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Why GIFs need to be a big part of your marketing strategy

Though they are nothing new, GIFs are solving many of the challenges we face as marketers in 2018. Here is a quick overview of those challenges, what GIF’s are, and how they can benefit your organization.

A quick summary of digital communication in 2018

  • Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. This is across all channels and this is not just with young kids, we all have less patience when it comes to content.

  • People are increasingly bombarded with content, information, and advertising.

  • People are getting better at swiping through the digital noise.

  • Smarter consumers and information asymmetry mean marketing is less about “selling the consumer” and more about clearly communicating your value.

What does all this mean? - Attention is increasingly more valuable. When you get it, don't waste it; communicate your value as fast as possible.

What is a GIF

You can check out this Wikipedia page if you want to read up on the thrilling history of GIFs, but what you really need to know is that GIFs are an image format that supports animations and video clips. You can think of a GIF as the format in-between a photo and a video.

Key advantages of GIFs for marketing

  • They allow you to communicate your message quickly without having to create a series of photos or a video that users have to click to play.

  • They bring photos to life and grab people’s attention. They also provide more opportunities for designers to be creative.

  • They play automatically in most email programs, web browsers and social media platforms.

When to use them

You're probably familiar with the use of GIFs in messages or blogs, but new in the last few years is how many companies are using them to communicate their brand message. Here are some of the scenarios where GIFs add value:

  • The message you are trying to communicate cannot fit on a simple image

  • You want to add another level of interest, stand out and grab your audience's attention

  • You want to show a preview to a video and have it autoplay (in an email for example)

  • You have limited space and want to show multiple products or photos

  • You want to showcase how product or user interface works

How to create them

  • There are many simple tools for creating GIFs such as Giphy or Ezgif.

  • You can also manually create GIFs though professional tools such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects.

Where you can use them


Emails are by far our favourite channel to use GIFs as they have brought life back to a rather bland form of digital communication. You can animate images, create graphics, show multiple products and showcase video clips. You are missing out if GIFs are not a huge part of your email marketing strategy in 2018!

Huckberry Product Example

Icebreaker Video Teaser Example

Social Media

GIFs have been an important part of Social Media for a while; particularly when it comes to humour. But now more and more companies are using them to communicate their brand message or add an extra level of interest to a post. They also take a little extra effort to create, making them a great way to help your content stand out. Expect to see them more and more in the coming years.  

General Electric Example

Wayfair Example

Websites & Blogs

The time users spend on a website is measured in seconds, which is why we love using GIFs in web design. Not only do they grab attention, but they can communicate your message quickly. GIFs are especially great for showcasing software or explaining how a product works.

Dropbox Example

Oru Kayak Example


  • While much of the modern internet supports GIFs, there are some websites and applications that don’t support them.

  • There are limitations with colour and quality of the image.

  • GIFs can only be so long before the file size gets too big. 

The bottom line

Consumer attention spans are getting shorter and GIFs are one of the best ways to communicate your message quickly. 

We can help you get started

Our team has experience creating GIFs of all shapes and sizes and we LOVE creating them! If you want help communicating your message through GIFs would be happy to help you. 

A few other great examples

Icebreaker Example

Bumble Bizz Example

Social Stoke

Our mission is to provide creative and professional marketing with exceptional customer service. We aim to do high-quality work that positively impacts our clients' bottom line and helps their team get more done.

© 2019 by Social Stoke Inc.

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