An Ultimate Guide To GIF’s For Your Social Media Marketing Strategy!

Animated GIfs! Are they only for internet geeks? I mean who doesn’t love good Gifs? Remember those Harry Potter newspapers from your childhood and trendy Tumblr posts of your favorite bloggers? All those moving creatures by default grab your interest in a way that you can’t leave them in half way. So you can see things get better when in motion like a ferris wheel or an athlete. And especially marketer and bloggers should keep this thing in mind that only words are not enough to  make such effect on audience which these flickering images create that too in some fraction of seconds.

Ohh, Don’t relate these moving images with videos. Videos are so different and Here I am talking about the latest in trend animated Gif’s.

Ahh, GIF’s. Today they are everywhere and have populated the whole internet. That’s why wherever you go on internet, you certainly find clips of TV shows, movies and other videos explaining your thoughts. And when something got this much viral on internet then certainly it can’t remain unnoticed from our marketing and blogging community for long time. Because they are the people who always crave for latest trends to interact with their audience.

Today they are including these mesmerizing GIF videos in emails, in their tweets and also in their slack channels to make team announcements. In short anywhere there is a message, there is a chance of GIF. Animated gif in email is the latest trick that marketers use in their transactional emails.

So now when we are on the same page let’s start our learning on how to create a Gif? Let’s understand where and when one can share them?Just hold your chairs and see what I have for you in this comprehensive guide. Here I am going to cover all these topics one by one:

  1. A brief introduction to What is GIF?
  2. Why to use GIF images?
  3. How you can use GIFs for interactive blog posts.
  4. Do’s and dont’s of using GIF’s?
  5. Tools you will need to create GIFs

So gear up guys and quickly start your learning on GIF’s!

What is GIF??

what-is-gif

 

Among many meaningless debates on its pronunciation with your co-workers, I am sure you never get the clear idea of what actually a Gif is. Well don’t worry, I am here to explain this small word! Gif is the acronym for graphics interchange format which is a file format that incorporates both static and animated images. Gifs are no sound condensed image formats that seems like a short video clip. Laymenly it is just a running series of still image frames encoded into a single file and continues to play without any pause button in a loop session. These moving images are capable of conveying emotions and information in a way that no other platform can do.

You will be shocked after knowing that GIF is not at all a new phenomenon and is going to celebrate its 30th anniversary in year 2017. So don’t get confuse and try your hands on this old yet new technique.

Why you should use GIF images?

From the entertaining viewpoint, GIF’s don’t have any competition but from the business point of view it is difficult to see the values. But ultimately it depends upon the imagination of creator. A creative mind can bring out the values from anywhere. So if you are looking at the GIFs from marketing point of view then I would like to add some points that no doubt strengthen your marketing efforts.

  1. With the use of Gifs, your audience can easily understand the message that you want to convey.
  2. Use of GIFs show that you embrace latest things in your strategies and believe in work with fun ideology.
  3. Use of GIFs gracefully add more context to your blog posts, tweets and other illustrations.
  4. With Gifs you can bring laughter, inspiration, knowledge and information to your audience and let them feel it and understand it.
  5. GIFs are sharable in comparison to other formats.
  6. You don’t have to worry about the fumble in your words because GIf’s can communicate with your fans directly.
  7. If used in emails, GIFs are valuable to increase your click through rate.

So have a GIF attached to whatever you want to present in front of people. And let’s find out when and where we can use this attention grabbing methodology!

When and where to use Gif’s???

“The biggest benefit of GIFs is [that] they load, they run, there’s no pressing play, [and] there’s no waiting for buffering,” Caldwell says. “For the most part, they’re pretty straightforward and simple.”

So let’s see where a marketer can take advantage of these awesome GIF animations.

