Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, you’ve likely noticed a steady uptick in GIFs. Whether it’s on your Facebook feed or embedded in a news article, forwarded in an email or featured front and center on a competitor’s website, GIFs have made a serious comeback – and it looks like they’re here to stay.
GIFs are clearly great for a good laugh or wasting a few minutes in between meetings, but if you limit their use to sharing memes with friends, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for your building business. When used in a strategic way, GIFs can boost your digital marketing efforts, increase your exposure, and generate buyer interest for your communities.
What is a GIF?
In case you’re wondering what the heck a GIF is (is it a typo? A form of peanut butter? I’m so confused.), GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. A GIF (pronounced with a soft “g”, like gentleman) is a type of image file that creates a short animation by combining several images in one file (think of it like a digital version of an animated flipbook).
In the digital space, GIFs are practically prehistoric; the method was first invented by photographer Eduard Maybridge in the late 1800’s and was translated to the web in 1987 by Compuserve, the US’ first major commercial online service provider. GIFs exploded in popularity in the mid-90’s when internet usage started to take off, with favorites like the “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” Banana and the Dancing Baby from Ally McBeal popping up in AOL inboxes around the globe.
Once technology was able to support streaming, GIFs took a backseat to video, but they’ve been slowly gaining traction again in the social media age. Today, you’ll find GIFs pretty much everywhere, from corporate communications to social media sites like Tumblr and Pinterest.
GIFs and Your Digital Marketing Strategy
So, now that you’ve got a little background on what GIFs are, let’s talk about how you as a builder can leverage them to make an impact on your business. Because whatever your opinion the fact of the matter is, GIFs work.
Computer powerhouse Dell recently ran a GIF-focused campaign to see what kind of engagement and results they could generate and whether GIFs were a solid digital marketing strategy or a flash in the pan. Their results were astonishing; during the campaign, Dell saw a:
6% increase in open rate
42% increase in click rate
103% increase in conversion rate
109% increase in revenue
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