Skip to main content

Ephemeral content 101: What it is and how to leverage it in your marketing strategy

By April 27, 2018Industry

54843368_MEphemeral content is exploding in popularity right now, but too few brands are taking advantage of this unique, short-term opportunity to get in front of consumers’ eyes. If you’re wondering what in the world ephemeral content is, it’s the short-term content posted on Snapchat and other platforms that typically expires 24 hours after you post it. While this may seem like too much effort for such a limited timeframe, the benefits of creating ephemeral content might surprise you:

Fresh content every day. Snapchat was the original ephemeral content platform, but Facebook and Instagram have also embraced this approach for both their regular users and business advertisers alike. While marketers previously thought short-term content would fade from audience’s memory (and thus, wasn’t worth investing in), the success of ephemeral stories on these social platforms demonstrates that audiences are hungry for fresh content every day. From a marketer’s perspective, this means you should be actively posting new photos and videos on your stories, whether you’re simply saying hello to your followers (even this small gesture could increase engagement with your brand) or showing folks exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peeks into your brand’s products, services, and daily operations, ephemeral content is useful for keeping your brand at the forefront of your audiences’ minds, even if they don’t see your regular posts in their social feeds all the time.

Reach wider audiences. Millions of people view stories on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook every day. In fact, 250 million Instagram users view stories on the platform each day (outpacing Snapchat’s figures, by some measures), which means you should be actively posting regular content and adding short-term content to your story. Ephemeral content is massively popular with younger audiences in the Millennial and Generation Z demographics, which suggests this is not just some social media trend that will fizzle out in a few months or years. To reach a wider audience and engage your current followers more frequently, try to post at least once or twice per day on your social stories.

Urgency and Exclusivity. One of the biggest benefits of ephemeral content is that you can create a real sense of urgency with your social media followers because they are aware your story posts won’t last longer than 24 hours. In the past, consumers have been wary of “Buy now before it’s too late!” messaging because it never felt truly urgent, but ephemeral content allows marketers to finally jump onboard the urgency train by crafting campaigns that promote deals expiring in 24 hours or less. This also adds an air of exclusivity to your campaigns because only the followers who acted before the story disappeared will get access to the amazing deal you promoted. To do this, simply create promo codes or unique calls-to-action that are only available through your Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook stories and follow through with your deadlines by only accepting those promo codes within the 24 hour window (warning: if you continue accepting promo codes even after the story expired, then you might lose credibility with your audience).