day, and GIFs are seen by more than 100 million daily active users.
How can you use GIFS in your business?
Gifs are fun and playful! Take advantage of them and use them in a fun and playful way.
There are many ways to use gifs – here are a few to get you started:
Search for and use the gifs already available on social media platforms!
Twitter: Using either PC or mobile – you can post a GIF as your “tweet” easily. Just click on “tweet” then “GIF”. You can then search for any you like and you can search for specific types as well. You can also respond to tweets the same way.
Facebook: If you are using facebook on your PC – the option to post a GIF status update is not there- yet (unless you use a website like giphy or an app like boomerang- which we will get into in a few). However, you can respond and comment on a status update with a gif on your PC.
If you are using MOBILE – you are in luck! Just like Twitter – the option is right at your fingertips (last option on the list) and you can post or comment with GIFS easily.
Instagram: Instagram is always the harder social network to customize – but it doesn’t mean you can’t! IG really loves video content and it does well there- however unlike other networks you have to make it short and sweet/ Recently Instagram also changed the old 15 second video time – and expanded it to about 1 minute. So at least you can upload longer videos now.
Instagram gif use is super popular right now! However, since IG does not accept GIF “links” nor does it have options for choosing random one like FB and Twitter – IG has created an app to make this easier for you! We will get into that in the next section – but just know how easy it really is – literally shoot a 4 second video – save it and upload/post to IG. That’s it!
Blog: If you have a blog (which your business should have by now – and here’s why) GIFs are a great addition to fun posts. You obviously would not want to post them on a serious post, however – when you want to inject a little humor (like a fun “gasp” gif after announcing a sale) posts with gifs actually do well. On WordPress: Click on “Add Media” to upload your GIF. Alternatively, set a hyperlink to the GIF if you like the audience to be redirected to another website. In order to avoid affecting the performance of your site (i.e: speed). If you would like to learn more about optimizing your GIF’s – you can read this article by MOZ.
Where to Find / Make GIFS:
There are tons of places to find GIFS- however if you are new to using them we don’t want to overwhelm you, so we will give you our 2 favorites!
Giphy is one of the largest GIF libraries! You can literally find whatever you are looking for on this site! Simply search using the search bar or by category. Once you find a gif you like, you can either download it to your PC or phone and then upload onto social media/your blog post or you can paste copy and paste the link provided. There is also an option to create and upload your own!
Boomerang is an APP created by instagram that allows you to make your own 4 second GIFS! This app is SUPER easy to use! Literally – point, click and shoot. If you like the 4 seconds you recorded simply save it in your gallery and you can easily upload and share to IG and FB. You can also share via text, email and more! This is the perfect app especially if you are new to this and making your own!
So have you jumped in on the GIF fun yet? Give it a shot and let us know what you think! If you have a really cool gif, feel free to share it with us on our social media accounts!