As you probably already know, Facebook released support for GIFs allowing them to play on the News Feed. This new support for the beloved image format had us pondering about a certain type of image that evolved out of the GIF. Are you familiar with cinemagraphs? If not that’s okay. Cinemagraphs are a relatively new media form coined by photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck. The technique was used by Burg and Beck to animate their fashion and news photographs beginning in early 2011. Cinemagraphs are a cross between images and video. They have elements of stillness with elements of movement as well. We think these moving pictures have a lot of potential to be the next big social media ad format. Why do we believe so? There are a couple of reasons.
As we had talked about in our previous Facebook blog post, organic Facebook reach is dwindling as more brands are competing for a limited number of spots in the News Feed. At first the response was to create more posts with photos to drive more user engagement. Now that a large quantity of business page posts contain photos, brands are converting to video in an attempt to once again stand out and reclaim more reach. In fact, 2015 has been dubbed, “The Year of Video Marketing“. However, what happens when video content has reached its peak? What new format will businesses turn to next in order to better stand out on social media? We believe the answer is cinemagraphs.
Cinemagraphs are incredibly captivating images that will easily promote engagement among your audience. They add a layer of depth and elegance to your photos. Once you start staring at a cinemagraph, you’ll find that it’s quite difficult to look away. Best of all, they can be applied to any industry! No matter what kind of product or service your business provides you could easily create a compelling cinemagraphic ad for your brand. Just take a look at some of the examples below for inspiration.
Cinemagraphs have tremendous potential for the fashion industry. After all, it is where the media format got its start. This photo in particular draws your eyes to the earrings, highlighting their elegance and beauty.
Drink producers typically create image ads focusing on the product bottle or the brand logo, but with cinemagraphs the attention can be drawn to the liquid within the can. Isn’t that what consumers are looking to buy anyway?
Take a moment to admire this stunning cinemagraph of a coffee mug. All you have to do is slap a Starbucks, Folgers, Tim Hortons, etc. logo on top of the image and you’ve got a powerful coffee ad.
This is one of our personal favorites. A cinemagraph like this would be perfect for watch manufacturers to showcase their products. Brands like Rolex, TAGHeuer, or Breitling could really benefit from producing ads similar to this format.
There is no end to the possibilities that cinemagraphs bring about and they’re now easier to produce than ever before. Cinemagraphs were originally reserved for big brands with large marketing budgets who had the resources to produce these images, but new applications have emerged that allow anyone to create their very own moving pictures. Flixel is the most popular cinemagraph editor on Mac. Flixel’s unique live masking feature makes it incredibly easy to produce beautiful HD (1080) quality cinemagraphs with little effort. Flixel’s blog contains a lot of great information for anyone interested in learning more about how to create and upload cinemgraphs. For PC users Microsoft has created a similar tool known as Microsoft Research Cliplets. Microsoft’s software is completely free to download and use.
If you’re interested in creating your own cinemagraph and looking for direction on how to do so, we have created a step-by-step guide. Our guide will walk you through each step of the cinemagraph production process from start to finish. Simply like or tweet in the box below to download our free guide. With our guide and your cinemagraph ideas, you’ll be creating captivating moving images in no time.
Once you’ve created your cinemagraph, getting it to play on social media is a bit tricky since Facebook does not yet support GIFs for business pages. However, there have been a couple recent updates to social platforms that make cinemagraphs possible. Facebook now auto-plays native videos allowing the video content to immediately start playing once the video pops up on a user’s New Feed. Similarly, Instagram now automatically loops videos. Rather than exporting your cinemagraph as a GIF you can export your moving image as a video that will automatically loop on Instagram like a GIF. In order for your cinemagraph to work on Facebook you’ll have to create a long video that loops itself since Facebook doesn’t yet have a looping feature. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of exciting new social media features that will foster a new movement of ad creativity.
What do you think? Do you agree with us? Will cinemagraphs be the next big trend in social media advertising? Even if they aren’t, your business could benefit tremendously from creating a few. In a sea of similar content your unique cinemagraphic images would allow your brand to stand out among your competitors. Not to mention, you could establish yourself as a pioneer in a new movement. It’s certainly something worth considering. If you don’t have a photographer on staff, that’s not a problem. We have plenty of talented professional photographers on our team. Contact us and we’ll help you to develop a cinemagraph content strategy that will fit perfectly within your existing social media strategy. If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to take a look at the rest of our blog as well. We provide a lot of helpful marketing and advertising insight for all business owners, small and large alike.