When it comes to marketing, few things remain the same even on a month-by-month basis. Digital platforms evolve constantly and, with them, the demands of consumers.
It leaves marketing teams to question which trends are valuable and which are best left ignored. One trend which has been the subject of much debate is ‘ephemeral content’.
Put simply, ephemeral content is that which only lasts for a short period of time before disappearing. It could be a picture that’s only visible for 10 seconds before it disappears forever or a music video that’s only online for 24 hours. In fact, it can be almost anything, as long as it’s short-lived, ensuring that ephemeral content can serve a pretty diverse range of needs.
Its origins can be traced to Snapchat. Launched in 2011 to little fanfare, the light, fun and ephemeral nature of its image sharing meant that it took off amongst teenagers. Of course, where young people are, marketers will follow and today Snapchat is closer to a broadcasting network that a mere messaging platform.
Today, it’s far from the only name in the ephemeral game. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and more all offer their own variation – often in the form of ‘moments’, temporary collections of pictures and videos.
For marketers, the question is whether investing in media which doesn’t stick around is worth the time, effort and investment.
Well, we’re firmly in the ‘yes’ camp. Here are three huge reasons why:
One of the biggest changes in advertising over the last century has been a shift in the way advertisers treat consumers. Today, advertisers assume far more from their audience, and for good reason – everyone is wiser to advertising tactics than they once were.
Authenticity is the surest way to cut through the modern audience’s advertising cynicism, and ephemeral content offers a remarkable level of it.
Often displayed alongside customers own ephemeral content, ephemeral advertising gains from close proximity to real, personal moments but also, when done correctly, from a format which offers far greater intimacy than traditional advertising methods.
Ephemeral content might not be exclusively a young person’s game, but according to research at the Global Web Index, over two-thirds fall into the 16-34 bracket. With a 52-48 male-female gender split and 8 in 10 considering themselves as ‘aspirational’, the market ephemeral content taps in to is one which advertisers prize highly and often struggle to break.
More than that though, ephemeral content also taps into the mobile-first market, with the vast majority of ephemeral content created and viewed on mobile devices.
‘Engagement’ is the watchword of the era of digital marketing. A catch-all term for any kind of interaction with your advert, whether it’s a sale, a like, a share or a retweet, engagement is often regarded as the be-all-and-end-all of digital marketing.
Ephemeral content, with its short lifespan and hooky, engaging design, encourages engagement far more than alternative marketing methods. Ephemeral content can be clicked on to take potential customers to social media pages, product pages or even booking pages, driving engagement every step of the way.