I’m challenging you to get giffy
Most consumer-focused marketing tactics get absorbed into B2B campaigns eventually, for better or for worse.
Have a rummage around the internet and see what you can find that’s followed the path from B2C to B2B – lipdubs, flashmobs, augmented reality, virtual reality, gamification, sponsored tweets, sponsored apps, sponsored bloggers and many more have been appropriated by B2B marketers to help them achieve their objectives.
But one, so far, has been left alone. I’m talking about the gif.
The history of gifs
For those yet to have immersed themselves in the gif universe, here’s some quick background information:
The Graphics Interchange Format was introduced in 1987 as a format for web images that also supports animation. Well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of colour, gifs are now used for moving images where video isn’t supported natively, such as in email, banner ads, profile pictures or where a small file size is required. Also, they loop, which is cool to look at.
Following so far? Now let’s look at the main uses of gifs...
People love kittens, and they look awesome in gifs. Go have a gander at bit.ly/kittengifs if you don’t believe me. Then send one to a friend to cheer them up.
Falling over, bumping into things, falling off things and bumping into each other. The looping effect helps with the comedy. Here's a good example:
3. Awesome film loops
Otherwise known as cinemagraphs. Gorgeous, high-res gifs of a moment in a movie or TV show. Blow your mind at bit.ly/cinemagifs.
4. Expressing emotion
Now none of us wear t-shirts with slogans on them, we have to express ourselves in other ways. Check out bit.ly/PRgifs to see what I mean (and how I feel).
5. Making terrible websites
Rotating guitars, flaming torches, spinning globes, and animated envelopes all look great, if it was still the early 90s. But it isn't. Learn what not to do at bit.ly/terriblesite.
Gifs in B2B
But I’m yet to see a B2B campaign that uses gifs. Why haven’t you done one yet? We’ve all agreed countless times that consumer tactics work in business situations. We’re all people, and people buy from other people.
And we all like gifs, and kittens.
There’s even an awards ceremony – the .GIFYs – that celebrate the internet’s best gifs. How great would one of those look on your mantelpiece? I’m going to convince the bigwigs at B2B Marketing to include a category for best gif in its fancy-pants awards.
To give you a head start at winning, I’m setting you a challenge right now. Go and make a gif and integrate it into your marketing campaign. I don’t care what it’s of, how you activate it, or who sees it – include it in an email campaign, pop it on your website, or liberally sprinkle gifs through your social media channels.
Just give it a go, and see how it feels.
Once you’ve done it, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @marketingb2b and @jonsilk. Tell me what you’ve done, and why. I’ll pick the best attempts (or the worst) and dedicate a future magazine column to them. Just think of the exposure, and the kudos you’d receive from colleagues when they read about your gif-based adventures.
Go forth and get giffy.