How to Create a GIPHY Brand Channel in 8 Easy Steps

by Federica Rustico

13 min read
Last Updated: December 30, 2022

I can’t even think of the amount of GIFs I send and receive from friends on Whatsapp. Because it happens every single day. And for good reason ––who doesn’t love GIFs? They're funny, quick to send, and express how we feel in ways that simple texting cannot. They instantly pump up a conversation and bring a splash of color to some very boring group chats.

I just go right over on GIPHY or Tenor, type in a mood, a reaction or an emotion, find the GIF I like the most and simply share it with my friends. If the GIPHY keyboard is installed on my phone, the process is even faster. But why is this important? If you’re a brand, you’re probably thinking what can you possibly have to do with everything that I just said. But boy oh boy, you couldn’t be more wrong. 

While you've probably heard of SEO and how to implement SEO best practices to rank on search engines like Google, chances are that you still didn’t get the 411 on Gif SEO and in general, GIF Marketing. Gif SEO allows your content to be ranked on Gif search engines such as GIPHY and Tenor. If you haven't heard of them yet, allow me to shed some light on these fantastic search engines. Because, after Google, GIPHY is the world's second largest search engine in terms of total searches. What I’m trying to tell you is fairly simple: just as people Google things to find answers to their questions (hence it’s every brand’s best interest to understand what their audience is searching for in order to rank for those keywords in the hopes of appearing in the first page), people go on GIPHY and Tenor to find creative ways to express how they feel on social media and messaging apps. In other words, they go on GIPHY to find GIFs that represent a reaction, a greeting or anything else they’re interested in. If you’re able to understand how to adapt your content to appear for those search queries, you’ve hit the jackpot. 

So GIF Marketing is a terrific opportunity for brands to gain that extra exposure without having to spend money on ads. All it takes is knowing how to create the right content. Ok, it sounds easier than it is. But we’ll get to that later. In order to start uploading GIFs in the hopes of users sharing them, you first need to do one thing: open a GIPHY brand channel. Without one, you won’t be able to upload anything. Good thing I’m here to tell you how to create a GIPHY brand channel! 

How to become a Verified Brand on GIPHY

Did you know that GIPHY now delivers over 10 billion GIFs, daily? In 2019, GIPHY CEO Alex Chung stated that GIPHY is the world's second largest search engine, second only to Google in terms of search volume. That’s some serious achievement. 

If you haven’t heard of GIPHY yet, you’re the only one. The biggest businesses in the world, including Pepsi, Netflix, McDonald's and Universal Pictures use GIFs to connect with consumers on social media sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat as well as via messaging apps. 

The good news is that you can too. However, it’s not like everyone can go ahead and upload a GIF. Or better yet, yes, everyone can upload a GIF, but it’s not like everyone can upload a GIF that will then be searchable by users. In order to do so, you need to have a verified GIPHY brand channel before you can make your GIFs publicly accessible via GIPHY search, which is integrated into all significant messaging apps and social media platforms. Remember how I was saying that you can include a GIPHY keyboard on your phone? Yeah, well, it doesn’t stop there. GIPHY has integrations with pretty much anyone thanks to its APIs, all social media apps feature GIFs and GIF stickers, not to mention that recently TikTok and GIPHY announced a partnership for GIPHY’s most recent product: GIPHY Clips. 

To guarantee that the content shown in third-party messaging and social networking applications is acceptable and safe, GIPHY mandates that all of the content comes from a verified brand channel. We think that’s totally fair and the procedure is quite easy.

For starters, you must register for a GIPHY account. You can apply for a GIPHY brand channel once you have a GIPHY account.The application is straightforward, and once submitted, it usually takes between 24 hours to two weeks to be approved.

How to create a GIPHY brand channel

Pretty easy,right? Now let’s go through the steps you need to take to register for a brand channel:

  1. Sign in or create a GIPHY account and launch the app.
  2. Enter your contact information, which is typically the name of the person who will manage your GIPHY account.
  3. Enter your display name, which should usually be your brand name.
  4. Include a link to your company's website; as long as you're a real business with a credible website, you'll be fine.
  5. Incorporate links to relevant social media profiles. If you have a large social following, the approval process could be ramped up. Make sure to include the social media profiles where you have the most social traction. 
  6. Upload your channel avatar (profile picture). The image must be 250x250 pixels in JPG, PNG, or GIF format (of course)
  7. Add five unique GIFs to your GIPHY channel. These could be GIFs or GIF stickers, but you must own the content and it must be of high quality.
  8. Your channel should be approved after a few weeks. If you ask respectfully, the GIPHY support staff will typically be helpful if you need your channel approval expedited in order to make it in time for an event.

