A Ferris wheel. Racing cars. Your content. Some things are best understood when they are set in motion. If you want to create a lasting impact, tell a great story. A great story is not just limited to words – pictures and videos breathe life to your fabrications.
However, since videos need a little more dedication from both your audience and the content creator, say hello to GIF. GIF images convey your message with the same tenacity and emotions, albeit in a more entertaining way. But not all GIFs are created equal or succeed in generating an impact. Finding GIFs that correlate to your blog or website is an art, since using the wrong GIF might jeopardize the brand reputation of your company. To ensure that you are using the right GIF images, here is a guide you need to pay heed to:
What exactly is a GIF?
If you love pointless debates at work, ask your coworkers whether they pronounce it with a soft ‘g’ like jifs, or with a hard ‘g’ like a gift. Instead of shrouding ourselves in its murky origins however, what we do know for certain is that a GIF will always be a Graphics Interchange Format. GIF images are basically a format that supports both static and animated images.
GIF images allow you to present videos in a loop that don’t require a play button. GIF is a widely used word. In fact, GIF was deemed the most used word of the year by the Oxford dictionary in the year 2012. However, while the addition to a dictionary might be a milestone, GIF is not a novice to the digital world. Just in the year 2017, Katherine Martin, Head of the U.S. Dictionaries Program at Oxford University Press celebrated the 30th anniversary of GIF images. Furthermore, Katherine added:
“The GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace.”
The two most promising questions that pop to the front are:
How can you explain GIF images to people over 35 years of age – the generation X?
Answer: They are like moving pictures, just like the waving and gleaming pictures in Harry Potter’s newspapers.
How to tell your grandparents about GIFs?
Answer: Don’t bother! They don’t care for GIF images anyway!
Why do you need to use GIF images?
First and foremost. GIF images infuse a mundane piece of content with character and soul. It articulates a clear message of the context of the content. And the best part is that you can let your imagination run wild when you are using the GIF images on your social media pages.
Here are a few reasons why you need to start using a GIF for your social media presence, starting today:
- GIFs depict that you are above running blindly after the current trends in social media.
- GIFs exude the fun element of your brand.
- GIFs provide you with an opportunity to convey your message in a short time.
- GIFs are easily shareable.
- GIFs are better than photos and videos, especially when it comes to invoking emotions among the customers.
Where to find Viable GIF images?
What you should actually be asking is where not to find GIFs? After all, the internet is teeming with them. You can spend hours and hours searching for GIFs on the internet and in turn get bombarded by a deluge of needless GIFs. But you don’t want to be doing that, especially when you are pressed for time. Here are some of the best sources from where you can find GIF images that cater to your taste and preferences:
Your go-to resource for searching and finding GIFs that relate to your content. Giphy is deemed the hub of all GIF images. Simply input the keyword that you are working for, and boom, a barrage of images would show up in a jiffy.
Another lesser known source of great GIFs is Gifbin. This website comes quite handy when you are running out of ideas. Gifbin.com’s Random GIF generator can be used to spark some creativity in your work. You simply need to click the button a few times to generate images that have a propensity to move mountains – metaphorically speaking of course!
The great thing about Reddit is that it lets people upvote what looks good to them. So, here, if you are searching for an image, you already know what is being liked by various users.
How can you create your own GIFs?
The above-mentioned resources might be a good way to find existing images, but what if you are willing to put your creativity into the GIF images and create your own masterpieces? Here are some resources that let you design your own GIF images for free.
Now, let us look into individual social media platforms, and how you can use these mediums on them:
Incorporating GIFs on Twitter
Twitter launched its GIF library in the year 2016, after collaborating with Giphy and Tenor. As Twitter explains, “Whenever you’re composing a Tweet or a Direct Message, you can search and browse the GIF library. So if you’re looking for the perfect cat yawn or a witty eyebrow arch to express exactly how you feel, simply click the new GIF button. You can search by keyword, or browse categories of different reactions, such as Happy Dance, Mic Drop, or YOLO.”
Create event posters to attract your customers
If you ever wished to create ads without spending a fortune on animation, you are in luck, since GIF gives you a chance to create ads that look like videos and they can also act as a highly shareable information piece that a follower can retweet:
Feature your new products
Most people prefer not to watch a full-video of a product launch, so a GIF image can help you grab their attention. Instead of protracted video content, try sharing GIFs which highlight the features of your product, or short snippets on how they can make the best use of the product.
How to use GIFs on Facebook?
While it was difficult to share GIFs on Facebook, the social media giant has enabled GIF sharing within the platform in a recent overhaul. If you are a thriving business, and need to boost a GIF image, you are in luck. Here are some recommendations by Facebook itself:
- Choose high-quality images or animations
- Use a link ending with .gif
- Use a GIF with a file size less than 8MB
- Use a GIF with less than 20% text on the image
- Avoid GIFs that flash or are grainy, as your boosted post may not be approved
Now that you know where to find GIF images, here are some ways in which you can use GIF images on Facebook:
Sharing behind the scenes
If you want your audience to know what goes on behind the curtains, try sharing the behind-the-scenes sneak peaks on Facebook. How are you writing the content? How are you brainstorming your next idea? Feature your employees having fun while crafting the brand-new product or using it. Behind the scene snippets will help your customers connect with your brand in meaningful ways and see your brand as more humane.
Feature your products
Akin to Twitter, you can use GIFs to feature your products. Make custom GIFs showcasing your products to show them in a new (and animated) light.
Share How-to instructions
The simple & easily-digestible manner of GIFs makes it easier to grasp the attention of your audience. Add value to your followers by providing them How-to instructions on using your product, or just sharing How-to or DIY information to ease their struggles.
To end it all
GIF images are one of the simplest ways to bring your content to life. Use GIFs for everything from launching your product to conveying emotions to your customers, GIF will help you to master your way to the art of the perfect GIF in a jiffy way.