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How Gifs Should Factor Into Your Marketing Strategy

There are two facts at play at all times when we spend over a dozen hours a day at our computers: 1. In our professional lives, online marketers are looking for innovative ways to spruce up traditional campaigns, and 2. In our personal lives, we are entertained by the latest viral sensation, whether a video, meme, or gif. While some advertisers and publishers have started to blend the two to bridge this divide, and video is turning up almost everywhere, we haven’t seen yet the rise of the gif as a central component to driving attention to a brand.

Gifs are viewed more as playful and light, providing a brief chuckle at the end of long day. However, if you explore the possibilities at hand, you can develop a method to turn those clicks into conversions. That’s always been the difficulty that marketers run into — monetizing that traffic, or taking the viral viewers and keeping them as paid customers. By taking a piece of a stock video, turning it into a gif, and dropping it on your site (or blog post) as part of a call to action, you can employ some of the best wisdom of the Web and help drive potential customers to sign up. Here are three kinds of clips that can be reshaped into gifs that will help you convert:

Who you are

Don’t overthink it. You’re already ahead of the competition just by thinking about gifs as part of your strategy; use something that’s known to work elsewhere. As hard as it is to believe, cats still dominate searches on many sites — a cat in motion is hard to resist. Chop up four seconds of this cat rising and falling and strategically drop it onto your site so that when someone is browsing, this will draw them in. They will want to discover what this cat is doing there, and you can write some clever copy below it about your company’s message and purpose, introducing yourself and offering them to learn more about your team before they look into your product. This keeps things light and fluffy initially. It’ll set them at ease and make them feel you’re human and not some big corporation.

What you do

Be realistic about what you can show off in one gif. That means that your best bet when it comes to demonstrating what you do is to use a metaphor that reveals the problems that you are solving and the efficiencies you offer. In the example above, you show that you are opening up possibilities for beauty. This might work for an interior designer looking to get you thinking about color and where it can be found. Many small business owners already sprinkle these types of pictures across their websites, knowing that visuals like these can be effective and alluring. A gif, though, offers more opportunity to get people thinking about motion. Underneath, you can talk in some detail about your services and commitment to getting the project to look just right.

Where you’re headed

People are obsessed with technology and with far-off places. You want to be known as someone who thinks ahead and is on top of the latest trends and techniques. You can run a series of blog posts on the subject related to your industry of choice, with gifs pulled from clips like the one above to help illustrate your points. In the text, you can discuss your area of expertise and why you’re the right entrepreneur to help usher in a new day. This type of content marketing will help separate you from the pack and get you noticed by bloggers and social media mavens who stretch beyond just your limited circles. At the bottom of the articles, you can direct people back to your homepage to learn more about how you company delivers. In a short time, though, you’ve positioned yourself as an innovator in your field.

Danny Groner is the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Shutterstock

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