GIFs are the gift that keep on giving. Their very nature create highly shareable moments that spread throughout the internet, and lay the foundation of a multi-million dollar business that has yet to appear. If you’re producing content, it’s a good idea to consider how GIFs can be used to enhance your branding.
Razmig proved how GIFs can be used to increase organic traffic. They conducted an experiment where they posted GIFs of their video content around the web, and included no branding with the media. They postulated that if a GIF proves to be a great piece of content, someone will ask for the source. After their GIF caught on, site traffic rose from 5% referrals to 15%. If you’ve done your homework, and put the source video in the right place, you’ll see great results. There are millions of people around the internet following GIFs, and subscribing to subreddits devoted to reaction gifs, so there is an audience ready to have a conversation with, and around, your GIF content.
GIFs are so popular that many have created online databases just to make them easier to find and share. The highly popular startup Giphy has established a database that has made them a popular destination for many. They have implemented native GIF search for messaging through popular platforms like Facebook Messenger, Tinder, Twitter, and Slack, but they have yet to monetize the business.
Though Giphy has yet to make money, they are in the perfect place to launch their platform into a multi-million dollar business. The GIF giant recently raised $55 million in funding that has a future valuation of $300 million. Their goal is to one day sell promoted GIFs to companies, which could act the same way promoted Tweets appear in your Twitter feed and Facebook ads appear on your timeline. Companies would be able to sponsor categories or specific GIFs that will sit at the top of searches, giving users a chance to view and interact with branded content. These sponsorships become even more valuable when the GIFs are also available on every platform Giphy’s GIF search has been implemented on.
Giphy is even addressing the market for GIF creation by introducing the Giphy Cam mobile app. The new app allows users to create their own GIFs from recorded video, and also offers unique filters, which can be used in branding ventures. The app offered custom filters to coincide with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the new X-Files season, introducing an easy way for users to interact with brands while they use the Giphy Cam app.
As shareable and widespread as GIFs are today, Giphy is not a social media platform–but should it be? Turning Giphy into a social platform would push them into contention with Vine, which is starting to be used in social marketing campaigns. A comment feature would help add to the sharing aspect of the platform, and make branding more effective as users can converse and share right under the GIF. Adding a social element could be the key to unlocking the power of the GIF, and turn Giphy into a branding empire. A platform that works in a similar manner to Vine would be an easy success.
The Giphy website ranks among the top 500 most trafficked websites in the world. With their GIF search implemented over many different platforms, they are poised to hit the content marketing business in a big way. They have taken their time honing their craft, but it looks like it’s about to pay off.