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How Ephemeral Content Can Boost Your Digital Marketing Efforts

Social Media Marketing

Remember those polls you had fun answering on Instagram? Or when you saw behind-the-scenes footage of your favorite brand’s photoshoot? You may not notice, but these bits of information are ephemeral content. The great thing about them is they work like a charm at reeling in customers and keeping audiences hooked.

Ads on Instagram Stories have the potential to reach over 500 million individuals, given that half a billion users tune into Instagram Stories every day. Quite impressive, isn’t it? In a world of short attention spans, ephemeral content swoops in, grabbing attention and disappearing before you even know it. But this isn’t some magic trick.

It’s the power of temporary content at play. It’s engaging, interactive, and effective. If you want to learn how you can use ephemeral content marketing for your brand or business, keep reading. This blog shares everything you need to know about it, including examples, strategies, and more.

What is Ephemeral Content Marketing?

Ephemeral content is temporary, short-lived digital content that expires after a set period, often within 24 hours. Ephemeral content marketing leverages this fleeting nature. It’s all about crafting likable and timely content that captivates audiences and drives immediate action to foster a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

Perhaps the most popular ephemeral content is Instagram Stories. These photos and videos provide a glimpse into a brand or user’s daily lives. The same goes for TikTok’s short, entertaining clips. Facebook’s “Stories” feature offers a similar ephemeral experience, allowing users to share moments that disappear after a day.

One intriguing fact is that 62% of Instagram users express increased interest in brands or products after encountering them in Stories. This figure shows how impactful Instagram Stories can be for your marketing efforts.

What are Examples of Ephemeral Content?

Ephemeral content comes in various forms across different platforms, giving brands many opportunities to maximize their marketing approach on social media. Whether in fashion, healthcare, finance, or even agriculture, there’s something in for every industry. Here are some compelling ephemeral content examples in the local and international setting:

Instagram Stories

Clothing brand Abercrombie and Fitch utilizes Instagram Stories to flex high-quality product photos that capture audience attention and prompt purchases. Their Stories often include exclusive online-only items with a “Tap to Shop” link, encouraging immediate action. Abercrombie and Fitch seamlessly drives shopping momentum with their eye-catching visuals and copy.

Source: Abercrombie Instagram page

Facebook Stories

Lazada uses Facebook Stories to showcase various products, including discounts and ongoing sales. Limited-time offers and call-to-action (CTA) buttons help lead their audience to the Lazada app, boosting their chances of purchasing items.

Source: Lazada Instagram page

TikTok Challenges

TikTok hashtag challenges involve users creating content around a specific theme or prompt to drive participation. While not entirely ephemeral, as the content itself remains available unless the user deletes it, it can be considered as such due to its trend-based lifespan. These challenges are highly popular for a short period, riding on viral trends, and then often fade quickly as new trends emerge. So, while the content itself remains accessible, the interest and engagement in specific challenges are fleeting.

With that said, brands leverage these challenges to increase brand awareness and potentially spark viral trends, ultimately enhancing their marketing efforts. For instance, Converse initiated a branded hashtag challenge focused on their latest white leather shoes.

They encouraged creators to personalize their Converse shoes and share videos using the #ConverseAllStar hashtag. The most exceptional creations earned an invitation to the Converse London All-Star Creative event, providing users with an opportunity to display their creativity and interact with the brand.

Although the following ephemeral content examples are no longer available or are not as utilized today, we can’t deny their impact on marketing:

  • WhatsApp’s Status feature is similar to Instagram or Facebook Stories. Businesses use this to plug new content, giveaways, seasonal sales, or other announcements, enticing current and potential customers.
  • Snapchat Geofilters promoted limited-time offers and special events at their locations. These fun and visually appealing filters encouraged user-generated content, which improved brand advocacy and social sharing within their community.
  • Twitter Fleets were likewise helpful in brewing urgency by featuring time-sensitive offers or sales. It also served as a platform for passionate responses to current events. Additionally, Fleets highlighted graphics and other visual content that were away from the main feed.

What are the Benefits of Ephemeral Marketing?

It’s a fact that businesses everywhere are tapping into the influence of ephemeral content. But what exactly can you get out of it? From triggering the fear of missing out to showing authenticity, here are the advantages of ephemeral content marketing:

1. It stimulates the fear of missing out

About 86% of people admit to checking their social media profiles because they don’t want to be left out. Ephemeral content thrives on this dynamic. Its fleeting nature fuels audiences’ fear of missing out (FOMO).

In fact, a report revealed approximately 60% of individuals engage in reactive purchases due to FOMO. Trends and limited sale offers can prompt immediate action so they can seize the opportunity before it vanishes. Gen Z, in particular, are drawn to exclusive and time-sensitive experiences, and if these generations are your target, ephemeral content is your ally.