  • With GIF’s you can enhance your product illustrations! Videos are now outdated, try Gif animations to illustrate your product qualities. If you own a true 3D product then this GIF thing is certainly a fantastic idea but it is not wise to showcase a T-Shirt or a poster via animations. And yes one more thing to count is avoiding usage of messy or extra flashy animation. Instead, use seamless and faded images to attract customers.
     Use-GIF-for-product-illustrations.
  • Provide visual instructions with animated GIF’s! Gone are the days when every product was accompanied by a “How-to-do” video! Today, no one has patience to stick to a single video to learn how things work. Rather than  making a 5-6 minutes video or more, embedding a looping GIF would serve the purpose. People are smart enough to understand the procedure.
    Use-animated-gifs-to-Provide-visual-instructions.
  • With GIf’s you can create a tiny story! Do you really think a GIF is too short to get to the point? No, if it is developed with a perfect mindset! Infact GIF’s are best in storytelling. You can merge many images together to frame a pleasing story.
    Use-gifs-to-create-a-tiny-story
  • Use GIFs to animate your data! This is really an awesome way to depict your statistics in an animated form. You need to go along with the fact that no-one likes to analyze those big data charts with boring statistics even though they are important. So make use of GIFs to add color to these dull statistics.
    Use-gifs-for-data-animation
  • Make use of GIF’s to offer a sneak peek! Now you don’t need to make a full video just to brief your next big announcement. GIF also takes your burden here and you can create an amazing teaser of your next offering that enroots further curiosity among your audience.
    use-gifs-to-offer-sneak-peek
  • Make use of GIF to share pretty things! It’s always not necessary to use GIFs to convert your not so entertaining data into one but you can always share some cool stuff  on your social media platforms just to entertain your audience. In fact,for marketers and bloggers it is really a good practice to stay connected with their visitors.
     Use-gifs-to-share-pretty-things

Do’s and Dont’s of using GIFs!!

With the grand comeback of GIFs, we have also welcomed some new issues along with it. Today these GIFs are popping up everywhere and almost every social media platform is using them as its favorite way of communication. But, it can result into over-exposure and no one likes too much of anything. People get easily exhausted when something becomes ubiquitous.

So wisely decide the right amount of spice to add in your marketing recipe to make it more delicious as excessive use of these spices may cause a risk of ruining the dish. Hence to let you know what is appropriate, I have put together some points for guidance.

The Do’s for GIFs!

  • Make Use of Relatable GIFs: Just for the sake of adding a moving image, don’t include it. If you really want your image to have an impact then get a pop culture test in your motion pictures. For example a facial expression, a dialogue from famous TV shows or your favorite cartoon characters are undoubtedly the best way to centralize your audience attention and use them in a way that they can relate it to what you want to say.
  • Use Gif’s to make your story more entertaining: Think of novels that have graphics! Amazing books they are! Yes, Art is obviously the best way to cement a scene in mind that author want to describe. And these GIF artworks are like a cherry on the cake. Trust me, GIFs make your content more accessible.
    Use-Gif’s-to-make-your-story-more-entertaining
  • Have a look at what others are doing: It is always good to know what others are doing in order to get maximum visibility in the market. This competitor analysis benefits you in many ways. Keep a sight on how they are going on with latest trends and what is there that you still have not adopted.
    Have-a-look-at-what-others-are-doing

The Don’t’s For GIFs!!

  • Don’t overuse animated GIFs: As it was said earlier that too much of anything exhaust people, so to maintain the proper impact of the post make use of GIFs sparsely rather than using them in a row. Moreover, adding too many graphics also slow down the page loading speed which could be another reason people don’t want to approach you.
  • Don’t replace written content with GIFs: Do remember that people come to you because you have something valuable to offer. That is why it is foolish to replace all your  content with the graphics in a hope that people will love it. Text has its own importance and graphics has their own so use them in a way that they compliment each other.
  • Don’t be too fluky: Frankly trying to be too much cool is probably the most uncool thing in the world. When someone not so much technical recits the movie quotes and cartoon character then it’s perfect but for a brand who is extremely technical adds too much memes then it’s time to see off the internet.

Whoa, you know almost everything to start the chapter of creating a captivating GIF 😛 .So let’s start our learning to create one with this long list of different tools for creating online GIFs.

