The dynamic nature of social media begets a constant stream of trends and buzzwords. Currently, the latest buzz concept is ephemeral content, brought by Snapchat’s popularity. Now, other platforms like Facebook and Instagram have embraced this approach for both their regular users and business advertisers as well.
Ephemeral content, simply put, is any content – typically, video or photo – that is available only for a brief period, usually 24 hours. While evergreen content has its pluses, relevant but short-lived content cannot be overlooked. Indeed, the term has become crucial to the digital marketing strategies of some brands, but many are still on the sidelines, not ready to try it out.
Ephemeral content creates a sense of urgency that’s driven by the fear of missing out (FOMO). Ephemeral content puts a now-or-never feel to your marketing campaign and can become an important source of lead generation and conversion in your marketing strategy. It also spreads your brand message and creates brand awareness quickly.
Wondering why you should start investing your time and money into content that will be lifeless in 24 hours? Perhaps these figures will put everything into perspective:
Research by 99firms.com shows that Instagram stories have 300 million daily viewers.
- 1 in 5 organic stories from businesses gets a direct message
- Time spent on Instagram stories has increased from 15 to 32 minutes daily
- The spending power of millennials is expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2020
- Ephemeral content is shared 40 times more often on social media than other types of content.
- Ephemeral content has been accepted widely even though shared content becomes yesterday’s news in 24 hours.
However, ephemeral content is an invaluable tool for your business and here’s why.
Instagram alone has 200 million people engaging in its stories every day. Also, visual content has a 40 times higher chance of being shared by people on social media platforms than other kinds of content. Users require constant fresh content that is worth the share, for entertainment or educational purposes.
In Instagram, ephemeral content reaches audiences in two ways. First, stories appear in another feed; therefore it’s a way to increase visibility and put down the algorithm. Second, followers get notified when Instagram users go live, stirring up interest even if they usually don’t use the app.
This kind of ephemeral content is very popular with younger audiences in the Millennial and Generation Z demographics. To effectively reach your followers, try posting at least once or twice daily on your social stories and make it fun.
Also, brands can use ephemeral content to create a buzz or promote a product by requesting its followers to engage with the content.
Ephemeral content can highly improve brand loyalty by showing authenticity and real human faces behind the brand. How? Short-lived content usually doesn’t need to be curated or polished and therefore has a genuine feel to it, bringing out a sense of inspiration. It also uncovers the curtain of unreal and made-up perfection around the brand that will often cause people to isolate themselves from it.
The beauty about ephemeral content is that it’s not necessarily expensive and anyone with a smartphone can create it. This makes it accessible for brands and businesses at all levels, be it startups or multi-million corporations.
Ephemeral content not only offers engagement but a possibility for revenue. Instagram, for instance, allows brands to include links in their stories which can redirect users to their company website to view promotions, offers, or new products. The number of Instagram posts is skyrocketing and, in the process, users can’t keep up with the numerous posts in the feed.
It’s therefore imperative to come up with engaging content to reach out to a broader audience.
Content that has a short lifespan is attractive for brands since it brings out a sense of urgency within the consumers, pushing them to respond immediately.
Users are forced to keep up with a company’s ephemeral content so that they don’t lag behind or experience FOMO (fear of missing out). They become intimately connected to the temporary content, hence feeling a part of the action – getting information in its unpolished state is more exciting than getting it from a secondary source.
Give Your Customers A Sneak Peek Experience
Ephemeral content is a simple yet sophisticated method for companies to give users a behind the scene experience, making them feel like insiders. Exclusivity is attractive and will get your audience flocking to content that will keep them in the know.
Whether you’re showcasing a new product or offering details about an up and coming promotional offer, ephemeral content enables consumers to interact with businesses on an intimate level.
By hosting events via social media or through video marketing, a company can interact with their fans as they respond to call-to-action by sending in their images or videos. The incorporation of technology and marketing is a sure reward for the brand.
While ephemeral content may seem a daunting task in terms of consistently creating top-notch material, the rewards are worth it in the end. Always keep the content direct and straightforward to connect with your followers in a more humanized way and adopt a storytelling approach. This way, you can make your brand story known in an impactful and inexpensive way.
Ephemeral content can be a game changer for companies, and it’s here to stay. Brands should come on board and include it in their marketing strategy or face a possibility of losing their audience. Ephemeral content is definitely exploring a dimension evergreen content cannot hope to reach and it’s therefore what your business needs to get to the next level.