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If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media, you’ve likely encountered numerous GIFs. This unique form of content is extremely popular with consumers and brands alike, and you can capitalize on the trend by making custom GIFs to use on your website.
Here’s what you need to know about these “moving images” and how to make a GIF of your own.
What is a GIF?
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, and it’s technically a file format, like a JPG or PNG. Essentially, it’s an image that’s been encoded with multiple frames, so it appears as a short “video” clip that plays on repeat.
GIFs can be made from all sorts of images. Some GIFs are animated cartoons, while others are made from real videos or even TV shows or movies. This flexibility makes GIFs a useful tool for a wide range of purposes, whether you’re making a joke on social media, or illustrating a how-to post on your blog.
Should you use GIFs?
According to IPG Media Labs, people enjoy using GIFs for a few core reasons:
- GIFs allow people to express emotions quickly and more effectively than with words alone.
- GIFs provide an easy way to make pop culture references.
- GIFs are a key part of the larger meme culture that’s taken over social media.
Many brands have started using GIFs for the same reasons, and you may be wondering if you should use them, too. To figure this out, you’ll want to consider your brand and target audience.
GIFs are most popular among younger generations such as Gen Z and millennials, so if your brand caters to this audience, there’s definitely a place for GIFs in your strategy. Further, if your brand is hip and modern, it makes sense to include GIFs in your marketing.
That’s not to say brands targeting an older audience can’t use GIFs. Remember: GIFs can display any type of image. So, for example, you can find a GIF from a TV show that your audience would recognize.
How to make a GIF
For instance, if you want to turn a snippet of a video file or YouTube video into a GIF, GIPHY offers a free GIF-creation tool, where you can capture the clip and add text, stickers, filters, or hand-drawn markups. This could be useful if, for instance, you have a how-to video and want to include short visuals in a blog post on the same topic. This tool also lets you combine still images to make a slideshow-style GIF.
Another option is to make GIFs with an app such as GIPHY Cam. This program works similarly to Snapchat, allowing you to capture short videos with your phone, add filters and stickers, then export it into GIF format.
How to add a GIF to your WordPress.com website
Once you’ve created your very own GIF, you can embed the file into a page or post on your WordPress.com site, the same way you would a regular image.
To start, navigate to the page where you want to place the file. Select the (+) Insert Content icon in the editing menu, then upload the GIF into your Media Library, either by uploading it off your computer or pulling it from a URL. Then all that’s left to do is press Insert, and the GIF will appear on the page. It’s that easy!
If GIFs are new to you, it may seem daunting to incorporate them into your website or especially to create your own. However, adding them to your content is easy and will make your site look even more up-to-date.
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