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Why You Should be Using GIFs instead of Video in Your Inbound Marketing

May 19, 2016 Bree Smith


Video is a hot topic in content marketing right now. If video is so hot, why should you bother using GIFs? There are several reasons for you to use GIFs instead of video.

Time Savings for the Viewer

You can communicate information faster. Most GIFs are only a few seconds long, so instead of having to spend a few minutes learning how to tie a head scarf, it only takes a few seconds watching a GIF. 


GIFs are an image format so there is no need for setting up or paying for video hosting services, there are no loading times, buffering issues, or links to click. All you have to do is insert the GIF wherever you want the same as you would a picture, and you’re ready to go.


GIFs play on loop which means if you’re trying to communicate something to a customer, they will see it on repeat several times. There’s just something hypnotizing about GIFs that make it hard to look away. But what happens when a video autoplays? If it’s not something you want to watch, you just keep scrolling.


Quick and Cheap to Create

Filming videos requires special (usually expensive) equipment, hiring someone who knows how to use it, time for writing scripts or storyboards, filming time, and the mammoth of all time sucks—film editing. You can actually create a GIF in under a minute (click here for two ways) using a YouTube URL or any other video clip. Or, you can always use ones that have already been made. There are several websites with massive GIF libraries you can use. My favorite site is Giphy.



GIFs aren’t just for being silly anymore. There are many serious ways to use GIFs to bring value to your inbound marketing strategy. I recently used GIFs on a client's website instead of the typical thumbnail images. The result was eye-catching instead of just another page with static images.


GIFs are the perfect middle ground between static images and videos. They're more engaging than an image, but not as demanding on resources as video. Joe Puglisi, Buzzfeed’s senior creative strategist, puts it this way:

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, a GIF is worth 10,000. GIFs are a mini-vehicle for storytelling, capturing emotions, and communicating them in a concise way that words and pictures alone cannot.”





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