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GIFs are making a comeback as engaging and fun marketing tools. So this year, be sure to include them in your marketing plans. 

First, let's define a GIF.

Put simply, a GIF (graphics interchange format) is a digital image format similar to JPEGs and PNG files. GIFs can be used for still pictures, but GIFs' popularity stems from their ability to support simple animations.  

GIFs bring the right amount of fun to your content while they enrich your messages. GIFs grab hold of readers' attention, keeping them engaged from the first sentence of your communication to the last.

Moreover, GIFs are particularly helpful in grabbing attention in our over-stimulating digital world, where consumers are regularly drawn in a variety of different directions... and can be easily distracted.


Animated GIFs hold multiple images that automatically appear one after another, creating an effect that blends a picture and video clip. GIFs only feature 256 colors, compared to the millions seen in today's high-definition pictures and video.

Moreover, animated GIFs don't support sound (that's why so many use written text to complement the image), giving them a look and feel that's unique and more than a little retro.

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image of Marissa Aydlett

Marissa Aydlett is vice-president of Marketing at Appboy, a global provider of intelligent CRM for mobile.

LinkedIn: Marissa Aydlett