One evening in the midst of our usual evening tea, my mom, an Instagram Fanatic, seemed rather distracted by something that had caught her eye on the phone. She swayed her phone from side to side and squinted her eyes trying hard to focus. Noticing that the tendrils of steam wafting out of her teacup were growing thinner, I called out to her. She suddenly piped up, “do objects actually move on Instagram or is it just me? Is there something wrong with me”? I had to burst out laughing as I told her that she was not hallucinating, but rather getting mesmerized by the hypnotic power of something known as a “cinemagraph”.

A cinemagraph combines a still image with a looping moving element to create a striking and eye-catching image. Cinemagraphs are not only chic, they unobtrusively draw audience into their magic. And the best part is, when you stare at an image and it enchantingly comes to life, you will inevitably jump back in a delighted surprise. Indubitably, cinemagraphs serve to capture the eye of users with their inimitability.

It has never been easier for marketers to mesmerize social media users with these striking and dynamic photos. In fact, a study by PepsiCo revealed that a cinemagraph performed 5,000% better as compared to a still photo; a whopping 50X lift in engagement from a cinemagraph. Which is why the trend of leveraging cinemagraphs on Instagram is growing ever more exponentially, since more and more brands are embracing the power of cinemagraphs on Instagram.

For instance, when Budweiser showed off a moving leg and subtle beer suds to breathe life into its Instagram photos, people absolutely fell head over heels with their posts.

For the perfect pour, pour a Budweiser. #ThisBudsForYou

A post shared by Budweiser (@budweiser) on

For focusing on friends, not your phone. #ThisBudsForYou

A post shared by Budweiser (@budweiser) on

Or remember when Toyota placed an SUV in the woods next to a mountain bike rider, with puffs of dust emanating from under the bike wheels to give an illusion of speed.

With only a few precious seconds available to capture the attention of your audience, digital marketers are always looking for more engaging, interesting and attention-grabbing video content. Last year, almost every major brand shared these living photographs on Instagram in a series of intriguing ways. Many established brands such as Nike, Netflix, Lays, Coca-Cola, Lufthansa, and even small businesses and non-profit organizations have taken to cinemagraphs on Instagram since last year, especially when it comes to their organic content, promoted posts and advertising material.

Why Should Brands Share Cinemagraphs on Instagram?

These quick, animated images with subtle movements look unusual and stand out against the static movements. Unlike regular images or videos, these magical photos are highly unique and attention-grabbing. With a great emphasis on photography and videography, more and more brands prefer to post cinemagraphs on Instagram.

The ability to upload auto-loop and auto-play clearly shows that these cinematic pictures can live longer on your Instagram feed and can easily be shared in your Instagram Stories. This is why more and more brands are getting the most out of cinemagraphs and are sharing these magical photos on Instagram ever more frequently.

Brands are getting high on this burgeoning medium, because:

  • Their bite-sized format makes them easily digestible.
  • They are cheaper and easier to produce than video content.
  • They are highly attention-grabbing without being annoying or distracting.
  • They encourage a higher level of engagement, since they are easily shareable.
  • They keep viewers engaged by offering intricate content.
  • They help brands come up with more elaborate visual storytelling techniques.

A New Advertising Medium to Drive Maximum Engagement!

If your brand is still not using cinemagraphs, now is the time to make the most of this hot, new and effective advertising medium that can help you gain maximum engagement. Brands and Instagrammers have started using this mesmerizing and dynamic photo-effect like wildfire, and now it is becoming one of the most effective advertising mediums.

Stuart Weitzman – the famous fashion brand is using the power of cinemagraphs on Instagram, and in order to influence its customers more effectively, they have started capitalizing on the custom targeting options integrated within Instagram to target its audience based on their demonstrated brand affinity, visits to the website, and interests. While these ads tantalize their fans with a sneak-peak of their products, they also mesmerize users with their creative execution.

Auto-playing and Auto-looping Videos

Cinemagraphs allow brands to bid adieu to static content. In today’s content-driven world where millions of photos, images, articles, and infographics are shared every day, digital marketers are always looking for some innovative and interesting ways to produce more engaging content. Cinemagraphs are action-driven video content that are way more fascinating than still images.

With Instagram auto-playing video content, cinemagraphs can seamlessly play in HD. In addition, auto-looping makes the platform a perfect choice for hybrid photography. Due to a perfect balance between photo and video, cinemagraphs can take the best of both artistic forms. Have a look at these Instagram posts, and you can see how these have brands have beautifully leveraged cinemagraphs in their Instagram ads.

In the real outback, there are no blooming onions. #Tracks is #NowOnNetflix

A post shared by Netflix US (@netflix) on

To put it in a nutshell, cinemagraphs can also be used as an alternative to videos on websites, since they are simply amazing and consume less bandwidth, thus ensuring a faster load time.

Final Words

The trend of using cinemagraphs on Instagram exploded last year and they have taken their place in conjunction with images and videos, as a very popular mainstream visual medium. They are taking the social media and digital marketing realm by storm. In 2018, it is expected that cinemagraphs will become one of the most popular advertising mediums on social media. Calling all digital marketers, if you haven’t started using this hot trend, now is the time to add cinemagraphs to your digital media strategy. Use them wisely and leave your audience in a trance.

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