So before we start missing out on all that’s going on around us, we thought we’d share some insights into a trend we’ve all jumped on knowingly or unknowingly.
Ephemeral content, or temporary content, is here to stay – pioneered by Snapchat and cemented by Instagram Stories, other platforms have tried to jump onto the wagon with… varying success.
If you doubted the staying power of ephemeral content, here are some statistics to back it up:
- Instagram Stories has over 300 million daily users
- Facebook expects the Stories format to surpass feeds as the primary form of content sharing on the platform.
- Instagram Stories has doubled the time spent on Instagram from 15 to 32 minutes a day
- 82% of brand audiences prefer live video to social posts
- 1 out of 5 organic stories from businesses generates a direct message
Why is ephemeral content so popular?
By nature, ephemeral content seems antithetical to the high-effort and produced content we’re used to seeing online. Gone are the days where Instagram was a shoot-and-post, with Facetune, VSCO and Snapseed now adding layers of production to our Instagram feeds.
Brands, too, have tried and failed to “produce” authenticity in an attempt to seem relatable – often coming across staged or forced.
This is where ephemeral content shines – by nature, it doesn’t have to be polished or curated, which instantly gives it a more genuine feel. With its temporary nature, sharing content on Instagram Stories or Snapchat is low-stakes, temporary, instantaneous and authentic, allowing us to share content that we might not want to sit permanently on our feeds. This style of content also creates a “live” effect, making viewers feel like they are in the moment with you.
Most importantly, ephemeral content engenders a sense of FOMO – fear of missing out, creating a sense of urgency that encourages people to spend more time on the platform should they miss out on some A+ content.
Tips & tricks to maximize the ephemeral affect
1. Authenticity remains key
Ephemeral content is a great way to humanize your content and set it apart from the rest of your feed. Important to keep in mind though, is that ephemeral content should still keep in line and reflect the brand’s identity – show off the employees working behind the scenes, or real people using the products.
Case-in-point – Colourpop Cosmetics showing off their factory behind-the-scenes.
2. Be engaging, but tell a story
Keep in mind that most users will watch posted stories consecutively, no matter when they’ve been uploaded.
Uploading disconnected or standalone content can bore your viewer, and you want to avoid that swipe-right at all costs! Make sure that your stories tell one cohesive story when played beginning to end, so that users who just log on know exactly what they’ve missed out on.
3. Make soundless exciting
A significant proportion of viewers still view posted stories silently, so make sure your message is being told visually as well. You’d want to avoid too much text, but there are options available (GIFs and stickers) to sell your message without being wordy!
Alternatively, a great soundless medium to use are Boomerang videos – use Boomerang to loop an ordinary action back and forth and enhance it through repetition!
With this content being temporary after all, it’s a great way to spread your wings. Feel free to experiment, try and fail because, in 24 hours, whatever you posted will be gone without a major lasting impression.
Why not try:
- Host a Q&A
- Do an take-over
- Go live
- Product teasers
And there’s more!
Anything and everything is an option, and you’ll find out the way that your target audience prefers to interact with your brand.
Platforms like Instagram are also constantly innovating and adding new features to increase the interactivity, which are ripe for gaining audience engagement – so keep up to date on those updates and be the first to throw in that new, intriguing sticker into your story!
Does your brand need a hand with ephemeral content or social media marketing? Get in touch with our team – we’d love to help!