How to use animated GIFs in your marketing

GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are brief moving image snippets that have been around since the Xpress Group team were nippers. But, they’re now being used by the leading brands to motivate thoughts, feelings and actions via social media.

We’ve all seen the self-deprecating “face-palm” GIFs and tongue-in-cheek “applause” GIFs, which can be posted at the click of a button from Facebook and Twitter. But, what value can these short animations and low-resolution looping video clips really have for spreading awareness about your brand and marketing your products/services?

According to Social Media Examiner, if your target consumers are millennials then, as they’re known as “Generation GIF”, quite a darn lot. There are plenty of folk that fall outside this demographic that would gift anything for a good GIF too…

How can animated GIFs give your marketing a boost?


GIFs are:Animated GIF - Carlton dancing

  • Eye-catching, memorable and motivate people to share
  • Cheaper to produce than a video
  • Mobile friendly and have small files that are quick to load
  • A fun, humorous way to support your brand ethos


 How to use animated GIFs in email marketing campaigns


Animated GIFs can be especially powerful when used in email marketing campaigns but the key is to use them sparingly for maximum impact and so as not to put off your target audience.

They can add a little colour and excitement to your email and help you highlight a special offer or emphasise a point. They can even increase engagement and have an excellent ROI.

However, only you’ll know whether they’re a device your target audience will appreciate. You’ll also need to make sure that your email client supports their use and take their load time into account, so that your animated GIFs show as they should be seen and don’t become a vehicle of confusion and/or irritation.

A great alternative to embedded video, which is not supported by most email clients, animated GIFs give you the opportunity to deliver video-like experiences through your marketing messages. Netflix uses this technique effectively in their email campaigns.

Animated images to introduce new product ranges or showing food (and how well it goes down) are other strategies that work well. Simple, emotive effects – like adding falling snow to a static image that represents a brand – are also a favourite among content marketing
whiz kids.

How to create animated GIFs


Just as there are royalty-free images easily available on the internet via websites such as Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash, there’s GIPHY for GIF grabbers. This is an online database where you can search for and share animated stickers and short looping videos without
sound, just like animated GIF files.

You can also create your own animated GIFs using GIPHY and other online tools such as Wondershare Filmora and Check out this article for the lowdown on the best free online GIF makers.

For help with all stages of your marketing strategy, from branding and business cards to email marketing and large-format printing for advertising and displays, contact Xpress Group for a chat today.