Graphics Interchange Format. Gifs. Whether you pronounce the acronym with a hard or a soft g, you’ve definitely seen a few of these floating around the web.
Not really a picture, not really a video, gifs land right in the middle, and they’re perfect for this generation.
Here’s why a well-placed gif is exactly what you need to promote your company or product:
1. Fast paced
It doesn’t take a genius to know that attention spans are shorter than ever. If you want to get a message out to today’s ultra-distracted youth, you have to get it out fast, before your audience decides they’re bored and swipes, taps or scrolls away.
So what is all this leading up to? Well, the gif. Pictures are boring. Videos are too long. But what about a fast, less-than-eight-second video that snags your audience’s attention, gets your message across and then lets them go?
That’s where the gif comes in handy. If you can transmit your message in a short amount of time, audiences are sure to watch the whole thing and fully understand what you’re promoting.
This is a hugely effective tool if you can wield it correctly. Advertising food? Throw in a quick shot of someone eating the item with some flashy colors, slap on a price and BAM! The viewers know exactly what they need to know. Fast, simple, effective.
2. Fun, interactive
Who doesn’t like to have fun? Who doesn’t want to change up the routine? That’s what the gif is for.
Advertisements on places like Twitter or Instagram are usually pictures. However, a picture can be viewed and discarded in the mind faster than you can say “Buy my service.”
How do you change this? Well, with a triangle. A sideways triangle. That little, unique play button.
Someone who’s in a mad dash scrolling through Twitter won’t stop and stare at a picture. But throw that little play button up? Well, that’s worth a pause. After a couple of seconds of waiting for buffering, though, or waiting for a point to be made, the user will be right back to scrolling.
A gif under 10 seconds long will change that all up. It loads almost immediately, and the mind is then bombarded with this tiny, active message.
The brain is excited by all that movement; entranced for a short while as things dance across the screen. It’s an attention grabber.
Quick science question for you: how much faster does the brain perceive video than text? Ten times? A hundred times? A thousand times?
If you chose any of the above, I’m afraid you’re way off the mark.
The brain perceives video 60,000 times faster than text. In other words, there is no better way to get an idea across and have it stick.
Companies that have switched to a gif-related format for their advertising (Dell, for one) have reported revenue increases of up to 109%. That is huge.
4. They’re NOW
If you’re talking to a certain type of people, or you’re in a certain area, you have to speak their language. Studies have shown that traditional forms of advertising have become less effective as time goes on. People just aren’t receptive to the same things anymore. It’s important to bring people what they want.
And what they want are gifs. It’s been reported that there are more than 125 million original gifs being created a day. It’s a booming market, with gifs being used to get a series of events told quickly or to show something as simple as a reaction.
You need to offer people something familiar, but you need to give it to them in a way that’s fresh and exciting. Gifs are versatile. The format is accepted everywhere, and they cross language and cultural barriers more easily than text or video.
You can throw ’em on websites, stick ’em in emails or even blast ’em all over social media. Something that moves is going to catch the eye, and when you’re trying to market something, that makes all the difference.
Gifs work incredibly well to grab attention and get a point across quickly, which makes all the difference in micromarketing.
Whether you’re appealing to the young or the old, a gif can be tailored to fit your exact purpose. No matter who you’re selling to, no matter what you’re selling, there’s a gif for that.