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GIFs are a pretty common way to communicate nowadays, but mostly for personal communication. The millennials among us in particular are already seeing and using the moving pictures on a daily basis on WhatsApp, Facebook, or Twitter. We are confident there is also a place for GIFs in corporate communication and here’s why.
For starters, GIFs can express certain emotions written text can’t necessarily express. That is the main reason why GIFs are so popular on WhatsApp and social media. Intonation and body language play a big role in our communication, and written texttherefore lacks specific nuances. Sarcasm and even enthusiasm can easily be misinterpreted. Emojis only help to a certain extent. A GIF however, is almost literally worth more than a thousand words.
Facial expressions, body language, but even outfits or attributes: a GIF can express more than even you can. Thanks to long-running television shows like Friends, How I Met Your Mother or The Simpsons there is a GIF for every situation, no matter how crazy. Just take a look at Giphy, the largest GIF library out there.
GIFs are also used to stand out. The moving, endlessly looping pictures will surely grasp people’s attention. That might already be reason enough to use GIFs in an internal e-mail or newsletter, on Slack, or on your Digital Signage. People might easily overlook plain text, but adding a GIF ensures people will notice what you want to communicate.
But wait, there is more. GIFs are not just fun and notable. They can also be very useful, specifically for companies. PowerPoint users already know that statistics, data and flowcharts are way more glanceable than a long piece of text, but self-reflecting PowerPoint users also know that presentations themselves tend to be a little bit boring. By using a GIF, you bring your data to life. Check out the example below, depicting the formation of the United States.
We believe that using GIFs in your corporate communication is the way to go in 2020. That is why we added full support for GIFs to our Message Server earlier this year. This way, you can easily express the right emotions using all the screens in your company. Don’t overuse them though, otherwise they won’t stand out anymore.
Also, make sure the GIF you are using is appropriate for the situation. As many GIFs are basically references to movies or television shows, they also come with some context. We’re not sure if every boss can appreciate being compared to The Office’s Michael Scott, even though you searched for “World’s Best Boss”. Other than that, GIFs will definitely lighten up your corporate communication. It’s a GIFt that keeps on giving!
Luc Bormans, Netpresenter's head of Marketing, is an expert in the field of Marketing Communications. In his spare time Luc likes to cruise around in his Mini Cooper.