Ephemeral Content: The Trend to Watch in 2018

Image of a phone showing multiple social media icons; the Snapchat icon has a red number above it indicating an unread message or notification.

I had to name one 2017 trend that is going to explode in 2018, it would be ephemeral content.

Ephemeral content is content that disappears after a certain amount of time. Snapchat is build on the concept of ephemeral content – all pictures and videos posted on Snapchat are only available for 24 hours before disappearing permanently, and pictures and videos sent privately are only available to watch twice before disappearing. Instagram and Facebook have both launched similar features with Instagram Stories and Messenger Day.

Why do people like ephemeral content?

After Snapchat’s smashing success as a social network, other networks (like Facebook and Instagram) have tried to capitalize on that content strategy. And Instagram has actually done well at it – Instagram stories now have more daily users than Shapchat stories! (source) And for good reason – people love it.

The main reason consumers like ephemeral content is that it triggers their FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). If they don’t open Shapchat or Instagram to see the story within 24 hours, it’s gone and they will have missed it. It also creates a sense of excitement to be consuming content that is exclusively available now.

Why should marketers invest in ephemeral content?

At first glance, it may seem like a waste to invest time or money into content that’s only going to be available for 24 hours. But there are several reasons that it’s worth investing in:

  • Audiences are already operating on FOMO, making them more likely to act if you post a good deal or a strong call to action.
  • Temporary content can make a brand seem more trustworthy and genuine.
  • Ephemeral content has the highest engagement rates, especially among Millennials and Gen Z.

How do I capitalize on ephemeral content?

I will go more in-depth about how to maximize your presence on Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Messenger Day in 2018. But for now, here are a few ephemeral content ideas to consider adding to your social strategy in 2018.

  • Go behind the scenes. Tour your office or workspace, interview an employee, give a look at the nuts and bolts of your operation.
  • Live post an event you’re hosting or attending.
  • Promote flash sales or limited-time offers.

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