Ephemeral Marketing: How Brands Can Take Advantage of Short-Lived Content

Marketers typically expect their content to be available for a long time after it is published. That is changing as short-lived content is gaining popularity. Read how to use this ephemeral marketing to bring more customers to your brand.

Understanding how ephemeral content works

Ephemeral content relies heavily on the concept of FOMO (fear of missing out) to draw attention. The concept has a strong time-sensitive aspect which prompts action. The use of FOMO in ephemeral marketing is similar to Twitter marketing. While tweets do not disappear completely, they are quickly buried. This creates a need to respond quickly to see tweet content, much like ephemeral content.  

Ephemeral marketing is also closely tied to mobile marketing. Most of the ephemeral content-based features offered by social media platforms, like Instagram Stories and YouTube’s Reels, are centered around their respective mobile apps. This gives marketers like Men’s Health the opportunity to reach out to more people within the lifespan of their short-lived content.

ephemeral marketing example

Planning your ephemeral content

For ephemeral content to effectively capture audience interest within its short lifespan, you need to know when to use it. Often, you will be using ephemeral content to sustain the initial interest generated by your main content. Creating short-lived content that teases your main content perks up the curiosity of your audience, making them look forward to what you will offer next.

Building intimate relationships with your audience is another use for ephemeral content. By highlighting your content’s exclusivity, you tell your audience how important they are to you. The more personal tone used for this type of content furthers that message and more effectively connects you to your audience.

Deciding on the type of ephemeral content to use

Choosing what kind of content to use for your ephemeral marketing campaign depends mainly on the products or services you provide.

  • Still images: To convey information at at a glance.
  • Short video clips: To better demonstrate how something works.

Note that you are not limited to using just one kind of content for your campaign. You can mix different types to create a more engaging experience.

Ephemeral content creates a sense of urgency

An important goal of any ephemeral marketing campaign is to get people to act immediately. To achieve that goal, you need to create a sense of urgency in your audience:

  • Scarcity: Highlight the fact that your content will disappear within a short period of time to encourage action.
  • Exclusivity: Tell your audience that the offers you share cannot be found anywhere else. This creates an air of exclusivity they will not want to miss out on.
  • Wording: Adding time-related words like “immediately,” “instant,” and “hurry” to your content copy will encourage your audience to respond with urgency.

To more effectively implement these strategies, study your audience’s interests and preferences. Look for the kind of messages that would trigger them to respond faster. GoodnessMe Box does this to get their customers purchasing.

ephemeral content example

Getting people to take action

Here are some key ways to improve your ephemeral marketing:

  • Being more personal in your ephemeral content is an effective way for it to connect with people. Use an informal tone to put your audience at ease.
  • Tagging some of your followers in your short-lived content is another way to create that connection.
  • A clear call to action is also essential to get people responding to your ephemeral content.  Tell your audience the specific action you want them to take. Mentioning what they will be getting will also work in convincing them to act.
  • Posting your ephemeral content at the right time ensures that it will be seen by more people during its short lifespan. Sync it with the posting schedule that you have for your main content.

Make your followers anticipate the release of your ephemeral content by developing a consistent publishing schedule. They will respond quickly to your content when they know when it will show up.

Promoting your ephemeral content

Doing cross-platform promotions for your ephemeral marketing content will help in increasing its visibility. If you create Instagram or Snapchat Stories, promote these accounts on your Twitter page. Rihanna does this frequently to bring her Twitter and Instagram pages together.

Provide a link back to these pages and a sample of what people can expect when they visit the pages.

Boost the reach of your Instagram or Snapchat-related tweets by getting Twitter retweets from us. When people see your Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube Reel links being retweeted a lot, they become more curious about what you have to offer. Once you get them there you can start engaging them with your ephemeral content.

Getting help from other parties

As it is with regular content, partnering with other brands will help your reach through ephemeral content. Connect with relevant brands and get them to feature you on their Instagram Stories/Snapchat/YouTube Reels. Return the favor by featuring them in some of your own content.

Getting influencers to create ephemeral content for you is another good way of promoting your brand. Give these influencers a good reason to feature you in their content, like offering to sponsor contests and giveaways. The increased engagement these flash events will generate is going to appeal to them a lot.

Ephemeral marketing adds authenticity to your brand

Brands don’t need additional equipment or preparations to come up with and deliver ephemeral content. This makes ephemeral marketing ideal for continuous engagements with your audience. Red Bull uses this idea to come up with fun little games for its Instagram followers, like “Mountain Day,” that also highlights its image as a sports-driven brand.

ephemeral content mountain dew example

The ability to quickly create and release content on the go ultimately adds a lot of authenticity to your brand. Sharing short behind-the-scenes photos and videos will help you create a more personal connection with your audience. This will further cement their loyalty.

Use ephemeral marketing to hook more people to your brand

The growth of ephemeral content opens up a whole new set of marketing opportunities for brands. Get the most out of this new form of content by:

  • Timing: Plan out how your short-lived content will work beside and complement your more permanent content pieces.
  • Anticipation: Leverage your ephemeral content’s exclusive nature to create a sense of urgency in your audience.
  • Promotion: Use all your available social media channels to talk about your Instagram,Snapchat, or YouTube Reel accounts and bring the audience to your Stories.

Follow these steps and you will have a good headstart in taking advantage of one of the most anticipated digital marketing trends this coming 2018.