By Amanda Linthicum, HighRock

If you’ve been anywhere on the internet in the past 10 years, you’ve probably seen one of those tiny, moving images called GIFs. GIFs, or Graphics Interchange Format files, have grown into a worldwide trend. Although the controversy on how exactly to pronounce the name of these little guys has been their constant companion, there’s no question that they are a part of the internet’s vocabulary.

Considering their popularity and versatility, should you incorporate GIFs into your marketing strategy? HighRock says yes! Recently, we’ve used GIFs of our own to announce our company anniversary and make holiday posts.

 

 

As a graphic designer, my favorite marketing GIFs are the subtle ones. Just like you wouldn’t use an emoji in a professional email, you should be mindful about the types of GIFs you use in your marketing. You may not use a classic “reaction gif” in your next marketing campaign, but there’s definitely room for subtle gifs like cinemagraphs. These are mostly static images with one or two small moving elements.

(Source: Cinemagraphs.com)

If you’d rather keep your GIFs animation based, consider animating subtle elements like drop shadows or shades of color. Arby’s had a great recent example of a GIF like this on their social media and it immediately caught my eye!

(Source: Facebook.com/arbys, via GIPHY.com)

So where exactly in your marketing campaign should you be utilizing GIFs? Here are my suggestions:

To Give Your Website Some Movement:

Use a GIF or looping video on your home page as a quick way to draw viewers’ attention. In addition to your home or landing page, consider adding GIFs to another page with a lot of static photos. Animating your portfolio or “work” page is a subtle way to draw customers’ eyes to what you’re most proud of – your work! Some businesses have started using GIFs for their employee headshots in their “About” sections. This is a creative way to add some movement to the page and even gives you the chance to show off some of your fun company culture.

To Draw Attention Somewhere Specific:

On pages with a lot of content, it’s often hard for readers to know where the most important info lies. By using GIFs, you can easily point your customers in the right direction. If you have a graphic with a lot of data, consider using GIFs to bring it to life. Animate pinpoints on the map of all of your locations, or the “big picture” numbers that you want clients to know. Another great place to draw attention is your call-to-action buttons. Try using a GIF for any call-to-action buttons in your emails, web pages, or blogs.

As the Centerpiece in an Email:

When sending out email newsletters to your clients, using a GIF can help you stand out in their inbox. GIFs are an easy way to show some brand personality – will you include a subtle cinemagraph-style gif of some of your recent work or a high energy animation directing people to your new website?

GIFs are also a quick and easy way to demonstrate your products in action. If you’re a coffeeshop, a GIF is the perfect opportunity to show how you roast beans, grind them, and brew a fresh cup!

On Social Media:

Perhaps the most common place you’ll see GIFs in on social media. Facebook has a built in GIF-finder in their comments, making it extremely easy to integrate GIFs into your everyday social media interactions. We believe that GIFs are a great asset to add to your brand’s social media toolbox. Whether you’ve created your own branded GIF for a post, or you’re responding in the comments with a classic reaction GIF, moving images are a great way to “stop the scroll”.

Finally, remember to give credit where it’s due. If you are creating your own GIFs, more power to you! But if you’re pulling reaction GIFs from sources like GIPHY, Buffer, or Google make sure you link back to your sources.

If you’re looking for some eye-catching elements to incorporate into your online marketing, look no further than HighRock. We can help you create the perfect campaign to stop the scroll.

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