GIFs are some of the most popular on the web - and now, social marketers can start drawing attention and engagement with them on Twitter.

Standing out on any channel is an important part of content marketing. As interfaces become more sophisticated, users are increasingly accustomed to video, interactivity and dynamic environments. That’s why it’s so important to avoid using media that’s boring or repetitive, whether it’s on social media or in SERPs.

Marketers looking to gain an edge on Twitter – or win over fans of animated GIFs in general – rejoice: The platform announced that it has finally begun supporting these animated images, which have taken the internet by storm. In the past, users that wanted to share GIFs could either link URLs that sent visitors off-site or try third-party apps, like Giphy, that weren’t always reliable.

Spicing up the feed

The addition of GIFs gives Twitter a big edge on Facebook, which despite a tendency to encourage strong visuals in News Feeds, still hasn’t embraced GIFs. That’s unfortunate, because they’re a great means of communicating with customers. They’re immediately shareable, and because they’re halfway between an image and a video, they can provide the benefits of both in a small, simple package.

Quantitatively, they also produce greater interest and activity. According to research by Demand Media, GIFs are powerful tools for increasing click-through rates. The company found its CTRs increased when related article suggestions in blog posts featured GIFs.

Make your calls to action more active

The real value of animated images is that they’re direct – much in the same the way calls to action should be. Because they’re so visually arresting, they capture attention the way good web design is intended to.

Brands that effectively manage their Facebook News Feeds and Twitter pages deploy plenty of images and video – and now they can add GIFs to the mix. By drawing the eyes of users and implementing the latest and greatest form of media on social networks, it’s easy to stand out among other voices clamoring for attention.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.