The use of cinemagraphs – enriched photographs that feature a minor or repeated movement in some capacity to create the illusion of watching a video – was one of the marketing trends of 2015. Major brands such as Coca-Cola, Netflix and Budweiser explored the format to great effect as they brought their images to life in sleek, artistic ways to grab consumer attention. Their emergence was a subtle touch in a visually hectic online world.
The effectiveness of visual content – quality visual content – is the cornerstone of any marketing campaign, owing to the way we engage and absorb visual information. In fact, research has found that 90% of information sent to the brain is visual and that we process images 60,000 times faster than text. We also retain 80% of what we see, 20% of what we read and 10% of what we hear. However, as a consequence, the internet is bursting at the seams with visual media and marketers need to approach their online visual communications with a degree of finesse and creativity to ensure the content is seen and delivers its intended message.
Cinemagraphs have the potential to help them do that. Executed well, as in the above examples from Coca-Cola, Netflix and Budweiser, these moving high resolutions images (think next level GIF!) are attention-grabbing without disrupting the viewer’s experience, telling a story in a restrained yet impactful way. They’ve also got the ‘shareability’ factor and cost considerably less than video, with services like Flixel making them pretty easy to make.
Despite their growing popularity in B2C communications, cinemagraphs have yet to make the same impact on the B2B market. Part of this is down to the slower take-up of visual platforms by B2B companies as they focus their energies on more business-centric platforms such as LinkedIn. However that trend is changing, with a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute on B2B marketers finding that use of Instagram is up from 24% to 29% in the last year.
If we’re visual creatures and mobile/tablet continues to serve as our primary viewing format, then it stands to reason that clever visual content can engage and inform both B2C and B2B audiences. Taking the print industry, for example: the technologies that drive this industry are complex and fascinating – why not bring these inner workings to life cinemagraphically? Such an approach could engage, inform and entertain in equal measure; the holy trinity of B2B communications.
Have you seen an examples of B2B brands using cinemagraphs? Let us know below!