GIPHY has slowly evolved into a frontrunner in its industry, with it now being an essential feature in almost all popular social media platforms. But how did GIPHY start, and have brands overlooked it?
Found in 2013, GIPHY was created with the idea of increasing the amount of visual communication. What started as 15,000 GIFs on a website, has gone on to see over a billion GIFs created. Since its release, GIFs and stickers from GIPHY can be shared in social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The way we communicate is constantly evolving. Remember trying to shorten your sentences?
R U OK M8?
I’m not sure we were.
Since the introduction of emojis, gifs and memes, conversations can rely solely on using visuals. At SXSW 2018, GIPHY founder, Alex Chung, said “GIFs are the LEGOs of visual communication. Before, we had film to convey human emotion, but now we can convey emotion in just six seconds.”
But who’s the target audience? Gen Z and Millennials are known for their lack of attention span meaning GIFs are the perfect format for capturing and obtaining their attention through relatable or humorous visuals. Both generations are arguably visual expressionists, with their frequent use of GIFs and emojis. But their uses have different meanings for different people, with each GIF allowing the user to freely express their emotion, visually. I guess you could say that it’s more impactful than a simple text message.
With Millennials and Gen Z representing more than 65% of the global population, brands are looking at new ways to get closer to them and GIFs could be the perfect opportunity to do it. Brands can use them as a way to reinforce or align their own tone of voice with that of their audience.
Why should you tap in?
By creating GIFs, brands, small or large, can connect with their audiences on a more personal level. It makes you more relatable and adds a human element to the content you upload. It gives your brand a personality, and is visually aesthetic. Moving image is eye-catching, meaning users could be more inclined to engage with the content behind the stickers.
When evaluating the numbers and reach of the platform, it is clear to see why brands are interested in progressing their GIPHY profile. Here are some examples of the reach that a select number of the top 100 brands are receiving:
Apple/Apple Music – 1200 GIF uploads // Overall Views – 1.1 billion
Google – 539 GIF uploads // Overall Views – 2.7 billion views
Coca-Cola – 78 GIF uploads // Overall Views – 200.7 million views
Disney – 1800 GIF uploads // Overall Views – 3.6 billion views
NFL – 32,400 GIF uploads // Overall Views – 35.1 billion
The key to brand GIFs however, are the tags. It’s important to have an idea of how you want your audiences, and your brand, to use your GIFs.
Do you want others to see them?
Do you want others to use them?
Are there key cultural moments your brand fits into?
Well, create descriptive tags. It will almost definitely increase the chances of your brand coming up in the search bar. It’s also important to consider how your brand can tap in to cultural events. The more relatable and current your GIFs are, the more uses and views they will receive.
Unlike most social platforms, GIPHY allows creators and brands to buy advertising space on their platform specifically for their created GIFs. This includes appearing on the home page, inevitably resulting in more views and shares. But who goes directly to GIPHY for GIFs? With the platform arguably still on the rise, there are still potential problems.
What are the problems?
Although it has 700 million active users in the world, the website is mainly used for entertainment. Depending on the scale of your brand, it difficult to predict the amount of users that will actively go to GIPHY, or even Instagram, and type in your brand name specifically compared to say, a cultural moment.
But can GIPHY work on its own? Take views, for example, you could have millions of views on your brand GIPHY, but not know which platform the views have come from. Let’s say your GIF has 40 views, only 1 of the 40 could be on GIPHY with the rest scattered between different platforms.
This also raises the question over the value of a view as they don’t necessarily constitute the use of your GIF. How can you maintain a human connection with your audience if you don’t know which platform your GIFs are performing on?
But with Facebook acquiring GIPHY, are these problems going to be addressed?
How can your brand use it effectively?
As a platform, GIPHY is not made to work on its own. It cannot overtake the likes of Facebook or Instagram. But it can help elevate your brand, establish meaningful conversations with your audience and turn them into advocates. GIFs are easy to consume and highly visual which makes them memorable. They speak the internet’s language, tap into the emotions and quickly tell a story. Let’s be honest, they’re cooler than static images as well. But more importantly, they are mobile-friendly and multi-platform use. GIFs are everywhere. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp.
So…do you want to be everywhere?
Psst… We couldn’t write about GIPHY without testing the platform ourselves and decided to create SHARE’s very own stickers. Check them out on GIPHY or type ‘sharecreative’ when looking for a GIF on Instagram Story and start SHARE-ing 👀