The Benefits of Animated GIFs for Marketers

by Dave Toole  18 January 2017

An animated GIF is a set of still image files coded into a single file. Animated GIFs are popular for online memes, many of which have gone viral numerous times on blogs and social media channels. As a result, animated GIFs often seem silly or nerdy. However, their power to create viral content has encouraged marketers to explore their potential. The following details the benefits of animated GIFs for marketers.

Animated GIFs are easy to consume

The animated GIF offers the perfect balance between a still image and a video. The format allows people to engage with it quickly, as they would with a still image, while taking away a message from the movement, as they would with a video. Further, animated GIFs are short and boast a low entry barrier, making them a great fit for marketers. You can tell your story quickly and effectively, capturing the power of video without the risk of making your content too long.

An animated GIF makes a creative call-to-action

Capturing the attention of a target audience through innovative and effective calls-to-action is an ongoing process for every marketer. An animated GIF is not an obvious, widely used call-to-action tool, which is a big reason why it’s so effective. An animated GIF guides the viewer’s eye along a set path without overwhelming the viewer. Guiding the eye in this manner is key for a call-to-action. The specific moment in the GIF is a part of a larger picture for the target audience.

Animated GIFs offer emotional impact

A well-crafted animated GIF offers elegance and simplicity, which adds an emotional element to the content at hand that is impossible to replicate with a still image. Helping people connect emotionally spurs laughter, inspiration, and harmony, bringing immediate value to the user, which increases the odds of a conversion. Among other functions, animated GIFs are ideal for tutorials to enhance the experience, which is key for capturing younger target audiences.

Animated GIFs are simple to design and implement

You can create an animated GIF in a matter of minutes with a simple free animation program, such as GIPHY, and a set of still image files. Web browsers treat GIFs as normal image files, which means you don’t have to use any special formatting coding for GIFs to display properly online.

Animated GIFs feature small file sizes with professional potential

When compared to standard photo and video file sizes, animated GIFs are relatively small. Being able to load small file sizes without compromising quality is critical for image-heavy online content. Despite the small file size, GIF files support transparent backgrounds, which is important for polished presentations. The transparent GIF background allows the animation to fit in seamlessly in a wide range of presentation materials, such as a patterned website background. As with any marketing tool, it’s best to use animated GIFs in moderation. A single well-placed, professional GIF in a marketing campaign will make it memorable. Littering every marketing campaign with multiple, poor quality animated GIFs will diminish their effectiveness. Consider the best visual content to use for a single marketing campaign and then craft a killer animated GIF to take the campaign up a notch.

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