Ephemeral Content

Have you heard of ephemeral content? You may not know it by its official name, but you sure have seen it in applications like Snapchat and Instagram Stories. And according to Strike Social, ephemeral content is here to stay. 

We already utilize ephemeral content in our everyday content here at ON Advertising, both for ourselves and our clients! But as the content grows in popularity, we’re following how it may impact our marketing and advertising tactics overall. We looked at how ephemeral content is evolving, what it could mean for our strategies, and how it may affect yours.

What is Ephemeral Content?

Ephemeral, by definition, means “lasting for a very short time”. And this is a concept we’ve seen rapidly take off in the world of social media over the last few years. Interestingly enough, we have the social media platform Snapchat to thank for this popular content style. They were the first to entertain the idea back in 2011, according to Rebrandly. What was the reason behind this new concept? The platform was looking for a way to break up the monotonous, overly planned aspect of social media. Unsurprisingly, internet users were behind this new way of utilizing their accounts; and from there, a beloved social media medium was born. 

Since then, we’ve seen ephemeral content abilities, of various approaches, pop up in a number of platforms. Instagram, Facebook, and, most recently, Twitter with their introduction of fleets – just to name a few. Each platform’s idea is slightly personal, but with a common main concept. It’s content that, once posted, typically lasts a maximum of 24 hours before it disappears for good. At least from an outside viewer’s vantage point.

Ephemeral Content and ON Advertising

We’re no stranger to the inclusion of ephemeral content at ON Advertising. That goes for both our employee’s personal content, our own company posts, and client activity as well! With all that said: we see a huge value in the strategic use of the idea. With where our industry currently is, as well as where it’s headed, being able to convey a sense of authenticity is more important than ever. This goes for personal social accounts belonging to an everyday user, to the much larger, unapproachable platforms that celebrities and public entities hold. And for us, this also applies to our own clients and their businesses. 

Typically, the main feed of a company’s social account is fairly premeditated. Whether it’s an in-house social team managing the page or an outside agency running it for them, posts are often planned. It allows for consistency and a sense of cohesiveness that can help solidify brand recognition. But with this also comes a lack of spontaneity; and in a sense, relatability. After all, if everything is perfectly in place all the time, where’s the sense of fun? This goes without saying, but a perfectly balanced mix of both planned and impromptu posting is the ideal strategy. 

How We Use Ephemeral Content

So, how do we utilize ephemeral content in our work? By doing a little planning, funnily enough. When thinking about how best to utilize ephemeral posts in our content strategies, we had to think about what goes best, and where. For example, for a business, a planned feed is likely to house things like product updates, strong photos of their work, and anything else they want eyes to consistently be on. Ephemeral content, on the other hand, may be where things such as casual behind the scenes photos, timely event updates, and more personal posts may go. 

By evaluating our client’s needs, and the needs of our own company, we have implemented approaches that mirror this! And beyond the ability to communicate with followers on a more intimate level through the content you know won’t last, it’s a great way to keep your feed uncluttered in general. With brand recognition in mind, it is important to have a sense of eye-catching branding. And a feed is the perfect place for that kind of content to live. By allowing more unedited, raw videos and photos to stay within the ephemeral bubble, you can really enjoy the best of both worlds for your accounts.

Along with everything else, ephemeral content analytics are extremely helpful when it comes to meeting the needs of our clients. For example, though posted stories on Instagram only last 24 hours max for another user, it still lives on in an archive. If you have a business account, that is. By regularly tracking this data, we can see what’s working, what isn’t performing, and come up with new ideas based on those numbers. 

Where Do We Think It’s Headed

In reality, the capabilities of ephemeral content, as well as its impact on analytics, are at the beginning stages. Like any other aspect of social media, we’re bound to go through millions of changes over the coming years. So far, we’ve found that it’s a great way to engage with our various audiences in a more personal, timely way. And we’re truly excited to see what new ways we can implement ephemeral content, whether it be the introduction of a whole new platform or just an update to the capabilities we know and love.

Partner With ON Advertising

We know it’s important to connect your brand values with your company goals, and we’re here to help. We use customized social media strategies and campaigns to make sure you’re reaching the right people, in the right places, at the right time. And if you’re looking for help with ephemeral content, our highly-skilled social media experts can provide you with the solutions that work. Contact us today to partner with our team.

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