Different Tools to create an awesome GIF!

Well there are a lot of ways to create a gif and you can take advantage of any of the method. It is always better to switch between methods to bring out the  creativity.

For the ease of learning I have separated these different methods into three main categories and they are named as:

  1. How to create a GIF from video?
  2. How to create a GIF by sticking images together?
  3. How to create a Screencast GIF?

Creating a Gif is not that much difficult. All you need is little bit guidance and you are right on the track. You can make your own GIFs using Photoshop also, certainly a good news for PhotoShop lovers. My next article “How to make GIFs Using Photoshop” is going to enlighten every little point on the topic. But for now stick to this one and let’s explore each category one by one.

How to create a GIF from video??

  1. GIFs.com: If you are looking for options to create a GIF from your favorite youtube videos and Instagram posts then most certainly GIFs. com should be your first choice. With this Free tool you only need to paste the URL of the video you want to convert into GIF. You can also manually upload your desired video to crop it into an animated GIF. This online tool has a range of features to offer that contribute to make a marvellous GIF video such as add caption tool, editing tool, crop tools.You can also add effects like padding and blur effect to your GIF.
  2. Giphy GIF Maker: Giphy is perhaps the biggest hub of online GIF creations.Here you can create your GIF as the way you want either by using videos or by combining images together. For this category, to create GIfs from videos, Giphy has Giphy maker tool to use that will cost nothing. Creating a GIF using this tool is extremely easy as all you need to drag your video file or paste your URl and  you are all set to go. Once you did upload your video on GIPHY maker, It’s “easy to use” UI will let you edit your GIF as per the way you want it to be and when you are done with your editing you can save it and share it across multiple platforms.

How to create images by sticking images together??

  1. Giphy SlideShow: With this Option provided by GIPHY, you can enable motion in your still images and frame a dynamic GIF. Firstly, you need to upload all your still images or Gifs for its union with other images. The order and the duration of each image in the slideshow can be decided after the upload. You can access this tool from here.
  1. Gifmaker.me: This is a free tool that allows you to create animated GIFs with no registration required. With this amazing tool, you can combine all your favorite images and shape them into an interesting GIF which can be accompanied with an audio. You can also resize a gif, reverse a gif and moreover can combine two different gifs into one gif online or can split a single gif into two separate parts. Seems interesting isn’t it? So try your hands on this tool to share multiple screenshots in one URL or your precious life moments with your friends online.

How to create a Screencast GIF??

  • CloudApp: Isn’t it great to create a gif directly from your desktop screen. Of course it is!! CloudApp which is compatible only with Mac OS has this awesome feature. So whenever there is a need to present some tutorials or walkthroughs, this super awesome tool can be used to make your own GIFs. With this tool, you can record your screen, webcam videos and much more for a desirable amount of time. When you are done, your screen recording will be converted into a GIF link that you can easily share over the web with anyone you want.
  • RecordIt: This tool is very much similar to CloudApp but it works for both Windows and Mac. You can record your screen for maximum amount of 5 minutes and after the completion of your recording session, your screencast will automatically get uploaded to Recordit servers from where you can share it either in the form of GIFs or videos.
  • Sir Gifs A Lot : Well our favorite online team communication tool Slack comes with many interesting integrations and SIr Gifs A lot is one of them. Once you configure the app to your Slack, you can create a gif by simply typing /gifalot in your slackbot panel.This amazing addon opens up a great platform to have fun together across countries.

Now it’s all over to you!!

Creating gifs is a huge ground to play and I think you find this guide useful. But yes there is a lot to learn still and I am looking forward to learn from you as well.

Please share your experiences while creating and using GIFs in the comments below. It’d be great to hear from you.

Thank You!!

Rashika

Who is 

Rashika is Marketing Analyst at LoginRadius. She is a coffee addict and enjoys adventures, watching TV series and reading novels. Her aim is to contribute in writing for personal growth, education and internet marketing. You can contact her on Linkedin here.