Before you can be approved for a brand channel, GIPHY requires that you upload five original GIFs to your channel. This is the most difficult part of the process because they require high-quality custom animation or video content that you own. You are not permitted to upload infringing copy (memes) based on content to which you do not have the rights.

The simplest way to get original content onto your GIPHY channel is to use a tool like GIPHY Capture to cut existing video content, such as a commercial or video, into funny GIF content.

You'll most likely be approved if you fill out the application correctly, have a professional-looking website, a reasonable social media presence, and five original GIFs on your GIPHY channel.

Once your GIFs have been approved, you can start sharing them to the public and creating millions of favorable brand impressions among consumers.

Our experience with the application process was incredibly simple. Giphy provided very detailed instructions on what was required prior to applying. You can check out their tips for submitting a brand channel application

What can you do with a GIPHY brand channel?

Once you have a brand channel… The sky's the limit! Because once your application is approved you will have access to the infinite network of GIPHY. To put it in perspective for you, if you have a GIPHY brand channel your gifs are searchable in Instagram Stories and Reels. You read that correctly. But it doesn’t end there––almost all messaging apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Mailchimp, Tinder, Slack etc., are powered by their API.

This has created a brand-new opportunity for visibility. A Giphy brand channel is all that is required. Any GIF you upload at that point becomes publicly accessible via Giphy's search engine. Nothing prevents you from including your brand, a product, or even a URL.

Plus, the perks don’t end here. If you apply for a verified brand channel, you’ll have access to analytics for your channel, expanded customisation possibilities, and, of course, inclusion of your GIFs and Stickers in the GIPHY search.

And let’s not overlook the fact that GIPHY offers brands the possibility to use a different type of communication style! By developing a dedicated channel for your company, you may engage and avoid being overly "sales-y" while speaking with potential clients. It’s an opportunity to show off your creativity. GIFs will take your brand's digital presence to new heights. In fact, they will distinguish your brand from its competitors. Plus, many brands have yet to discover the power of a 15-second looping video, so you have plenty of chances to impress people with your GIFs.

How to create a giphy brand channel

This kind of animated image formats are remarkable because they blend visuals and video to produce a really engaging, aesthetically pleasing piece of material that is simple to absorb. The success of your company depends on producing interesting, simple-to-digest content, as people consume thousands of pieces of material on their phones each day. Just a head’s up, when using GIFs, prioritize fun over business.

While Giphy is a social network that you can use to connect with customers, you shouldn't approach it the same way you would with Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Your social media strategy should remain constant, but your techniques and content should change depending on the platform.

Make sure your GIFs are consistent with your brand's aesthetic and voice in addition to adhering to your social media plan. You just have a few seconds to capture a user's attention, so make sure your brand is simple for them to identify without being too evident that they are viewing a sponsored GIF. You’ll thank me later. 

Plus, let’s not forget that every GIF you upload to your brand's channel can include a source link that leads directly to your website. Conversions could result from traffic from these source links. 

Who should get a GIPHY brand channel?

You may be qualified for a brand channel if you are a business, recording artist, actor, or other prominent figure with content you have produced or own. Please make sure that your content is hosted on your client's channel if you are an agency providing branded content. Of course, if you’re a person who just wants to create a GIF for personal use, the GIPHY brand channel isn’t for you. 

Consumer brands are currently embracing GIF marketing, and for good reason. According to Forbes, 84% of millennials dislike and have little faith in traditional marketing. Brands invest millions of dollars in disruptive and irritating traditional and digital advertising. But what they don’t get is that these TV ads and billboards don't help brands gain influence among younger audiences. 

It is hardly surprising that 86% of consumers place authenticity high on their list of preferred brands. Brands should produce entertaining, helpful content that makes consumers smile without expecting anything in return from them in order to establish authenticity.

How to create a GIPHY brand channel

That’s where GIFs come to the rescue Consumers send GIFs to friends and acquaintances in message exchanges. Giving customers GIFs to use to improve their messaging experience during their most private chats gives marketers the chance to create engaging and genuine experiences. Brands can produce content that consumers like to use and share with their friends rather than pushing a product or simply selling something, as is the case with many traditional advertisements. 

