October 11 2016

In a previous post, we discussed some creative ideas that games can use to engage their users on social media. But with engagement becoming more important by the day, we decided to take it a notch higher and discuss how you can use gifs to promote your game better. Yes, gifs for player engagement and marketing!

GIFs aren’t anything new in the digital landscape, but they’re definitely gaining more importance over the years. Marketers have always been skeptical about using gifs in their strategies, but there are few who have been experimenting and obtaining great results from this content format.

According to a case study by Marketing Sherpa, Dell’s GIF-centric marketing campaign saw a 42% increase in the click rates and a 109% increase in revenue. Compared to other campaigns that they were running, the numbers by including GIFs were stupendous!

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The case study observed more reactions to GIFs because moving objects grab more attention than static images. And if you think everyone has the time to view videos, then you’re just wrong.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a GIF worth? When words do not suffice to evoke an emotion from your audience, give a GIF a go.”

– Daniele Lazzoni

For that matter, Telegraph reported that even bigger brands like Google are using GIFs to communicate with their target audience!

And ever since Twitter launched GIFs in tweets, the content type is now being used by various brands for various purposes. Some create their own GIFs to promote a product or a service, some use it as a reaction to a comment from their audience and some, simply to tap into what’s trending and join the ongoing conversation on social media.

Using GIFs for mobile game promotion

A game that got a lot of promotion from showing their gameplay using gifs is Superhot. By using gifs that showcased the best features of the game, in this case the bulletime mechanics, it got players’ attention worldwide.

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Superhot promo gif

Whether you are using your game’s gameplay as a gif, or a generic gif from the web, here are someways that you can use gifs to promote your game:

1. To promote Existing features

Games tend to have a lot of new features they would like to showcase. But no matter how well you design the game,players are bound to miss out on some. This is where gifs can come in handy: to promote short snippets of your game, visually. Players are always on the lookout for something new and interesting – what better chance do you have to promote your game than sharing a gif on social media?

2. To sneak peek upcoming Features

If you’re introducing a new feature or level on your game, you’re going to have to do two things – market it and gatherfeedback over the announcement. In both the cases, gifs are the best type of content. Give your players a sneak peek into what you’ve planned ahead and analyze the reaction you have from them. With that, you can prioritize which ones to roll out, and which ones are back to the drawing board.

3. To react to user accomplishments

Did a player just complete one of the toughest levels in your game? It definitely calls for some celebration – even if it is just digital. If the player has taken time enough to share his accomplishments on social media, or in the app’s activity feed, use gifs to react to it. We would certainly love clapping gif instead of someone typing out ‘congratulations’.

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4. To evoke emotions

If you want an internet or smartphone user to take time out from what he is currently doing and pay attention to you, you’ll need to stir some emotions and motivate him to do so. An awe inspiring gif might be the right trigger for some players to return just5 more minutes into your game! (we all know it is always ‘just 5 more minutes’)

5. To share tips and tricks

Not all players are pros at gaming. Some might be really competitive and others might have a tough time completing even the first level. The latter is the category that is more likely to get discouraged and abandon your game for something ‘simpler’. To reduce this churn, it is important to help the new players out. For this matter, share tips, tricks or quick how-to’s for different levels, using gameplay gifs. They’re bit-sized tutorials, that new player might stumble upon, and get back into the action.

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6. To challenge them to do better

How to keep a player on your game longer? Challenge him often and nudge him to score higher than the others. If you have leaderboards incorporated in your game, use gifs to challenge him to rank higher. A little bit of healthy nagging goes a long way!

7. And sometimes, just TO be them

The best thing about gifs is how you can literally find one to suit every moment or occasion. Like Monday blues and Friday evening excitement are certainly experienced by each one of us. So why not use them to relate to your users and tell them, ‘Hey! We’re human too!’ Nothing boosts engagement and interaction like agreeing or disagreeing on the same thing.

Getting gif-y with your game players

In case you’re wondering where you can find gifs all too quickly – because we all know you can’t always make one – rejoice!

There are sites like Reaction GIFs, GIFs from Last Night, Giphy, GIFBin and even a few Reddit threads that you can find the best of gifs to share from. We personally love peeking into Reddit threads to know what’s trending.

But if you do have the resources, we suggest you to own this media because of its share ability. If the gif is unique to your game and gets shared more often, you’re bound to get some word-of-mouth instantly!

Ever used gifs for marketing? You might want to now!