Research has shown that the average American spends 24 hours a week online. If you want to catch a potential customer's eye while they're on their computer, tablet or smartphone, you're going to have to work hard to stand out, or you'll just get lost in the homogenous sea of social media and email in which the vast majority of consumers spend their days submerged.
The best way to distinguish yourself? Use GIFs, author Syed Balkhi suggests in an article for Entrepreneur.com.
According to Balkhi, the humble GIF -- short for Graphics Interchange Format -- isn't just for snarky teens sending text messages to their friends. It's also for savvy businesses that want to stand out in a sea of digital sameness.
"GIFs allow us to express complex messages in a matter of seconds," Balkhi says. "In fact, according to a survey published in Time, nearly two-thirds of Millennials polled said GIFs communicated their thoughts and feelings better than words. And that makes them a powerful strategy for companies that want to connect and engage with their target audience online."
An obvious place to use GIFs is on social media. "When users are scrolling through their social media feeds, a simple photo and text post may not grab their attention, but you can make your marketing stand out by using GIFs," notes Balkhi, who suggests browsing the built-in GIF libraries on Facebook and Twitter for an affordable option. "Create a post with a funny GIF that's relatable to your audience and relevant to your business, or have fun in your comment section reacting to comments from users with a fun 'thank you' GIF, for instance."
GIFs also can be effective in email. "Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to speak to your target audience, but consumers today are inundated with a ton of email marketing messages," Balkhi concludes. "Adding GIFs to your marketing will make your emails more interactive, which in turn will boost engagement from your subscribers."
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