Here’s one rule about online communication: Over time, it will always trend toward the simplest and least work-intensive mode possible. That’s why reaction GIFs have supplanted witty one-liners as the Internet’s retort of choice. For brands seeking to update their marketing efforts with a fresher look (perhaps by hiring a motion graphics design company) it also represents a big opportunity.
Why GIFs and motion graphics connect with today’s audiences
Just in case you’ve been on a multi-year social media detox, let’s take a moment to explain how GIFs work. If you’ve ever been on Twitter or another social media platform and witnessed someone reply to a questionable comment with a looping video clip of someone else doing an astonished double-take, you’ve seen a reaction GIF in action.
GIFs (short for Graphics Interchange Format) have become a dominant mode of expression in social media settings, text applications, and other mediums. The reason is simple: With virtually no effort, you can express a complex (and often quite amusing) message.
In a development that should surprise exactly no one, younger people are especially fond of GIFs. In a Time magazine survey, a full two-thirds of millennials claimed that GIFs represent their feelings and thoughts better than written communication.
While that is undoubtedly a major blow for idealistic English teachers across the globe, it’s also an opportunity for savvy marketers.
Let’s face it: Marketers have been told ad nauseam that appealing to millennials and Generation Z is imperative. And that’s true — there’s no arguing with demographics. Yet despite this urgent task, brands haven’t always covered themselves in glory when it comes to targeting millennials. Even an otherwise sharp outfit like Google stumbled while negotiating this tricky terrain.
The search giant created a report advising other businesses on appealing to millennials. This report, hilariously titled “It’s Lit,” featured a design that made it look like an especially flashy Macy’s catalog. Inside things were even direr — Google’s Millennial Research Team maintained that Gen Z members think that Chick-fil-A is the world’s “coolest brand” — ranking higher than famously ultra-cool brands like Vice and Supreme. Much media derision, of course, ensued.
So how can a business with fewer resources than Google negotiate this millennial minefield?
Through partnering with a motion graphic design company. And GIFs, of course.
Integrating GIFs into your marketing
GIFs have value because they allow brands to transmit their messages in what is essentially the lingua franca of the youth Internet. Brands that can deploy GIFs in a clever manner will seem more relatable.
GIFs have the benefit of being simple to use and hard to misuse. Younger audiences may scorn a business using “It’s lit” non-ironically, but they won’t think twice about a clever GIF deployed via social media marketing.
Young people aren’t the only market to target, of course, GIFs can be used to entice customers within marketing messages. Blue Apron uses GIFs in its email marketing campaigns to show consumers the delicious meals they could be making. GIFs can be used in digital ads or integrated into blog posts as instructional elements. They have far more utility than simply being deployed as a witty rejoinder in a social media conversation.
Working with a motion graphics design company can help brands optimize their GIF strategy. The right company can help a brand derive maximum value from a small — but powerful — visual message.
At BIGEYE, we like a great reaction GIF — but we love helping brands develop exceptional marketing campaigns featuring motion graphics. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.Back to Thinking