- Beauty brands such as Benefit Cosmetics, MAC, Essie, DELA and Mecca Max are seeking to reach younger consumers by ramping up their use of branded GIFs on Instagram, the image-sharing network with 800 million users worldwide, per a report from Glossy.
- LVMH-owned Benefit Cosmetics this week also added branded GIFs to platforms like SMS text, messaging, Slack, Tinder and others that work with Giphy, a provider of GIF videos that run for a few seconds and repeat in a continuous loop, the report noted.
- GIFs are helping Benefit Cosmetics reach Generation Z on Instagram, where nearly three-quarters of the brand's followers are between 18 and 34 years old. The looping videos are also proving to be a powerful tactic for driving brand awareness, Glossy reported.
The report underscores how GIF-based marketing is a growing tactic on Instagram, which first introduced GIFs for Stories in January, then suspended them because of unsuitable content, according to Glossy. GIFs have been available again for Stories since March and beauty brands are jumping in. Beauty brands have been among the most forward-thinking marketers in embracing social media and mobile technology like augmented reality, so where they go other marketers are likely to follow.
More broadly, Instagram is increasingly important as a marketing platform, particularly as Snapchat user growth stalls and some users influencers switch allegiance to Instagram. Benefit Cosmetics told Glossy that it saw a "vast shift" in attention away from Snapchat to Instagram at the end of 2017. Benefit has 7.7 million followers on Instagram, and there are 1.6 million posts with the hashtag #benefitcosmetics, per Instagram.
For beauty brands, participating on a platform where younger consumers are sharing selfies related to makeup and fashion is critical while GIFs are growing in popularity among young adults. More than one-third (36%) of millennials ages 18 to 34 who use “visual expressions” such as emojis, GIFs and stickers said the images are better than words at communicating their thoughts and feelings, per a survey conducted by Harris Poll and commissioned by GIF platform Tenor. That percentage is more than twice the amount of people 65 and older who said the same.