How GIFs Take Advantage of the Need for Shareable Content

by Federica Rustico

12 min read
Last Updated: May 26, 2023

Everywhere we turn we hear about “content marketing”. That’s because digital marketers rely heavily on content to pique the interest of potential customers and win them over. In fact, an astonishing rate of growth can be seen in the use of content marketing by companies nowadays. About four million blog posts are published every day, with many of them getting shared hundreds of millions of times across various social media platforms. But content creation is only half the battle. There is a great deal of extra work involved in expanding your brand's recognition. Differentiating yourself from the competition is essential if you want to attract customers' attention. And making highly shareable content is the greatest strategy to achieve this. In the long run, a higher number of shares means more visitors, which boosts revenue. 

How GIFs Take Advantage of the Need for Shareable Content

One form of content that is created to be shared is GIFs. Unlike other forms of digital advertising, GIFs have an extremely low cost per thousand impressions (CPM) due mostly to their distribution methodology. Once a GIF has been uploaded to one of the major GIF search engines, like GIPHY or Tenor, it can be shared indefinitely by others via chat conversations and on popular social media apps. But how can you improve your odds of consistently producing material that others will want to share? Here are some suggestions to get you going in the right direction.

1. Stay on top of current trends

Everyone aspires to be an innovator, but there is also value in following the crowd. Due to its greater immediacy, the number of times that content is shared increases dramatically whether it is about current events or other trending subjects. If you create material about these subjects, you'll be contributing to a conversation that many users are following. So how can you keep up with the latest fads? Twitter and Facebook both provide "trending" areas where users may read about the latest news and discussions on the two platforms. It facilitates users' awareness of recent events. You can also buy access to other social media tools and services. These present clearly the many popular subjects, the platforms they have been shared on, and the total number of shares they have received.

For example, did you hear Shakira’s new single, Music Sessions Vol. 53? One of the most viral lyrics is “You changed a Rolex for a Casio”, referring to herself as a Rolex and Pique’s lover as a Casio (intended as second-rate). The internet went crazy with memes and Casio rode the trend by showing how someone like Piquè could actually be interested in a second-rate watch like a Casio, over a Rolex! Casio wasn’t the only one riding the wave, companies like EUIPO and Ikea too made content. It’s called real-time marketing and it truly does wonders! 

2. What are your competitors doing?

Although it may seem dishonest, one strategy for developing content that can attract a wide audience is to study the materials that have already been widely shared by your competition. You might expect a similar response from your clientele if they have indeed discovered something that works. Whatever appeals to their audience is likely to appeal to yours as well. Keeping tabs on the competition is a terrific approach to learn about your target market. It's not necessary to spend a lot of time monitoring the competition. Make a list of the most prominent ones and keep an eye on their social media platforms to see where you stand in terms of competing for attention. Look back over the articles they've published in the past several months, and make a mental note of the ones that got the most comments and shares. Is it a collection of films, a list, or a narrative? Consider generating something similar to any evergreen material that has gone viral.

3. Connect with your audience

A common technique for increasing content sharing is to appeal to viewers' emotions. Feelings of joy, surprise, appreciation, and contentment are often sparked by tales, films, and photographs that gain widespread online attention. More people tend to communicate happy news than sad. Users are more likely to spread your material far and wide if they have a positive emotional reaction to it, such as laughing, joy, surprise, or a call to action.

The publication of anything that could provoke hostility should be approached with caution. Although anger can motivate people to speak out against wrongdoing, it can also leave them feeling exhausted and dissatisfied if they aren't given a method to channel their rage into positive change.

By making your material more human and approachable, GIFs help you connect with your readers. They're a great method to show your true colors and make a statement that words alone just can't. Funny, relatable, or uplifting GIFs are a great way to get your audience invested in what you have to say. Using GIFs also allows you to make your message more dynamic and interesting, which can boost your content's chances of being shared. A fitness brand, for instance, could use GIFs to demonstrate a quick at-home workout routine, connecting with the audience through humorous, conversational language, while a fashion brand could use a GIF of a model wearing their clothes, walking down the street, demonstrating the movement of the clothes and the fit, allowing the audience to see the clothes in action before deciding whether or not to purchase them.

Neymar Jr Yes GIF by Nike - Find & Share on GIPHY

4. Use humor

Users of social media platforms frequently post videos that are intended to be humorous or uplifting. It's a win-win since it makes people happy and gets them more social approval in the form of likes and shares. Using humorous postings that pertain to a company's field might increase the page's chances of being liked and followed.

GIFs are your best friends when it comes to creating content with humor. In the business world, GIFs can be used to inject some much-needed lightheartedness. You can use them as discussion starters, to contribute to existing dialogues, or to just express gratitude for a job well done. You can use them to send messages that are both short and witty, yet yet manage to get across the point. 

GIF by Burger King - Find & Share on GIPHY

5. Create informational and instructive material 

The vast majority of internet users turn to search engines when looking for detailed information on a particular topic or for specialized how-to guides, but turn to social media for lighthearted diversion. Content like how-to guides and video tutorials that answer common consumer issues go viral and build credibility with your target audience.

Yes, tutorials and guides can be made more interesting and engaging by using GIFs. They can be used to swiftly depict each stage of a process and offer visual clues to aid consumers in grasping the steps involved. Using GIFs in a tutorial is a great way to keep the audience entertained and interested in what they're learning. Animated GIFs are a great tool for providing a visual representation of abstract concepts.

