How do you deliver an engaging message in a matter of seconds? Many businesses seem to have found the answer — with GIF marketing. First introduced to users in the early days of the internet, this bite-sized format has rapidly taken hold in the world of marketing among some of the largest enterprises.
Think about fintech, for one. On Venmo, users have the option to send a fun, lighthearted GIF along with their payment. And Google has a stake in animated graphics with its acquisition of Tenor, an online GIF search engine with 300 million monthly users. It’s a digital language users love that has been proven to grow key metrics. And it’s even better with personalization.
But how do you create a custom GIF for every customer? When should you? We’ll show you the use cases that work best with personalized GIF marketing — and tips for engaging and converting customers with these engaging visuals.
Why Use Personalized GIFs in Your Marketing?
GIFs, at their core, speak to our biological nature. We’re naturally attuned to motion. The “freeze response” makes us stop and pay attention to anything that’s moving.
Because of this, a moving image — like a GIF — is much more effective than a static image in getting your audience’s attention. Are you sending your customers a reminder? Want them to click on a CTA? GIFs are one of your best options.
And when you can successfully capture attention, other metrics increase as a result: CTR, conversions, time spent with your content and more. We’ll talk about this in detail below, but it all comes back to engaging your audience.
But if GIFs are already so expressive, why should personalization be added to the mix?
It goes back to something pretty basic there, too. People like themselves. They want to be greeted by name and given highlights or recommendations just for them.
Essentially, people like personalization — and it’s had a massive impact on their buying behavior. Over 70% of consumers expect personalization from companies. And communicating via GIFs is no exception. Combining this playful, animated format with the power of personalization creates a visually stunning GIF that speaks to your viewer’s interests.
Try Personalized GIFs in your own marketing strategy to more effectively engage your audience. Ready to get started?
When To Use Personalized GIFs for Content Marketing
You can liven up touchpoints throughout the customer lifecycle with eye-catching Personalized GIFs. So where should you add these personalized moments in your customer’s journey? When do they work best to drive engagement and conversions?
Here are some examples of when Personalized GIFs can best supplement your content marketing efforts and increase CTR and conversions.
Animated Video Thumbnails for Email
If you’ve decided to embed a video in an email, try an animated thumbnail instead of a static image to give viewers a preview of what they’re about to watch. It’s more effective in capturing your customer’s attention and encourages them to click to watch.
Part of the reason this is great for email marketing is because the GIF will play right in the email.
Take a look at this Personalized GIF leveraged by an investment company. It replaced their static video thumbnail to increase click-through rate.
Does it work? Yes!
Using Personalized GIFs as video thumbnails has increased CTR by 5x compared to generic, static thumbnails
Personalized GIFs To Boost Social Sharing
Help your customers celebrate their big wins in a way that’s easy to share on social media. This works for anything from recapping their latest fitness goals reached or letting them revisit trips they took over the past year.
Imagine you’re an active gamer. Beyond high scores and ranking among the top of scoreboards, badges are another coveted source of bragging rights.
And by making each one personalized, animated badges become even more shareable. They reflect each gamer’s unique scores, streaks and more, making it irresistible to show off their wins or laugh about their losses with friends and followers.
GIFs can clearly explain product or service features and benefits within a few frames. You might show your customers how easy it is to use your tech with a short animated demo. Explain your offerings to future customers with a GIF so they immediately understand what makes your business the best.
The above example isn’t personalized (though it shows a thumbnail for a Personalized Video being created), but it’s easy to add personalization or even Living Data to further increase relevance.
By swapping screenshots and lengthy paragraphs for an animated demo, marketers can clearly show prospective customers how easy it is to use their product, driving clicks and conversions.
When explainer GIFs are personalized for your customers, they don’t just explain the details at a glance — they explain it in a way that makes sense for that specific customer.
One example of data-driven content helpful for explaining something important? Remind your customer of a deadline they don’t want to miss.
