GIFs Are the New Infographics

By now you know you need infographics in your campaigns. You’re comfortable with infographics, so let’s move to the next level!

To really humanize your organization and connect with your audience, you need to do more. You need to include GIFS. GIFS are the new infographics that every cool campaign needs to capture audience attention.

What’s so great about GIFs?

1. They grab attention. Your campaign can’t take off if no one sees it. Also, bonus, once you have their attention, they might be amused enough to share your work.

You do want people's attention

2. GIFs can make even a serious topic a little more fun. No one wants to receive a lecture. People do want to be entertained. Many serious topics can be made more palatable with a dash of humor.
Healthcare is much more fun with a dose of pop culture

3. GIFs humanize your organization. Whether you want donations, signatures, or customers you need to connect with people. People like to connect with human beings. That means they’ll be more likely to connect to your brand if it’s obvious that there are human beings who participate in pop culture on the other end. If you’re human, people can feel a real emotional connection with you.

We all want to be loved

How do I find GIFs?

There are a number of ways to find and make GIFs. You can ask us for help, or you can do some searches. Google image search with the Advanced Settings set to include only animations is a favorite. This works best if you have a particular show in mind. Tumblr is also a fantastic place to find GIFs. Some would even say it’s their natural habitat.

How do I make GIFs?

If you have Photoshop, you can use that for really great gifs. If you don’t though (and we know many organizations that don’t, it’s okay), you can still make GIFs. There are many free gif makers out there. One that works pretty well and won’t be NSFW is imgflip. Just go to the tool, upload the video or link to it from YouTube (you can also upload photos to make a GIF, but a lot of people find that too complicated), and then follow the steps. Make sure to choose a text color that stands out on the image so it’s easy for people to read without having to read lips.

What are the legal issues?

Generally GIFs are considered “fair use” that don’t compete with or draw money from a show. However, don’t do a GIF of the World Cup. As the Washington Post notes, that’ll get FIFA’s attention. As always, talk with your legal department if you have concerns.

I’d love to know some of your favorite uses of GIFs!

My Three Favorite Ways to Create Visuals for Free

Tan teddy bear in hipster glasses staring at a laptop.

When I left a corporate position where someone else paid for great, fancy software I found that I needed to find some new tools. I no longer had access to tons of stock photos and Photoshop to help me make badass images. Thankfully, some sleuthing, googling, and (always my favorite) asking of friends led me to a happy place where maybe I can’t do everything that I used to, but I can do a heck of a lot.


Tan teddy bear in hipster glasses staring at a laptop.
Bear with my puns please.

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a fangirl for Hubspot. They provide various services to paying clients, but as someone marketing on the cheap I absolutely adore all the resources they provide for free to everyone. They provide advice through whitepapers and webinars, as well as a ton of tools. There are free stock photos, templates, and more. Go poke around and you’ll almost certainly find something useful. (Yes, that photo to the side is definitely a free Hubspot Stock Photo — who doesn’t love a bear on a headset, even if it’s not the most applicable?)


There is a paid version of PicMonkey, but to be honest, there’s so much in the free tool that I’ve never felt the need to buy the full version. PicMonkey is incredibly intuitive with various filters, edits, and even cute overlays and frames for your images. I used the collage tool to make the Facebook banner below right before Easter to showcase a nonprofit thrift shop’s character and variety of merchandise.

Collage of thrift shop merchandise including Easter items and men's suits.

Trying to put this together elsewhere would have involved a lot of futzing with sizes and placements, but with PicMonkey it was less than 15 minutes — and most of that time was spent choosing which photos would work best for our goals!

Photoshop Express

Finally, sometimes you just want the free version of Photoshop. Photoshop Express makes me gleeful until I have a proper “real” version of Photoshop again.  I love the browser version for its simplicity and ease of use.  Just look at that interface with those perfectly useful buttons. How can it make you not want to sigh with gratitude?

Screenshot of Photoshop Express being used to edit a photo of a gorgeous gray cat.


This isn’t an exhaustive list (Inforgraphics mean I turn to other tools), but they are my solid standbys, my true favorites. What are yours?