With an attention span of 8 seconds (even less than that of a Goldfish), it is not surprising to witness the demand for short-lived and authentic content. What’s more, you have the advantage of keeping your posts from those meddlesome relatives (and maybe parents too!). And hey, isn’t that why Snapchat became the ‘secret hideout’ of young internauts?
So, what’s the big deal about the buzzword ‘Ephemeral Content’ for marketers? Well, it is an invaluable asset that can generate an immediate response from your audience. Want to know how? But before that…
What is ‘Ephemeral Content’ and how it came into the picture?
Content-driven by FOMO, or the fear of missing out, having a limited life span (usually 24 hours), including images or videos is what we call ‘Ephemeral Content’. The concept became popular with the birth of Snapchat and its “disappearing photos” function and later with “stories”- a feature added in 2013. The application gained immense popularity (so much that Mark Zuckerberg offered a lofty sum for its purchase) and encouraged other social platforms to incorporate the feature. And now we have ephemeral content everywhere;
- Snapchat Stories (2013)
- Instagram Stories (2016)
- Facebook Stories (2017)
- WhatsApp Stories (2017)
- YouTube Stories (2018)
- Twitter Fleets (2020)
- LinkedIn Stories (2020)
What makes marketers leverage ephemeral content?
What’s so great about “stories” that disappear after a certain period of time? – The question of every marketer. Well, they work because they disappear.
Driven by FOMO (fear of missing out)
Creating a sense of urgency and instilling the fear of missing out on a valuable piece of content is more likely to induce users to take immediate action. This is certainly better than users re-visiting evergreen content, at their own pace (at times they do not even remember)
Generates immediate response
Since they are available for a limited period, users will tend to make immediate responses (eventually making a purchase). Snapchat and Instagram stories allow adding links to stories that will land the viewers on another page. Brands leverage these links as their call-to-action (“swipe up” being the most popular) telling their audience what action they need to take.
Boosts audience engagement
For marketers, audience engagement is an important metric (more important than follower count). Instagram Stories provide a myriad of stickers like poll stickers, quiz stickers, countdown stickers, question stickers, and many more. They make stories fun and engaging. Better engagement will build brand loyalty and a positive customer relationship.
Widen audience reach
“Stories” are all about being casual and informal and it takes a few seconds for a user to share that informal piece of content with their friends and followers (especially ones who are not following you yet). Hence, your content is visible to a wide range of audiences.
How can you use ephemeral content?
One of the facets of ephemeral marketing is its authenticity. Showing employees behind the products and services are more likely to captivate consumers. And then, using user-generated content to show how your existing customers are satisfied with your products will boost audience trust. Ephemeral content will expose your audience to the personality behind your organization. Being impromptu is the best filter you can give to your content.
Inconsistent social media is worse than no social media. Consistent content will imply to the viewers that you are a legitimate business they can trust. While inconsistency can put on an impression that no one is actually engaging with your brand. Consistency does not however mean that you have to post daily in high numbers. Maintaining a schedule with devised timings and dates can help you remain consistent.
Black Friday sale? Post it. New product release? Post it. 75% discount on leather jackets for the next 2 days? Post it! (of course, add the CTA links to let them initiate instant action)
Viewers get to know what’s happening in your organization (and who doesn’t love sales?), and your business gets exposure (eventually boosting sale count)
Involve your audience
We’ve already mentioned earlier that ephemeral content is a great way to boost audience engagement. The built-in features of polls and quizzes initiate a two-way conversation between consumers and organizations. Leveraging these features, you can encourage your audience to involve in your content that will give you a plethora of information on your audience.