GIF by Mashable - Find & Share on GIPHY

6. Grab any opportunity to show your values 

In today's digital age, many people turn to social media to voice their ideas and convictions on contentious issues. It's a way for people to express themselves. When asked to share information, people are more likely to spread something that supports their existing worldview. You can use any viral moment or special occasion to stand up for what you believe in. For example, you can create a GIF sticker customized for a special occasion, just like Adobe Photoshop did for Pride Month. 

Gay Pride Love Sticker by Adobe for iOS & Android | GIPHY

7. Activate the community

Keep in touch with your clientele and fellow businesspeople over the web. Conversation and responses to their comments might help you anticipate the kinds of concerns they may have. Emails, blog posts, Reddit threads, social media questions, and questions posted on Q&A sites like Quora can all prompt novel concepts for responses. Simply exposing yourself to other people's opinions will spark ideas for content. You could gain insight into new points of view. Never miss a comment section!

8. Avoid sounding like an ad

Advertising is one aspect of the internet that users see much too much of. Since many websites bombard their visitors with advertisements, your work shouldn't come off as a sales pitch. They would rather be informed or entertained than sold to when consuming content.

Brand promotion can be accomplished without coming across as overly promotional. Make sure your material reflects your brand's ideals, but don't forget to add value for your readers by sharing relevant information. Present a variety of uses for your goods or a summary of the advantages your services offer. GIFs can help you tap into this concept extremely well, here’s how you can use GIFs in advertising

Chocolate Watching GIF by M&M's UK - Find & Share on GIPHY

9. Go with storytelling

Effective storytelling can result in engaging information that readers will want to spread with their networks. By putting the reader or viewer in the same circumstances, it can make the material more engaging. How can you create material that engages readers by actually telling them a story? They need a structured narrative that leads them from beginning to end. Create some empathy for your listeners by expressing an issue they could be having. Then, think of an issue that your product or service can solve. Then, when you're putting the content together, aim to lead readers step-by-step to that answer. This example of Coca Cola is perfect, it shows how Coca Cola is the perfect drink for the soccer match but that it allows you to create an intimate moment with a person.

Happy Coca Cola GIF by The Coca-Cola Company - Find & Share on GIPHY

10. Create audience-validating content

Experts in your field will likely have strong feelings about some issues and be happy to share their thoughts as long as you validate their reasoning. Audience-validating content spreads like wildfire because it provides readers with supporting proof from a credible source (you) that their existing beliefs are right.

The creation of such content necessitates considering the tastes and beliefs held by the target demographic. Look for issues on which people have strongly held beliefs and can't agree. The likelihood that a person will be interested in these matters increases if they are related to their profession or interests. Do not assume that nobody will try to disprove you. People may also spread information in order to discredit your argument.

11. Get experts’ opinions

A great strategy to get people to share your content is to have them read insights from people who are already established in your field. Having an influential person endorse your material does wonders for its legitimacy and visibility, not to mention the likelihood that the influencer will share it with their massive following. It has the potential to significantly increase participation. People will regard you as an authoritative voice in your field.

Recording Dominic Fike GIF by Calvin Klein - Find & Share on GIPHY

12. Rewards people who share your content

Everyone appreciates a gift that doesn't cost anything. People may feel obliged to share content if they are offered the chance of a reward, even if that prize is as small as a mug or a t-shirt and requires as much effort as a few clicks to obtain. Offer discounts, freebies, and other incentives to your audience in exchange for them sharing your link. There is little risk involved, but the payoff might be substantial.

13. Make your content easy to find

Make sure keywords aren't overlooked. To have your content seen, it must be discoverable, even if it is part of a current topic. Does your writing include phrases that readers could type into a search engine? Is it obvious what it's about just from the title? It's your responsibility to make it easy for readers to locate your articles. In order to increase the visibility of your GIFs online, you should:

14.Make use of images

Huge amounts of attention can be garnered from viewers by using striking visuals. These days, visuals are more important than ever before on social media. Posts on Facebook that feature at least one image generate three times as much interaction as text-only posts, according to a recent study. Images that are directly relevant to your content, especially infographics, can increase the number of times that your material is shared.

GIFs are the ultimate share magnets! When compared to images, GIFs are much more interesting and eye-catching, making them far more likely to be shared. A GIF's movement and animation can make it more interesting and engaging, which increases the likelihood that its viewer will want to share it with their friends and followers. Plus, compared to a still image, a GIF can be easier to share because it can better convey the intended feeling or message through humor or familiarity. 

15. Cooperate with others

A win-win situation is created when one company creates crossover content with a different company that isn't a direct competition. Let's say your product or service complements another's nicely; you could suggest that both businesses create material that would appeal to their respective audiences. In exchange for reciprocal promotion, they may agree to share your work with their followers.

16. Keep in mind the importance of sharing buttons

It may sound apparent, but if the individuals who consume your material don't know how to share it, their followers won't be able to find it. It's unlikely that people will spread the word about your work if it's hard to share. It is your duty as the content creator to make it simple for others to disseminate. Embedding a visible share button next to each piece of information is essential. Better yet, if it only takes one click.More people will share your material if your social media buttons are prominently displayed.

Wrapping up

With the help of the above tips, you can develop content that will be both effective and relevant for your digital marketing campaign. However, it's important to remember that a lot of chance goes into making something that goes viral. It's hard to know where and when to publish it because of how crucial it is to the overall strategy. Don't give up if you've tried everything and still aren't seeing any results with your material. Creating content that others want to share takes a lot of practice, but you only need one stroke of luck to make it all worthwhile. Celebrate even the smallest of your wins. Focus on increasing your share count with each new article or story, and you will see results.

Frequently Asked Questions