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 TumblrTwitter 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 ToolMakeAGIF.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”.

I love the phrase, “I’m an expert in training!” I heard it before I went on stage at Blogcamp Boston last weekend and asked to use it. Aren’t we all collaborators in the learning process?

Getting more online visibility and PR  is no different. We teach each other.

Here’s a short list to get more online visibility and a bigger bang for your buck!

  1. Be authentic in who you are and in your brand. Be consistent in your look, feel and marketing messaging. You are your brand wherever you go.
  2. Write a blog, share your expertise and do it often. I write a Robin’s Rainmaker once a week, but also write for PayItForwardRetreats.com, which is very important to me. Getting your name and brand out there for what you know and believe in will help raise your visibility.
  3. Share your content on all social media platforms. Don’t know the latest on Periscope? Don’t have a nervous breakdown about it. Use the tools you know and what works for your target audience. Are you in B2B? Then LinkedIn is a good choice and offers more than you can ever imagine. Does your crowd hang on Facebook? That’s the place to be.  Go where your market is.
  4. Create graphics and get them for free – or for a buck ($1.00) at www.Canva.com.  It doesn’t cost a fortune to be creative and compelling. It’s a must for marketing and PR, and honestly, Canva is easy to use.  Every business can benefit from this cool tool. Sit yourself down and try it.
  5. Reach out to influencers and align with their brands. Did your mother ever tell you, “Birds of a feather flock together?” Same thing here. Get noticed by influencers you admire by connecting with them and commenting on their work. Build relationships online, but in person too. It’s amazing who you can meet on twitter and how you can stay in touch.  A compliment goes a long way.
  6. Be a resource to reporters. OK. Don’t overthink this. If you’re writing about your expertise and reaching out to influencers, and doing it often enough, do you think you’ll go unnoticed? Only if you don’t do this! Use this super cool resource to find reporters in your target industry. If you pass this by, you’ve wasted an enormous tip!
  7. And lastly, Podcast Heaven. Use this cool tool to find podcasts in your industry and pitch yourself as a guest on one, several or tons. Get the recording, ask if you can transcribe it, and create multiple blogs. Don’t forget to use all of your keywords for SEO Juice! Check it out!

Start using these tips and you’re on your way to getting more visibility. Which will you implement today?

If you’ve written articles and blogs, they can be a great resource for developing a podcast series. With minimum effort, you can bump up your content, record a script or thoughts on your smart phone, and upload to your website or other places where your recordings live. Today’s smart phones have above average recording capabilities and sound quality. Talk to the phone, not to the hand, and share your expertise to inform, teach and edu-tain others.

I’ve come to think that we’re a visually obsessed society, focusing on how things look.

In business, it’s much the same, and I’m as guilty as the next. How we present our image is a critical part of our branding.

Our websites, logos, business cards, blogs and other marketing tools and collateral incorporate visual elements as well as the written word to tell a story.

To tell your story.

“A picture is worth a thousand words”, and words describe pictures – but what words or images are created by our voice, the clarity of our message, our ‘recorded word’?

Can others visualize our brand by the enthusiasm of our voice, our willingness to share, by the valuable advice and expertise we offer — when we speak, are interviewed or someone hears us on a podcast?

What does your brand sound like?

I gave this some thought yesterday, preparing for a radio interview with Les Wolff, of www.SmartMarketingMoves.com. We recorded two shows last night, one on the Power of PR, and the other on a new program I’m developing to help Experts and Authors ‘Get Media Ready’ , clarify their message, Q + A, and audio branding.

I believe we’ve been trained to put our voices on paper. Why not use our ‘recorded word’ to share a message, serve others and make an impact — not just to build our businesses and brands, but also to make a difference?

You know how emails can be judged, as harsh, blunt or cold?

With the ‘recorded word’, your voice is in HD.

Transparent. Bold. Uniquely you.

Light someone up with your voice today.

Besides helping clients grow their business, I’m excited to be helping entrepreneurs with PR Strategy and Idea Generation, to gain much needed visibility in the marketplace. By being noticed as an expert, there’s more opportunity to be recognized in your industry, and respected by your prospects – who want to know more about you, and potentially buy your products or service!

Being a guest expert on the radio provides an easy way for the entrepreneur to reach out to a captive audience. You can talk about what you know (your compelling topic) in conversational style, and the time commitment is reasonable — usually less than 20 minutes, unless you have special arrangements with a producer. As an additional benefit, most shows are recorded so you can use the content as a downloadable link on your website, as a promotional link, or part of a podcast.

To find the best fit for your subject matter and style, make Google your best friend. Research the type of radio show you want to be on and investigate the format. Make a list of the stations, segment programming, and producers that appeal to you, and take the time to listen to a few different interviews. Picture yourself as a guest, and if the show resonates with you, go for it. Practice makes perfect in all that we do, and there’s a process to becoming media savvy.

Here are a few helpful hints for a smooth radio interview:

  • Have a list of talking points and make sure you hit them, graciously.
  • Use a land line, not your cell phone.
  • Lovingly lock your dog in the car with open windows (not your kids, please) and have a quiet space to talk, without interruption.
  • Disable call waiting.
  • Keep your energy high and smile while you’re talking. It does make a difference!

I work with entrepreneurs not only getting them Press without Stress, and answering Insider Media Requests, but also creating pitches for newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. You actually are quite press worthy, but may not even know it. Get some creative input, dig deep and put your best foot forward.

Be bigger, bolder and brighter in the marketplace.

Get Ready to Stand Out In a Crowd.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!