Ephemeral content is content that has a limited life. Unlike a blog or web page that remains indefinitely, ephemeral content is usually up 24 hours or less. For many traders, this seems completely counterintuitive. Traditional marketing has always focused on content that lasts and can be recycled in the future. However, with the growing popularity of Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories, the marketing strategy has to keep up with changing times to stay efficient.

What’s a story?

Stories are compilations of photos or videos. They can be live or pre-designed. There are options to be creative with filters and illustrations, or you can simply point and shoot. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook all have story versions. Each platform has subtle differences but they are more similar than different. Facebook users are gifted with a story each year when Facebook compiles their year in review articles.

For many companies, video content is out of reach financially. It may not be in the budget to invest in equipment or to hire a supplier. The cost-risk analysis can be too scary for a small business.

One of the great things about ephemeral content marketing is that you do not need special equipment. If you have a smartphone, you have a smartphone, is not it? – then you have what you need. Part of the charm of history is the authenticity of it. The less smooth, the better. It’s a way to add video to your marketing strategy without the big investment.

Who uses it?

  • Taco Bell uses Snapchat to promote new products and customer experiences.
  • The NBA gives fans a glimpse of the team behind the scenes to boost excitement and the audience for upcoming games.
  • McDonald unveiled a new product line on Snapchat.
  • Mashable engages consumers by holding a weekly contest to feature in one of his stories.
  • GrubHub offers exclusive promotions to its subscribers.

Why Does Ephemeral Content Marketing Work?

At first glance, it seems really strange that content that disappears quickly actually works. So, what is motivating this phenomenon and why is it successful?

The fear of missing, or the fear of loss, has always influenced the marketing strategy. This is why the world is full of signage touting clearance items, today only, closing and sales once a year. Ephemeral marketing takes this same concept and pushes it one step further. This gives all this a sensation from time to time. This drives buyers to make decisions faster and shorten the sales cycle.

Do I really need this?

Marketing is about communicating effectively with the target audience. Ephemeral social media platforms are not a thing of the future. They are now. Millennials have made ephemeral content relevant and Generation Z is developing there.

Generation Z has reached adulthood. Older members enter the labor market and, according to Nielsen data, represent 26% of the US population. Do you really want to ignore 26% of the population in your marketing strategy?

The most successful companies follow the trends. Can you imagine not having an online presence? At one point, there was a choice to embrace the Internet and create an online presence or not. Those who chose not to do very well.

How to Leverage Ephemeral Content Marketing

  • Prove it. Everyone says that they are wonderful and they do charity work and they love babies and puppies. The new generation of consumers has finished hearing everyone pat themselves on the back. They want companies to prove it. If your business is volunteering, show it with a Facebook or Instagram story.
  • Be authentic. Ephemeral marketing is an opportunity for customers to know the business on a more personal level. Ask a real employee to take a behind-the-scenes look at the offices, manufacturing plant or sales team. Let your personality shine through. Do not be perfect, be real.
  • Engage your audience. This is the perfect opportunity to connect with your target market. For example, you can use the live option with Instagram Stories, and viewers can interact in real time. This can be as simple as a request-me-what session.
  • A stealthy look. Use it to create a buzz for an upcoming event or sale. Launch of a new product? Build up to the big ad by creating stories that will drop some tantalizing clues behind the scenes.
  • Keep it cool. In general, people do not regularly view a web page to see what has been updated, but they regularly check their stories because they know that they are timely and new.
  • Be consistent. Create a plan and stick to it. If you occasionally create ephemeral content, people will stop looking for it. If your content is broadcast each day at a certain time, they will look forward to it.
  • Stay relevant. Just like other marketing content, make sure you stay relevant, so your target market wants to engage with you.

Important reminder

Ephemeral marketing does not replace other forms of marketing. Do not stop what you do. Add this to the mix.

Photo via Shutterstock