What kinds of visual content are you currently using in your brand’s digital marketing? Aside from images and video, one type that you might be overlooking is the GIF.
Sitting nicely in the middle between images and videos, animated GIFs are appearing everywhere across the internet. And you can repurpose video content into GIFs — helping you to make the most of your investment in video.
Knowing where to start can be tricky. Fortunately, at Blueprint Film, we have years of experience in making quality GIFs from the videos we produce for our clients and for our own marketing efforts.
In this post, you’ll learn what GIFs are and why you should be using them. Then you will receive step-by-step instructions on how to convert videos into GIFs using different tools and apps.
WHAT ARE GIFS, EXACTLY?
A GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a type of image file that can be either still or animated (with the latter being more popular).
They have no audio, usually last just a few seconds long, and play on a loop.
Brands are using them across digital marketing platforms, including on web pages, on social media sites like Twitter, in blog articles and even in emails.
Read on to discover why GIFs are so popular, how you can use them, and how to make a GIF from a video.
WHY MAKE GIFS FROM VIDEOS?
Now that you know what GIFs are, you may be wondering what’s the use of making GIFs from videos. Aren’t GIFs just shorter, soundless, more repetitive versions of videos? Well, not quite.
We know from the benefits of video that movement is eye-catching. With animated GIFs, the viewer doesn’t have to even press a play button, since they loop continuously and automatically.
And because they’re so short and easy to consume, GIFs are very shareable.
Another benefit of using GIFs is that they humanise your marketing efforts. Since so many people are using GIFs themselves and sharing them with friends and family, GIFs are a way to speak your audience’s language.
Animated GIFs also have the advantage of having small file sizes (at least compared to video) and loading quickly.
And of course, with GIFs, you don’t need to start from scratch. An array of online tools have made converting videos into GIFs a fast and easy process.
WHEN & HOW TO USE GIFS:
Ideas for using GIFs:
- Post them as teasers for your video content.
- As social media content (works on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit & more).
- To make blog posts more visually appealing.
- Include GIFs in your email marketing campaigns.
- To show off your products/services in a more dynamic format than images.
- To transform infographics or data.
- How-to GIFs to illustrate steps in a process.
HOW TO CONVERT VIDEOS INTO GIFS:
1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT CONTENT FOR YOUR GIF
Great GIFs start with great video content. But unless you’re creating a GIF from a particularly short video, you need to decide which part of your video to repurpose into a GIF.
First, go through your video content and look for any eye-catching shots of clips. Focus on any that perfectly capture the right emotion, message, and/or manage to best showcase your product or service. Aim for short and sweet so that your final GIF does not have a massive file size and will load quickly online.
If your video does not already have any, you may consider adding captions for any dialogue or voice-over since GIFs do not use audio.
2. USING GIPHY’S GIF MAKER TOOL
GIPHY is a free-to-use online database and search engine for creating, browsing and sharing animated GIFs. Available on iOS, Android and web browsers, it has a free GIF maker tool which can convert video files and URLs into GIFs. GIPHY is one of the more popular video-to-GIF conversion tools, because it is free, easy-to-use, and offers several editing options. Here’s how to use it:
- Go to GIPHY.com and select the ‘Create’ button
- Add your video by either uploading it (free account required for this) or by copy-pasting the link to your video.
- Use the sliders to set the start time and the duration of your GIF.
- (Optional) caption and decorate your video as you please using stickers, filters and drawings.
- Choose to enter a source URL, add tags and decide whether to make your GIF public or private before uploading.
- Once your GIF is ready, GIPHY gives you the option to copy links download media, embed the GIPHY player or share your creation on social media.
3. CREATING GIFS IN ADOBE PHOTOSHOP
Many consider Adobe Photoshop to be the industry standard in image editing software. But did you know it can also be used to create GIFs? Given its array of features, it’s a bit less straightforward to use than tools like GIPHY. So we’ve simplified Photoshop’s video to GIF creation process for you:
- From the toolbar, go to File > Import > Video Frames To Layers. Select the video you want to use to create your GIF,
- Choose to import the video either from beginning to end or a selected range (using the trim controls), and make sure that the ‘Make Frame Animation’ box is ticked.
- Open the timeline view (found under Windows in the toolbar). On the repeat menu along the bottom, select ‘forever’.
- Go to File > Export > Save For Web. On the screen that comes up, set the preset to GIF 128 Dithered, change the Colours to 256 and change the image size to your requirements.
- Make sure the Looping Options is still set to Forever, then save your GIF.
4. OTHER VIDEO TO GIF CONVERSION TOOLS
Make A GIF: free-to-use, great for creating GIFs from Youtube videos, Facebook videos, video files, webcams and more (premium account needed for features such as HD Gifs, fast editing, and changing/removing watermarks).
Video to GIF by Imgur: a free platform that lets you make GIFs from videos that you upload or find on the Imgur website.
GIF Brewery by Gfycat: polished animated GIF-creating app for Mac with a range of settings. Costs £4.49.
Ezgif: create GIFs without watermarks or restrictions; more complicated to use than GIPHY, but has impressive editing tools (including options to resize, crop, select frame rate, etc) for a free platform.