How to Make GIFs for Visual Marketing

How to make GIFs for visual marketing your business. Not cheesy cat GIFs but helpful and instructional GIFs about your products or business.

Many people think of GIFs as silly memes and offbeat humor, however GIFs can be such a powerful visual marketing tool for an entrepreneur or small business. Although videos are the ultimate visual marketing tool, GIFs have become the next best thing in presenting quick demonstrations and are especially useful in how-to blog posts. I’ve been using GIFs since I started blogging a few years ago, and now I’ll show you how to make GIFs for visual marketing and my “amazing secret” tool.

 

via GIPHY

Yes, I just used a cheesy Puss in Boots GIF… I couldn’t help myself, sorry. Seriously, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to create GIFs for your blog posts that will help educate your audience. I’ve selfishly kept this tool as a secret and I will reveal it later in this post. First, I want to quickly let you know what a GIF is. GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format, and it’s a lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images. Just like the Puss in Boots image above.

Of course, I can’t talk about GIFs and not talk about the outrageous geeky pronunciation debate of calling it a JIF or GIF (with a hard ‘G’). Although the creator, Steve Wilhite, declared at the Webby Award show that it’s pronounced JIF, there are some die-hard hard ‘G’ GIF fans.

Enough of that debate, back to more useful discussion of visual marketing aspects of GIFs! I’ll first reveal my amazing secret GIF tool, how to make a GIF, and how to use the GIF on social media. Let’s get to it!

How to make GIFs for Visual Marketing

Amazing Secret GIF Tool

I love creating GIFs with Screencast-O-Matic (SOM), and no I’m not an affiliate! You can do a screencast and save it as a video or GIF. There’s a free option to try, however their watermark will be on the GIF or video you create. To use the platform without the watermark, it’s a crazy $15/year rate for the Pro version. For the past few years, I’ve been using SOM and I still can’t believe they have it at that inexpensive price. It does so much and it’s excellent for visual marketing.

Okay so… I’ve revealed my amazing secret tool.

Let’s make a GIF!

When you have SOM, it opens up to a screen for recording (image below).

record-with-som-to-create-a-video-or-gif

Click on Record to create a GIF. Once recorded they will be shown below the button.

When you click Record, it will give you a sizable frame that you can move around the object to record. There is an option to use your microphone and webcam for video recording, however when creating a GIF you’ll want to turn the microphone and webcam off.

Setting up to record a GIF with SOM.

The key in creating GIFs is to keep it super short however providing value. It could be used for instructional purposes and an example of how to do something online. I’ve made many GIFs for my how-to posts and other blogs as well.

Create GIFs with Screencast-O-Matic.

Here’s an example of a quick instructional GIF on changing post sizes in Stencil.

When you upload a GIF to your website it may be too big and you’ll have to shrink down the GIF. While your GIF may seem short enough, there are size limits on website uploads. The sizes varies depending on the website theme. If you come across this issue, then you have to speed up the GIF.

Edit recording on Screencast-O-Matic

Edit the recording to slow down to downsize.

When you edit the recording, there will be a set of tools that you can use and you’ll want to click on Speed Change.

Edit the speed in Screencast-O-Matic to decrease the size.

Changing the speed will decrease the size.

Once you click on Speed Change it will take you to this screen:

Speed change to x2 slower to decrease the GIF size.

Speed change to x2 slower to decrease the GIF size.

If it’s extremely large, then you can choose other speeds to see which size will be able to upload. Sometimes you have to play with it to see what will work but it’s worth it to have a little demo GIF.

How to Use GIFs in Social Media

Not only can you use GIFs in blog posts but you can also share them in social media. People love to get GIFs as thank you tweets or a teaser for a blog post. You can share them through your social media scheduler like Buffer or Edgar and share on Twitter. You can also share your GIF on Pinterest although it would have to be super short. Facebook is a bit trickier and will need an additional step (listed below).

Twitter

Animated GIFs can be up to 5MB on mobile, and up to 15MB on web.

Facebook

Animated GIFs need to have a URL so the best way to upload is via GIPHY. Upload and share through GIPHY, otherwise if you upload to Facebook the GIF will stay as a static image.

Pinterest & Google+

Animated GIFs can be shared quite nicely through Buffer and GIPHY.

Instagram & Vine

Animated GIFs can be a little tricky as well. Once you create your GIF you can upload to GIPHY then GIPHY will email you an mp4 version so you can upload to Instagram.

Ready to Create GIFs for Visual Marketing Your Business

As much as video has become one of the most popular visual marketing tools, GIFs have become underrated in its potential to demonstrate a product or business services instruction. Remember some people won’t stick around to see an entire video and would rather see snippets to get fast results to their problems.

Womens Health Magazine does an excellent job with their FitGIF Friday where they demonstrate a fitness tip.

Use a tool like Screencast-O-Matic to help create the GIF to upload to a blog post or social media platform. When you provide these small snippets to your audience they appreciate the extra effort in showing them something new. Keep GIFs in mind for you visual marketing strategy and no need to use cheesy GIFs with cats, use GIFs to your advantage for business.

Let me know if you use GIFs for visual marketing your business in the comments

Take care,

Lillian De Jesus blog signature

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Lillian De Jesus

I LOVE visual marketing! Any tools that help a business increase exposure and can help build a community I'm into it. I help people with inspiring personable teaching with 1-1 training sessions for awesome visual tools like Canva (a graphic design app for the “non-designer”). AND I'm a HUGE childhood cancer awareness advocate. #pediatriccancersucks
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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Lillian,

    GIFs are a good way to illustrate your point or even demonstrate a reaction (like how the reader feels). I think it can be used as a great tool to help people to connect with what you’re sharing.

    I feel like GIFs have been popular for a while but now people are easily making them for themselves with the help of Boomerang for Instagram. So if they’re using it you should take a peek as a marketer. After all, you need to speak their language.

    Thanks for sharing this tool. That price is really amazing for a year for a pro tool.

    ~Lea
    Lea Bullen recently posted…How You Hit the Glass Ceiling in Life and How to Break ItMy Profile

    • Lillian De Jesus says

      Hi Lea,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      It’s true, GIFs have been around for a long time. However people think of them as cheesy when they can be actually do good for business.

      I’ve heard great things about the Boomerang app for Instagram!

      SOM is best for desktop. I’m glad this tool can be useful to you. It really is amazing for the price.

      Take care,
      Lillian

  2. BG Jenkins says

    Hi Lillian… Though I’m really lost here, I see so many great things that can be done with gifs (jifs). I will have to come back and review again. Love that you always have the edge on things. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  3. says

    As we all know, GIFs are always looking too attractive and interesting a due to this I was want to learn about how to make GIFs but I was always unable to do anything.

    But now with the help of your this post, I learned a lot about how to make GIFs. So overall it’s too informative and helpful post for me thanks…………again Lillian and keep it.
    sahil jangid recently posted…Benefits Of Distance MBA For Working ProfessionalsMy Profile

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