26th April 2019

Our Know How Tips For Using GIFs

Sophie Driffield

Sophie Driffield Designer

News Digital Trends

Reading time 10 mins

Our Know How Tips For Using GIFs

Today, GIFs are playing a pivotal role in how we communicate and express ourselves, changing the landscape of digital design. Google recently announced it now sees “millions of searches for GIFs every day,” and with social platforms now offering influencers and businesses the ability create their own branded GIFs; we are discussing why GIFs are becoming so prevalent in our day to day life and how can to harness this to produce sharable content.

So what are GIFs?
GIFs (Graphical Interchange Format) are animations often made up of looping images and shapes, which have evolved in nature over many years, yet surged in popularity relatively recently through the increased accessibility of messaging apps, social platforms and meme culture. GIFs are used as ‘Call to actions’, to tell stories, make comments on popular culture and arguably, they are used most in daily communication to express that which words cannot.

Here are some of our thoughts on why we think GIFs are becoming such a big part of our daily language:
GIFs can take a lot of information and compress it into something that is easily digestible and shareable. There are no limitations to what voice they take on, meaning there is a vast and diverse opportunity for variety of content to be produced, with the potential to have a huge audience reach or nichè and tailored approach. GIFs are easy to create and accessible to everyone, making them valuable tools for communicating ideas, concepts and processes.

Also, GIFs allow quick expression - as well as emotion - that encapsulate a message but retain impact too. They can compliment a wider identity or add personality to an existing brand but also build on any brand look and feel. Equally, they can also convey a sense of identity for the user with their choice of GIF often been a reflection of personal interests, cultural backgrounds and what is being consumed their media diet. These qualities in a content rich age with access to instant communication and sharing, lend themselves well to the lifestyle of your audience thus being a big draw for both consumers and brands alike.

GIFs can furthermore enrich the digital touch points of businesses with little expense, whilst being relatively easy to integrate into existing digital brand material i.e. social channels, ads, emailers, newsletters, apps, icons etc. When used as visual language, they can help make information more desirable to engage with as well as entertaining, making the message of what you are trying to communicate more effective.

Our Know how top tips for using GIFs

Choose your GIFs wisely - When creating and choosing your GIF content, its important to be aware of context and cultural landscape you will be using them in. This will only become more important as the digital landscape becomes more personal and tailored around user experience, alongside the introduction of AI and chat bots. Like any element of your brand or business, when introducing GIFs into your digital content offering, they should be considered and thought about. Establish what you want to say and then you can work on how to say it.

Don’t over uses them - It’s important to remember when beginning to Incorporate GIFs into your content mix, that they are simply a extension of your visual vocabulary, and when used correctly should punctuate your brand messaging not be the message itself. A well timed GIFs can really reflect your personality as a brand and widen your audience reach too.

Be Creative - The versatility of the GIF format offers a huge opportunity to experiment with the content you create. GIFs are nature are playful so have fun with what you produce. However, it is is important to know your target audience, how they may relate to your brand, and what role your brand plays their culture etc, so your content is relevant and informed. The key when creating GIFs lies in it been short and sweet encapsulating a story this is highly sharable.

Want to talk to us? Contact us or call us on 01772 770770