The new use of GIFs in online marketing could be as useful for SMM as Google search ads is to Paid Search Marketing. As marketers, we realize that the clear majority of consumers are on social media and GIFs are a huge part of social interactions online, and sometimes the corner stone of conversations. GIFs allow another way for marketers to join the conversation and let their brands be heard.
What are GIFs?
A GIF is more than a word half the world is mispronouncing (it’s GIF with a hard ‘G’ by the way), it’s also a huge part of social interactions online. GIFs can express moods and feelings, and are great for a joke! GIFs were created back in 1987 and in the past few years have quickly been recognized for their ability to be tools used in online conversations to emphasize topics. If someone wants to express how hungry they are, they’ll use a GIF that expresses just how they feel in the way they want to show it. Simply, GIFs are conversation enhancers.
GIFs in Marketing Today
GIFs have become more than a conversational tool online; it’s become a new tool of marketing. As with all things social and popular in society, marketers have strolled in to join the party. In 2015 Facebook added GIF support because of the need for GIFs on Social Media from both a consumer side and a business standpoint. Businesses are now using GIFs to get more eyes on their logos, products, and culture. GIFs are being created by businesses to advertise and also as a conversation enhancer enticing consumers to share the content. To do both and insert a product into social conversations let’s think back to what a GIF is used for; for expression of moods and feelings. So, with that in mind if a person wants to express they’re thinking about pizza, they’ll use the most entertaining GIF they can find. Then a business that sells pizzas should make a GIF available that entertains, enhances conversation, and advertises their brand. And that’s exactly what Dominoes did.
Future of Gifs
Dominoes simply put their logo in the bottom right corner but it’s still noticeable and the GIF is entertaining. If a person doesn’t like Dominoes and notices the logo, they will still likely share it. Marketing has found a new tool with GIFs and there will soon be far more branded GIFs out there, being shared by large portions of the online community around the world. When someone searches for “running GIFs” they could likely use a branded GIF from Puma. Brands will be in more places and more conversations thanks to the popularity of GIFs.
Some people may ask if these branded GIFs will ruin the popularity around them. There are people who say the average user will purposely not use a branded GIF and instead select a lesser quality option to avoid promoting a brand. That could be the case but history has shown us otherwise. Richard Rabbat, CEO of Gyfcat, used his experience working at Google to share his insights on these concerns, that people at Google never thought users would click on a search ad instead of an organic result. “But then over time, the ad relevance became so good that people actually found a lot of value out of the ad itself.” This is what will happen with GIFs. Businesses will get better and better at making them, and they will be shared more often than avoided.
Why You Should Hop Aboard the Gif Train Now
GIFs are here to stay. Until something comes along to replace them, they’re not going anywhere and they’ll only become more accessible. There are many websites out there now that provide immense libraries of GIF files. Gyfcat and many others are working on making sure none of their advertised content is random and we know from experience if the advertised content is relevant and engaging, it’ll be shared.
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