3 Reasons to GIF, or is it JIF?

Brian Curee

GIFs have become popular in a culture that’s increasingly been investing in meme-worthy content to build a social media presence. Before we dive into three reasons to gif, let’s put to rest the question of “Is it GIF or JIF?”

In June of 1987, Steve Wilhite releases the Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF, while working for Compuserve. He called it a GIF with a soft g. “Choosy developers,“ he reportedly said, “choose JIF.” This was of course a play on the peanut butter brand Jif’s line “choosy mothers choose Jif.”

At first glance, they seem quirky additions to comments or posts that are used simply for entertainment. However, GIFs can give your Facebook or Twitter feeds added personalization that allows your audience to develop a stronger connection with you. You can use it as a more informal marketing method to customize your offerings and push your station or programs in a more interactive way to engage listeners/viewers. There are three great reasons to GIF for your social media campaign and business advertising, all of which will improve brand appeal along the way.

GIFs Are Appealing And Entertaining

gifs are entertaining
GIFs will have people glued to their phones.

GIFs allow you to be more versatile in how you engage with your audience. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But, a GIF may even be more valuable because it involves motion, and audience members will follow along with a moving image, wondering what will happen next instead of a picture, where everything is already laid out for you. Motion can help to explain how something works quickly and more effectively than a picture or text will. 

For your station’s brand, it can be a big plus. You can use GIFs to enhance your brand’s personality, whether using a famous scene featuring a radio in a movie or a radio by itself blasting out some of the most popular songs among listeners. Simple gestures like these can go a long way to making you more relatable to listeners. Also, if you want a way to attract interest in a show, you can use a fun GIF that gets people talking or asks listeners about a topic or one of your services. 

GIFs also add more of an emotional element to a marketing strategy. The best GIFs usually make you laugh or think a little more. They remind people of situations they may have engaged in previously. And, they’re easier for people to process, no matter where they are or what language they speak.

They’re Cheaper Than Video/Animation 

GIFs are cheaper to use than video or any other form of animation. If your station is working with a limited marketing budget, they’re quick alternatives that are easy to find anywhere on the internet. There are also reliable GIF makers of all kinds that you can use to make the GIFs once you’ve found a video that you want to convert to a GIF, including Giphy, EZGif, Imgflip, Make A GIF, and many more. 

These are cheap options within an increasingly valuable industry. Giphy, for example, has an eight-figure valuation.

GIFs Are Perfect For Email Marketing 

More brands are adopting GIFs as a marketing strategy because they yield fast results. In one instance, Dell saw a six percent increase in open rates compared to other forms of email marketing when using GIFs. Additionally, they saw a 42% increase in click rate and increases just exceeding 100% in conversion rates and revenue. 

Furthermore, they cater especially to people who don’t have great attention spans. People would rather see content in illustration form than text. Statistics show that users read only 28% of words published on a website during each visit. That number drops to 20% if some form of visual doesn’t accompany that text. GIFs will help you explain a process to tell stories about your brand more effectively than words can. 

Many email marketing services say they do video emails. However, many of these services create animated GIFs for your video. When someone clicks the GIF, it opens the web browser to play the video. FYI: When writing this article, most popular email clients don’t support video playback in email messages, like Google’s Gmail. The best strategy here is to create your GIF and landing page, which sends email traffic to your website instead of another service provider’s page.

Make sure you don’t overuse it, though, as people will tune it out. Diversify your digital marketing strategy as often as possible. You should also research all sources before using stock GIFs. And, keep it simple. There’s no need to be a GIF-fectionist…if that’s a real word.

Schedule your call today to determine the best plan of action to promote your station and attract the audience you need!

Here are some gifs we created to use in email marketing campaigns. 👇

Dwight from the Office gif
Play for King and Country Burn The Ships gif sample
Brant Hansen Click Play Gif Sample
Free Cash Gif sample
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