The Complete Guide to GIF Marketing and How to Make Your Own GIF

January 6, 2021 · 7 min read

Marketers are always looking for new and exciting ways to grab their audience’s attention, and GIFs are no exception.

Their unique and quirky appearance is eye catching and intriguing to even the most critical of audiences.

Although GIFs have been around for what seems like forever, they are just starting to really find their place in the world of digital marketing. In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into the world of GIFs; we’ll discuss what they are, why and when you should use them in your marketing strategy and how you to make your own GIFs. 

Let’s dive right in.

What is a GIF?

The word GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, which in simple terms means it’s an image file (just like a JPEG or PNG).

So what’s all the hype about?

Well, GIFs are a type of file that supports both static and animated images. Exciting stuff, right?!

Invented by Steve Wilhite in 1987, GIFs were originally created for the purpose of saving space. In other words, GIFs are the smallest file size for animated images to date. They play on a loop, have no sound, and do not require anyone to press play.

While that’s interesting and all, you may be asking yourself why you would ever use GIFs to market your business. Here’s why.

Why GIFs are awesome

The fact that GIFs are still popular and trending even after over 30 years should be proof enough, but in case that doesn’t do it for you, here are some more reasons why GIFs are awesome. 

– They’re attention grabbing 

GIFs are a great way to get your content to stand out in a sea of competitors. When placing a GIF against other forms of content such as static images, they’re much more likely to captivate the attention of your audience.

– They’re optimized for mobile

Due to their small file size, GIFs are a great way to post mobile-friendly, animated content to your website. They won’t slow down your site like other video content might and they make for a much more pleasant mobile user experience.

– They’re different

People are used to static images, and while video content is definitely a step in the right direction, there is still a chance that your audience could unfortunately become desensitized to your marketing efforts due to the high volume of content they consume daily. That’s where GIFs come in. Not only are they super relatable and fun, they’re different from what people are used to. Why blend in when you can stand out?

How to make your own GIF

Now that you know how awesome they are, you probably want to know how you can make your own GIF. Luckily for you, making a GIF is easier than ever with Promo.com.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

1. Select or upload footage

You have a few options when it comes to footage. You can select a ready-made template, choose individual clips, or upload your own. 

Templates are a great option if you’re short on time; they’re professionally edited and designed by our creative team to bring results. All you have to do is adjust the messaging, add your logo, and voila!

Alternatively, you can choose to browse and select individual images or video clips from our visual library. Although not as convenient as using a template, this is a great way to create content specifically for your audience.

The last option is to upload your own content. This option will be the most personalized, targeted way to showcase your company, product or brand. However, not everyone has the time or resources to produce quality visuals in house, that’s why we always recommend a good balance of stock footage and your own.

2. Customize

Once you have your footage, it’s time to customize! First, choose the best aspect ratio for your GIF. Simply adjust the aspect ratio to see what your video footage will look like in different formats. We’ve found that vertical and square videos work best for mobile. 

Next, choose a text style, including font and color, to write your message. There are tons of options, so you’re bound to find the right style. After you find the right look, add some text to really make it your own. 

Last, choose your favorite outro and add your company logo. You can click on the play button on the bottom left corner of the video editor to preview your video before you save and publish.

Pro-Tip: No need to worry about selecting music, as GIFs don’t have any sound. Instead, focus on really making your visuals pop. If you’re using one of our ready-made templates, keep in mind that once you download your video as a GIF, it will lose its sound.

3. Publish

How to make your own GIF with Promo.com

Now for the fun part. Once you’re happy with your video, click the save & preview button to get to Promo.com’s new publish page. From there, all you need to do is click “Export as GIF” and it will be automatically downloaded to your device. It’s that simple!

See? Told you it was easier than ever. 

Where to find pre-made GIFs for you business

Creating your own GIF is awesome, but not everyone has the time or desire to make their own. That’s why we put together this list of places where you can find awesome pre-existing GIFs. 

There are loads of websites dedicated to GIFs, but here are the most popular ones:

– GIPHY

GIPHY is basically Google for GIFs. It’s the most popular GIF search engine and online database, and for good reason. 

