GIFs. You either love them already or you’re indifferent. Most people love them, which is clear to anyone who spends time on the internet. GIFs are everywhere, and, believe it or not, they always have been. I distinctly remember a surge in GIF-usage a few years ago. However, the short, repetitive video clips have been flitting around since the internet’s dial-up beginning (or at least since 1987).  




Why are GIFs so popular?


Any type of moving picture adds fun and creativity to a campaign, and video usage in digital marketing is at an all-time high. But why GIFs? Why short, flashy, soundless moving pictures?


Because they’re short, flashy, and soundless.



Firstly, your audience doesn’t need headphones to enjoy a fun GIF or two on your weekly newsletter or daily Facebook status. Additionally, a GIF allows you to quickly capture the attention of someone scrolling through their crowded Twitter feed, a long email, or a complex blog. When a GIF alludes to your content subject in a unique or captivating way, your followers might stop and actually read what you have to say. 



Because of science.


Data visualization is not a new concept by any means, but the idea that the concept is not limited to graphs, charts, and maps remains a rapidly-evolving idea. Thanks to social media, everything revolves around visualization. This is also thanks to the human brain, which processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. On top of this, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. 90%!



These statistics are the reason logos, videos, social media, and creativity are such an important aspect of any company’s success. Example: Tweets with GIFs are 34% more likely to get retweets than tweets with text alone. 


Because they tell a story.


Despite the briefness of GIFs, these moving pictures still have the ability to showcase a product, explain a step, or tell a story. Adding impressive, cinemagraphic GIFs (“GIFs for adults”) to your website allows you to immediately call attention to the most impressive or unique aspect of your brand in a mentally and visually-interactive way.

For example, if you do marketing for a brewery, why not add a GIF that shows the bubbles rising in fancy glasses? Subsequently, if you’re sending out your monthly newsletter this September, why not add a fun, attention-grabbing GIF alluding to fall or the new school year? A GIF is the perfect tool to complete your story in a memorable way. 



GIFs…or No GIFs?


For some clients, or even for your own brand, using GIFs may not be appropriate. It is important to work with your team to decide whether or not using subtle humor and clever visuals is helping a company, product, or story…or hurting them.



If you have something very specific in mind or want to produce branded GIFs, create your own GIF at


The bottom line: Do you want your marketing efforts to stand out? Do you want your story, your product, and your brand to be remembered? The answer is always yes. Give your audience something unique to recall from your latest email, blog post, or status update–go a step further than a memorable title and clever writing. Give them the gift of a GIF.



-Written by Lily Tillman