We created a set of Easter-themed and summer-themed GIF stickers and uploaded them to GIPHY, hoping to reach 1 million impressions to prove the viability of a new marketing tool for brands. Currently, we are sitting at 79.5 million views. But how did we do it?
What are GIF stickers?
GIF stickers are small repeated image sequence files with a transparent background that are set to loop forever. While they are available on many different platforms, Instagram is perhaps the most popular and well-known platform where users add colourful, funny or useful stickers to their own Stories.
Many brands are experimenting with these animated stickers and are reporting impressive reach and engagement levels. They are free to upload to GIPHY and publicly available for anyone to use in their stories, so the trick is to create something that will stand out in the search results.
Back to our first Easter experiment, we had a simple goal: to create a set of Easter-themed stickers to test engagement levels for this potential new campaign deliverable. We were hearing stories from fellow UK marketers about six-digit views for what is essentially a very simple, low-cost marketing asset, so we were curious.
After an initial planning session, we settled on a set of six stickers including two selfie stickers with bunny ears and sunglasses, two text stickers, a vanishing egg and a dino surprise egg.
We decided to upload our Easter sticker set at the start of April. On 2nd April, we had 53.7K views – this was our starting point. To apply for a brand account, you need to upload five GIFs to show what kind of content you intend to share, so even our test GIFs gave us a good amount of traction.
Just two days later, on the 4th April, our views had increased to 199.2K. By the time Easter was over, our GIF stickers had been served over 20 million times!
A similar sense of speed occurred when we decided to release a second set a few months later, to celebrate the beginning of Summer.
This included an opening and closing BBQ, a watermelon slice being eaten, a thermometer reaching to 40 degrees Celsius, and an ice lolly with bite marks, disappearing to reveal the Harleys logo.
Free user-generated content in the millions
So, a success story all round. That’s a lot of free exposure and, crucially, user-generated content. The stickers don’t currently offer a click-through feature, so for now, they’re a great brand awareness tool, especially if you include subtle branding.
Think about it, you could create stickers that your target audience uses in their own social media content to share with friends, family, and followers. By creating stickers closely linked to a season or annual event, yearly exposure will be guaranteed every time the event rolls around, ensuring continuous growth and circulation of your content.
Frontrunner brands are seeing good results. For example, streaming service Netflix uses GIF stickers to engage with customers through short clips from their shows and films, and text stickers of memorable phrases. Netflix’s total GIF views (which includes regular GIFs too) currently stands at a staggering 53.1 billion on their channel @Netflix.
And then there’s supermarket chain Lidl with an impressive 386 GIF uploads and 394.6 million total views for their Dutch channel @lidlnederland.
What kind of GIF Stickers could work well for your brand?
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