Gifs VS Videos In Marketing

Picture of Rishabh Pugalia
Rishabh Pugalia

June 14, 2024

gif vs video

Why did the marketer choose a GIF in a GIF vs video?
– Because they wanted to add a little loophole to their campaign.

On that funny note, let’s start the GIF vs video debate. It’s a battle as old as the internet itself. But with the rise of TikTok and other short-form video platforms, the stakes have never been higher.

Like most things in marketing, the answer to MP4 vs GIF isn’t simple. GIFs offer a unique blend of brevity, humor, and shareability that videos often struggle to match.

Thanks to better compression, videos are now easier to watch on mobile. This has challenged GIFs’ earlier dominance on mobile, where their smaller file size and faster loading times were once a major advantage.

Let’s take some questions into consideration:

  • Given the rising popularity of short-form video platforms like TikTok, are GIFs losing their relevance as a marketing tool?
  • How could virtual and augmented reality change how GIFs or videos are used in marketing?
  • When working with limited resources, do GIFs provide a more cost-effective solution?

With these questions in mind, let’s go deeper into the discussion on GIFs vs video.

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    We have made videos for 150+ B2B & SaaS companies.

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    GIFS or Videos: What’s the Difference?

    GIF vs MP4 – while both are visual tools used to express ideas and entertain, they have their differences. GIFs are like flipbooks, a series of still images that create the illusion of movement. They’re small in size, easy to share, and perfect for quick reactions or funny loops.

    On the other hand, videos are full-fledged recordings with sound and higher-quality visuals.
    They’re ideal for longer content, like tutorials or presentations, where detail and clarity matter.

    So, if you want a snappy, eye-catching element, go for a GIF marketing. But if you need to tell a story or show something complex, a video is the way to go.

    Thus the GIF vs video decision often comes down to balancing the need for spontaneous attention-grabbing content with the desire for in-depth storytelling.

    Aspects GIFs Videos
    File Size Smaller (Due to compression) Larger
    Visual Quality Lower (Limited color palette, may appear pixelated) Higher (Higher resolution, smoother motion)
    Audio No Yes
    Ideal for Short, looping animations, humor, reactions, quick communication Long-form content, storytelling, tutorials, demos, high-quality visuals
    Examples Reaction GIFs, memes, animated logos, short product highlights Product demos, explainer videos, testimonials, customer stories, behind-the-scenes videos, webinars, events
    Repurposing Easy to embed and share across platforms Can be content repurposed into shorter clips for social media or GIFs
    Audience Engagement High for quick attention-grabbing Higher for longer-term engagement and emotional connection
    Technical Requirements Minimal (since they are considered as images) May require video hosting platforms or specific players
    Accessibility Highly accessible on most devices and platforms Can be less accessible on older devices or slower connections

    The Power of GIFs in Marketing

    GIFs might seem like simple, looping animations that populate social media feeds and websites. But they effectively grab attention and get your message across in an informative yet entertaining way.

    Here’s why GIFs in marketing are so effective:

    1. They're eye-catching

    In the domains filled with static images and text, a moving GIF stands out. They are hard to forget, so your brand or message sticks in viewers’ minds.

    Here, take a look at this animated GIF below:

    2. GIFs are versatile

    Whether you want to display a product, give a behind-the-scenes look, or just make people laugh, there’s a GIF for that. They can also be customized to fit any marketing goal or platform.

    You can use video to gif converter to share a sneak peek of your long videos as well.

    3. They're shareable

    People love passing along a good GIF. By creating ones that connect with your audience, you can encourage them to share your content and expand your reach.

    Here is an example of a UGC GIF:

    4. They add personality

    GIFs are a great way to humanize your brand and show off your company culture. A well-placed GIF can make you more relatable and approachable to potential customers.

    5. They tell mini-stories

    In just a few seconds, GIFs for marketing can convey a thought or emotion. They’re perfect for bite-sized storytelling that captures attention quickly.

    Here is an example of the most commonly used GIF ie, Entertainment GIF:

    6. They're cost-effective

    Unlike full-scale video production, GIF maker apps are relatively inexpensive. And since they’re treated like images, you can add them to websites and emails at no extra cost.

    GIFs in marketing work best when they’re relevant, on-brand, and add value for the viewer. When used well, snackable clips can be a good way to capture the right attention, drive people to your website, and make your message memorable.

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    The Power of Videos in Marketing

    The key to videos is to keep them concise, purposeful, and on-brand. Aim for a mix of educational and entertaining content that aligns with your B2B video marketing strategy.

    1. They're unique and memorable

    Videos can incorporate multiple elements – imagery, music, dialogue, text – to create a rich, immersive narrative. It makes them unique and memorable.

    This is incredibly powerful for conveying your brand’s personality, values, and mission. The best part is that it shows in a way that emotionally connects with your audience.

    Here is an example from Content Beta:

    Making a video for B2B & SaaS products needs a different mindset.

    2. They're also versatile

    From product demos and tutorials to interviews and live streams, videos can be adapted to suit any marketing goal or funnel stage.

    Stage Primary Goal Success metric Video types
    Awareness Announcing your presence to everyone | No sales talk No. of views generated | View count Product marketing, Product demo videos, Repurposed webinar videos
    Consideration Establishing yourself as a trusted source of quality information | No sales talk Time spent by leads consuming the content. Product demo videos, How-to, Case study videos
    Conversion Applying human touch | Making emotional connection Click on CTA, request for a meeting. Product-related videos, Customer testimonials
    Retention Nurturing long-term relationships How they behave after signing up. As applicable to Loyalty + Advocacy
    Loyalty Make it about THEM, not you How they behave after signing up. Onboarding, how-to videos
    Advocacy Continuing to add value. Number of referrals, for example. Academy Video courses

    3. Videos are SEO-friendly

    When video titles, descriptions, transcripts, video thumbnails, schema markups, and optimized metadata are added to videos, they can start showing up on Google search results for key search terms.

