KG Design Consultancy

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The Dos and Don'ts of Using Animated GIFs

Last year, GIF hosting website Giphy released some statistics. According to them, over 2 million hours of GIFs are viewed via their website.

Every single day.

That’s a lotta gif.

Because we all love GIFs. They’re fun, easy to share, and they can quickly grab your attention amongst the sea of social media noise.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that businesses and marketers are catching on to the GIF gravy train. I mean, a fun, shareable and attention-grabbing piece of content is basically every marketer’s dream.

But it’s important to know how to use them in your marketing, so here are our do’s and don’ts to help you implement GIFs into your marketing strategy:

DO use GIFs to feature your products

Repetition is an underestimated tool in marketing. According to Donald Miller’s Storybrand podcast, it takes on average an 8-time repetition before an audience can remember your brand, product or service.

This lends itself perfectly to the looping feature of GIFs. If your GIF is promoting your product or service, and it loops multiple times, it has a better chance of standing out and is more memorable to the viewer.

DON’T just recycle GIFs from movies, TV shows and the internet.

We all know a company that uses all the trending and popular memes and GIFs so they can look more relevant. Maybe they flood their social media pages, and in the end they just come off as kinda desperate. I can guess that you don’t want to be one of those companies!

Now, there are some brands that can pull this off, if their audience is the right type, but in most cases you want to play it safe and avoid nabbing GIFs from popular categories.

Instead, work to create your own. Besides the obvious ‘hey I’m relevant’ cry, you also want to keep an air of professionalism about you. Don’t just make GIFs because they’re popular - make them targeted towards your audience.

DO use GIFs to express your company identity

Have you seen any of those early movies from the 1900’s? They’re usually about 3 seconds long and feature simple things like a man walking up some stairs or a galloping horse.

The Horse in Motion by  Eadweard Muybridge .

The Horse in Motion by Eadweard Muybridge.

GIFs aren’t just low quality, moving images, or low quality, short videos. They’re something unique on their own. They allow you to tell an animated story where the main point of focus isn’t on the picture, nor is the focus muddied by the audio. Instead, the focus lies primarily on the animation itself. This gives you the opportunity to create an animation that expresses your company’s unique identity.

For example, at KG Design Consultancy we like bringing logos to life using animated GIFs:



As the colourful shapes unfold and spread, the title unveils itself. The purpose here was to express the creative process, through an ‘explosion’ of colour. The intended result of this is to help describe the essence of the brand through expressing the animated nature of the shapes.

DON’T use GIFs just for the sake of it!

Text is good, visuals are fun, but combining the two are an effective means of telling a story and conveying a message. When you use a GIF, try to understand its purpose. If you’re just using a GIF for GIFness sake, then you’re just adding to the social media noise.

Instead, use GIFs to add a new dimension to the story you’re telling, or to actually complete part of the story. Think: could I use a GIF to say what I need to say?

DO use GIFs to visualise your data.

Marketing has a strange relationship with data and statistics. One marketer will tell you to stay away from data, and complex facts and figures will only scare your audience. Other marketers will tell you it’s an essential tool for building credibility.

With GIFs, you can convey visual data in ways that can be easily digested by the audience. This gives you a huge advantage when you rely on information to promote your brand.

Whatever the use or purpose, GIFs offer a fun, consumable way of presenting information.

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