What to Know About Using GIFs in Marketing


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One way to work with animation in your marketing and creatively attract attention is through the use of GIFs. GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format.

These can be used for simple animations and images. The format is an accepted tool in social media and social media marketing. GIFs are eye-catching, and they’re shareable across a variety of social media networks.

What to Know About Using GIFs in Marketing

There’s a short and looping component of this format that makes it great for the short attention span of today’s consumers. The average file is just 2-5 seconds long, and that keeps you well under the eight-second mark that you typically have to grab attention as people are scrolling their feeds on social media.

The following are some things to know about how to use GIFs in your marketing.

1. Know the Benefits

Some of the many benefits of GIFs that will encourage you to use them in your marketing include the following:

  • It’s easy for your audience to consume animated GIFs, as was touched on above. We’re in what’s often called the attention economy, and it’s a huge challenge in marketing to get anyone’s attention. Animated GIFs are a hybrid between a video and an image, and that gives people the chance to engage quickly with them, but they’re also more impactful than a still image.
  • Along with catching the eye of the viewer, a GIF can be a call to action. The eye is being brought to whatever it is that’s coming to life in the image.
  • There’s an emotional impact you can create with GIFs. They’re simple but still somewhat mesmerizing when done well. You can create an emotional connection, which is what’s critical in successful marketing.
  • GIFs aren’t necessarily the most sophisticated of animations and videos, but the impact and speed more than makeup for that. They’re fairly easy to create and can end up going viral on social media.
  • There are color limits on GIFs, keeping the file size pretty small so they’ll load faster. They also don’t see a decline in image quality when the data is compressed.
  • They’re mobile-friendly. When you add too many videos to your website, it can slow down your load time and affect ranking factors like your Core Web Vitals. It’s also going to have a negative impact on the user experience. GIFs are smaller than videos and sometimes more than images.
  • GIFs just feel more fun than a static images. You want your customers to have fun when they engage with your brand, and that’s going to help create positive associations with everything else that you’re doing.

2. Using Them On Social Media

As has been mentioned, one of the strongest places to use GIFs in your marketing is on social media. They help you stand out when a simple bit of text or a still image wouldn’t otherwise get the attention of your targeted audience.

3. Email Marketing

Another great place for GIFs in your larger marketing strategy is in your email marketing. Email marketing is one of the best ways to directly connect with your audience, but even so, consumers are flooded with constant messages in their inboxes.

You need to stand out to get attention with your emails, and you want your audience to then click after you grab their attention.

GIFs are a tool that can help you with this. You can add GIFs to your marketing, so they’re more interactive. When they’re more interactive, it’ll improve subscriber engagement.

4. Spice Up Your Blog Posts

With GIFs, you can add something a little unique to your blog posts. They’re especially helpful with how-to blog posts or tutorial-style articles.

You can add quick GIF visual demonstrations of what you’re describing in your content.

Research even shows that words can be harder for the brain to retain than visuals, so when you add GIFs, your audience is more likely to be able to remember the information you’re presenting compared to text alone.

5. Showcase Your Products

Finally, pictures can be more meaningful ways to show off products and their features. You’re going beyond one-dimensional, static photos, which can not only bring your product to life but also help people understand it more.

Some companies will use GIFs to compare products—for example, you could use a GIF to show off the different color or style options of one product.

You can also use them to create a full 360-degree view of a product. This is a cost-effective alternative to longer marketing videos.


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