Photo courtesy of Roger Norton on Flickr

With Twitter releasing its six-second Vine video platform and now supporting GIFs in tweets, it’s clear that our attention spans are continuing to shrink and as a marketer you need to catch that coveted attention however you can.

Fortunately, you can still get a pretty effective message across in a short amount of time using one of these endlessly looping animated video/image files.

Here are three ways you can use GIFs in your advertising:

Tweet ’em

A short GIF is going to be more eye-catching in a tweet than a still image and infinitely more eye-catching than a link. If you’re already on Twitter, ask yourself how you can illustrate the products or services that you offer with a GIF. When you have that figured out you can use a site like GIFMaker to upload your images and create a short animated GIF. It doesn’t have to be amazing. Something as simple as this GIF ad by GAP gets a point across quite nicely.

People generally don’t want to watch a long product video these days, so it pays to think about how you can illustrate what it is you do with a GIF.

Put ’em in an email

As long as you don’t overdo it, you can put some GIFs in your email marketing. However, they should be used sparingly and should absolutely add something to the message and not just be tacked on because they look cool.

In writing, there is the adage “show, don’t tell,” and GIFs give you the ability to do just that. They can express a key message to customers without the need for overly wordy and difficult-to-understand descriptions.

Text ’em

Phones like the iPhone 6 are now able to play GIFs. So, you’re no longer restricted to sending plain text messages to consumers. In fact, with keyboards like the PopKey, which “types” using GIFs, we’re actually going to be communicating back and forth via text message GIFs soon enough.

Starbucks has already been using the GIF via text approach, sending out funny GIFs with its Frappuccino Happy Hour promotion this past summer. If you want to use GIFs in your text message marketing, make sure you let subscribers know when they sign up to receive texts from your business. Messaging rates may be higher for images and videos and you don’t want your customers getting angry because you made their phone bills skyrocket.

GIFs are useful, eye catching and now relatively easy to create and distribute. Put a little imagination into it and see if you can find a way to use these handy little files in your marketing campaigns.

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About Rob Swystun

A former journalist, Rob has been writing professionally since 2006 and now focuses on copy writing, website content, articles, blogging, ghost writing, editing, proofreading and public relations. Currently an Athabasca University student studying for a BA in Communications, Rob holds a Journalism Diploma from Langara College in Vancouver.

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Advice, Internet Marketing, Social Media

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