GIPHY makes it easy to find the perfect GIF for any occasion. Plus, it’s fully integrated with so many messaging apps which, in many cases, makes it the most convenient option for finding GIFs as well. 

– Tenor

Tenor is GIPHY’s largest competitor. Although not quite as popular, it comes pretty close. Tenor and GIPHY are very similar in a lot of aspects, but the GIF selection couldn’t be more different. 

Pro-Tip: If you have the time, try searching for the same keyword in both Tenor and GIPHY to ensure you find the perfect GIF. You’ll be surprised how different they are.

– Reddit

The GIFs you’ll see on Reddit are pure gold. (If you can find them)

It’s definitely not as easy to search for or find GIFs on Reddit, but when you do find them, they’ll blow your mind. Fair warning, if you’re looking for a quick GIF, Reddit is not the place for you. Be prepared to get lost in the subreddits for hours.

– Tumblr

Tumblr has been around for almost as long as GIFs themselves. Okay, not really. But that’s definitely how it feels!

Anyway, Tumblr is a great place for you to discover GIFs and memes before they blow up and become mainstream. When you feel like you’ve seen it all, give Tumblr a try. You won’t be disappointed.  

– Imgur

Imgur is the place to go when you’re just looking to browse. It’d be really hard to search for anything specific, because you never know what you’re gonna get!

The good part is, anyone can upload content to Imgur so there are new GIFs posted daily. Similarly to Tumblr, you’ll never get bored. 

There are so many more websites out there where you can find GIFs, but these are a good place to start. Plus, there’s always Google!

How to use GIFs to market your business

Whether or not GIFs would be a good addition to your marketing strategy is completely dependent on your audience. If your target market consists of Gen Z, Millennials or even Gen X, then they will most likely appreciate a good GIF.

So if you think that your business could benefit from GIF marketing, here are 5 easy ways to start:

1. Showcase your product

GIFs are a great way to show off your product or service and capture your audiences’ attention in the process. Like we said before, because GIFs are so much more dynamic than a static photo or a regular video, they’ll be sure to catch anyone’s eye.

Pro-Tip: Get creative! GIFs are super unique, so you have room to play around with them until you’re happy. For example, if you own a restaurant, you can make a GIF of a sandwich that keeps getting smaller with bites being taken out of it until it’s gone, or a burger being constructed starting with the bottom bun, veggies, meat, cheese and… well you get the point.

2. Let your brand voice shine through

GIFs allow you to express yourself and your company in a way that simple text wouldn’t. They can also help you connect with your audience on a more personal level.

Now more than ever, people are gravitating towards companies that feel genuine and are aligned with their values and beliefs. Show your customers who you really are through the use of awesome GIFs.

3. Spruce up your emails

Email marketing should no doubt be a part of your marketing strategy. But sometimes, your click through and open rates could use a boost; that’s where GIFs come in.

According to Statista, roughly 306.4 billion emails are sent and received each day. If you want people to pay attention to yours, you need to stand out. And what better way to do that than with a perfectly positioned GIF?

4. Upgrade your blogs

Similar to emails, blogs can get pretty boring and repetitive. Switch things up once in a while by sprinkling a few GIFs into your articles.

5. Liven up your website

Remember how we said that GIFs are the smallest file size? That means that you can use them on your website without slowing it down. GIFs are also a great option for your website if your audience tends to visit via mobile devices.

Between the combination of a great GIF and an optimized user experience, you’re bound to see results. 

Well there you have it. Use these 5 ideas to get your foot in the door of GIF Marketing. There are so many more ways that you can implement GIFs into your marketing strategy, but these are a good place to start.

Keep moving forward

While there’s always more to learn, we hope that this guide will help you successfully market your business using GIFs. Like anything new, it’s going to take some practice, planning and even more practice to get better at it. The hardest part is starting, but now that you have all the information, there’s nothing that can stop you from mastering GIF marketing.

In the words of the great Michael Scott, 

Author


Social Media Strategist. Writer at Promo.com

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