Animated GIFs are cool and a great way to entice your users with engaging content. The animated GIF has now experienced a powerful comeback in the ecosystem of online content. GIF stand for Graphics Interchange Format, and it was born before the popular explosion of video. In fact, the GIF is probably the grandfather of Web 2.0 video. The Graphics Interchange Format was developed in 1987 at the request of CompuServe, who needed a platform independent image format that was suitable for transfer across slow connections. It is a compressed (lossless) format (it uses the LZW compression) and compresses at a ratio of between 3:1 and 5:1. It is an 8 bit format which means the maximum number of colours supported by the format is 256.The GIF tells a story more than a static image ever could – it is literally a series of timed images patched together,
The power of the GIF for your digital marketing strategy
Alright, so animated GIFs are cute and cool … but does that mean they can be used in marketing? Absolutely! Many mobile apps relying heavily on animated GIFs now-a-days. They actually present a few key benefits to marketers:
Animated GIFs are easy to consume
In the attention economy, it’s tough to capture someone’s attention for more than a minute or two. That’s why online video is such a challenging medium to master. Yet, we all know that video has the power to tell a story in a different way than still content can … which is why the animated GIF presents the perfect middle ground! Think of the animated GIF as a hybrid between a still image and a video.
Effective and Appealing
GIFs are not only appealing, but also effective as they help enhance a brand’s message with visual content. It has been observed that people only remember 20% of the text they read without visuals, which reminds us once again why visual power is more important than ever. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10 percent of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65 percent of the information three days later. GIFs can show something in a better way than would normally be possible as they can show emotions and movement which a still image may not be able to, this might also be helpful when creating tutorial animations.
Easy to share due to small size
GIF images take up much less memory than images in other formats. Integrations with social networks make it easy to share GIFs across major players like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Easier and better way of conveying the message
Animated GIFs can show things or describe a situation in a clearer manner than other gifs or static images, because they can show movements and emotions, which may not be possible when using a static image. This is also because animated GIF files can appeal to various audiences, especially the younger people who are amused by the animations.
Better than images, but cheaper than video
Compared with photos, GIFs are more appealing and more effective in Social Media strategy and compared with videos, it takes less time to create them and they are cheaper and easier to make. Brands started loving the idea of using GIFs in their content marketing strategy after finding them more appealing as compared to images, but also cheaper and easier to be created, comparing to animated videos.
Useful in Promoting a new product
Are you proud of your recently-released product? Of course you are. Now you can build hype and highlight key features and benefits in a three second GIF. The GIF can do this much better than a video. Why? Because a GIF’s frame-by-frame nature. You can pull apart the GIF file to see the individual images. You might think that the loss of resolution and color would reduce the file size. GIFs are better suited for buttons and banners on websites, since these types of images typically do not require a lot of colors. GIFs also give brands the opportunity to show sneak previews of their new product – this works great for movie releases, and anything which may involve something cute.
An animated GIF allows the user to specify the sequence or the duration the GIF can repeat itself such as forever, zero, or a given number. Some GIFs and even browsers could not support a certain number of loops. Some only support the first image; whiles others only support the last frame. However, the frame in animated GIFs can make sequential moves for multiple times by incorporating looping in the GIF file, without having much effect on the file size.
When it comes to using GIFs within content, they should only be used when they serve the story you’re telling. Don’t use a GIF if it doesn’t enhance the story you’re telling or if your message would remain unchanged without it. Choose carefully. If a GIF doesn’t serve a purpose, then it’s just moving clutter. If GIFs are used in the right way and are simple and effective they are very good and give the site a very professional look
If you are familiar with Photoshop you can easily create GIFs by using this software. If you want to use an animated GIF style in your app, consider converting them to video files to save bandwidth and speed, to improve your customer experience.