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How to Make A GIF


Posted: 4th July 2017
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Like sharing GIFs but would love to find an easy way to make your own? Then this post is for you.

Today we’re going to take a look at the best tools on the market, discover the most helpful how-to guides and share some helpful insights that should help you take your Content Marketing Strategy to the next level.

So, without further adieu, let’s jump straight in to exploring four of the top tools for creating your own GIFs – because we all have different requirements and budgets!

Tools

Photoshop

Best known for providing everything you need to design and deliver exceptional digital experiences, Photoshop should be a first choice for anyone looking to get serious about making high quality GIFs.

Of course, there are many, more affordable programs (like the ones we’ve listed below) that have similar functionalities but if you could do with a piece of software that’s versatile enough to offer general image editing tools too, there’s honestly no better option.

GIMP

For a free piece of software, GIMP is an incredibly impressive cross-platform image editor that mimics all of the most popular features in Photoshop. With this open source tool, you’ll be able to create animated GIFs with little effort and no constraints!

Pixlr

Another free and handy image editor/GIF creator is Pixlr. Best known for its photo collages, effects, overlays and filters, its true value to marketers is often overlooked. As a cloud-based set of image tools and utilities, Pixlr has advanced abilities, like a screen grabber browser extension, cloning, layers and brush controls.

Ezgif

Dedicated to GIFs and GIFs alone, Ezgif is slightly more limited in its offering. It doesn’t have an array of options for image editing and instead provides a honed set of tools focused solely on GIF making, resizing and editing. There are effects, so you can modify videos and images within the app, but you won’t be overwhelmed with fancy features.

Guides

Now that you know which platforms to use, it’s time to learn how to use them! And we’ve done the research for you. In this section you’ll find links to the best step-by-step guides for each tool:

Photoshop: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-create-animated-gif-quick-tip-ht

GIMP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh26IeebKQ8

Pixlr: https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how-to-make-gifs-on-pixlr

Ezgif: https://www.invisionapp.com/blog/7-tips-for-designing-awesome-gifs/

Tips

Just like the creation of any content, trial and error is a part of the GIF making process. However, there are a few basic things you can keep in mind to ensure the best results…

Use as few colours as possible

Being selective with the colours that you use won’t only help to make your GIFs bold but will also play a huge part in your file size. It’ll allow you to make longer, more involved GIFs that are still relatively small in size. You’ll also be able to shave some kilobytes off without compromising on quality by tweaking your lossy – setting it anywhere between 1 and 10.

Put your audience first

GIFs should be entertaining but everyone has a different sense of humour and therefore it’s important you don’t simply create things you find funny but instead base your marketing materials on the people intended to consume it. The last thing you want to do is offend anyone, so we suggest avoiding anything too political and always keeping it PG.

If you’re in a very corporate industry, like the medical or legal sector, then your best bet is to stick with gentle humour. Animals and kids are ideal, as they have the “awww” factor. That being said, more creative industries will do well to be a bit cheekier, sarcastic and en-trend.

Know your pop culture

GIFs work well when they have relevance, and the ability to resonate. If you understand your audience and know your pop culture, you’ll be able find cool ways to incorporate their favourite celebrities or movie references into your GIFs for real impact. Take advantage of nostalgia – remind your audience of a time they were happy by sharing a clip of a classic cartoon from their childhood era.

Steer clear of jarring loops

Looping GIFs are great… when they’re long enough! Super short clips that repeat after every second aren’t so much fun. In fact, they’re migraine inducing. There’s a very fine line between being eye-grabbing and jarring – one will make an audience stay longer and the latter will make them scroll extra fast just to make the image disappear. When creating your own GIF, ensure it plays out a little first – otherwise you run the risk of deterring viewers. 

Beware of tiny text

GIFs should be short, snappy and witty. If you’ve got something lengthy to share put it in a blog. Otherwise you’ll end up using really small text that no one can read or ruining the visuals with large type that’s impossible to see properly past. One-liners often work best to evoke a reaction, so avoid multiple lines or text that flashes or appears only very briefly.

Consider your different networks

Although most GIFs work equally well across multiple platforms, there are a few things to consider before you go sharing yours – especially if using a social media-scheduling tool. For example, Giphy offers one-click GIFs that only work if tweeted natively. And Facebook will automatically add link text in posts. There’s a little extra work involved in the sharing of GIFs compared to pictures, so take some time to upload and edit Tweets and Facebook posts directly (and individually) for the best results!

Make it literal

Witty as your GIF should be, if it has a purpose, you need to ensure that this is properly communicated. Sometimes it can help to be really literal in your wording, and let the visuals do the rest of the talking for you – or vice versa, of course. Remember less is usually more, so don’t try to overwhelm people or force creativity. If you’re stuck for ideas, reaction GIFs are a safe way to trigger a desired response with little effort.

Unique GIFs are an easy and effective way to put a face on your business. Will you be utilising them now that you know how to get started? Maybe you already have…

We’d love to see your creations and hear some feedback, so don’t hesitate to drop us a Tweet! And if you’re still in need of inspiration to get started, be sure to download today’s blog freebie containing 24 awesome ideas for GIFs!

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