Social Media is constantly changing-but you already knew that! We love to be creative as possible when sharing our thoughts, so, naturally emojis, memes, GIFs- you name it- are the desired means of expression in 2018. With the recent creation of GIF Stickers via Giphy on both Instagram and Snapchat, we saw an opportunity to share our brand in a new, exciting way.
This idea sparked from all of our amazing submitters shouting-out their newest published features on Instagram Stories. The TBL team thought, let’s give our submitters a creative way to share that they were published via Two Bright Lights-and thus, our GIF Sticker journey began. We were delighted to find out that Stickers can be made by anyone with a verified brand or artist channel and are free to upload. So what are you waiting for? Read through our experience creating Stickers for our brand (and yes, we will explain what exactly a GIF Sticker is too!).
After reading through below, make sure to check out Pt 2: How to Make Brand GIF Stickers for Your Business.
What’s a GIF or a GIF Sticker?
GIF, formally, stands for Graphic Interchange Format. Then comes the pronunciation debate; is it a hard G? A soft G? No one can come to a consensus! GIFs have been around for a while, but GIF Stickers have recently been popping up on Instagram and Snapchat thanks to the new Sticker feature. GIF Stickers differ from a typical GIF in the sense that they can be layered on top of a post to add an interactive element to a photo or video. Simply, Stickers are a GIF with a transparent background. You can turn a GIF into a GIF Sticker by removing the background layer of your canvas in Photoshop.
Businesses are beginning to create their own branded GIF Stickers to take advantage of this new frontier of driving brand awareness in a creative way. Search brands like ‘MoviePass’ or ‘Lululemon’ in the GIF Sticker section and you’ll see when we mean. It’s a free and fun way for users to interact with your brand, and if they post them, it's brand awareness for you.
Two Bright Lights GIF Stickers: Our Process
1. Know Your Audience & Get Verified
We saw that our submitters were already shouting us out in their Instagram Stories, so what better way to help them do so than supplement with GIF Stickers? After all, we know the feeling of excitement when your work gets published. We requested to be a verified brand channel on Giphy, as this is the first step to getting GIF Stickers uploaded. The approval process was fairly quick, however it's important to note that sometimes small businesses may not always be approved for a verified brand channel.
2. Get the Creative Juices Flowing
We sketched out 4 potential GIF Stickers - one being the TBL logo, another being a polaroid picture frame, a flashing camera in our brand’s color scheme, and lastly a text bubble exclaiming “I got published!” Our hopes were that when making Instagram or Snapchat stories, photographers and vendors would search something like, published, or featured, and see our GIF Stickers. (You can also search tbl or two bright lights and they will come right up!).
3. Bring in the Graphic Designer
We decided to outsource this project to a creative who was able to bring our GIF Sticker dreams to life! Using our GIF Stickers concepts, we relayed them to the designer and they created them. We relayed our small critiques and ended up getting the exact product we had envisioned. Our key tip: upload your first round Stickers to Giphy and then play around with them once they are uploaded. This way you can relay feedback on the finished product in the way the user will actually be using them.
4. Finalizing & Uploading
Finally, it was time to release our final Stickers into the wild. This upload process took all of 5 minutes. (Seriously, so easy). It took about an hour or two after for the Stickers to appear when looking them up via the Sticker search bar on Instagram and Snapchat. The search bars are available in the add-on section in Instagram Stories or Snapchat and give you access to all the Stickers on Giphy’s site. If you were to type “TBL,” for example, you can take a look at our little creations. If you don't quite understand the process, take a look below!
That’s all there is to it, folks! Overall our experience with creating GIF Stickers was fun, simple, and most importantly free brand awareness. In one day, even our trial run Stickers reached 400k+ users. We can’t wait to see how many users we will reach with our final stickers that are available to use right now.
Make sure to check out Pt 2: How to Make Brand GIF Stickers for Your Business.
Written by: Jenny Hicks
Stickers: Kelsey Ohira