Wizards may not be real, but moving pictures – like those seen in "Harry Potter" – have found their way into modern marketing techniques. We are, of course, talking about GIFs, and chances are, you’ve already seen one or two today. They’ve been blowing up social media sites like Facebook for years. Now marketers are jumping on the GIF bandwagon to enhance their advertisements and better engage their customers.
What makes GIFs such an effective marketing tool? They provide consumers with a unique combination of an image and a short video clip. Research shows that people are able to process visuals up to 600 times faster than they can words, and consumers are 85 percent more likely to purchase a product after viewing a video about it. Business owners who use these head-turning visuals in their digital marketing campaigns may notice better response rates from viewers. Here are a few ways that GIFs could impact your next marketing campaign.
1. Engage consumers
Small businesses need to get their brand and products out there in a way that consumers will remember. One of the best strategies to ensure your campaigns are both attracting Internet users and resonating with them is by tapping into their emotions and telling a story. GIFs make this easy, serving as a vehicle for communicating emotions in a concise way that written content and pictures often fail to do on their own.
Social media marketing for small businesses is a popular way for companies to interact with consumers. Depending on your target audience, you may use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram most frequently. One way to draw in younger customers is by giving them a call to action with GIFs on Twitter. For example, tweet a post including a funny GIF or one that coincides with a current event. Then challenge users to tweet their favorite GIF along with your company’s name. Select a winner and provide him or her with a small award, such as a discount for one of your products or services.
2. Increase revenue
Numerous studies have shown that content with visuals gets significantly more views than content that doesn’t. According to MarketingSherpa, the first time that Dell used GIFs in its email marketing campaign, the click rate increased by 42 percent. The company also saw a 109 percent rise in revenue. Experiment with a GIF or two in your next ad to see if your numbers increase.
3. Make your company stand out
As Internet users surf the Web, chances are they’re running into several advertisements. The challenge that most marketers face is pulling consumers’ attention away from whatever they’re doing online to focus on what the company is trying to sell.
You have just a few seconds to capture the attention of potential customers before they move on to the next Facebook page or empty their email inboxes. Consumers are more likely to notice and be interested in an ad that features a video, image or GIF than those that don’t, giving you a leg up on the competition. If you choose the right GIF, in addition to catching the attention of your target audience, it can also provide insight into your brand or your product in a fraction of that time that a small paragraph or video would.
4. Attract a wider audience
The visual nature of GIFs won’t only make your marketing campaigns stand out among competitors that rely strictly on content to market their products, but they’ll also appeal to a wider audience. For example, visual content enables your promotions to attract customers who may not speak English as their first language, which is ideal if your business is planning on starting a global marketing campaign in the future.