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The internet has become such a digital surplus of content that marketers are scrambling to competing against each other for valuable space on social networks. Moreover, while many marketing plans already incorporate visual content to pursue users, I encourage you to take it a step further by introducing moving visuals into the mix, which are more engaging for your audience.

What I’m talking about is incorporating the use of GIFs into your marketing strategy. You may think GIFs are an unorthodox approach to stand out, but that’s exactly what your insurance agency needs. We live in a world of content overload, and consumers want something different.

In fact, the current trends on Google indicate that demand for GIFs has been greatly increasing over the years.

We’ve recently created a few custom GIFs ourselves and received very positive engagement from them.

Our marketing team created one for POW/MIA Day, and it received incredible engagement on Google+:

A screenshot of our Google+ page.

While our recent Facebook post with a GIF, performed pretty well too:

A screenshot of our Facebook.

So, what are GIFs?

GIFs, or Graphics Interchangeable Format files, are image files that contain both moving and static images.

Think of a GIF as short video clip (typically 2-3 seconds long) without sound, that loops indefinitely.

Animated GIFs are most commonly used on social networks like Facebook and Twitter and we recommend using GIFs that are unique to your insurance agency’s brand.

A GIF of kids playing football.

Branded GIFs

Because GIFs are widely shared by a variety of users, we try to make sure the GIFs we create are unique to us.

GIFs are also very short and need to feel natural, and therefore, don’t necessarily need our fonts, colors, or logo like other marketed content we share would normally have. You can include source information (like your insurance agency’s website) on a GIF hosting website if you’d like, but overall GIFs are created to be shared and used by multiple people.

We typically use GIFs in our daily Facebook birthday posts, and when we thank people for retweeting our content on Twitter. Additionally, events or agency happenings that receive special attention may become GIFs.

Overall, GIFs are a great way to add a bit of fun to your brand and catch your customer’s attention as they scroll through their social media feeds.

How to Get Started

The idea of creating a GIF may be somewhat intimidating, however, they’re fairly simple to create. You’ll either need a video or a few still images, and somewhere to create the GIF.

Additionally, while our marketing team uses software such as, Adobe Photoshop to create custom GIFs, GIF hosting websites such as GIPHY allow you to create your own for free.

We also have full video guide about creating GIFs, however, you don’t have to use Photobucket as the video suggests.

Tips to Consider

Unfortunately, GIFs don’t work everywhere. LinkedIn doesn’t support any type of GIF files- this means they won’t loop or play when a user scrolls by the content. Your GIF will upload will upload to LinkedIn, but only as a static image.

Instagram supports video uploads that will loop similarly to a GIF, however, you won’t be able to directly upload a GIF you’ve created or found online.

Moreover, social networks such as, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest all support GIFs, but Facebook requires your GIF to be hosted on another site for it to work. We use GIPHY to host and link our GIFs, but sites such as, GIFMaker and Make a GIF will do just fine.

It’s also important not to over do it. GIFs are a fun part of internet culture and help to show a more personable side to your insurance agency. However, your insurance agency may come off as too casual or impersonal if you overuse GIFs on social networks. This can hurt your brand, so be careful about how often and what you share.

Remember, good content marketing has variety, use GIFs when you want to change up your typical marketing routine from time to time. As always, happy marketing everyone!