If used properly, GIFs may be a very profitable and effective marketing tool. They are brief enough to accommodate our waning attention spans. Each looping, 15 second video is so captivating that you have to view it at least a few times. You may earn hundreds of millions of impressions by producing interesting content that is meant to be experienced rather than consumed while also building genuine connections with your audience.

How to optimize your brand’s GIPHY channel

Now that you probably can’t wait to apply for a GIPHY brand channel and start getting all of the perks that come with it, it’s time to learn how to optimize your verified channel. Here are four tips for optimizing your GIFs and successfully using GIPHY marketing for brand awareness.

1. Use appropriate hashtags

GIPHY's search algorithm is incapable of reading images. To understand the context of a GIF, it relies on the keywords you use when tagging them. When adding tags to your GIFs, GIPHY recommends including brand names, the action in the image, and proper nouns. This is quite useful for keyword research. When looking for relevant tags to add to your GIFs, look for keywords that are descriptive of the content, are used naturally, have a high search volume, and are relevant to the GIF.

2. Don’t exaggerate with the number of tags

Yes, I know… I just told you to use relevant tags for your GIFs, and now I’m telling you to limit the number of tags you use. But to be fair, less is more. Consider your GIF tags to be meta data. While you want to include as many relevant search terms as possible, you're limited in terms of what will actually help you. GIPHY recommends no more than 10 tags per GIF and no more than 20 total. 

3. Monitor Your Competitors

If you're stuck for ways to tag your GIFs, go ahead and spy on what your competitors are doing! This does not necessarily mean your product competitors, though they can also provide you with some fantastic ideas. What I’m referring to are your topic competitors or those who compete for other tags that you use. For example, let’s take a look at the GIPHY tag "outrage." We'll just go ahead and click the first GIF that appears for that keyword. Once the page opens, you’ll see a lot more of tags that were included, and you can draw some inspiration from the ones listed. 

How to create a giphy brand channel

4. Make use of well-known brand names

People aren't typically going to search for your brand name on GIPHY. You should put your brand name and associated keywords on your GIFs if they receive a significant volume of monthly Google searches. Your specific brand name, brand name variations, slogans and taglines, or even keywords associated with your brand culture, might all be included here. Examine your social media accounts to observe how your followers are interacting with you there. Are there any phrases they use that you could include in your GIF marketing plan?

Wrapping up

It's very possible that you didn't even consider using GIPHY marketing for brand exposure until just a few moments ago, but it's never too late to start. As we explained thoroughly, GIF marketing is a terrific way to expose your company to the daily views of millions of people. Additionally, you may develop a successful GIF marketing approach by applying what you currently know about marketing. Remember that GIFs are a creative and entertaining method of marketing. So, enjoy yourself!

If you’re still not convinced on opening up your brand channel, let me tell you this: Giphy is on its way to becoming the largest content media hub. With its easy-to-use database and ongoing growth, you'll discover that this is an excellent way to promote your brand without spending crazy amounts on ads that will probably be considered annoying by the end user. You’ll soon see for yourself that people will promote your brand before you know it, that is if you use authentic and engaging GIFs for your brand, instead of that sales-y approach nobody can stand anymore. Don’t waste another second and create your GIPHY brand channel!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are GIPHY accounts free?

Yes, GIPHY accounts are free to create. With a GIPHY account, users can create and upload GIFs, access a library of GIFs, and search for GIFs with keywords. Additionally, users can also follow other users, save and share GIFs, and explore popular GIFs. GIPHY also offers a paid Artist Membership Program where users can submit their own GIFs and receive royalties for their work.

How do you get approved for GIPHY?

To get approved for GIPHY, you must first create an account and submit your GIFs for review. GIPHY reviews all GIFs for quality, and they must meet certain guidelines in order to be approved. Once your GIFs are submitted, they will be reviewed and you will be notified of the results. Additionally, GIPHY also offers a program where artists can submit GIFs and receive a one-time payment upon approval.

How long does GIPHY brand application take?

The GIPHY brand application process typically takes 1-2 weeks. Once the application is submitted, GIPHY will review it and reach out with their decision. Once approved, GIPHY will provide access to their Brand Portal where businesses can create, upload, and manage their GIFs. Additionally, businesses can also submit their own branded GIFs for consideration for GIPHY's Artist Partnership Program.