Use GIFs to Animate Your Marketing

Dana Sheehan/ Digital Marketing, Marketing

GIFs are those moving images – basically mini silent movies – that you’ve probably seen in your Facebook feed and wondered, “How did they do that?” Well, wonder no more, my friends!

A Word of Caution

GIFs look cool when used well, but are very annoying when used poorly (think animated ads that are too distracting). We’re going to focus on good uses of GIFs, which can really take your marketing to the next level. Please proceed with caution.

GIFs Are Easy to Make

I’ll be honest, for a long time I thought GIFs were hard to make and required mad Photoshop skills. I have moderately-angry Photoshop skills, and making GIFs never seemed to work out for me. But because the Internet is an amazing space (just stay where the light touches, Simba), there are tools that make this so easy.

Choose Your GIF Type

When I refer to a GIF, I’m talking about an animated GIF. GIF files can also be still images (AKA regular images). There are two kinds of animated GIFs, both of which can be made on Giphy.com. Which one you’ll use depends on your needs and what you have available.

Video

  1. upload or link to a video
  2. select the section and length
  3. add text (or not)
  4. download

Slideshow

  1. upload several still images
  2. reorder them
  3. set duration of each image
  4. download

GIFs Go Where No Videos Have Gone Before

Have you ever wanted to embed a video into an email? You can’t, at least not reliably, because most email providers don’t let the code work (which has to do with security). But a GIF? Absolutely. Because it’s an image file, you can add it anywhere you can add images. Emails, websites, social media icons – all applicants for the GIF treatment.

Less is More

When using GIFs, it’s important to remember that less is more. The type of GIF you use depends on your marketing needs, but you don’t want it to be crazy distracting. And you definitely don’t want to add a bunch of GIFs all together. But when used well? They can really polish your marketing.