ephemeral content

Ephemeral content is here to stay. Is it essential for brands?


Teavana ephemeral content

Oh…get it before it’s gone!

Yeah, you just can’t miss it. Teavana’s offer is irresistible. 

That’s how marketers across the globe play with your neurons. The FOMO is for real and smart digital players to know how to use it.

They take the help of ephemeral content and never miss a single dart! 

The digital world provides a fertile ground for new trends and buzzwords. One of the latest trends that have taken the digital world, especially social media, by storm is the use of ephemeral content. 

Though there are platforms (such as Twitter) that were designed for content in short bursts, ephemeral content got popularized by Snapchat and later adopted by famous brands and social media networks.

Remember the last time when your best buddy posted something on Snapchat, and your curiosity shot up to the next level?

You jumped right into it and saw the Snapchat story.

Yes, you got it, right! Anything available for a short period gets more appreciation than what is here to stay for long. 

Ephemeral content has become a primary marketing tool for brands to reach out to their audience. It has become a valuable source for user engagement and conversion. 

This post will demystify the concept of:

  • Ephemeral content marketing
  • Why it grew in importance
  • How to use it to get more engagement and business growth?

Ephemeral content marketing – A brief intro

The word ‘ephemeral’ finds its roots in the Greek word ‘ephemeros,’ which roughly means short-lived or lasting for a day. 

Ephemeral content marketing is a type of temporary content that gives the audience a small amount of time to access the content. 


ephemeral content sample

Cravings haunt you like anything…

Specially, when you get to hear, a new flavor of the burger is here – You even commit a sin of going off your diet (which you shouldn’t be doing. Wink wink)

Well, that’s the magic of ephemeral content. Even when you are not supposed to buy it, you end up buying it. McDonald’s took the same approach. Oh, not followed, but it is following the same theme. 

Now you can quickly grasp how it is used on social media platforms.

  1. The content is short-lived, which means that it disappears after a certain period.
  2. Our response to the content is short-lived; that is to say, that the content elicits a specific immediate reaction, and the users move on.

The fast-moving content has become central to many brands who are now incorporating it into their social media marketing strategies. Below are some of the reasons that contributed to the popularity of ephemeral content, followed by some statistics about such type of marketing.

Why is ephemeral content so popular?

Snapchat pioneered ephemeral content, but today, the brief appearance of content steers the traffic of most of the online platforms. 

Even brands like Sony used Live Story Ads and Snap Ads to promote the release of their movie and sell tickets. 

The reasons why many brands are adopting this strategy are:

  • It is ideal for brand and product promotion because it creates a sense of urgency.
  • As the fleeting content is designed to elicit a quick response from the viewer, many users are lured into making a purchase or quick signup.
  • The content has a high probability of going viral since it appeals to the emotions of the audience.
  • It is ideal for mobile users.
  • It gains from the FOMO effect (fear of missing out) that drives engagement and conversions.

These reasons and many others contributed immensely to the popularity of transient content. Mark Zuckerberg also admitted the growing demand for ephemeral content last year when he said:

“Another important shift that we’re seeing across the industry is the growth of Stories. We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in feeds as the most common way that people share across all social apps.”

He also expects the growth of stories to have an impact on businesses, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. 

Other business owners and digital marketers have also tried to grab the opportunity and leverage the growing popularity of the content. Statistics suggest that the unveiled strategies seem to have paid off. Here is how:

  • Snapchat, which leverages ephemeral content, has garnered 190 million daily active users globally as of March 2019.
  • Instagram stories replicated Snapchat’s strategy with even more success. Their stories now attract more than 400 million active users every day as per CNBC.com.
  • 1 in 5 Instagram stories gets a direct message from users.

statista facebook

These stats suggest that ephemeral content can be an effective way to engage your target audience and promote your brand. In the following section, we will further explore the future of ephemeral content and its importance for brands and businesses.

Ephemeral content is the future:

The growing number of mobile users heralds further popularity of ephemeral content. 

Since ephemeral content is tailored for mobile, it becomes easier for mobile users to consume fast-moving content. 

Studies suggest that the amount of time users spend on Instagram has increased from 15 to over 32 minutes a day, and Stories play a huge role in it.

Ephemeral content also helps brands to deliver their message without being too forceful. It keeps the customers hooked and forms a deeper connection with the users.

It humanizes a brand:

Ephemeral content feels real, spontaneous, and something that users can relate to. Companies can leverage it to build trust with their audience by giving them a glimpse into their day to day operations, making the interaction more intimate. 

Filming your day at work or posting ‘behind the scene’ moments add transparency to a company’s operations and get it closer to the customers. Work photos and live videos help the audience realize the experience and struggles that a brand goes through when delivering the final product.

It increases the online content about your brand:

Ephemeral content allows you to increase the volume of content about your business. A sound content marketing strategy will enable you to get your brand in front of the target audience through photos and live streams.

ephemeral content sample

Take the example of Leather Skin Shop – It’s a brand that deals in leather jackets. They use a smart approach; it seems like they have tied the knot with ephemeral content. You’ll often see this brand, hammering people’s brains to grab their limited edition as soon as it comes. 

Still skeptical about whether you should use ephemeral content or not? Let me offer you some convincing reasons. 

  • Stories enable you to publish content without interfering with your feed because they are treated as a distinct entity separate from your profile. 
  • As you develop an ephemeral content strategy, you are always in touch with your audience, even if you do not frequently publish your routine articles and blog posts.

It diversifies your content:

A major benefit of ephemeral content is that it expands the content about your brand. Since consumers are generally not constrained by a particular type of content, you can post ephemeral content just about anything. 

A massive number of brands use ephemeral content to inform customers about a limited time offer, post tips about cleaning or protecting leather, photos of new arrivals, or a simple video showing the work environment. Brands can share anything that engages and interest the audience.

Source: https://blog.globalwebindex.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Ephemeral-Content-Lovers-Chart-2-1024×998.png

Final thoughts:

It is crucial for brands to know ephemeral content consumers and understand their needs and expectations. Despite the growing trend and increasing demand for fast-paced content marketing, if it doesn’t satisfy their needs, you may find it hard to improve your bottom line. 


Author Bio

Audrey Throne has an ongoing affair with the words that capture readers’ attention. Her passion for writing dates back to her pre-blogging days. She loves to share her thoughts related to business, technology, health and fashion. To date, she has given life to multiple worth-a-second-read pieces. Audrey is a fitness freak and loves to travel. When she isn’t writing, she takes her kayak and sails to discover more ecru and earthy tones.

Find her on Twitter@audrey_throne.


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