June 8, 2017 Sid No Comments on The Comeback of GIFs
The Comeback of GIFs
Back in December 2016, NASA created official social media accounts on Pinterest and GIPHY. While there’s nothing new with brands, personalities, and public entities reaching out to their market via social media, it seems like the latest marketing trend is through GIFs.
GIFs have existed in the World Wide Web since time immemorial – well, since 1987, when CompuServe launched it. It was mainly used as part of design, especially by those who like to customize their blogs and MySpace pages. They’re also used on informative or instructional web content, as an alternative to infographics.
Memes and GIFs: The Language of the Web
In an era when people grow up with mobile devices on hand and spend most of their time on social media, memes and GIFs (or memes in GIF forms!) seem to be the main source of entertainment.
GIFs as Marketing Tool
Just like NASA, brands have jumped onto the GIF bandwagon. However, brands don’t intend to only catch up with the trend; they have taken advantage of using GIFs for strategic purposes, such as providing visual content and making GIFs part of their campaign. Pictures sure are worth a thousand words, but GIFs are worth a lot more.
A way to automatically post looping GIFs online is to upload them to an online database that generates a link or an embed code for the GIF, which you will then paste on your website or social media status and comments space. GIPHY, a leading search engine for GIFs, has partnered with various brands to serve as the official space for promotional GIFs. Audiences can also directly go to the brands’ respective GIPHY accounts to view the gallery of GIFs. Some brands that have official accounts on GIPHY include FOX, Taco Bell, Converse, Nike, and countless other movies and TV shows and music artists, among other industries.
Appeal of GIFs
There’s no doubt that engaging and relatable visual content is a great way to connect with your audience. This is the turf of images and videos. Still images, though, sometimes can’t capture the whole message, and also admittedly, there are times that we’re too lazy to click play and go through the whole video (or for some reason we’re experiencing slow internet connectivity). The solution? GIFs – they are short, digestible clips that play automatically so viewers don’t have to do anything. GIFs also serve as effective teasers for advertisements and movie trailers.
The flexibility of GIFs makes them appealing. They can be reused and shared by everyone on any platform. What’s especially popular these days are relatable “reaction GIFs” that apply to everyday situations.
Do It Right
Amateurish and basic, low-quality GIFs populate the internet and usually, quality doesn’t matter as long as they are entertaining and comprehensible. However, as a brand and a public figure, it is important to exude professionalism and creativity in order to stand out and be taken seriously. It is a marketing method, after all.
It’s also important to note that just like anything in design, overkill is unnecessary in creating a GIF. Subtlety is key. It makes the GIF more interesting. Pay attention to the speed and timing of the GIF – too slow or too fast will make it look unnatural, and looping on the wrong beginning and ending will make it look awkward.
Take your marketing to the next level with meaningful visual content. The fact that Facebook is now a goldmine of memes and GIFs proves that it is more engaging and effective in spreading your brand message like wildfire.