Does it really matter that Facebook now supports the use of GIF? Other services like Twitter allows for it, but should you care as a small business or marketer? Yes, you should. And we’re going to tell you why.
Essentially, the move is designed to further engage users and capitalize on the visual nature of the GIF. Visual images and videos are shared more often across more channels than text-only messages, and marketers can piggyback on the animated GIFs to stand out from the crowd.
While the social marketer is late to the game of animated GIFs, the huge platform has been chugging along quite well without it. The feature allows brands that have a presence on Facebook to deliver messages and engage consumers in a new way, much like they’re already able to do on platforms like Google+ and Twitter.
Before you hop over to your Facebook account to add a GIF link to your next post, hold on. Facebook isn’t letting brands use the feature yet, so for now, you can just make plans for employing the nifty animated videos.
Getting on board the GIF train
The short, silent, animated videos that are GIF offer marketers a host of benefits when they’re combined with standard social marketing tactics.
- They get attention. In terms of getting consumers to take notice, times are tough. There’s lots of competition and limited attention spans to go around. Getting people to pay attention for more than 60 seconds is even more of a challenge. Often, marketers are calling up creativity for catchy email subject lines, blog titles and more. With a GIF, your brand can grab attention and direct consumers to other content that expands on your message. It’s a quick way to engage with people and has a low entry barrier.
- They get people to take action. Position a GIF in place of your call-to-action and get consumers to quickly notice what you want them to do. Whatever you want to stand out on the page will definitely get noticed with a GIF. Consumers need this “eye candy” to help them find the most important thing on the page, and for marketers, it’s a creative way to grab hold of consumers’ attention.
- They appeal to emotion. Just like video and still images, GIFs appeal to consumers’ emotions, getting responses like laughter, empathy, sadness and more. The potential for connecting with people via GIFs is reason enough to give them a try.
Businesses who want to create GIFs do well to learn from the best. Tumblr is one such example, as the microblogging site is one of the top sites for GIF sharing. Scroll the pages for examples of GIFs that are often teen-created yet promote various shows, music videos, movies and more. BuzzFeed is another example of a site primarily driven by images and GIFs. One viral post was viewed nearly 2 million times and liked by 173,000 Facebook users in just three days. The GIFs add depth to the storytelling and connect in an emotional way with the viewers.
Browse around the internet for inspiring examples before trying your hand at creating a GIF. If you need to, outsource the job or have someone show an employee how to create an inspiring GIF. With creativity and commitment to learning something new, you’ll be ready to post your new GIFs on Facebook, when they release the feature to brands, and you’ll be sure to attract the right kind of attention from the right kind of people to set yourself apart from the competition.