Ephemeral or Evergreen Content? What is the Best Approach for your Content Marketing Strategy?

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Ephemeral or Evergreen Content?  What is the Best Approach for your Content Marketing Strategy?

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JANUARY 2018

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In 2011, an app was launched by three people who were studying at Stanford University. It was for a project in their product design and had a unique premise: Share photos and videos to your friends that lasts only for 24 hours. Their website says that “our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.”

Experts predicted that the app would fail in the increasingly competitive social media and app market. But Snapchat was a roaring success.

Now, seven years later, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media platforms have followed in Snapchat’s shoes. Before we get into writing ephemeral content, let’s understand exactly what this new concept is.

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Photograph by Xilius via Bigstock

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What is Ephemeral Content?

Simply put, ephemeral content is visual content (video and photos) that lasts for a limited amount of time. Usually, this time frame is 24 hours. After that, the content is deleted. Businesses are focusing on writing ephemeral content in 2018 because of its rising popularity with young millennials and generation Z.

According to The Digital Marketing Institute, there are

  1. 173 million daily active users on Snapchat

  2. 250 million daily active users on Instagram and

  3. 37 billion daily active users on Facebook

It’s difficult to ignore these facts, sit on the bench and wait till the game is over. You need to leverage ephemeral content’s advantage and surging popularity in order to beat your competition, increase your brand’s awareness and boost engagement with your target audience.

Why is Writing Ephemeral Content Important?

Business2Community explains the primary appeal of Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat stories: It feeds on people’s FOMO (fear of missing out).

Temporary videos and photos exude a sense of exclusivity and social media users don’t want to miss out on what’s happening in a person’s life or a brand’s journey. It is also a more authentic way to interact with your audience since businesses are forced to get personal and stay real while creating and writing ephemeral content.

Speaking of audience interaction, one of the most obvious advantages of Instagram stories is that it encourages audience engagement. Potential customers are more likely to interact with a brand if the content is short-lived. For example, Instagram allows users to add polls to their stories which motivates customers to share their opinion with a single click.

What Your Brand Can Do

Given the widespread use of ephemeral content and the fact that Adweek has predicted it to be the top 5 social media trends in 2018, what can you do to capitalize on this emerging trend? Here are some tips to effectively use Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat stories:

  1. Have a Plan: Every marketing strategy requires an executable plan and ways that can measures the outcome of this plan. Have one in place before writing ephemeral content.

  2. Hire Influencers: Hiring influencers to promote your products on Instagram stories is the best way to reach a wider audience in a limited amount of time and operate within a niche. However, the influencer must promote your product or service in an authentic manner, emphasize the exclusivity of an offer (such as limited stocks or offer expires in few days) and a chance to interact with him or her if the customer buys and uses the product. Moreover, ensure that the hired influencer is consistent with your brand’s image.

  3. Use the Platform: It’s essential that you use every benefit that a particular social media platform has to offer while creating ephemeral content. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have different tools you can use within the app while creating the content. For example, Instagram enables you to add polls and Snapchat has a better and larger number of fun filters than the other two social media apps.

  4. Be Personal and Authentic: Tell stories. Treat the audience like a friend. Show them the making of a video or a product’s behind-the-scenes creation. Tease them about an upcoming sale. You can even give them personalized tips, announce new products or show them a demo of your product. The point is to be as authentic and personal as possible.

  5. Experiment: Remember that Instagram stories only last for 24 hours so you don’t have to be perfect in crafting the content. This limited time span also allows you to experiment and see what works for your brand. You’ll never know until you try, right?

  6. Increase your Click-Through Rate: If ones of your purposes of marketing is to create leads then ephemeral content is exactly what you need. All social media platforms permit users to add links to their stories. Users can swipe up on a story and be directed to a link. This means that you, as a company, can encourage visitors to shop, subscribe to your mailing list or learn more about your product.

To wrap this up:

Social media marketing is moving from text-based to visual-based content. People have an affinity to comment on posts that have a high resolution image than on a text rich post. In fact, Hubspot predicts the decline of e-books — a marketing tool that relies largely on words rather than pictures — in 2018. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to content marketing. You need to experiment and see what works for your brand.

Furthermore, you’re bound to make a few mistakes with this relatively new form of social media marketing. But by trying something new, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience, capitalize on a surging trend on social media platforms and enhance your brand’s image. 2018 isn’t the year to sit it out. It’s time to get in the game.

Looking for an agency to create your stories? Iris Content has a team of writers who are well-versed with the dynamic social landscape, digital media space and prevailing trends. Get in touch with us today to ensure that your brand isn’t sitting on the bench while rivals are busy playing the game. We provide high-quality, results-oriented content that will meet your business

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Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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