Navigating the realm of content creation has its challenges. The lifespan of posts is negligible, attention spans are shrinking, and many platforms are over-saturated.
With this in mind, every like, comment, and share counts. GIFs are one of the tools brands can and should use to break through the noise. They convey messages, drive awareness and help define a brand's personality. The best GIFs connect on a visceral level sparking a sharing frenzy. Below are a few great examples.
In this article, I'll show you how to easily make branded GIFs with a free online video editor.
Step One: Gather Assets into a Folder
Before we jump into making GIFs, lets compile important assets into a single folder to quickly reference in future steps. This includes color palettes, custom fonts, a logo, watermark and images that are consistent with branding on other platforms. If you have too many folders to count, try giving this one a name that is short, simple and easy to remember.
Step Two: Upload an Image or Video to Kapwing
I’m using Kapwing, a free browser-based video editor to make my branded GIFs. Kapwing has intuitive tools to support creators with varying levels of editing experience. You can use Kapwing on any device, but for this tutorial, I recommend sticking with a PC. It’s nice working with a large screen and for new users, it’s a better way to get familiar with each tool.
Now is a good time to sign in with Google or Facebook to save your content to a workspace and to download a watermark free GIF at the end. When you’re signed in, click new content and drag and drop the image or video that will primarily serve as your GIF into the Studio. We’ll give it some flair in the next few steps. You can also paste a URL or click upload to import your file. The image search tool and plugins tab are great sources for images if you're looking for something to use.
Step Three: Resize the Background
Consider where you’re going to share the GIF, then choose an aspect ratio that works on the right side of the Studio. You can click custom to add your desired dimensions in pixels. I’m going with 600x600 pixels for my GIF. I recommend locking the proportions to maintain the size even as additional assets are uploaded to the project.
Step Four: Edit Image or Video
This when you can get as creative as you want with your GIF. If you uploaded a video, start by dragging the ends to trim the length and use the split button above the timeline to remove footage you do not want. Try to keep the clip no longer than six seconds. You can upload a palette then use the eyedropper to grab a color from the image or type in a hex code to change the background.
To use a custom font for a caption, you'll need a subscription to Kapwing Pro. You'll get other perks like infinite storage, faster exporting, and the ability to download SRT files. Otherwise, there are a ton of fonts in varying styles to browse and try.
Click text on the left side of the Studio and begin typing to add your caption. You can change the size, adjust the color, and add a drop shadow from the effects tab. The animate tab has nine different styles you can apply to make your text pop. Flicker, vibrate, and hue rotate are my top three suggestions.
To create a background for my call-to-action, I clicked elements, overlapped each circle, and made a group from the shapes. Afterwards, I clicked forward on my text layer to place it on top of the background. You can use varying shapes to make borders and abstract designs then change the color, opacity, and size by dragging the corners.
Upload your watermark, logo and other brand assets to arrange onto your GIF. Try to avoid placing the watermark on the edge so it can't be easily cropped out. You can drag each layer on the timeline to be the same duration or stagger them. It's your choice! Here are a few examples of branded GIFs with different animations, text styles and call-to-actions.
Step Five: Export and Download
When you're happy with your GIF, click the dropdown arrow next to export and select export as GIF. After your GIF has been processed, click download to save it to your computer. If you are not signed in, you can create a free account first to remove the watermark, then download the GIF.
How to Upload Branded GIFs to Giphy
A great way to expand the reach of your branded GIFs is to upload them to GIPHY. GIPHY is integrated with popular social media platforms and their tools including Instagram Stories, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and more. In this section, I'll show you how to upload your new GIFs to Giphy on a desktop.
Step One: Sign up for a GIPHY account
Before you can upload GIFs to GIPHY, you'll need to create an account. Head over to GIPHY, click login at the top right corner and click sign up to create a free account.
Step Two: Find and Upload your GIFs
Click upload then choose a file to import GIFs from your device. You can also paste the GIF URL or drag multiple files into the window to upload GIFs in bulk.
Step Three: Add Information and Upload
To make your GIF searchable, add tags with phrases that are commonly used to find similar content. I recommend adding a few tags that are linked to your brand so followers can quickly find your GIFs.
Separate each tag with a comma and leave the visibility set to public. Private GIFs cannot be seen unless you are logged in and they're not shareable. You can copy and paste the source URL or paste a link to your website. Click upload to GIPHY, then begin using your GIFs across different social media channels!
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