5 ways GIFs can amplify your content

More than just an online gimmick, these simple animations can enhance your messaging. It’s all about striking the right balance.

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The animated GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) gets a bad rap because it’s widely overused in popular culture. (Sparkling MySpace graphics and cheesy movie memes—I’m looking at you.)

In October, “The New Yorker” released its first cover designed as a GIF, adding an air of respectability to the once lowly format. It was subtle, true to its brand aesthetic, and a perfect example of one way marketers can use the file format: to add panache to their visual content.

You can easily do the same.

Rethinking the GIF

Animated GIFs are static images linked together in a single graphic to create a short animation, like a looping cartoon flip book. Think of the format the way you would think of a flip book. The more frames, the richer and more seamless the animation will appear.

Sometimes, it makes sense to use just a few frames in your GIF, such as when you want to show blinking lights or a handful of text slides. Other times you may want to opt for a smoother look that approaches that of video (without having to spend the money that you would on video or animation).

Here are five ways to use GIFs to augment your content:

1. Enhance your message

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