Are you tired of posting content to your social media news feed and having it fall flat in the insights? Then you should think about adding some GIFs to your digital marketing. GIFs are probably the most under-utilized media that I’ve seen in the digital marketing space.
What’s a GIF?
Definition: GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is “a computer file format for the compression and storage of digital video images.” Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary
In general terms, GIFs are those fun little images or mini videos that play over and over. They can easily be embedded into your digital marketing to add some movement to your content and bring a little flavor to your online branding.
The first thing you need to think about when it comes to GIFs, is if you want to find a GIF or create one of your own.
Finding a GIF
I use GIPHY.com as my source but you can also find them on Tumblr, Twitter or do a quick Google search.
Saving a GIF (that you found).
Once you find a GIF, the next step is to save it to your system. Believe it or not, you treat GIFs as images. Simply right-click and select “Save Image As”. Just make sure “GIF Image” is your “Save as type”.
Making a GIF
If you can’t find a GIF that drives the message home, you can make one of your own. There are sites that let you do this such as Giphy’s Make a GIF Tool, MakeAGIF.com. My personal tool of preference is the Ripl App(For iOS devices).
How to use GIFs in Social Media
You probably have figured out already that when it comes to social media marketing, images will always take preference over text, and videos will always receive more interaction than images. However, sometimes we don’t have the time or interest to create a video for every post that we create.
Enter your new friend, the GIF
Find or create a GIF and voilà! You’ve now made your social media marketing more interactive! Rather than posting an image, you can make it dance across your news feed – and give your account some more attention and interaction online.
Here is an example of how I used a GIF in my social media. It was Friday and I was personally feeling run down after a long week. I thought my audience may feel the same. So I sought out a fun GIF to lighten the mood – and groove into the weekend.
Looking at the reporting, this one post received a total of 33% of my entire reach for the week. “Reach” in social media terms is defined by the amount of people that saw your post in their newsfeed.
GIFs Aren’t Limited to Your Social Media
You can use them in your blog content, or add a little flavor to your email marketing. This may depend on the email marketing program that you work with. I use Constant Contact. I have been able to use GIFs to spice up the material in a content heavy newsletter.
The best example I’ve seen of a GIF in an email marketing campaign is Olive Garden. They were promoting their delivery service during a weekend that had both an awards show and football playoff game. They used a creative subject line, “Cleats or Stilettos?” and when you opened the email, your eyes fell upon this gorgeous GIF.
As you can see, for 5 to 10 extra minutes of finding or creating a GIF, the payoff is worth it. Go seek out a GIF or make your own – and watch as the content pops off the screen and your numbers skyrocket.
Jeannine O’Neil, (@Jeannine_Oneil) owner of JO Social Branding, is a digital media strategist who empowers and educates marketing professionals on how to make the best use of their social media and email marketing. Through JO Social Branding, she has positioned herself as a thought leader in the digital marketing industry. In addition to her work as a speaker and consultant, Jeannine has a weeklynewsletter and podcast titled, “Social Eyes”.