You’ve all seen one, and you’ve all probably tweeted one in a personal capacity, but have you ever thought about how organisations can use GIFs for tangible purposes?
If not, let us tell you how in this blog post. But first – let’s go back to basics.
GIFs are a bit like elephants – difficult to describe, but you know one when you see one.
When it comes to GIFs, we have the American computer scientist Steve Wilhite to thank (or blame?!). In 1987, he developed the Graphic Interchange Format (GIF) file format whilst looking for a way to animate images using the smallest file size possible.
A GIF, then, is an image file format that is animated by combining several other images or frames into a single file.
These multiple images are then displayed in succession to create an animated clip which either stops when the last image is displayed or loops back round to the beginning.
That’s enough words – here’s an example:
The pronunciation of the term ‘GIF’ is like ‘Pacino vs De Niro’ or ‘Shrews-bury vs Shrows-bury’ – a massive hot potato which the internet just WILL NOT agree on.
Let’s go back to our new pal Steve Wilhite, who once said this:
“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations. They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”
So there you have it – the inventor of the GIF says it’s “gif” like the cleaning product Jif (before that changed its name to ‘Cif’) rather than “gif” like if you were saying “gift”.
And if you think that statement will end the debate forever we have some magic beans we’d like to sell you for a reasonable price…
You shouldn’t just use GIFs because they’re everywhere.
Firstly, much like animation in general, GIFs are a really great way to showcase statistics to an audience (external or internal) in a visually engaging manner.
Your statistic may be really great, but if it’s just presented as a piece of text on a PowerPoint slide it’s not going to be as effective as it should be.
Why not take your statistic, present it in a GIF, then either share it around the world on social media or embed it into an internal e-mail or newsletter for your employees and stakeholders?
Next up, think about how your organisation comes across to the outside world.
If you’re seen as being a bit too corporate and “faceless”, consider using GIFs in replies to people on social media.
This may sound a bit “left field”, but an (appropriate!) GIF reply to someone can make your organisation seem more personable and friendly, and that’s never a bad thing. It’ll boost your engagement rates too!
Finally, GIFs are a pretty cool way of providing an audience with a “sneak peek” of something.
Due to file size constrictions, GIFs tend to be roughly 5 seconds long (10 seconds at the most).
This means that they’re the perfect medium to give people a taste of something – for example, a new product you’re offering or a new premises – but not much more than that!
After all, who doesn’t love a teaser?
Of course we can – why do you think we wrote this in the first place?!
Whilst GIFs are everywhere, at the time of writing organisations are still a little slow on the uptake at using them, so some GIFs of your own would certainly put you ahead of your competition.
If you think your organisation can do with some GIFs of its own, we’d love to help you out – we’re nice like that.
Why not drop us a line over on our Contact page or send us a GIF on our social media platforms?