Celebrations With a Personal Touch
Another great opportunity for personalized GIF marketing? Celebrating a special occasion like it should be — personally. Take the time when special occasions arise to give your customers extra attention, including:
- Your customer’s birthday
- A holiday
- Their customer anniversary
- A special deal you’re giving them
Including a personalized GIF is a fun bonus that truly wows your audience.
Bonus: Personalized GIFs for Internal Comms
It’s not marketing, but it sure is part of branding.
How you communicate with your employees matters. Visual. Short. Personalized. All the things that make Personalized GIFs effective in marketing personalization work well with HR messages, too.
Use Personalized GIFs for recruiting, interview reminders, onboarding welcomes and more.
Best Practices for Personalized GIF Marketing
We know Personalized GIF marketing is effective, but there are certain steps you can take to ensure you’re using these GIFs to their full potential. Here are our top tips for successfully leveraging Personalized GIFs in your brand communications.
Your GIF Needs To Work Without Sound
Unlike a video, a GIF won’t include sound. Swap voiceovers with snappy text or descriptive images to make sure your message is clear.
Keep It Short
GIFs are popular because they satisfy our need for quick pieces of content. A long GIF defeats the purpose.
To keep your GIF short, make sure you don’t include too many frames. It will ensure your GIF results in a smaller image file size, making rendering faster in the future.
Use Smart Personalization
We know personalization works. Nearly 80% of consumers say they’re more likely to repurchase when they receive personalized brand communications.
Even when you opt for super-short content, you can still add a personal touch to delight your customers — but make sure you’re doing it right. Think about what customer data you can leverage to add the most value to your message.
Want to add a human touch? Try greeting your viewer by name to spark their interest and make a good first impression. Customize it by crafting an animated message that speaks to their unique needs.
For instance, if your customer has expressed interest in a mortgage, let them know you can help with buying their dream house.
Personalized GIFs not only make for engaging content — they create meaningful messages that resonate with your audience.
Make Sure It Seamlessly Loops
To level up your GIF game, double check that the end of your GIF seamlessly transitions to the beginning to create a smooth flow. A choppy GIF appears less polished, which isn’t what you’re going for.
To see what it looks like in action, take a look at this creative looped video.
Tip: For inspiration, check out #perfectloops on TikTok. The trend has amassed over 27 million views.
Keep It Simple
It’s important to be mindful of file size when creating your GIF.
Anywhere around 60 KB is ideal so it can load properly, just as a static picture would. If your GIF starts to stray beyond basic colors, you’ll start using up your KBs much faster. Just take a look at the numbers.
- Solid backgrounds take ~40 KB for every second
- Gradient backgrounds take ~350 KB for every second
- Complex videos take 0.5 MB for every second
And even though GIFs leverage animation, you don’t have to animate every element. Keep your background simple. Only animate what you really need to.
Did you notice the simple color scheme? Probably not. The viewer’s eyes are naturally drawn to the animated graphics that engage the viewer.
Pay Attention to the First Frame
Not everyone has the latest email platform. For your customers who use Outlook 2007-2010 or 2013-2016, your GIF won’t be animated. Instead, they’ll see the first frame displayed as an image. So you should make sure the first frame makes sense as a fixed picture.
Tip: Your first frame doesn’t need to be placed at the beginning. Because GIFs loop, your first frame can be placed anywhere. If your middle frame looks best, you should start the animation there.
Deliver Better Business Results With Personalized GIF Marketing
With these best practices in your back pocket, you’re ready to leverage GIF marketing for your own business. Who are you looking to send your Personalized GIF to?
If you have just a few customers on your radar, it’s possible to DIY. But if you want to wow hundreds of thousands or even millions, you need a fast and simple way to add personalized data to your GIF.
We can help. Along with Personalized Video, our platform can render Personalized GIFs and Personalized Infographics at scale. It’s self-serve, if you want to handle your own campaigns, or we can take care of it for you. Personalized GIFs are a great add-on to a Personalized Video campaign, but as you saw in the examples above, they work well as stand-alones, too…
If it’s GIFs you want, all we can say is…