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How Community Banks Can Create and Use Custom GIFs Wisely

How Community Banks Can Create and Use Custom GIFs Wisely

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.



We’ve all seen fun GIFs (animated images) turned into memes and used as text message responses. They’re a fun way to keep a conversation or social media thread dynamic, but can GIFs be used more strategically by community banks? You bet! First, let’s dive into how you can easily create a GIF and then dive into how you can use them.

How To Create A GIF (Step-By-Step)

There are many different methods you can use when creating a GIF. Here are some of my favorites.


This website has one of the biggest collections of GIFs on the internet. It also has great and easy to use tools that will help you make your own excellent GIFs. It works on any browser, and you can use it on mobile or desktop. GIPHY also has Android and iOS apps that can be used on your mobile device. Check out their website by clicking the link below!

Method 1 – GIF Maker

This method lets you create GIFs by simply uploading a video file or pasting a video URL (e.g. YouTube Video). Once you have either uploaded a video file or pasted a video URL, you can edit it using GIPHY’s easy to use intuitive interface. By using the GIF Maker tools, all you need to do is select a point in the video where you want the GIF to start, then select how long it should keep going (where the GIF ends), and finally add a caption and click ‘Create GIF’. That’s it, and you have created a custom GIF! The GIF you just created will be added to GIPHY and you can use it instantly, wherever you would like. 

Method 2 – GIPHY Slideshow

Slideshow is a different tool that has been created by GIPHY. It lets you combine images and even other GIFs to create an animated GIF slideshow. To begin, you first choose the images/GIFs you want to use and simply upload the images and GIF files. Next, decide the order in which they will appear in the GIF and the length of time the images will appear in the slideshow. That’s all it takes. 


This is a free tool that removes the background from GIFs and Videos. If you have a GIF you want to use, but you only need the subject within the GIF and not the background, then Unscreen can help with that. I’ve used this tool before, and it is so easy (See my GIF to the right). All you need to do is upload the GIF you wanted to edit, and it will do the work for you (It really is just that easy!).

Pro Tip: You can replace the background that has been removed with a number of pre-selected backgrounds that Unscreen has available. If not, then just download the transparent GIF (no background). Or, you can go “Pro” and pull your new video into a platform like Canva and pick a cool template for even more design options. 


This tool makes GIF creation quick and easy. To start, all you need to do is upload images to turn into a GIF or a Video file. When using this tool, I like that you can crop images, adjust canvas size, change the speed of transitions and the number of times the GIF should repeat. This is a brilliant tool that should be tried when looking to create unique GIFs for your bank.

How Do GIFs Punch Up Your Digital Marketing?

Massive well-known companies have been using GIFs to add excitement to their marketing strategies to stand out. We all know that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. GIFs can be a solution because they spark a quicker emotional connection than regular images and they’re shorter than typical videos, so you get your point across lightning fast. 

How Can A Bank Use GIFs?

GIFs aren’t always the appropriate tool. (Something I’m sure your compliance office will likely agree with.) However, when used correctly, GIFs can be perfect for social media and blog posts. Why? Because it’s a great way to show your bank’s personality! 
Here are a few ideas for you to use as a springboard for your own bank’s GIFs:

  • For a bank that works in agriculture loans, the bank’s logo could sit on top of a tractor that drives in circles or across the screen.
  • Or for auto loans, a car could speed by the bank’s logo, making the logo spin around super fast.
  • For more of a community feel, you could have a gif of your team doing something silly or show them being involved in a community activity (like park beautification, etc.).
  • GIFs are a great way to announce new products and features, like mobile deposits or online banking. The GIF is much more engaging than a plain announcement or still picture.
  • GIFs are also a great way to show your features being used with screencaptures!

GIFs are phenomenal for presenting the same information but in a more eye-catching and easier to digest way. Plus, GIFs typically get many more impressions and much more engagement, which means more of your customers will see it and remember it. 

Did you catch our previous blogs “Four Ways Imagery Impacts Your Bank’s Brand” and “Cool Tools for Branding Your Bank Better”? Make sure to check them out as we offer many free tools for bank branding right at your fingertips!

Interested in learning more about digital marketing tools and how they can impact your bank’s branding strategy? Sign up for our email list to receive the most recent and up-to-date digital marketing information for your bank!


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