Thursday, May 7, 2015

Social Media Marketers: Increase ROI using Cinemagraphs

Are you trying to pitch a new social media campaign and find that catching consumers’ attention is now harder than ever? As a graduate student specializing in brand strategies and visual solutions at Northwestern University, I have found two articles which will tell you how to use cinemagraphs to increase engagement with your audience.

According to "Marketers Experiment with Cinemagraph Ads" by Jack Marshall of The Wall Street Journal‎, marketers are increasingly using new visual tactics, such as cinemagraphs in social media. The article states that the format of cinemagraphs takes the best of photography and video, which could capture consumers’ attention. It also shows that cinemagraphs are profitable, since the cinemagraph version of the ad generated 60% more click-through rate than the static version. The author also talks about how Facebook’s autoplay video function enables marketers to create unexpected social content -- cinemagraph type advertisements.



A cinemagraph created by Flixel and ADC Digital brings to life one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century.

The second article “5 Ways to Use Cinemagraphs in Digital Marketing Campaigns,” by Cassandra King of The Flixel, shows five case studies of how to use cinemagraphs on all of your digital channels. On social media: “Bates Motel”, inspired by the film“Psycho”, created fabulous cinemagraphs, which saw thousands of shares and comments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Netflix used cinemagraphs in their email marketing campaigns for its most successful original series—“House of Cards”. The cinemagraphs in The Nature Conservancy’s website bring in hundreds of thousands of viewers. For digital displays, Marilyn Monroe for Sexy Hair was projected on the sides of various landmark buildings in Times Square.

Based on my experience in integrated marketing communications and the information provided from these two articles, I recommend you use the following tactics to create imaginary marketing campaigns: 

1.    Explore cinemagraphs. You can explore the HD resolution cinemagraphs on Flixel and Ann Street Studio, which are uploaded by design professional and cinemagraph fans.

2.    Use cinemagraph apps. You can use Flixel, ICinegraphKinotopic and Cinemagr.Am. Simply begin by recording a video and choose the segment you want to extract from your recording. Then highlight the area which you wish to animate.

3.    Upload cinemagraphs on 5 digital channels. Try to use cinemagraphs as a part of digital marketing campaigns. It will increase engagement with your audience.

As a social media marketer, it is important for you to catch the most popular trend like cinemagraphs. In a cluttered newsfeed on Facebook, you only have 3 seconds to get the audiences’ attention. When done well, eye-catching cinemagraphs have the ability to increase your ROI. Follow these three steps in order to set your brand apart and delight your audience.



Yanru Li (Ruby) is a M.S. candidate of integrated marketing communication at Medill, Northwestern University. With a background in psychology, Ruby is passionate about brand strategy and shopper marketing. Connect with Yanru Li (Ruby) on Twitter and LinkedIn

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