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A GIF for B2B Marketing?

By Zachary Smith.

When a still piece of onscreen art won’t convey the brand completely, some creative thinkers looked to the past for a concept that is part of lead generation’s future.

GIFs had become, in the past decade, an antiquated format on a playing field bustling with YouTube, Instagram, Limelight and Google Play. But recently, trend-defying marketers started repurposing the flaming guitars, animated kittens and blooper clips of someone falling down and are finding practical uses for the GIF.

Today, GIFs have found new life in campaigns for technology titans and startups, alike. Its resurgence stems from an online environment that is highly competitive where engaging an audiences as quickly and completely matters more now than at any time in sales, marketing and education.

Dell’s GIF Strategy
Look no further than Dell for an example of the repurposed trend. The computer maker’s convertible project is a prime example of how effective employing GIFs in a marketing campaign can be. The creative team needed to launch a promotional campaign for the Dell XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook. A convertible book is a combination of a laptop and a highly functional notebook.

And here is the result, from a 2014 Marketing Sherpa report. Dell’s use of the GIF in their online campaign yielded a 109 percent profit.

GIFs are easy and efficient to produce.
Designers introduced to us the Graphics Interchange Format in 1987. Initially, the format was utilized for simple images like graphics, logos and pictures that contained solid color. Their small file size were ideal for computers of the time. Eventually, GIFs evolved into short animated clips for entertainment, messaging and marketing. As email came into play, their small file size made them ideal attachments for emails.

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In a 2014 report from Direct Marketing, Matt Caldwell, VP Creative Marketing for Yesmail Interactive, offered his advice for incorporating GIFs into campaigns.

“The biggest benefit of GIFs is [that] they load, they run, there’s no pressing play, [and] there’s no waiting for buffering,” Caldwell says. “For the most part, they’re pretty straight forward and simple.”

Though reluctance to look to the past for a new marketing asset persists, GIFs in B2B marketing don’t appear to be a “here today, gone tomorrow” trend. Slowly, but surely, their repurposed life will become more commonplace.

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