You view a story on your favorite skincare brand’s Instagram page, and you are delighted by the offer they are about to share in 2 hours. However, you forget to check back the whole next day, and when you are reminded of it, the story with the offer has already vanished in thin air. You missed out on the offer and regretted forgetting about it. The next time this happens, your FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out kicks in, and you will make it a point to keep checking their stories timely.
This same FOMO is used by brands to drive up engagement and make more sales. Anyone can come back to your Instagram account and check the post for the offer. However, if you share that offer in an ephemeral content format (content that vanishes after 24 or fewer hours) such as a story and Instagram Live, your target audience will have no choice but to keep track of your brand’s social media updates regularly. This also provokes your target audience to take action faster since they do not want to miss out on the offer and regret it later.
Understand what works best for your brand
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Why would you want to create a content piece that doesn’t last beyond 24 hours?
Everyone knows the basics of good marketing – create evergreen content that can be useful to your target audience even five or six years from now. While this is a traditional approach to marketing, the rules have changed a lot over time. In fact, there are no rules anymore. And this is where ephemeral content comes into play. It banks on two human tendencies. One is FOMO or the urgency of taking quick action. The second is humanity.
Most ephemeral content is stories or live videos where discounts and promotions are offered or the features of a product are talked about by a human. This could be anyone – from your company’s CEO to a celebrity influencer. The personal tone of this content makes it easier for people to relate to it. Plus, people love buying things from other people who have used them or reviewed them. Now that we realize the power of ephemeral content, let us dive deeper and understand how you can make the most of it.
You must be consistent
You cannot make temporary content work for your brand in the first go. You need to create a steady, consistent, and gradually increasing engagement to be able to get higher conversions. For this, you need to prepare content to be used consistently. Start with using stickers like “Ask me anything”, polls, or quizzes to casually ask your target audience questions or their opinions on something. Intersperse these stories with an Instagram Live session that addresses some concerns of the customers.
These concerns don’t have to directly be about your product. For e.g. If you are a feminine hygiene brand conducting an Instagram Live session, you don’t necessarily need to promote your menstrual cups or talk about its features. Rather, answer questions related to feminine hygiene or how to deal with menstrual cramps. This shows the audience that not only are you consistent with your work but are also here to share value-based information.
Pro tip: Link your stories to redirect the viewer away from Instagram to your website and push them subtly towards making a purchase. You could post a story and utilize the “Swipe up to see more” option to link to a long-form informative blog on the topic or to your product page. This acts as a great CTA for your audience to make use of.
Make use of tags
You need your ephemeral content to reach an audience beyond the ones that follow you. For this, using the right tags is an excellent way to go. Use geotags such as your city or area (e.g. “Times Square” or “London”) to engage your local audience. This also boosts your chances of appearing on the Instagram Explore page. Another type of tag you can use is hashtags. Use a brand-specific hashtag such as your company name or a catchy phrase unique to your brand. You can also use a trending hashtag in your industry. Lastly, tag other people or speakers in your stories to further boost your reach.
Utilize multiple social media platforms
While Instagram is an outstanding social media platform to make use of ephemeral content, it isn’t the only one you should utilize. Go back to the roots of ephemeral content and use Snapchat to share such stories. Plus, there’s also Facebook stories that you can make use of. Since the dimensions of stories on most of these platforms are almost the same, you need not make any major adjustments to your creatives before it is fit to be put on all of them.
Share authentic updates
It’s a given that you must share authentic content with your target audience to build a strong and loyal customer base. However, don’t limit yourself to ephemeral content that is only promotional. Widen your horizon and put up content that isn’t promotional at all. You can have an informative Q&A session, an expert in your industry talking about recent changes in the space, or you could share your company updates as well.
Tell stories about how you came up with the idea for a particular product, what inspired you to think differently, how you plan on taking the venture ahead, etc. you could also share updates on how your employees are doing, what’s going on in your manufacturing unit (if you have one), or photos and videos about any charitable work you might have done recently. This gives your audience extra options to engage with your brand.