Cinegif, an Austin-based startup that makes it easy for companies to create GIFs for use in marketing campaigns, has raised $500,000 in funding from Texas angel investors including the Baylor Angel Network, the Houston Angel Network and its related Texas Halo Fund. The angel round will be used by Cinegif to accelerate sales and marketing for its cloud-based GIF marketing platform.
Though there are a host of GIF editors ranging from apps like Cinemagram to Adobe Photoshop’s timeline panel available, Cinegif wants to attract companies by offering an all-in-one platform with easy editing tools, unlimited cloud-based hosting and a real-time analytic dashboard to gauge the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. In addition to GIFs, Cinegif’s editor can also be used to make “FIGs,” or rich media files that include multiple GIFs, stills and hyperlinks, and can be inserted into Web sites and emails with an embed code.
“Cinegif’s Marketing Cloud was specifically designed to enable marketers and advertisers to create more engaging digital content while controlling the entire process, eliminating the need for outsourcing content or rich media creation, therefore saving a company time while reducing cost,” CEO Graham McFarland explained.
The company’s clients, which currently include Hewlett-Packard, the Austin Chronicle, digital marketing company Pulsepoint and T3Media, a video management and licensing company, have used GIFs and rich media files made on Cinegif in email and social media campaigns, Web sites, e-commerce displays and advertising.
“The average online attention span is only about 10 seconds and because we’re constantly being bombarded by imagery everywhere, getting noticed is becoming increasingly difficult, which is why innovative marketers and advertisers have turned to GIF marketing,” said McFarland.
The company says its patented conversion and compression process minimizes file size while producing GIFs with the same color quality as files created with a program like Photoshop. The platform also optimizes its rich media files to be compatible across different platforms without plugins, unlike Adobe Flash.
Cinegif’s analytics dashboard displays real-time data about the amount of views, clicks and mouse hovers each file is receiving, and can differentiate between individual cells in a FIG file, as well as the multiple areas it has been embedded within. McFarland says Cinegif plans to add more features to the GIF Marketing Platform, including additional analytics to help clients better optimize their content.