Today’s social media content is constantly evolving and changing, both in the short and long term.
Platforms upgrade often and algorithms are adjusted to accommodate current trends.
Each time you open up your favorite social media app and start to scroll, what you see is different than the last time, even if you just looked at a few minutes ago. In a largely successful attempt to leverage the rapid pace of the social media world, brands are actively using ephemeral content to gain new fans and keep current enthusiasts engaged.
What is ephemeral content? 🤔
Ephemeral content may sound like a fancy buzzword, but it describes a relatively simple concept.
Simply put, it’s temporary content that disappears forever after a prescribed, usually short, length of time. More specifically, for the purpose of marketing and branding, ephemeral content can only be accessed for 24 hours after it’s published.
Why does it work?
Like it or not, social media in general caters to our short attention spans and FOMO, or “Fear of Missing Out”.
Just like no one wants to stay home on Friday night and miss out on the possibility of an epic evening, no one wants to miss an intriguing Instagram Story, spine-tingling Snap, or fascinating Facebook Story. So, ephemeral content keeps users constantly checking in. It’s also why people are more likely to click on Stories when they would scroll right past another ad or post. With other types of content, people tend to think they’ll “get back to it later” (spoiler alert: they never do), but Stories and Snaps have an immediacy that keeps viewers clicking.
Beyond just keeping those engagements rolling in, ephemeral content is a useful tool in brand building and brand recognition campaigns. Generally speaking, Stories have a more casual look and feel that boosts a brand’s authenticity with its audience, whether they are new or established fans.
Carefully crafted ad campaigns can feel stiff and tend to be repeated multiple times in users’ feeds. A Story that is designed to complement that campaign, however, can be funny, wacky, or emotional. Whatever the emotion that it is intended to evoke, it feels more genuine and personal when it only appears once.
How to leverage ephemeral content
Mastering the “vibe” of ephemeral content can be tricky, as it’s different from more traditional social media marketing.
But, there a few types of Stories that tend to garner a positive response and play up a brand’s relatability and boost engagement:
- Day in the life/Behind the scenes videos show a more casual side.
- Quick contests encourage reactions and shares.
- Q and As provide information in a relaxed format.
As with all types of content, there are a few important things to remember.
Though Story content is different, it should not stray from a brand’s mission and vision. It should be engaging, casual, and on-brand. To maintain engagement and build reputation, Stories should be consistent. They can vary in actual format and theme but should be posted on a consistent basis. Ephemeral content takes advantage of the immediacy of social media, which means that you can disappear from people’s minds just as quickly as you appeared.
Ephemeral content is just one tool used by social media marketers to humanize a brand.
There is a reason they are called “Stories”, after all — they offer the opportunity to tell your story in a way that is both attention-grabbing and memorable. Even if it only exists at that moment, it can have a lasting impact on your brand. Need help crafting a Story? We’re happy to help.