2. It boosts engagement

Another quality of ephemeral content is its interactive and real-time nature. This encourages audience participation, which ultimately increases engagement rates. There are lots of ways to have fun with ephemeral content, including polls and Q&A sessions.

3. It shows authenticity

With everyone behind their screens, it’s easy to get disconnected from your target audience. That’s why showcasing an unfiltered version of your business is crucial. These can be raw, unpolished glimpses into day-to-day operations, sharing of updates, and so on.

Ephemeral content humanizes your image through candid moments with which your audiences can resonate. Naturally, this leads to making genuine connections.

4. It builds trust

People relating to your content is a good warm-up to your target. But ephemeral content also fosters a sense of urgency and exclusivity, making your audience feel privileged to access time-sensitive information or offers. This transparency and immediacy can instill trust in your brand.

Followers and patrons will perceive you as an upfront and honest communicator, eventually boosting your credibility among them. In the end, this encourages them to engage with your brand further.

5. It improves audience reach

As marketers, we always want to attract new customers, and ephemeral content marketing is a potent strategy. For instance, your Instagram story gets a lot of attention. It can rise in the social media platform’s explore feed and show up in different users’ feeds, including those that don’t follow you.

The next thing you know, you’re viral without having to pay a single cent for advertising. Ephemeral content can effortlessly boost brand visibility and reach hundreds or thousands of users, garnering potential prospects.

7 Strategies to Make Ephemeral Content Work for You

By this time, you may be wondering how to harness the power of ephemeral content. There are many ways. But, careful planning and execution are necessary to reap the most benefits. Here are tips to apply and maximize ephemeral content for your digital marketing efforts:

1. Plan in line with your goals

Every business is different. Hence, aligning your ephemeral content strategy with your needs and objectives is crucial. Determine how often you’ll post, considering a balance between staying top-of-mind and avoiding audience fatigue. You can play around with daily updates, weekly highlights, or event-specific content. Consistency is essential to retaining audience interest and engagement.

2. Decide on content

There are various content formats, so feel free to experiment with them. Share customer testimonials and product demonstrations to enlighten your followers. Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes footage and sneak peeks of upcoming launches generate and maintain buzz.

Whatever you decide, choose content formats that strike a chord with your audience and mirror your brand identity. Keeping your content fresh, diverse, and relevant also sustains excitement.

3. Engage with your audience

One great thing about ephemeral content is its temporariness, which means it won’t pile up on your main feed. Leverage this to foster two-way communication with your followers. Host live streams or interactive quizzes to encourage active participation and feedback.

Polls and Q&A can also rev up some spark. If you have exclusive limited-time offers and promotions, ephemeral content marketing can nudge your audience to take immediate action.

4. Use tags

One way to maximize the reach of your ephemeral content is to incorporate hashtags, name tags, and geotags. Go for relevant hashtags to increase discoverability. You can also check out different tags to see trends and join conversations within your niche. Moreover, tagging other users or locations can expand your content’s visibility and attract new followers or customers.

5. Collaborate with influencers

Influencers already have a strong social media presence, and they can amplify your reach. They can also sway their followers into purchasing or supporting your business. At the same time, a well-known person advocating your brand injects authenticity and adds to your credibility. But be mindful of choosing the right influencers. They should represent your values and resonate with your target demographic.

6. Build consistency

A saying goes, “The best way to build a brand is to be consistent.” If you think about it, this approach breeds familiarity. Consistency makes you trustworthy, friendly, and eventually more compelling to your audience.

Start by establishing a steady or regular posting schedule across your platforms. You should also maintain the same tone for a cohesive brand personality, whether playful, casual, informative, or authoritative.

7. Be authentic

Genuineness is paramount in ephemeral content marketing. Share candid moments, stories, and experiences that showcase your brand’s values and personality. Avoid overly polished or scripted content, as authenticity fosters deeper connections with your audience. It also encourages them to engage with and share your content organically because it feels natural.

Seize the Moment with Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content is a powerhouse tool for all digital marketers. It can drive engagement, authenticity, and trust among audiences. Because of people’s tendency for FOMO and longing for connection, ephemeral content offers opportunities for brands to attract and convert customers. This is even more fitting, given today’s fast-paced digital landscape.

However, success doesn’t come easy in the competitive business world. If you want to level up and secure your spot at the top, partner with a competent social media agency like Spiralytics. Whether you need help boosting your social media presence, optimizing websites, or launching email campaigns, we can cover all your digital marketing needs.

Reach out to us today to get started.