If you've spent any time on the internet at all, you've probably come in contact with an animated GIF. It's an image file that allows you to feature animated images -- which makes it seem like the image is moving. Look over to the right of this post to see an example of what a GIF looks like.
Pretty cool huh? The best part about GIFs is that they aren't too hard to make -- if you have access to Photoshop (free trial here) and a few minutes to spare, you will have an animated GIF in no time by following the steps below.
I'm going to walk you through how to create a GIF using the GIF I created to help promote Marketing Trivia. Note: I am using the CS6 version of Photoshop, but the steps should be similar in other versions.
1) If you already have images created, gather the images you want in a separate folder. To upload them into Photoshop, click 'File,' then 'Scripts,' then 'Load Files Into Stack.' Then select 'Browse' and choose which files you'd like to use in your GIF, then click 'OK.'
Photoshop will then create a separate layer for each image you've selected. Once you've done that, skip to step 3.
2) If you don't already have the series of images you want to use, create each frame of the animated GIF as a different Photoshop layer.
3) In this version, select 'Window' in the top navigation, then 'Timeline.'
The Timeline window will appear at the bottom of your screen.
4) In the Timeline window, click 'Create Frame Animation.'
5) Select all layers. Then, click the menu icon on the right of the Timeline screen. A dropdown menu will appear. Click 'Create new layer for each new frame.'
6) Open the same menu icon on the right, and choose 'Make Frames From Layers.' Each layer will now be a frame of your GIF.
7) Under each frame, select how long it should appear for before switching to the next frame.
8) At the bottom of the toolbar, select how many times you'd like it to loop.
Click "Other" if you'd like to specify a custom number of repetitions.
9) Preview the GIF by pressing the play button.
10) Feeling satisfied with your GIF? Save it to use online by clicking 'File' then 'Save for Web.'
11) Choose the type of GIF file you'd like to save it as under the 'Preset' dropdown. If you have a GIF with gradients, choose 'dithered' GIFs. The number next to the GIF file determines how large -- and how precise -- the GIF colors will be compared to the original JPEGs or PNGs.
12) Click 'Save' to save the file to your computer. And you're ready to upload this GIF to use in your marketing!
Upload the GIF file into any place online that you'd put an image, and it should play seamlessly. :) Here's what the final product will look like:
How will you use GIFs in your marketing?