From dramatic TV show character reactions to cute baby animal clips, GIFs are everywhere in our online world today! They can be used to show your emotion in a text message conversation or posted online by a company to hop on a trend. But how are GIFs made, and where can we find them? Let’s take a deep dive into the world of GIFs!
Why Are GIFs So Effective?
GIFs can be incredibly effective from a marketing standpoint. They are becoming increasingly popular online in places like blogs, social media, and with general marketing content.
Appropriate shared GIFs can be a bridge to help connect with your audience and put an often-humorous spin on content. They are incredibly effective as a form of visual content, acting as a surprising, attention-grabbing, and refreshing break from text. However, it can sometimes be difficult to find the ideal GIF that fits your content, tone, and intent. Using the wrong GIF in your marketing efforts can come across as offhand or even tone deaf if you don’t know your audience or clients well!
GIFs don’t necessarily need to be sourced from viral videos. They can also be animations, moving words, or symbols. While there are plenty of great sources for pre-made GIFs (which we’re about to delve into!), custom-made GIFs are the most personal way to get your brand’s message and intent across.
Nowadays, you can easily find pre-made GIFs online without knowing how to create GIFs or knowing the name of the GIF. We have gathered a list of GIF search engines where you can discover the latest, or the most trendy types of GIFs.
GIPHY is arguably one of the most popular places to get GIFs online — in fact, it is often known as the “Google for GIFs!” GIPHY provides more than one billion GIFs daily and caters to hundreds of millions of users. Their services have been integrated with various messaging apps and even includes an API to serve different professional needs and marketing styles.
Though the GIPHY channel is one of the most well-known image hosting services out there–especially for marketing–there are still plenty of other sources to pick awesome design content from!
Reddit is an online forum platform mostly known for news-sharing, opinions, and discussions; but it also serves as a great source for GIFs! Some amazing sources for animated images include subreddits like /r/gif, /r/Gifs, /r/reactiongifs, /r/slygifs, and /r/WastedGifs.
These specific discussion forums make Reddit especially useful for finding topical or pop culture-related GIFs for animated and humorous marketing posts and client communications. As most of the engaging posts include discussion, it can be a place to chat with others about the meme and see what people think about it. Reddit can also help you find that perfect, awfully specific GIF for your personal content strategy or marketing style!
Imgur is a broad image hosting website stocked by users, meaning that it has an abundance of original content for those who do not mind spending extra time digging. Beyond that, the site is a great resource to skip directories and find the image sources for your GIFs.
Imgur is similar to Reddit in that you are able to discover highly original content that can help B2C content creators and social media marketers connect with internet users. The best marketers create original and situational content based on clients’ individual humor, level of quirkiness, and needs.
Though Reaction GIFs is outdated compared to sites like Imgur or GIPHY, it is still a great resource for a bunch of situational and reaction GIFs, as its name suggests! The site features an advanced “I am feeling” search filter option for you to establish the exact situation and emotion, and “My answer is” to find the perfect response. Reaction GIFs also captions and tags each image with the different aspects of the GIF.
Reaction GIFs is not as advanced as other GIF sites, but is a solid choice if you ever find yourself needing to find a good reaction GIF quickly (whether that be for a social media post or just a witty retaliation to a friend’s text!).
The only surefire way to find the most original GIFs is by creating one yourself; this is where Animation Desk comes in the picture! Animation Desk is an app that allows original marketers to create one-of-a-kind storyboards and animations. Short animations and video footage can be easily converted into GIFs! Since this creator tool is geared towards beginners, marketers need not worry about not having advanced video-making or animating skills to make their own GIFs — Animation Desk makes the process easy!
The app is easy-to-use and beginner-friendly—it provides many different animation tools and features for marketers to expand their creative horizons! These include an extensive brush library, export options, as well as an overall intuitive interface.
- Animate on phone & tablet
- Simple, intuitive, and fun!
- Free for download
Animate and showcase your creativity.Learn More
Gfycat is another great GIF-hosting resource. The site’s objective is to bridge HTML5 video and GIFs by providing both resources, facilitating quicker delivery and extended playback choices. Though it is a comprehensive image hosting site with a variety of categories, Gfycat’s search function is in need of an update. Regardless, its hosting capabilities mean that it has plenty of high-quality GIFs.
The navigation on each of Gfycat’s image pages is also comprehensive yet easy to use. The site makes it simple to embed, link, download, or share any of its images.
Imgflip is better suited for finding memes and funny images rather than GIFs, but its abundance of amusing content makes it a valuable asset for marketers and social media reaction image enthusiasts. Many of Imgflip’s humorous memes are in GIF format, and it features many funny home videos.
Imgflip does watermark all of its content, which could potentially become an issue for using GIFs in original marketing content or strategy.
Tenor, originally called “Riffsy,” is the business that created the Gig Keyboard and then reinvented itself as Tenor. Tenor is regarded as GIPHY’s main competitor; both sites are quite similar in terms of layout and search functionality.
Tenor and GIPHY’s search results are quite different, and the sites will provide different GIFs for the same search. For example, a sample search of the keyword “Friday” on GIPHY will turn up a “The Office” image first, while Tenor features a cat with its head sticking out of a car window.
So if you are looking to freshen up your blog posts or Instagram stories with some cool images and effects, Tenor might be a great choice!
Premade GIFs are amazing for general content and marketing efforts, and there is an abundance of sites out there for you to find the perfect one. However, creating GIFs with apps like Animation Desk from scratch may allow you to make personalized and relatable GIFs for maximum engagement and connect with your consumers and clients. The effort you put into creating your content will inevitably pay off and translate to a better client relationship!