What is a GIF?
GIF stands for “Graphics Interchange Format”. GIFs are image files that are compressed to reduce transfer time. In other words, it is a graphic image on a webpage that moves. Most people pronounce the acronym as “gif” (with a hard G) but the correct pronunciation is “jif”.
What are the importance of GIFs & do they reach more people?
We all know a picture speaks a thousand words, so a moving picture or an animated GIF could be even more valuable. As far as visual content is concerned, GIFs are a pretty good way for brands to increase engagement. However, when you have to click on a GIF to view it, it loses some of its appeal.
Today GIFs play an increasingly important role in breaking news on the web, telling stories and giving us a new way to express our emotions. We are quickly moved by visual content, and videos take time to watch, whereas a GIF offers a much more convenient and faster way to capture our attention.
The benefits of using GIFs for Social Media include:
– They appeal to a consumer’s short attention span – convey information quickly.
– Images and videos are likely to be shared – the creative way to get your audience to click on your links and other content you share, it’s a lot harder to overlook a link when it’s promoted by a colourful image instead of text.
– They can serve as an effective CTA without being forceful – use relevant, humorous GIFs that relate
– They have the ability to evoke emotion – people want to be entertained.
What platforms can you use them on?
Facebook doesn’t allow GIFs due to the fact that an animated GIF can increase the site loading time. Some people may think that they are viewing GIFs on Facebook because it appears as a video and/or is usually uploaded in a flash file format.
Twitter does allow you to post GIFs. It’s quite a simple process actually. Find the GIF you would like to use or create your own via any GIF making site. Save it to your PC desktop and then once you compose your tweet just select and upload the same way as you would a regular image.
Google Plus is the better platform when it comes to GIFs in comparison with Facebook and Twitter.Google + allows you to use animated GIFs in your status updates and in your profile.
Google + and GIFs FTW!
Pinterest is another GIF-friendly platform. At first, they were only visible as still images and users were required to click on the accompanying link to view the GIF outside of Pinterest but that soon came to an end at the beginning of 2014. When users come across a GIF on Pinterest, it will show a small “play” button where users can start and pause a GIF.
How do you create GIFs?
To create a GIF you would use a very short video or string together a series of still images that create a video-like animation once compressed. You can make them in a minute or two using various online tools. Simply enter “How to make a GIF/ create a GIF” into your search bar for a for a list of GIF maker sites. Animated GIFs can end up being very large files, which are slow to load online, so it is recommended that you use fewer colours to keep the file size down.
If you need help with the creation of great content and visual branding for your online marketing efforts, contact us at Web SEO today and see how we can be of assistance with regards to your social media marketing! Web SEO Social Media Marketing Services