The Year of GIF-Mania

 

Posted on Jul 17, 2017

One of the longest and most successful digital marketing trend in the last year, this primitive file format has become the vehicle for memes, social media reactions and lots of other online fun. It has become the language of choice for all Millennials online, using it to demonstrate a reaction or answer in an elaborated and humorous way. Its effortless simplicity has become a powerful way to communicate with business audiences on social media and other digital platforms, and its relatively small file size, ability to capture attention and trigger reactions create opportunities that images alone can’t. GIFs are now 30 years old and still going strong, but why have they caused such a stir in 2017 marketing? And why should businesses use them?

GIF may seem like just a fun way to communicate, but it provides a way to reach potential customers in a form they enjoy and relate to. One of the main benefits of businesses using GIFs as part of their marketing content is that they help viewers absorb the information easily. Marketing’s first step to success is to capture someone’s attention for more than 1 minute, this is why video content has become so popular. However, video content is a lot more difficult, time-consuming and costly to master, making GIFs perfect to use as a replacement. According to Giphy stats, people watch more than 2 million hours of GIFs and are seen by more than 100 million users daily. This is an incredible opportunity for businesses.

GIFs can also serve as calls to action. Animated GIFs have the ability to guide the viewer’s eye along a specifically planned path, and that guidance is the essence of a good call to action. GIFs have become an excellent opportunity for businesses to grab the attention of their audience through a creative but effective piece of content. Statistics show that people only remember 20% of the text shown in adverts without visuals, proving the importance of visual content, and if we add live visuals into the context, the outcome can be even more remarkable.

One thing that GIFs are excellent at, is creating emotional impact. The potential of these live images to connect with people emotionally is immense for marketers. GIFs can bring people inspiration, motivation, laughter and nostalgia… all thanks to the immediate value it gives to the viewer, which extends the reach to new audiences.

One of the great characteristics of GIFs, and the reason they are so widely used in Marketing, is that they are more appealing than images but also cheaper to create compared to videos. Stats show that 84% of communication will be visual by 2018, and GIF will become a big part of that communication thanks to its ability to show a brand's personality in a very simple but effective way.

GIFs are found everywhere. Google-lookalike websites like Giphy have become the GIF libraries for the online community. People can now also search and use GIFs on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and Apple mobile users can even search them in their iPhones when messaging someone. Currently, way over 5 million GIFs are shared in Facebook Messenger daily, and these figures are rapidly increasing. Businesses can also take advantage of these in their Email Marketing strategies with majority of brands now showcasing their products in these emails with GIF images. Technology company Dell showed some impressive results from its first GIF containing email marketing campaign, with a 6% increase in open rate, 42% increase in click rate, 103% increase in conversion rate and an astonishing 109% increase in revenue.

Here in Why Media, GIFs are part of our everyday tools and content. We have truly experienced the benefits and increasing potential of this file format which has attracted strong engagement throughout our clients’ social platforms. We have used GIFs throughout our marketing strategies, not just in social media, but also Email Marketing which has proven to be very effective, making the email more engaging, enjoyable to look at and with great click-through rates. Leah Hickey, Marketing Manager at Why Media comments:

“2017 has definitely been the year of GIFs! they have completely transformed the way we select content for our clients, whether it was for their Social Media Platforms or other vehicles. It allows businesses to show their more fun, creative and personal side, which current and potential customers seek and enjoy.”

Here below are the GIFs we have created for our clients Woking Shopping, County Square Shopping Centre and The Heart Shopping Centre for their Social Media platforms this summer:

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more about how Why Media could help you with your Social Media and Email Marketing strategies, including the use and creation of GIFs, please email claire@whymedia.com.