Animated GIFs have dominated the world of online for some time now, going viral many times over. Pronounced “gif” or “jiff”, GIFs are often an essential tool for marketing and can add value to your brand in whichever way you choose to use them.
Anywhere there’s a message, there’s the chance to use a GIF. At VideoScribe, we use them in our social posts, our emails, and our website. We even use them between teams on our Slack channel!
This blog shares everything you need to know about what GIFs are, why you should be using them, and how you can create your own in just a few minutes. But before we get into the A+ GIF detail, let's start from the beginning…
What is an animated GIF?
A GIF (Graphical Interchange Format) is a series of images or soundless video that loop continuously without having to press play. Unlike video, animated GIFs don't use audio or voice-overs. Instead, they embrace color, movement, and animation, making them an effective way to attract viewers and interest in a short amount of time.
The first-ever GIF was created in 1987 by Steve Wilhite, an American computer scientist who was looking for a way to animate images in the smallest file size possible.
Now, the GIF is officially 30-something, and in the prime of its internet life. But why should you be using them?
Benefits of animated GIFs
It's the repetition that gives GIFs that familiar feeling, just like the beat of a song! And luckily for us, GIFs have come a long way since that very first moving airplane… Here are just some of the benefits of using GIFs.
GIFs are easy to consume
We all know how tough it is to capture someone’s attention online, especially when it’s for more than a minute or two. That’s why online video is a challenging format to master. The good news is that animated GIFs can act as a hybrid between still images and longer video content. This means your audience can engage with it much quicker.
Using GIFs can add personality and emotion
GIFs are great for adding humor to your messages and showcasing your brand’s personality. Not only will this display your fun side but adding emotion can also bring your customers closer to your brand and inspire them to connect with you as a business.
Sharing GIFs is easy
GIFs are getting easier and easier to share! In most cases, you can add your GIF to social posts or emails by simply uploading it like you would an image. You can search for and share GIFs to social channels straight from websites like giphy.com. Even Google has shareable GIFs in their own section under ‘Images’ (all you have to do is find your GIF and hit the share button!) A hint to how easy it actually is - we've simply copied and pasted all GIFs into this blog...
How to make an animated GIF
Creating your own GIFs opens up a world of possibilities. But first things first, think about what you want to create. Are you promoting a product? Are you creating a GIF from existing video content? Maybe you want to create a GIF for a friend from a series of photographs? Whatever the purpose, you need a selection of still images, or a pre-existing video, before you begin putting it all together.
When you have your assets ready, you can choose one of the many great online GIF maker tools that are super easy to use. And if you're particularly interested in transforming videos into animated GIFs, read our turning pre-existing video content into GIFs blog!
Ezgif lets you upload up to 2,000 image files (max size 100MB) to the GIF maker. Once the images are uploaded and you’ve created your GIF, you can customize it by resizing, cropping, reversing, adding captions, and more. But the best part is that this tool lets you create GIFs free of watermarks or attribution!
Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, GIFMaker features a simple ‘Control Panel’ allowing you to customize your GIF by changing the canvas size, speed of transitions, and the number of times the GIF should repeat. You can also add music to play along with your image if you’re uploading it to YouTube.
Imgflip enables you to create a GIF from multiple images and also turn a short video clip into a GIF. Simply upload your images, arrange them in the right order and adjust the speed. Click generate when you've got it just right. But if you want to export your final GIF without a watermark, you’ll need to be a Pro member.
So now that you have your new, super engaging GIF, why not add it to your VideoScribe creations?
Using GIFs in VideoScribe
Although you don't have the option to download your project as a GIF in VideoScribe, you can still easily add GIFs to your videos.
To add a GIF from the VideoScribe library, simply click the Add New Image icon and open the drop-down menu under Select a Category. Scroll down and select the GIFs (online) folder. Remember, because this is an online folder you will need to be connected to the internet to access it! Click on any of the GIFs to add them to your canvas.
You can also import a GIF that you found somewhere else or one that you created in another software. This works the same as importing one of your own images into VideoScribe. Simply click the Add New Image icon and go to the My Images tab at the top right of the Add Image window. From here you can choose to import an image or GIF From my Computer or From a URL. Browse your desktop files or enter the URL to add your GIF to the canvas.
There you have it! You can see for yourself how engaging GIFs are, so imagine how well they can work for you... Remember, movement attracts attention. Now, go get GIFing 🎉