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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once you click on Speed Change it will take you to this screen:
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).
Animated GIFs can be up to 5MB on mobile, and up to 15MB on web.
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
29 thoughts on “How to Make GIFs for Visual Marketing”
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.
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.
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.
this is being my first visit to your blog and I got some amazing tips ans techniques to learn.
SO, thanks for the great share.
Thanks for visiting. Glad you got some tips from the post.
Well, Thanks for the Tool!
I have never used GIFs on my Social media Pages, although I have many ideas in my ind, which I use for marketing, but still it will take few days to know exactly How to make perfect GIFs that can attract users.
BTW, keep up the good work !
Thanks Jelina! Glad to spark some ideas for marketing.
wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!superb …. Really enjoyed this informative post.. Will bookmark this and share to others…learn a lot from this…
Website design is just awesome. Marketing using gifs is a brand new idea, never heard this before. I think this gif may used in all social media platforms as well as forums. Thank You for Posting.
Love this tutorial! What if you simply want to use a screenshot or graphic for your GIF? Does SOM allow that option, rather than recording a moving object?
I’m so happy this tutorial was helpful. You can use still SOM will still images, just hit pause while you bring each screenshot or graphic into frame. It really does so much. You can even place transitions!
Thanks for stopping by. Take care!
Thank you so much for sharing this article.
I got some nice ideas about making GIFs.
I will try it on my blog.
Great to hear that, Akash! Best wishes on making GIFs.
This is first time I am visiting your blog.
I got this amazing tips.
Thanks Lillian for sharing this awesome article.
Thanks for visiting! Glad these tips were helpful.
Great post, The ideas are amazing and very powerful of step by step guide to GIFs for visual marketing. Thanks for sharing.
My pleasure! Happy to hear it was helpful to you. 🙂
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.
Visual marketing is one of the main mode to attract more users in internet. I think GIF is very much advanced than using images, Tutorial is excellent. Thank You
Use of Gif is increasing day by day. Thank you for sharing such useful information. Hope this will help fellow bloggers to create more interactive gifs.
In my work, we use GIF marketing for all our products, Your tutorial is short & effective. Thank You
Hi Lillian, I loved your post. It is exactly what I was looking for. I will start to use inmediately GIF for marketing. I was a little confused about how to do it, but thanks to this I hope soon to be a pro. ❤
Great tutorial Lilly. I never thought GIFs could be this easy to make, I had always relied on Fiverr freelancer when I needed a GIF. Thanks for simplify the process.
Glad this was helpful Odira!
Hey Lillian thanks for the post i truly liked the article
Really helpful and worthy of praise. ..
I will follow your steps to make visual effects…
By the way keep up the good work
I never knew this. I’m practicing visual marketing and this article is very helpful. I will put this in my pocket!
It was wonderful getting such nice information. Great to see new social alternative for us and many more others, who are not thrilled with the status quo of social media. Please do share and updated with us. appreciate your time. Keep up the hard work.
Glad you liked this post, John!