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How I gained 692M+ brand impressions for free using GIPHY

Lol, wut?

Yeah, you heard that correctly. And it's not just from sharing stupid reaction GIFs of myself, either! Although... I'm sure that hasn't hurt that number any.

From 2019 to 2022, the ActionVFX GIPHY account has exceeded 692,000,000 impressions on our uploaded content. That's a lot of eyeballs for $0 ad spend!


By simply using what we have at our disposal (our visual effects products) to create engaging pieces of interactive content for the masses using Stickers. And you can do the exact same thing for your brand, you just need to know what to create!

Some example ideas could include:

  • Unique ways to display your products or service.

  • Branded "Reaction" Stickers that others will use in their own Instagram Stories.

  • What I call "Utility" graphics. Things like animated circles, arrows pointing, etc. Again, things people would use to draw attention to something they're creating.

At this point, you might be wondering: What's the different between a GIF and a Sticker? I'm glad you asked.

GIFs are short image-based videos and are traditionally what you'd imagine when you hear someone use the term "GIF."

A Sticker on the other hand is a GIF with a twist. It includes an Alpha Channel transparency and doesn't include a background. Meaning, it can be used as an effect or an overlay on an existing video or image. For a much more exhaustive deep-dive than you've asked for into the technical specifications of Alpha Channels, you can check out this article.

What are the benefits of using GIPHY in this way?

  • GIPHY is one of the most integrated GIF sharing platforms on the internet. And as a result, your content will become easily searchable across many different platforms including Slack, Facebook, and Instagram to name a few.

  • There's also an extra SEO boost if you use the proper opportunities for backlinking to your website. As GIPHY is of a high domain authority, this is an added bonus to help support your own website ranking in search results.

Step 0 - Create a strategy

Before jumping in, make sure you've got a clear strategy with where you're wanting to take this. For me, it was a no-brainer because the time and effort spent on this was very minimal. But that might not be the case for you.

You'll want to ensure that this will actually add value to you and your brand. Trust me, if you've got bigger fish to fry to improve your business, focus on those things first. :)

Step 1 - Create and verify a business/brand account

If you already have an account you post your GIFs to, great. But if not, you'll want to create one that is specifically for your brand.

After it's created, you can apply for brand verification, here. For what it's worth, this is also one of the easiest platforms to complete verification that I've used.

Step 2 - Create GIFs

Here is a very important part of the process, the content! You'll want to keep in mind that you are wanting to make things that are useful for the target audience you're looking for.

For example, ActionVFX is aimed at Visual Effects Artists, so a lot of the tags associated will be things such as "VFX" and "Visual Effects." It also helps the popularity to capitalize on "reaction" based GIFs. Meaning a tag like "Angry", which is a reactive emotion might be paired well with a GIF of an Explosion a creator is wanting to show that they're angry and "exploding" of sorts.

A sticker can be created using a number of different software. But it has to include an alpha channel! For me, I'll generally use Adobe After Effects to create the transparency + export with an alpha channel. But Photoshop, Premiere, and many others support exporting with alphas.

Step 3 - Upload GIFs

Upon upload, you'll be given the option to pick between a sticker or a traditional GIF. Depending on what you're creating, it will easily walk you through the process step-by-step.

If uploading a Sticker, it will automatically recognize that you have an alpha channel included and will act accordingly. And usually within an hour, your Sticker will be displaying across all of the integrated platforms and can be found by searching the tags you'd included on upload.

From there, the platform itself will do the rest of the work to distribute it and serve it to users searching those key terms. And as usual, the more popular the content becomes, the more often it's presented.

Happy GIF'ing, folks!

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