When to (and Not to) Use GIFs as Marketing Tools

“GIFs are making a comeback as engaging and fun marketing tools,” according to MarketingProfs, which defines a GIF (graphics interchange format) as a digital image format similar to JPEGs and PNG files. Here’s an example:

via GIPHY

The article points out some very good reasons to use GIFs in your emails, online newsletters or any other piece of digital content.

  • To capture attention. Adding motion graphics to an otherwise copy-heavy piece of communication will help retain interest and keep people reading.
  • To add humor. Everyone appreciates a good laugh, and a GIF is one way to emphasize the humor in what you’re communicating and keep people smiling. Additionally, humor can help relax the content and make it more relatable to your reader.
  • To influence tone. Content-heavy documents can be easy to misinterpret or misunderstand at times. Adding a GIF can help reinforce the appropriate sentiment and tone of your message, making it easier for your readers to understand the takeaway at a single glance.
  • To add emphasis. Our busy lives are filled with distractions. You want to ensure that the most important points of your communications are being noticed and understood. A GIF is a perfect add-on that will make it difficult for your most important points to go unnoticed.

The article also lists instances when you should not use them.

But the most convincing reason to use GIFs as marketing tools is this: “Even more than a static photo, GIFs are more likely to capture an emotional response from readers, which is typically a positive one, and relate to them more like a friend sharing an inside joke. It is easier to keep audience members captivated and engaged when an experience leaves them feeling happy or uplifted. Even more so if the GIF makes them laugh.”

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