Ephemeral Content

Digital trends seemingly come and go in the blink of an eye often leaving businesses and more specifically their marketing teams questioning whether or not certain ‘trends’ in the internet of things are worth investing in. One of the trends that we’ve seen come to a front more recently is ephemeral content.

The concept of ephemeral content is that it only lasts for a short period of time before disappearing, be that a photo that only lasts for 24 hours on Snapchat or a livestream video that lasts for 10 minutes on Facebook. Whatever the content used its often short, snappy and to the point which appeals to those who are only interested in spending fleeting moments of time on social media channels before moving on.

Snapchat was invariably the network where ephemeral content originally gained its popularity, especially to the younger generation who make up for 61% of it’s users.  From it’s humble beginnings in 2011 Snapchat has grown in user numbers and thus in popularity with brands as an advertising platform. Their forecasted revenue from advertising amounts to $1.7billion this coming year (2018). Other social media sites have cottoned onto this demand for short-lived content with Facebook launching Facebook live in 2015 and Instagram introducing ‘stories’ in 2016.

So why use it? Surely it’s a waste of time given that you need to produce content so regularly and consistently (and then be happy with it disappearing)? And surely the return on investment can’t be measured? Think again, here are the big reasons why ephemeral content should not be ignored:


It’s Authentic

We’ve heard it before, consumers are getting smarter and wiser to the multitude of marketing content they’re exposed to on a daily basis. Polished ads just aren’t cutting it anymore and are most likely to be ignored as everyone just keeps scrolling, ephemeral content however gives the consumer an insight into the people behind the adverts and sheds a totally different light on the brand. People who choose to follow a company or organisation on a platform like Snapchat or Instagram obviously have an active interest in the business and ephermal content gives them a sense of excitement and trust for the brand. People will pay attention because they want to, not because it’s thrust in front of their faces.


The word of the moment, no matter where you go, the buzzword for all social media marketers is engagement, a post is most of the time only successful if it drives engagement right? After all every platform is demanding more and more engagement on content to even allow posts to reach followers. This is where ephemeral content can help, people see the snap or story and are lead to the main profile and thus the fine-tuned longstanding content, driving engagement. Furthermore, ephemeral pieces like geotags on Snapchat are perfect for taking advantage of location and time sensitive events and can create masses of earned content for brands and excellent word-of-mouth promotion.

The Big FOMO

Fear of missing out that is. Down to the time-sensitive nature of ephemeral content people are more likely to access the content with a sense of urgency and so will pay attention to it more. The use of regular Q+A’s that are one time only events or the sharing of limited edition discount codes means consumers will actively seek your social channels out for fear they won’t be able to access content at a later date. It gives the user a feeling of exclusivity that is much harder to achieve with other types of content.

Mobile First

Ephemeral content is the king of mobile-first, not only can you use just a mobile to produce your ephemeral content (no need for fancy equipment), but we can guarantee that almost everyone will be watching this content on their phones. With approximately 62% of smartphone users have making a purchase online using their phone in the past 6 months, ephemeral content can be highly effective for ecommerce brands in particular.


So there you have it, ephemeral content is one trend that should be taken seriously. Unsure about how to get started? Give us a shout, we’ll be happy to help you with your social media and content marketing strategy and unlike ephemeral content we won’t disappear after 24 hours…