Facebook, in an update that was rolled out in February, has started allowing advertisers to use GIFs in their ads. That’s right, the Internet’s favorite animated image format will now be supercharging your campaigns.
Thanks to their immense success on Facebook Messenger and Twitter, it is clearly evident that GIFs are super-engaging, and people love them. Many of us have are self-proclaimed GIF-lords and have been using them to say things words cannot possibly convey. However, up until this update, their advertising potential remained unexplored.
If used right, GIFs can be a light, funny, and engaging way to get your message in front of your audiences.
What Are GIFs And Why They Rock
If you don’t already know, GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are animated image formats, which are quite similar to videos. The main difference is that they are usually smaller in length, and have no sound.
Using GIFs in ads offers a number of advantages:
- Just like any other visual form of communication, GIFs are easier to absorb, and bring in a lot more engagement as compared to text ads.
- As mentioned earlier, most GIFs are smaller in length and have no sound. At a time when about 85% of video views on Facebook are without sound, GIFs offer a unique advantage. Similarly, another study revealed that while brands are producing and sharing longer videos, the average user only watches a third of the total video length. This makes short GIFs a powerful and effective way of communicating with your prospects.
- With a plethora of images being shared daily on the various platforms, GIFs offer brands a chance to stand out, and engage their prospects with something unique and entertaining.
- Making GIFs is free and easy. In fact, you can even repurpose your existing videos into short GIFs using one of the many free tools available online.
Now that we have established that GIFs are the perfect addition to your Facebook ads arsenal, let us look at how you can make one, and include it in your Facebook ad.
Making Your First GIF
While there are a number of GIF making tools available online, GIPHY is particularly popular and user-friendly. The website boasts one of the biggest collection of GIFs on the Internet, along with a simple tool that allows users to make their own GIFs from videos.
Simply start by going to www.giphy.com, and click on the “create” options at the top right of the page. You will then see the following page on your screen:
As you can see, GIPHY allows you convert online and offline videos into GIFs, and even make a GIF using multiple photos or GIFs.
Once you have uploaded the video, you will be taken to an editing screen where you can select the start time and duration of the GIF. This is also a good time to remind you to make sure the end and beginning of your GIF are not abrupt.
After setting the start time and choosing the duration to a tenth of a second, you can proceed to decorate your GIF with captions, stickers, filters, and animations. You can use this feature to include a Call To Action (CTA) in the GIF. While it is advisable to keep the text to a bare minimum in the GIF, including a CTA can actually be extremely beneficial.
Next, you can add tags and a source URL to the GIF, before uploading it to GIPHY.
Once you click on the “upload to GIPHY” option, your GIF is ready and you will be able to download it, embed it, and share it as a link anywhere!
Now that your first GIF is ready, let’s turn it into a Facebook Ad.
Making a GIF Facebook Ad
Making a GIF ad on Facebook is quite similar to making a video ad. Simply go to the Facebook Power Editor and select the “create ad” option.
At this point, it will ask you to name your campaign and ad set. The screen will look something like the following:
Next, using the radio button, you will be able to choose between “image” and “video/slideshow”. Once you select “video/slideshow” another window will appear, which will have the option of uploading your GIF or including the link. If you include the link, you will be able to preview the result before publishing.
Finally, you can now write an amazing ad copy to accompany your amazing GIF ad. Make sure the copy aligns with the message in the GIF, and has a clear and concise CTA. If you need a copy to support the context of your GIF, this is your chance. It is also a great idea to include the CTA somewhere in the GIF in order to reinforce action from the user.
Once you are done with the ad copy, it is time to publish your first Facebook GIF ad. But before you do it, make sure you have your tracking in order. After all, measuring your success is just as important as achieving it.
Things To Remember For Best Results
While GIFs are highly engaging, there are certain best practices that you must follow to obtain the best results. These are pretty straightforward and don’t require a lot of additional effort, just a bit of proactive thinking.
- The quality of images in the GIF, or the quality of the video that you have converted into a GIF matter. The point of having a GIF in your ad is to have a more compelling creative. However, if the quality is poor, it will reflect in the engagement numbers.
- To ensure there are no technical glitches messing with your ad, Facebook recommends using a link ending in .GIF and keeping the file size of your uploads limited to 8 MB.
- While including a CTA in the GIF is recommended, it is also recommended that you keep the amount of text to a bare minimum. Let your visuals do the talking.
- It is also recommended to use a series of GIFs to tell your brand story. Doing so will ensure more engagement and possibly more following for your campaign. Not to forget, getting your message across through a series of GIFs is far easier than saying it all in 10 short seconds.
GIFs can be a powerful and quirky addition to your marketing campaigns. In fact, if previous engagement patterns are to be believed, GIFs have the potential of skyrocketing the engagement numbers of any social media campaign.