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Fleeting Content

by Rebecca Kowalewicz VP, Digital – Clearbridge Branding Agency

Content in the social space is continuously evolving. Among the most increasingly popular evolutions is ephemeral content—accessible for a short duration. (Think Snapchat or Instagram Stories, for example.) Ephemeral content strategies can offer unique advantages in the crowded digital space.

At the heart of ephemeral content’s success is its inherently human appeal. This form of content taps into users’ fear of missing out (or what we marketers like to call FOMO). Because the content disappears after a limited time, users are more likely to engage with it promptly. This sense of urgency can lead to higher levels of interaction and engagement.

The National Library of Medicine has done great research into social media and FOMO, breaking down the factors, one of which is “the fear of missing temporarily available information and timely interactions.” So, if something is only available temporarily, that content, by its very nature, contributes to the fear of missing out that can mortify consumers.

Key Benefits Of Ephemeral Content: We get it. It can be painful to spend time and effort crafting a great piece of social media content that will disappear into the abyss. But there are benefits to adding this type of content into your social media marketing strategy.

As mentioned earlier, the temporary nature of this content can prompt users to interact more, leading to increased clicks, views, and responses, overall helping to boost engagement rates.

Ephemeral content often feels more genuine than polished, permanent posts. It allows brands to showcase behind-the-scenes looks, real-time events, or raw, unfiltered moments, which translates to authenticity, something that most audiences crave from brands.

Most of us know that the digital and social spaces experience must be optimized for mobile. Most ephemeral content is consumed on mobile devices. As a result, it’s optimized for quick, on-the-go consumption, making it more accessible for a larger audience.

Here are four tips on crafting your strategy that you can fold into your current social media efforts.

1. Know your audience. Understanding your audience is paramount with all content strategies. What do they want to see? When are they most active? What types of content do they consume when in short-form versus longer-form content? Will they start with short content and then move to longer content once you have their attention?

2. Blend promotion with value. While it’s tempting to use ephemeral content solely for promotional purposes, it’s essential to also offer value. This can be in the form of tips, how-tos, product insights, or even entertainment.

Unlike longer-form content or more traditional social media content, with ephemeral content, you must ensure you get right to the point. You don’t have people’s attention for long, even in longer social media content, but you especially don’t in shorter form, as social media platforms are designed to allow the user to consume short content quickly and jump from one piece of content to the next without delay.

3. Engage directly with followers. Use polls, Q&A sessions, and interactive features available on platforms like Instagram to foster direct engagement with your audience. This is not only a fun way to get your audience engaged with your content but a great way to get feedback on your product, brand, or services. For shorter-form content, use brief video responses if you want to have fun—that’s not something you see often on Facebook.

4. Measure and adapt. Ephemeral content strategies can yield immediate results. Just as should be done with all social and digital content, it’s essential to measure these results, gather insights, and continually refine your approach based on feedback and metrics.

This article was originally published on

Digital Digest