GIFs have been around for years now. Yet appear to be a brand-new phenomenon for general people and marketers equally. So, what’s new about them?
GIFs first came into picture back in 1987 when Alexander Trevor, former chief technical officer of CompuServe, and his team created the GIF.
“The GIF was simply the best and most versatile image format around”, quoted Trevor in one of his interviews.
Slowly, GIFs were fashioned for easy sharing of animated images among people across their varying systems.
Back in 2015 (seems to be long time ago) – New York Times reported that 23 million GIFs used to be shared in Tumblr on a daily basis.
In the present, 2018, GIF is again reigning the digital roost and has become our most beloved image format to express around the world. The number would be beyond imagination of how many GIFs are shared across various social media channels every day.
Let’s move the focus to B2B marketing.
From past few years, the presence of GIFs in B2B has amplified drastically as brands started to use them in their social campaigns. Multinational organizations that lead the tech space such as Intel and SAP are some of the many who have actively been bringing in GIFs to take their social media marketing to the next level.
Ever wondered why?
GIFs are a wonderful way of storytelling without the excess time commitment unlike video or the limitation of a single image.
It’s simply unassuming and wow. GIFs get lot of attention (and that’s what anybody wants!)
While they have taken the center stage, we as social media marketers should critically evaluate their importance and exploit our options.
Here are five valid reasons why B2B marketing has been overtly utilizing GIFs lately and how they can add value to your social media offering too:
- GIFs act fast
Goldfish is set to have an attention span of nine seconds. We humans under the cusp of digital era and smartphones have beaten it. Seemingly our attention spans are shorter than ever. We’re down from 12 seconds in 2000, to 8 seconds in 2018.
GIFs are one of the most efficient methods to capture users’ attention in a flash and convey your message instantly. Since GIFs are short and spot on, there is no boundary of commitment required as there would be to watch a longer video with the same message nor drab as a single still image with a message written to pay deep attention on.
Your audience will be seized for attention and identify your message before they go back to scrolling.
- GIFs add a dimension to brand
One of the major benefits of GIFs is that they can help ‘entertain the viewer’ and allow your followers clearly realize the true personality of your brand.
Without owning up to the personal side of your brand and establishing a personal connect, you run into jeopardizing your social presence, thus becoming dull and unengaged.
When there is a plethora of brands and unlimited feeds, who has the time and interest in following and checking back at boring feeds? Nobody.
- GIFs convey emotions
Besides conveying your brand personality, GIFs also portray emotions vibrantly.
Studies state that we humans ‘feel first and think after’. When subjected to a sensory information, the emotional section of our brain processes information in one-fifth of the time than the time needed to process by the cognitive part.
Pretty much is self-explanatory why our attention span is being beaten by the goldfishes.
Consumers who are connected with your brand on an emotional level are worth 2x more to bank on to your business than your regular highly satisfied average audience.
So, let GIFs set pace to your brand’s emotional journey and develop a deeper connection with your customers. Retrospectively, which brings back to the explanation why popular GIFs are the ‘reaction GIF’ – seizing a very specific emotion effortlessly that nearly everyone can relate to.
- GIFs are ‘trendy’
As known and discussed GIFs have already taken social platforms by storm. Using them can help establish your brand as always-on and keeping updated with latest trends, which in turn can be helpful in future by leading more people towards your social content.
Using GIFs to react to trending topics, latest news, upcoming events, nationally and religiously important days will help you to gain impetus and reach farther. Thus, providing a podium that is both relevant to your business and reflective of your brand personality.
- Last but not least, GIFs increase engagement
As marketers and social media enthusiasts are aware, visual content MASSIVELY outperforms simple text posts on social media platforms.
Making your posts more striking, more exciting, more thought-provoking and engaging is definitely a positive effort towards make them much more shareable. Due to its terse format and humor quotient, GIFs are an engagement dreamboat.
GIFs are shared at far-fetched speed: often 2x the likes of a video and 4x the likes of a photo. Adding GIFs to your posts enhances the likelihood of reaching to broader audience via sharing. And if it happens to be a trendsetting GIF you might even go ‘viral’ as much as you’d like – but you should intend to reach more people.
With so many intriguing and fast-paced advantages of using GIFs, your social channels can only benefit and not sound dull or unengaging anymore. If you are still waiting for something new and not convinced at GIFs in your social posts, now is the time to make this media type a significant part of your B2B social portfolio and ad-campaign strategy or beyond.