Animated GIFs are the perfect tool to help build your brand. They make people smile, and that feel-good factor transfers to your brand. People love to share animations on their social media accounts because they want to make their friends laugh.
Principles of Great GIF Design
The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) was invented way back in 1987 by a CompuServe developer as the best format for low detail compressed graphics. GIF images may be color-limited and lack the detail of a JPG photo, but their small file size has helped them last over 30 years, a millennium in Internet terms.
Great GIFs are short; less than five seconds and they create positive emotions. The best GIFs are topical as well as funny: Their topicality means they will explode on social media but have a short popularity lifespan.
Even animated GIFs have small file sizes, so they work well on mobile, where limited bandwidth and low speeds plague other video formats.
But, you aren’t in the business of making people smile. You want to link viewers’ feel good emotions to your brand. You can make that link by using your brand colors and fonts.
There is little benefit to sharing others’ GIFs. You need to develop an animated GIF mindset, so you see branding possibilities everywhere. Set up a multi-talented team and frequent brainstorming sessions to inspire whomever you delegate the creation task to.
A GIF creator app makes it simple to create animated GIFs people will love without taking two days of your limited time on each GIF you create.
Website Animated GIFs
Remember those awful sites from the 90s with their neon colors and flashing lights?
GIFs are infinitely more subtle than the monstrosities of the Internet’s early days. Use them sparingly and keep them relevant to your posts. Don’t use animated GIFs in every post, instead, reserve them for use in one in four or five. You don’t want to overload your readers’ sensibilities.
Use GIF animations to teach readers the basics of a new process or sequence. Sprout Social used this technique to demonstrate its new mobile app.
Avoid using GIFs in sidebars, headers or footers. The humor in your animations is subtle and doesn’t bear endless repeated viewing. Every GIF should have a purpose. Every GIF must appeal to your target profile. Every GIF must be easy to share.
Use animated GIFs to create banner ads with more impact.
Be wary of adding so much to any web page that it becomes noticeably slower. Even the best web hosting will slow down if you have large GIFs on your page.
Using Gifs in Emails
There are 263 billion emails sent every day to 4.3 billion email accounts. That means each person receives 62 emails a day. How do you make your stand out from the mass of electronic graffiti?
You use ‘GIF’ in the subject line, and you make sure it makes people smile. GIFs have also been found to increase open-rates by about 26%. However, part of the reason animated GIFs work in emails is because of the surprise factor, so use them sparingly to maximize the impact they have.
Social Media GIFs
Gifs are super popular on social media so will be shared more often. Everyone wants to spread the smiles and to be first to share a good animation. On Twitter, tweets with animated GIFs generate more than twice the interest compared to tweets with static images.
Animated memes rule the social media networks, and memes are just one form of animated GIFs. Reaction GIFs are another popular image type, and you could have a few stock reaction GIFs ready to roll out, just needing you to add text before setting them loose.
The Short Version
Animated GIFs are super-easy to create using apps, and everyone should be generating at least the occasional branded GIF.
Animated 8-bit color images (GIFs) can drive social sharing and build your brand image in your target market.
Develop a color palette and brand style that are easy to recognize and create a team to create animated GIFs for your marketing department. You don’t need new GIFs every day because scarcity is one of the factors behind their appeal. Brainstorming ideas, especially on newsworthy subjects is one of the best ways to generate GIFs your users will love and share.