We all know that videos create more user engagement on the interwebs, but even they aren’t always quick enough for our “I-want-it-now” culture. Sometimes even clicking a play button will deter a user from engaging with your content. So where does that leave us?

My personal favorite: the GIF.

You’ve seen GIFs. You may have even shared them. You most certainly have laughed at or related to them on some level.

But what IS a GIF?

Without getting too technical, it’s an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format, which is a compressed image, or series of images (frames), combined into one file that can seamlessly loop. GIFs utilize a lossless data compression technique to reduce the file size without degrading the visual quality, which also allows it to work on multiple devices and browsers for maximum user experience… and for easy access to cat videos.

One of the biggest debates of our generation will not be the Presidential debates of 2020 (Lord, help us…). It’s the pronunciation of this tiny little animation.

Personally, I prefer the hard “g” (like in gift), while others use a soft “g” (as in gym) but with the soft “g” I can’t stop thinking about peanut butter, so I refrain. BOTH ARE ACCEPTABLE, PEOPLE. Let’s move on.

First it was Facebook, followed by Twitter and Instagram, that rolled out the ability to search for GIFs within their platforms. People can quickly search and share a quick video that expresses their current mood, the latest sports highlight or their favorite scene from “The Office” at a moment’s notice.

So how can you utilize these fun little animations for your brand? 

  • Think outside the still. If you have an e-newsletter that contains images, why not try to animate them for a little more of a “wow” factor? Here, West Elm decided that even better than showing a picture of lamps would be to have them turn on. Easy, subtle, smart.

  • Put them to use in tutorials and updates. Do you have a product that might need a tutorial? Instead of creating a full-length video, maybe a series of screenshots and GIFs might be enough for your user. Sprout Social released this GIF to show off new features to its app.

  • Include more copy without taking up more space. Sometimes the space on your website or social post just won’t cut it for the messaging that you have. Utilizing GIFs can get all of that important copy out to your audience without sacrificing your design. (Or maybe you could use some copywriting assistance, and we can do that too.)

So if a picture is worth 1,000 words, a GIF might be worth a million.

Not only can GIFs be a great asset to your business and marketing strategy, they also might turn into your favorite form of communication and form of email response.

Just ask my coworkers…

The team at Vela Agency can help you develop a digital media plan that includes all the marketing tools that make sense for your business. Contact us today to start the conversation.