Designing an effective social media marketing campaign is tricky. On the one hand, you have to convey useful information that your customers will value. On the other hand, you have to make sure your content is entertaining enough to capture their attention, which is no easy feat on social media.

Rely too much on text-based content, and busy customers are likely to overlook your campaign. Use too much video, and many customers won’t have the patience nor wherewithal to watch the whole ad. Focus primarily on static images, and your ability to share information or promote action is limited.

Along with an email checker and organization programs, GIFs are among the most powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal, especially when used in the context of social media marketing. They’re dynamic enough to get someone’s attention, versatile enough to achieve a range of goals (from sharing information to entertaining a customer), and they’re compatible with all major social media platforms.

Why Use GIFs in Your Social Media

Beyond the previously mentioned advantages, GIFs offer apart from the basic mediums of social media advertisements, engagement receives a major boost by utilizing GIFs. On average, a post that contains a GIF receives 20% more engagement for a B2C brand and a 10% boost if it’s a B2B company.

By creating images that are appealing, engaging, and simple, GIFs allow social media marketers to optimize their ads in all the ways that matter. Posts with GIFs are shown to increase brand awareness, engagement, and conversions. On Twitter alone, tweets with GIFs get 167% more clicks than those with standard images.

To get a better sense of how a marketer could use GIFs effectively, consider the following examples:

 

Dogfish Head

American craft brewery Dogfish Head wanted customers to appreciate the brewing process behind their specialty strawberry-and-honey Tweason’ale.  They also didn’t want to bore them. Their animated GIF offered the perfect method of sharing the information. Instead of telling customers about the process, the video actually shows it. Doing so highlights the novel qualities of this beer in an engaging and engrossing way.

Planable GIF

OshKosh B’Gosh

This GIF located directly on their website allowed OshKosh B’Gosh to showcase several different products in a small space. Knowing that customers aren’t likely to browse through a full slideshow, they instead used the GIF format. This is a smart strategy if you want to highlight numerous products but don’t want to prioritize some more than others.

Planable GIF

Starbucks

It’s difficult to show off the actual qualities of a product on social media. Copy can only convey so much, and again, you can’t rely on people to watch an entire video. The GIF lets you add some visual life to your social media content, displaying qualities of a product in an easy-to-digest manner. Companies like Starbucks often use this approach on Twitter.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Starbucks used GIFs to make their drinks more appealing to customers via social media. Bed Bath & Beyond, on the other hand, used GIFs to demonstrate a product’s features. In this example, they wanted to convince shoppers that a product was ideal for small spaces because it could be rolled up. The GIF achieves this goal in a way that words could not.

Planable GIF

Charlotte Tilbury

How does a cosmetics company show potential uses for their products without bombarding their customers with pictures or sending them a link to a slideshow? They rely on GIFs to showcase several different images at once.

Steve Madden

A GIF doesn’t have to be particularly fancy or visually creative to achieve a marketer’s goals. In this Steve Madden example, a GIF serves only to alert customers to a deal. Think of it as an extra way to attract a customer’s attention.

Planable GIF

Chanel

The key reason to use GIFs is simple: they are more likely to get noticed than static images or copy. They don’t need to have a practical purpose beyond heightening the overall visual appeal of an advertisement. This subtle example from Chanel demonstrates how a little bit of animation can make a difference.

Planable GIF

Regardless of what type of product you’re marketing, GIFs are very useful. Learn to create your own, or hire experts to do it for you, and you’ll soon come up with your own clever ideas.

No matter what route you take to design them, implementing GIFs into your social media marketing strategy is an incredibly effective tool for increasing engagement. By making marketing materials more interactive and appealing, users will be more likely to both spend time engaged with the brand and then convert into paying customers. Besides being a humorous and entertaining feature, GIFs are also beneficial to the bottom line of marketing: Improving ROI.

Nick Harley is the Senior Content Specialist for NeverBounce, the leading real-time email verification, and cleaning service. With a background in journalism, public relations, and social media. Harley is interested in helping organizations and brands understand the importance of storytelling and the channels where those stories are delivered.

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