3 Ways to Create Your Own Animated GIFs

If you want to spice up your presentations or you’re simply looking to create an animated GIF that adds meaning and excitement to your blog or social profiles, here are three simple tools Ill often turn to.

Animated GIFs have been around for years, but over the last year theyve started to become prominent across blogs and social media (especially Twitter). They are fun, moving images that are great to capture people’s attention and communicate thoughts, emotions and jokes that words simply won’t capture.

Additionally, animated GIFs are great for increasing your headline click-through-rates.

The results for an A/B testing campaign run by an LA-based marketing agency showed that their animated GIF scored a 26% increase in the click-through rate compared to the non-animated version of the email.

Here are three ways you can create your own animated GIFs in just a few minutes:

1. Recordit: Animated Screencasts

Recordit is an easy to use tool that gives GIFs a more professional purpose than looped bloopers and cat clips. This tool helps you create short, embedded-able mini-screencasts that allows you to showcase on-screen functions rather than shooting full-length videos.

You can easily turn a screen capture into an animated GIF and demonstrate how to use certain functionalities, whether it’s an online tool, a software on your computer or practically anything which might be easier to show than typing out a long-winded instruction manual.

The above GIF pretty much sums up how simple it is to use the tool, but for a more thorough run down of the finer details, heres what you need to do:

1. Go to Recordit.co and click on the “Download” button near the bottom of the page.

2. Once you are ready to record, click on the Recordit icon in your menu / task bar. Click and drag over the area you want to record and it will start recording right away.

3. Once you are done, click on the “Stop” button and it will start processing and sending the recording to the cloud.

4. Click on the “All Done” button to go to the video or click on the “GIF” link to go to the GIF instead. You will be notified of a link once it is done and you can either download the file to your computer or simply share the link URL.

2. GifDeck: Animated Presentations

Recordit is great for creating mini-screencasts, but what about turning static Slideshare presentations into interactive GIF animations?

Why Slideshare? According to Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, Slideshare is the digital marketing secret weapon because only 15% of social media marketers use them! It turns out, as social media marketers only turn to Slideshare when theyve had more experience in the industry.

So if youre already taking advantage of Slideshare, heres where Gifdeck can help broaden the reach of your presentation.

GifDeck allows you to easily transform your presentations into eye-catching animations by pasting your SlideShare link into GifDeck.in

Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick a SlideShare URL and paste it into GifDeck.
  1. Click the “Settings” icon to adjust how long you want each slide to appear, how many slides you want to be included and the size of the GIF.
  1. Click on the “Submit” button to start the process.
  1. Wait until GIFDeck creates your GIF and you will see the progress status below the “Submit” button.
  1. Once it’s done, you can download the GIF file by clicking on the “Save” button. Then, you can embed the GIF in an email, blog post, Google+ or Twitter.

By default, GIFDeck will create GIF files of 10 slides or images with an interval of 800 milliseconds and size has been set to Medium. You can change the settings by clicking on the “Gear” icon and adjusting the slide number to more than 10.

If your presentation is particularly long, convert only the first 10 or so slides and use the GIF as a “teaser” to encourage people to click on your link and watch the whole presentation (like what I did here on Google+)

One great use of converting slides into GIF animations is that it can be embedded into an email window, so your recipient can easily view the slides in any browser or email client. If you create a lot of presentations in your line of work  you should definitely give GifDeck a try.

3. LICEcap – Animated Screen Captures

LICEcap is also very easy to use (like record.it) – it captures an area of your window or desktop and saves it directly as a GIF animation.

Here is how to setup Licecap:

  1. LICEcap starts out as an empty frame on your screen so you can position it on top of whatever youd like to capture (notepad file, web page, Excel sheet, etc.), size the window accordingly and hit “Record”.
  1. You can pause the recording and drag the frame around to capture different parts of the screen. You can use the “Control + Alt + P” shortcut to pause the recording, to stop the mouse cursor from showing up over the screen as you hit the “Pause” button. 
  1. When youre finished, LICEcap will save your work as a GIF, which can be embedded online just like you would any other image.

It appears that each time an old trend comes back to life, it stirs creativity and innovation. Who would’ve thought that GIFs would make it back into mainstream media and have people go crazy over lopped animations?

Recordit, GifDeck and LICEcap are three creative ways you can have fun with GIFs and share them with your team members, customers, prospects and family. They are  fun and easy to use!

We’d love to see what you can come up with, so please share  some of your experiences with GIFs in the comments section below.