Why Your Company Needs a GIF Strategy

GIFs Are Exploding, and You Need a GIF Strategy

Last updated: June 6, 2018.

Years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Why Your Company Needs a Hashtag Strategy“. That post hasn’t been updated in quite a while (I’ll have to remedy that soon), but the core of that post still holds true. Your company, every brand, needs to have a hashtag strategy. Well, it’s now time that you also have a GIF strategy. Let me explain…

70% of Americans use emojis, GIFs, and stickers to communicate daily. There are a handful of GIF platforms, with Giphy being the largest. And Giphy is HUGE. It has raised $150M and is valued at over $600M. It claims 300 Million daily active users (more than Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter), which is up from 200 Million in July. Their users share more than 2 Billion GIFs a day across Giphy.com and the many other platforms where Giphy is embedded (Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, iMessage, Slack, and more). Also, here’s a list of brands that have recently announce marketing/advertising partnerships with Giphy: Absolut Vodka, Red Bull, Jolly Rancher, Gucci, T-Mobile, Malibu Rum, Benefit Cosmetics, Essie and PepsiCo.Giphy actually just launched Giphy Studios, and is teaming up with Hollywood talent and influencers to create GIF content around movies/tv shows, branded content, and more.

Gfycat, another GIF platform, just hit 180 Million monthly active users, up from 130 million in October 2017 and 56 million in September 2016. They also recently announced new 360 degree GIFs. Imgur has 250 Million active users. Google just acquired Tenor, which gets 12 Billion GIF searches every month. These GIF platforms are growing extremely fast. There are several smaller platforms/apps that each have millions of users themselves.

More recently, Instagram and Snapchat added GIFs to their products.

I could stop there, and tell you that that is why you need a GIF strategy.

But let’s continue…

What is a GIF strategy exactly?
To start, let’s check out what some brands are doing on Giphy.

1. Gap – https://giphy.com/gap

GAP’s Giphy profile

GAP has 66 GIF uploads and 160 million GIF views. That’s insane.

2. Game of Thrones – https://giphy.com/gameofthrones/

Game of Thrones’ Giphy profile

Game of Thrones has 769 GIF uploads and 663 million GIF views. It’s an incredibly popular show, but those are still amazing numbers.

3. Buzzfeed – https://giphy.com/buzzfeed

Buzzfeed’s Giphy profile

Buzzfeed has 482 GIF uploads and 33 million GIF views. Very solid.

So, how can you apply this strategy to your company? Here are four simple tips that you can implement:

1. Create your brand’s Giphy and Gfycat profiles

This one is easy. Make a profile, add an image/bio/link/header, and upload at least a few GIFs! Over time, continue to build onto your profiles and grow them. Make sure you tag your GIFs appropriately so they can be found in the platforms’ search engines.

2. Create tangentially related Giphy and Gfycat profiles

Let’s say you run a women’s ecommerce boutique, and that dresses are some of your popular products. If that’s the case, you should create profiles on Giphy and Gfycat with the username of something like “summerdresses”. So the link to your account would look be giphy.com/summerdress. Then, on that account, upload myriads of different types of GIFs related to summer dresses. Some of these GIFs could contain your products of course, while others would just be GIFs you find of perhaps a girl in a dress in a meadow, or a scene from La La Land, etc. On some of these GIFs, put your brand’s logo in the bottom right of the GIF, to promote some brand recognition. Continuously add to these profiles.

3. Create a GIF hub on your own website

If you’re spending all this time to build your GIF profiles on sites like Giphy and Gfycat, you should also build out a GIF hub page on your own website! Here’s an example of how it could look (from the comedian Conan O’ Brien): http://teamcoco.com/gifs

4. Promote your GIF accounts externally

Once you have your profiles built out, share those GIFs! Share them on social media, share them on Reddit when/where appropriate, share them in your blog posts, you can even add them to your product pages (and measure to see if it increases conversion rates).

GIF Resources:

Below is a list we’ve compiled of GIF-related resources. We will continuously add to this list.

Tools to create GIFs:
GIF inspiration:
Interesting content piece built with GIFs: https://www.justpark.com/creative/over-the-top-gear/
A startup launch style video, but a GIF: https://twitter.com/LukesBeard/status/920349923366920192
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