Here’s one way to use animated GIFs to spice up your marketing campaign

Austin, Texas-based startup Cinegif is an online service that helps brands incorporate high quality GIFs into their marketing campaigns. The platform aims to be an all-inclusive service for creating, editing, storing and tracking images for marketing campaigns. Think of it as a DIY way to turn video into GIFs and paste them into email blasts, banner ads, sales material or blog posts.

Buzzfeed and Tumblr may have pioneered the use of the soundless moving image files known as “GIFs” in popular “listicles” and memes, more and more brands are embracing them as a quick and dirty way to liven up online content and advertising. Denny’s Diner has an official company Tumblr page that is mostly made up of wacky GIFs about waffles and pancakes. And Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer even used GIFs  in the company’s official press release about Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr.

“We found that moving images get up to four times as many clicks as still images,” says Graham McFarland, CEO of Cinegif. “There was a demand from creative professionals who said ‘we need a better way to deploy animated GIFs in our marketing campaigns.’”

How it works:

While there are plenty of other platforms that can be used to create GIFs, (Adobe’s Photoshop being the most popular one) Cinegif’s value comes from the platform’s ability to compress high-quality GIFs into manageable sizes, without sacrificing the image quality.  It also provides valuable data analytics to track the performance of each GIF, including number of views, clicks, cursor hover stats and more.

Here’s a video explaining how the service works:

Cinegif’s GIF patented GIF creation technology also allows GIF images to be combined with other elements such as hyperlinks and still images, in a new rich media format called “FIG.” Once created, a FIG file can be placed across many different spaces using an embed code. FIGs are also readily optimized for mobile viewing, unlike Adobe Flash. McFarland says this is a crucial time and money saver for companies, as they can now create and track marketing campaigns in house, as well as respond quickly to real-time marketing opportunities.

Who’s using it?

Currently, most brands and small businesses are using Cinegif to create display advertising and marketing materials. HP is using Cinegif as part of its traveling tradeshow booth in Canada to create instant GIFs of its booth visitors, and the Austin Chronicle is using it to promote live events, such as this one below:

Check out more examples of marketing materials using FIG files here.

Future plans:

While the service is being used less in social media, McFarland says the company is developing special code to incorporate the service into building Facebook ads. He says it is also planning to introduce even more analytics options to its GIF marketing platform.

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