Permanent vs. Ephemeral Content

In marketing, ephemeral content is content that is temporary. It disappears after a certain time period, usually 24 hours. Certain social media platforms support ephemeral content, namely Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram.

Ephemeral content was first created as a concept in 2011, so it’s relatively new. Examples of ephemeral content include Stories, available on Facebook and Instagram (and being tested in TikTok).

Ephemeral content is almost always made up of videos, very short ones. These videos can be created from a series of graphics or an actual video clip.

The advantages of using ephemeral content in your marketing strategy is that it gets top billing on all of the platforms. Stories are listed above the feeds, at the top of your screen. This generates high engagement as well as an immediate response from the viewer.

One of the most powerful emotional aspects of ephemeral content is the fear of missing out (FOMO).

Instagram Stories

One of the best examples of ephemeral content is Instagram Stories. Instagram users can post video clips that disappear after 24 hours. They appear at the top of the feed in little circles. When viewed, they appear for a few seconds.

As of July 2021, 500 million people use Instagram Stories daily. After seeing a product brand in Stories, 58 percent say they’ve become more interested in it and half say it has led to a purchase.

With Instagram Stories, you can make your content pop by adding stickers, applying filters, and using other engagement tools provided. The types of content that are good for stories include announcements, highlights, questions, countdowns, and links. Think about anything that might make a good headline, and you have a story idea.

If you want your story content to last longer than 24 hours, you can always create it as an Instagram reel, which is a longer video, up to one minute, and doesn’t disappear like a story does.

It might sound counter-intuitive to spend time and money on content that disappears, but the big benefit of creating stories is they expand your reach so that more people become aware of your service. Try stories to add ephemeral content to your toolbox of marketing strategies.