Say what you want about Facebook and its algorithm, but it knows what I like.

Lately, when I log on, I’m seeing a lot of recipes in GIF form for cheesy, creamy meals that can’t be good for the waistline. You may have seen them yourselves; the most popular from what I gather are from a website called ‘Proper Tasty’, with the moniker featured at the end of every recipe.

After salivating over some kind of cheesy lasagne BBQ taco thing, I dug a little deeper and found Proper Tasty is actually a BuzzFeed property with almost 9 million likes on its Facebook page. Also recently launched is Nifty, which works on a similar premise to Proper Tasty but features arts and crafts projects.

 

 Proper Tasty is actually a BuzzFeed property

 

Nifty is just shy of a month old yet has already amassed over 2 million likes on Facebook. Not surprising for company and content creator with BuzzFeed’s resources, right?

It’s a fair argument, but what’s most intriguing is that again BuzzFeed is at the cutting edge of new media consumption and digital technology. As well as using Facebook to grow its audience, BuzzFeed has also made particular use of Pinterest to grow the brands and encourage users to share.

And, with Pinterest set to expand its ad offerings to the United Kingdom and beyond, marketers are in a great position to add creative visuals to their inbound campaigns through GIFs to attract and entertain targeted audiences.

What do you think about gifs when it comes to marketing? Do you use them and are they more effective than video content? Let me know in the comments section below.

Pin the know

Pinterest is updating its ad offerings for brands to help them drive sales in an effort to match the revenues seen by other image-based social networks such as Snapchat and Instagram.

Pinterest is relatively small when compared against the main leading social networks but it’s still a hugely effective way to reach a targeted audience; especially females, with 44 per cent of online women said to use the site.

To prove the company’s serious about what it wants to offer Pinterest has been touring the UK holding workshops with brands and media agencies in an effort to show what it can provide. What’s interesting is how Pinterest is set to position itself, acknowledging that people use it to save images and plan ahead.

That puts Pinterest in a unique position toward the end of the buying cycle, according to Adele Cooper, Pinterest’s UK country manager. “If the ultimate goal is to drive a sale you can literally track if they put an item in their basket, if they complete a purchase. The middle and the end of the funnel is where we play most strongly,” she says.

 

How To GIF Your Inbound Marketing Campaigns A Visual Boost

 

“Consumers tend to use Facebook to show what they have done in the past, Twitter is very much what they are doing right now and Pinterest is future planning.” Pinterest is also offering conversion pixels similar to those seen on Facebook and other networks.

These plans appear to be rolling out at a good time for Pinterest, with a lot of people turning their ire onto Instagram because of its recent algorithm change, which is said to put more influencer posts at the top and less user-created content lower down the feed.

Unusually The Guardian has devoted an entire column to the change, calling it “disturbing” and realising that “I’m the product, not the owner”. Is that really a fair assessment, though?

Do you use Pinterest and Instagram for targeted marketing? What have the results been like and how have they helped you make an impact with your audience? Let me know below!

A GIF that keeps on giving

Not really, as far as we’re concerned. Nobody’s forcing people to use social networks and the revenues that they’re pulling in suggest that the appetite for what the likes of Facebook and Twitter are doing means that people aren’t put off.

And, in an advertising sense, there’s still not much better than a paid social campaign for scientifically targeting the people you want to target and interact with. And brands are discovering that GIFs are a better way to interact with that audience than, say, a pricey video marketing campaign combined with social sharing.

Because it’s not just BuzzFeed experimenting and finding success with a GIF content strategy. Other huge brands are playing with GIFs including Coca-Cola, whose #GIFtheFeeling campaign encourages people to customise and share GIFs via a GIF maker about their feelings toward the brand.

And though a small portion of the internet hijacked the campaign for a few cheap laughs, the initial results and theory behind GIF marketing is very sound.

 

via GIPHY

 

GIFs are typically very short and available to view on all major social networks. Younger audiences have been sharing them as a way to express their feelings – usually more emotive than the emoji – and catch fire socially in a way that standard images and memes do.

If they don’t fall into the r/fellowkids trap, that is… Twitter has also introduced GIF buttons, with the social network underlining their popularity by saying over 100 million GIFs were shared in tweets and direct messages over the course of 2015.

Research suggests that content with images included drives up to 650 per cent more engagement than text-only posts. Whether that figure is accurate remains to be seen, but there’s little denying the power images have when it comes to inbound creative marketing.

Investing in GIFs to reach out to a constantly online, mobile audience can be a breath of fresh air for any brand. Putting aside some budget for an extra social boost on visual networks such as Pinterest and Instagram can also pay off in the long-term.

 

If you’d like to find out more about creative imagery and social media, and how using them for inbound marketing can help your business grow speak to us today.