What is Ephemeral Content and Why Should You Care?
If this is the first time you’ve heard the term “Ephemeral Content,” I can promise you it won’t be the last.
Ephemeral Content is the hottest topic and trend in social media marketing right now.
Ephemeral means short-lived, fleeting, or passing, and describes the nature of the media accessible up to 24 hours (before disappearing) on social networks such as Snapchat, Instagram Stories and now Messenger Day – a new feature developed by Facebook which launched this week.
Why is Ephemeral Content So Popular?
Snapchat pioneered ephemeral content. Its users valued the ability to quickly share a picture, video or thought knowing it would fade away in seconds. As the network went mainstream, business owners and advertisers questioned how to best leverage its growing popularity for marketing and business opportunities and competing networks quickly unveiled competitor apps.
Brands with a rich content strategy, allocated more time and resources to video to help share their brand story and to tap into the most engaged audience online, with Snapchat reporting 10 billion video views per day over Facebook’s 8 billion views per day.
Still other brands have held back. A serious concern for any content marketer is weighing the time it takes to create powerful, playful and persuasive content against the manual efforts or ad spend required to get your content viewed. When your content isn’t evergreen, does it make sense to poor a lot of time and effort into content that you can’t repurpose or share again in the future?
We believe the answer is yes.
The analytics show us that consumers are addicted to the small screen (mobile and tablet). The continuous stream of raw content which shares more than just the curated and polished creative we’re used to on Instagram or Pinterest fascinates us. We are as interested in the production and process, or day to day moments, as we are in the finished product.
When it comes to social media content, people are as interested in the production and process, or day to day moments and development of a brand or idea, as we are in the finished product. We can share the approach and milestones through Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Facebook Live and now Messenger Day. Crystal DeCnodder, Full Blast Creative
Ephemeral Content Has the Highest Engagement Rates Online
Most importantly, Ephemeral Content has the highest engagement rates online. Users understand that the content is only available for a limited time. The urgency to see the content before it disappears compels us! Ephemeral content demands attention.
A secondary feature is that ephemeral content can help humanize a brand (something B2B brands struggle to solidify) because it shares the trials and tribulations of every day in an authentic and endearing format.
3 Essential Tips for Creating Ephemeral Content on Instagram Stories, Snapchat or Facebook Direct.
1. Record screen content from your mobile, laptop or desktop and upload it to your Instagram, Facebook Stories/Direct or Snapchat Story. To do this, we use the Quicktime Player App.
To create a screen video from your mobile device:
1. Connect your mobile to your laptop.
2. Open Quicktime Player.
3. Select File then New Movie Recording.
4. Next to the red record button, open the drop down navigation and select your device.
5. When you hit play it will record any gesture and screen activity on your phone.
6. Once we’ve recorded what we want to capture, we then send a copy of the movie file to our device.
7. Finally, upload this video to Snapchat or Instagram and edit the file within Snapchat or Instagram for additional features such as filters, emojis, and more.
Check out the quick example of a screen recording we captured from Reddit on mobile then uploaded to Instagram Stories. The video shows Sir Patrick Stewart with his new rescue pup Ginger and was on the front page of Reddit when we captured it. Our screen video itself is only 6 second longs; we applied a filter inside Instagram and now this tiny video is sandwiched between other posts and information within our story arc on Instagram. Tomorrow it will be gone!
2. Create a series of videos or pictures for better story telling and engagement.
You can string together a series of videos and photos to tell a longer story. It can be a mix of photo and video, just make sure it follows a proper story arc. Your content should feature an introduction, body and conclusion. While we’re on the topic of content – keep in mind that social media content should:
Solve a problem, or
Teach your viewers something new.
The best content does all 3 (and goes viral).
3. Make sure you include a call to action. (What’s the next step you want your viewers to take?)
Capture the opportunity for engagement at the end of every story.
Social media is meant to be a dialogue so give your viewers every opportunity to participate. If you can’t think of what to end on, try any one of these questions!
What do you think?
Did I miss anything?
Do you agree or disagree with me?
Although ephemeral content on its own is short-lived, the concept of time-sensitive content is appealing and addictive to our curiosities. Although the effort to create quality content is high, the pay off is tremendous. each time your content is viewed, you can bet that your audience is engaged.
Moreover, the shift from evergreen to ephemeral content on multiple networks means that brands and organizations will require a larger focus on their video content strategy to continue to feed the beast.
If you found this article useful, by all means please share it. If you’d like to work with a company that can help you develop a content rich video strategy, consider working with Full Blast Creative. You can reach us at 403-870-3434 or via the contact link here.