Images are a big deal. One report showed that 63% of social media is made up of images, and image-based social media platforms keep adding on users.
Animated GIFs are riding the wave of visual content marketing popularity. Big channels like Twitter, Reddit and Tumblr all embrace GIFs, with Facebook recently joining the list. Facebook joining the party has led to an explosion of the use of animated GIFs. If you haven't made GIFs part of your visual content marketing strategy, there's no better time to start.
What Are Animated GIFs?
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. That doesn't mean anything to most people, so basically a GIF is just a bunch of still images linked together to create a short animation. The best way to think about it is like a virtual cartoon flipbook.
Animated GIFs are uniquely effective because:
- They quickly capture our attention
- They can take images to the next level, whether that be humorous, insightful or instructional
- They're easier for marketers to create than videos, don't require any click to play and no buffering
Animated GIFs for B2B Marketing
Businesses have found a number of ways to connect with other businesses through animated GIFs. The most obvious example is using GIFs to demonstrate a product or service quickly. People can always click for more information or a video, but the GIF can show the unique selling points.
GIFs are also effective in presentations. They can be used as a way to direct the audience's eyesight, or simply make the presentation more entertaining.
If you're eager to develop your brand, creating humorous or personal GIFs is an effective way to show off your company's culture.
On Twitter? While the limited character space you have can make it hard to deliver your full message, an animated GIF will give you much more real estate to illustrate your point. Images also perform well on Twitter; a study found they receive 18% more clicks, 89% more Favorites, and 150% more retweets.
How To Get Started
There are plenty of tools available to help you create your own GIFs. Here are a few:
- Jiffy is a free Chrome extension that lets you clip YouTube videos into GIFs
- Giffing Tool offers a paid premium service or a free tool to create basic GIFs with watermarks
- GIMP is a free tool that closely resembles Photoshop
- Speaking of Photoshop, it's the ultimate image-editing software you can purchase and has a GIF maker
- Make a GIF allows you upload and edit images and videos to turn them into GIFs (we used this platform to easily make our GIF image for this blog!)
You can always consult with one of us at 21 Handshake as well. We'd be happy to help point you in the right direction and answer any questions.