How to Make The Best of Ephemeral Content In A Fast-Paced Generation.
By Stacy Ketiku
Do you remember those times when you commute by bus after a tiring day and all you find yourself doing at that moment is scrolling through your mobile device checking out status updates on social media platforms? Well, that was you consuming some Ephemeral Content. It all started with Snapchat but at that time the ‘Stories’ feature wasn’t yet recognised as a perfect marketing channel that should be explored until a few years later when other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and even WhatsApp, incorporated the feature into their Apps. Now ‘Stories’ and ‘Status Update’ have become such a big deal and a money-making machine for many brands.
Basis of Ephemeral Content
Ephemeral Content is essentially any form of content with a short life span. This type of content is great for brand awareness and we agree with Search Engine Journal as they have identified 2 major goals of ephemeral content which are, to elicit an immediate response from your target audience or to increase user engagement. Your ephemeral content could be in the form of videos, pictures, infographics, and user-generated content that your brand finds relevant or even humorous. The beauty of ephemeral content is in its undiluted and natural quality. Impermanent stories provide the opportunity for your brand to put out content that is not in line with your brand’s identity yet relevant.
If you aren’t putting out interesting and catchy content for your followers on Ephemeral platforms, it won’t be wrong to say that your business is missing out on a great opportunity to gain loyal supporters. These platforms give your business the chance to put out certain kinds of content that won’t necessarily sit well in your regular social media feed. Furthermore, Ephemeral Content consumers are naturally not constrained by one particular topic of interest; in fact, they are attracted by several topics of interest as long as they can relate to it.
The FOMO Psychology
Also known as the fear of regret, Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) describes a desire to continually stay updated with what others are doing in order not to miss an opportunity for social interaction. Those moments when you pick up your mobile device with the intention of making a phone call but find yourself moving from WhatsApp Status to Instastory; consciously or not, you somehow feel like a lot has happened since the last time you were online and you need to play catch up. This is a psychology that affects our online behaviour and creates an opportunity for ephemeral content to thrive in a fast-paced generation like ours where several activities are competing for an individual’s attention.
Especially on WhatsApp, there is a young lady on my contact list who constantly shares her experience on how she helps small businesses around Africa to achieve sustainability. Sometimes I find myself searching for her name among my contacts to see if she has posted something new because I don’t want to miss out on the knowledge she shares. Another interesting example is that of an upcoming artist who shared a 15seconds video of herself performing in a studio her soon to be released music. Although brief, it got people anticipating the release of the full music; they visited her profile page and dropped lots of comments indicating that they enjoyed the snippet she had put out.
Impacts of Ephemeral Content on your Brand
Humanises Your Brand
Let’s just say that ephemeral content positions you before your audience as a real person who has emotions and exists just like everyone else. Taking pictures of yourself and co-workers is a great way to show the faces behind a brand. Instagram uses stickers to make things more interesting; right on a user’s story, viewers can ask a question, give their suggestions, and do other fun stuff.
In a fast-paced generation like ours where some people get only a few minutes to operate their phones while they are on the bus, train or during short work breaks, they don’t want to spend their time listening to all sorts of marketing messages so they shut their eyes to whatever smells like marketing. This gives you the duty of ensuring that your ephemeral content makes your audience feel relaxed and at peace even if you are trying to sell them your brand. No one wants to regret spending a moment of their time watching a terrible video regardless of how short it might be; even while putting out videos of yourself and team members goofing around, it must be able to give viewers immediate gratification. This is a sure way to keep your brand in the good books of prospects and other online users.
Ephemeral platforms are developed with a reply feature which allows viewers to respond or interact with your content right away. Some people don’t like airing their views publicly in the comment section so this reply feature increases the likelihood of them sending you a direct message.
In conclusion, just like every other marketing strategy, the effectiveness of your ephemeral content marketing can be measured using the following metrics: views, engagement rate (Number of direct message/Number of views) 100%, conversion rate (Number of conversions/No of views) 100% and the number of shares can be viewed from the post’s insight or analytics depending on the platform you are using. To upgrade your ephemeral content game, you could check out the way some brands like Minimalist Baker, National Geographic and Cold Stone Creamery Nigeria make use of Instastory.