A fantastic post by Jennifer Taylor on the origin of the GIF (if you don't know the term, GIFs are looping, animated graphics) and ways in which you could use them for your business.

GIFs can:

  1. Inject personality to your content, particularly social media. If you are trying to convey a particular emotion, then the right GIF will resonate with your audience more powerfully than the right hashtag.
  2. Educate (as well as entertain). Why not use GIFs on your help page or to illustrate a complex point in a blog post?
  3. Bring data to life. GIFs can be used to animate maps or illustrate research.
  4. Make your email marketing stand out. The right GIF can earn you 12% more revenue than a GIF-less email.

As with all things, GIFs should be used with caution (particularly with regards to copyright). Nevertheless, if your marketing is GIF-less, you should think about giving it a go.

One tool I highly recommend is LICEcap, which allows you to create a GIF based on what you are doing on your desktop. It's very useful to explain a sequence of steps a user should follow for instance.

The largest library of GIFs is Giphy. Be aware however that not all platforms are GIF friendly, though you'll be able to upload it to most social networks as if it were an image. For Twitter, I recommend right clicking the GIF and selecting 'Save image as...' before re-uploading it into your tweet, whereas Facebook seems to cope better with the URL pasted directly into the status box.