Tips for Using GIFs Effectively in Digital Marketing Campaigns
GIFs have become a reflection of how the masses consume media today, working as the medium of choice for communicating messages effectively — and entertainingly — online. As such, they can be a great tool to effectively accentuate any digital marketing strategy. Brands, businesses and organizations must be able to speak this online language of the digital era.
Using the GIF may have recently been added to the online and mobile marketing status quo, but how, and why, did a technology that originated in video games in the 1980s suddenly become so popular? Below, I try to answer exactly that, as well as look at different ways GIFs can and have been used effectively by brands in digital marketing campaigns.
While the technology behind GIFs may date back to the 1980s, it's also the perfect, most up-to-date fit for the way we create and consume media today. The simplicity of the GIF has proven to be incredibly appealing, combining video and text in a condensed way to form a unit that's very effective at engaging today's internet users.
Part of this is because the human mind can process visual content much faster than text — 60,000 times faster to be exact. A recent study has shown that people are 100 percent more likely to stay on a web page if it included video content, while 85 percent of people were more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. Video is clearly a powerful medium when it comes to consumers’ short-lived attention spans, and GIFs take this idea one step further by shortening a video down so that it fits into a couple of frames and is only a few split seconds long.
The rise of the GIF can also be credited to BuzzFeed, which pioneered the use of the format in mainstream media through the very popular "listicle" form. The GIF-filled listicle was mobile friendly, easy to consume and easily shared, giving it a viral capacity that only increased its ubiquity.
Related story: The Value of Animated GIFs in Email Marketing