Will ‘short-lived’ content be the future of social media?
If you’re like me, the moment you heard the phrase ‘ephemeral content’, your first reaction is to slowly raise your eyebrow before proceeding with doing extensive research on Google. Ephemeral content in fact is not a new, fancy marketing buzz. The elusive term is actually one of the biggest social media trends back in 2018.
What is Ephemeral Content?
Let’s make it clear first, what exactly is ephemeral content? Marketing experts refer the term as the type of content, generally found on social media, which are accessible for a brief period of time, after which they will self-destruct.
Now, if you put it that way, it does sound familiar, doesn’t it?
That’s right. Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are the three most popular social networks featuring this type of content: Stories. Lasting for only 24-hours before vanishing from the platform, Stories have become an incredibly popular social media phenomenon.
Most brands leverage ephemeral content to maximize their brand building potential. But why should brands invest in a marketing strategy that only lasts for 24 hours?
Ephemeral Content Marketing and FOMO
As a marketing tactic, the ‘temporary’ characteristic in ephemeral content takes advantage of the FOMO effect and is specifically designed to evoke an immediate response from the audience. The sense of urgency in the content not only promotes the brand but also stimulates interest in its products or services without wasting time.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is undeniably a robust motivator in modern consumer’s behavior. This is the primary reason why boxing day and flash sales are extremely popular. The fleeting nature of ephemeral content prompted the audience to actively seek a particular brand out of fear of missing it altogether. Brands can use this to their advantage to somehow force the audience to check into their site on a regular basis. Leveraging FOMO to systematically build top-of-mind awareness on the audience is one of the best brand building strategies on social media.
Ephemeral Content Marketing
This 2019, utilizing ephemeral content as part of marketing strategy doesn’t seem to be a choice anymore. Online retailers and businesses of all sizes have taken to Stories to advertise their products and extend their brand building efforts. Snapchat and Instagram Stories’ success boasts 400 million daily users is just another solidifying seal of approval to say that ephemeral content works.
Check out these ephemeral content marketing strategies that your brands could leverage in their next marketing campaigns.
Embrace authenticity to humanize brand
Statistics show that 86% of digital users crave authenticity more than ever. Ephemeral content is one of the best marketing strategies to showcase brand authenticity while humanizing it at the same time. After all, what digital consumers want is the raw emotional relationship they can build with brands. Ephemeral content is also a highly effective method to boost brand loyalty by allowing the audience greater insight into the company culture via social media stories.
Starbucks is one of the best brands that successfully utilizing ephemeral content to illustrate the brand’s efforts for social good. Putting their brand values upfront, Starbucks leverage Instagram Stories to teach people how to order their favorite menu item using sign language. It’s such a creative way to emphasis the brand’s authenticity and make it relatable to the audience.
Boost engagement with interactive content
The great thing about ephemeral content is that not only it allows brand to impress the audience with its products or services but also allows the audience to engage with the brand on a more personal level. With limited lifespan, disappearing content creates a sense of urgency that will elevate the brand’s voice above other permanent posts to grab the audience’s attention and trigger immediate responses to boost engagement. Some the best short-lived content to accomplish this goal include: video tutorials, Q&A session via live-stream, and running polls.
AirBnB is one of the brands that manage to engage its followers with interactive Instagram Stories content. The company publishes a series of holiday destination posts in a quiz-format so that users can partake in guessing the mystery locations. Since people love quizzes, this content successfully attracts many viewers.
Increase followers and drive traffic
Did you know that you can expand your follower base and drive traffic at the same time with ephemeral content? It is casual, highly shareable, and easily digestible. On top of that, because of its temporary nature, people don’t think twice to share it and with that, brands can easily earn a valuable visibility boost. After all, when it comes to reaching potential customers, huge followers database doesn’t always guarantee successful marketing campaigns. Furthermore, with features like Swipe Up, brands can easily drive traffic to their websites. One of the simplest strategies to make a highly shareable ephemeral content is by utilizing geofilters and hashtags.
Sprout Social shared a Stories content that featured an expert giving career tips from its HQ. By adding a geotag, the audience can immediately see where the company’s HQ is located and find other posts with similar geotag. As such, the audience can browse Stories based on location, so adding geotag is a smart method to increase the brand’s exposure.
Thanks to the popularity of mobile phones, social shopping is experiencing massive growth. Efficiency and convenience have become important factors in influencing their purchasing decision. Audience are ready to not only discover products on social media but also make purchases. In fact, statistics show that 80% of shoppers often make impulse purchases online. Therefore, it’s important to provide them with enhanced customer experience and optimized accounts. Short-lived ephemeral content is extremely beneficial to encourage this.
Dear Frances, a luxury shoemaker brand, showcased its products with Instagram Stories highlighting a special deal and using a clear call-to-action urging customers to act immediately so save money. The brand improves the audience’s shopping experience by redirecting them directly to its website where they can learn more about the products and make purchases.
Over to You
On the first glance, ephemeral content seems to be working against all the basic principles of marketing. After all, why put effort into something that is going to be forgotten after one day? However, despite its limitations, ephemeral content actually offers huge marketing potential.
With a growing number of its users and the rising popularity of Stories, ephemeral content has positioned itself as one of the most highly effective tactics to cut through today’s social media noise, build brand awareness, as well as promote products and services. Marketers just need to maintain a clear brand voice and ultimately, know how to have fun with it.
Clap before you leave!