Ephemeral content is media that is only visible for a brief period of time. Spearheaded by the rise of Snapchat, examples of ephemeral content include Instagram Stories and live streaming videos. Although it is far from a new concept, ephemeral content is rising in popularity among businesses hoping to grow their social media presence.
According to Search Engine Journal, temporary content drives the majority of traffic on social media platforms. While it may be difficult to justify investing time and resources into making a video that will disappear in 24 hours, ephemeral content has its unique advantages that may be worth pursuing.
- Reaching more (and younger) people
Instagram and Snapchat stories enable businesses to reach a much wider audience as they are inherently shareable. Short videos and images can easily be shared with a single tap, making it a great way to increase visibility. These forms of content are also very popular among younger audiences, thus helping brands form connections with these target populations.
- Building trust and brand loyalty
You will often see brands using ephemeral content to lead their audience on a “behind-the-scenes” tour of their business. By giving your followers a peek into your company culture and day-to-day processes, you can increase brand loyalty by responding to your target market’s need for transparency. Social media users can tell when content is staged and hyper-polished. Ephemeral content is a breath of fresh air that can present a new level of authenticity to any brand.
- Increasing engagement
The short-lived nature of ephemeral content is what makes it so engaging. Social media users see this form of content to be highly relevant and pay more attention to it as they know it will soon disappear. This sense of urgency not only elicits more content sharing as they don’t want their friends to miss out, but also encourages frequent engagement as users check back for new stories and updates.
Ephemeral content has become an essential tool for increasing brand engagement. Like any other form of social media content, there are certain formats that can help optimise your results.
First, your content should reach out to your audience to increase their direct engagement with your brand. Holding Instagram Marketing Story Q&A’s can be a great way for your target audience to get to know your brand and improve transparency.
Adopting a storytelling approach, for example through how-to’s, can keep audiences engaged for a longer period of time. It is also important to tailor your story to your audience’s needs and demographics.
Temporary content is, of course, temporary. After you have started posting content, you will need a strategy to continue producing content that is consistent in nature. User engagement requires you to post regularly. However, this doesn’t always mean you need to spend all day finding inspiration: a tour of your office or a short chat with an employee may be enough!
Overall, ephemeral content is an excellent tool for capturing attention through its natural format that promotes interaction. However, ephemeral content should be used in conjunction with other types of permanent content. Used effectively, it is an inexpensive method of building brand engagement with your target audience and increasing your online reach.