Facebook recently conducted an internal study (unpublished) that showed simple animated GIF ads on Facebook and Instagram have the highest engagement and click through rates compared to any other ad type. The reason for this is that they are very simple eye-catching ads that allow you to get a message across quickly to your target audience. They live somewhere in-between a static image and a video.
In their case study Facebook categorized different types of GIF ads and showed examples of animated GIFs that had highest engagement. The ad types were broken out for Holiday ads but the same principles can be applied to any type of ad for any occasion.
The top reasons they recommend using animated GIFs are:
- Catch users attention
- Quickly tell a story or describe and offer
- Achieve Higher Click Through Rates (CTR)
- Inexpensive to produce (CTR)
- Easily change your messaging more frequently
We have broken out the examples that follow with explanations so that you can use them as a guide for your next ad campaigns.
Example One: Fun With Boxes
The first ad, shown below, is from Feroldi’s and their ad is called “Fun with Boxes”. They are using holiday specific visuals in the animation below. You can see how they are able to show a lot of different products and also show that they have free shipping in one concise GIF.
This is how Feroldi’s complete ad appears on a user’s mobile phone:
Example Two: Leveraging Price
The next example is from a company called Lucky Shrub. In this GIF they are able to able to showcase a variety of price ranges, discounts, and special offers in one simple animated GIF.
Here is how Lucky Shrub’s complete ad appears on a user’s mobile phone:
Example Three: Big Brand Bow
In the next example Pretzel Prince uses animation and their brand colors to really catch the users attention. This helps bring their brand and brand colors to life
Here is a preview of Pretzel Prince’s full ad on mobile:
Example Four: Branding Plus Direct Response
In the next example Zoomture uses and animated GIF to bring attention to their brand and also has calls to action to generate a direct response from potential customers.
Here is how Zoomture’s ad appears on mobile:
Creating Animated GIFs
There are lots of available tools to help you convert your images and even videos into short animated GIFs for use on Facebook or Instagram. One of the easiest and most popular is Giphy and you can create GIFs here: https://giphy.com/create/gifmaker
Remember to use high quality images and keep your messaging simple. High quality images will ensure the animations look smooth and are easy to read.
Sean periodically teaches as an adjunct professor on the topic of search engines and search marketing at MSU and is a member of their computer science advisory board. He completed coursework for his PhD in machine learning at MSU. He was the founder and publisher of SEMJ.org. Sean holds four engineering patents, has a B.S. in physics from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a master’s in electrical engineering from Washington State University. As president and director at metric ppc, Inc. he focuses on search marketing, internet research, and consults for large companies.