    They drive organic traffic and help increase your search rankings.

    4. They're shareable

    When you create videos that are valuable and relevant to your audience, people are more likely to share them. This, in turn, helps to generate excitement and backlinks.

    Even on platforms like Instagram, you can put up Instagram stories for business that disappear after 24 hours. Every company can thus put up glimpses of a recent event, short product videos, or just about anything to promote their brand recognition.

    Here is a video ad for Ingenious Build by Content Beta

    Making a video for B2B & SaaS products needs a different mindset.

    Where are GIFs and Videos Used in Marketing?

    A well-informed perspective on the GIF vs video debate can help marketers make strategic decisions about their visual content. Let’s look at some comparisons which will help us understand where they are better suited.

    Areas GIF Video
    Social Media Yes (Ideal for quick reactions, humor, and short attention spans) Yes (Greater engagement, longer-form storytelling, and higher production value)
    Email Marketing Yes (Improves visual appeal, breaks up text) Yes (Higher engagement, but can be bulky for email clients)
    Website/Landing Page Yes (Adds personality, illustrates concepts) Yes (Product demos, testimonials, explainer videos)
    Online Advertising Yes (Limited to non-responsive formats) Yes (Pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, and other video ad formats)
    Messaging Apps Yes (Express emotions, reactions) Limited (Some apps allow short videos)

    GIFs in marketing are better suited for:

    • Adding humor: A funny GIF can make your brand more relatable and memorable.
    • Reacting or replying: In social media conversations, a GIF for marketing can be a quick way to acknowledge a comment or answer a question.
    • Signaling important info: Flashing or animated arrows in GIFs can help highlight key points in an article or email.

    Videos are better suited for:

    • Explaining complex topics: If you need to discuss a subject in depth, a video can help you do so step-by-step.
    • Telling stories: Customer testimonials, case studies, and brand films are all great ways to use video for storytelling.
    • Building credibility: Putting a face (or faces) to your brand can help build trust with your audience.

    Here is a video that underwent content repurposing by Content Beta for Ivy:

    Making a video for B2B & SaaS products needs a different mindset.

    Choosing the Right Format for Boosting Engagement

    Choosing the right format between MP4 or GIF depends on your goals, audience, and resources. Here are some additional factors to consider:

    1. Attention Span

    If you need to communicate a message quickly, a GIF might be the way to go. They’re perfect for social media posts or email headers. But if you want to dive deeper into a topic, a video is better suited.

    2. Shareability

    Both GIFs and videos are highly shareable but for different reasons. GIFs in marketing are often shared for their humor or relatability. Videos, on the other hand, tend to be shared for their informative or inspiring content.

    3. Production Effort

    In GIF vs video, GIFs for marketing are quicker and easier to create than videos. You can often make a GIF in just a few minutes using existing footage or images. Videos require more planning, scripting, shooting, and editing.

    4. Placement

    Consider where your content will be viewed. GIFs for marketing work well on social media, in emails, and blog posts. Videos are great for landing pages, product pages, and standalone content hubs.

    The key is to experiment and see what fits with your specific audience. A mix of GIFs and short videos (30-60 seconds), and then analyzing your engagement metrics will be ideal to start.

    Why Choose Content Beta?

    Do you want to create videos or GIFs that start a conversation about your brand? Whether it’s an MP4 or GIF, we can do that for you at your convenience with all the right elements.

    We are a design service with years of expertise in content creation for the B2B, tech, and software industries. We also have a Creative as a service (CaaS) plan which includes a video and design team at a monthly rate.

    We can help you attract your ideal audience with a wide range of offers:

    • Videos (product demos, product explainers, short-form videos for social media, remote testimonial videos, video ads, and B2B marketing videos).
    • UI designs, web graphics, whitepapers, banners, etc.
    • Need your podcast edited? We do that as well.

    We help you make your content creation process hassle-free with fast response and quick turnaround time. Our platform keeps you at par with the process with real-time updates. Our pricing is transparent and clear. We handle busy schedules and larger projects.

    Book a demo call to get a quote!


    So, in a nutshell, in the GIF vs video debate, both of them shine in these areas:

    • Making Heads Turn: Motion is hard to ignore, so GIFs and videos are great for stopping scrollers in their tracks.
    • Show Emotion: Facial expressions, body language, and music(for video) can communicate feelings in a way that text alone can’t.
    • Demonstrating products: Showing your product in action is more powerful than just describing it.

    As technology evolves, the GIF vs video debate may become increasingly complex, with new formats and features emerging. The idea is to find the right balance of both at the right platform for the right audience.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    The main differences between GIFs and videos in marketing are:

    • GIFs are short, silent, looping animations best suited for quick reactions, humor, and grabbing attention. Videos, on the other hand, offer higher quality, sound, and the ability to tell complex stories.
    • GIFs are lightweight and easy to share, while videos can be more impactful but may have larger file sizes.

    You should use GIFs for social media engagement, email marketing, and adding personality to websites or blogs.

    You should use Videos when you need to explain complex ideas, showcase product demos, or tell in-depth stories. If you want to show emotion and build trust, videos are generally more effective.

    There are some technical limitations to consider when using GIFS or videos in marketing which include:

    • GIFs have limited color palettes and resolution, which can affect their visual quality.
    • Videos can have large file sizes, potentially causing slower loading times, especially on mobile devices or websites with limited bandwidth.

    Always optimize your videos for the intended platform to ensure a smooth viewing experience.

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