Ah, the GIF — the ultimate form of communication in internet culture. Have a case of the Mondays? You could send a GIF of somebody falling asleep at their desk. Excited for the weekend? There’s a ton of GIFs that proclaim you are ready for some fun, from Despicable Me minions cheering to a firework finale. It’s basically a social media user proclaiming “this is how I’m feeling!” While GIFs are fun, do they belong in the marketing side of social media? You better believe it!
First of all, you may be unaware of what a GIF is. The Graphics Interchange Format, commonly called a GIF, is a soundless, repeating snippet of video or animation. These images can be used in social media posts, as well as comments on certain platforms such as Facebook.
Good. Then let’s continue.
One of the main goals of marketing is to bring a brand down to the people’s level. In other words, to make a brand human. As such, GIFs are a great way for companies to bring a little bit of humor and personality into their content.
Already, major brands have incorporated GIFs into their marketing in one aspect or another.
You could use pre-existing GIFs so your content is relatable to your customer. For example:
“When you realize there’s still a few hours left to our #summersale!” And have a GIF of a movie character having hope, being relieved, excited, or cheering for joy.
Or, you could create custom GIFs through a variety of different software programs and apps. This way, you can incorporate your brand’s identity, products, services, and more.
Here are some practical uses for GIFs for a business that we have seen do particularly well:
– Visual instructions
– New product reveals
– Clips from live events
– Brand storytelling
– A new approach to infographics
As you can see, GIFs can have useful applications other than making your audience laugh. Since these images can be applied to a broad range of uses, it’s safe to say there’s a GIF for everyone.
Just like every other form of social media visual, however, they should never go without copy. Always add some form of text and links when appropriate. You should also use GIFs sparingly, do not oversaturate your timeline with these fun images, or your marketing will look clunky and desperate.
Finally, GIFs can also help with online marketing in other forms such as email marketing, blogging, etc. They have the potential to catch the eye of a user that would pass by your content otherwise. Essentially, incorporating GIFs into your marketing will help your brand stay modern and informed about current trends.