In the old days, a strong marketing message was one that was meant to last. But the younger generations are turning that idea on its head. Meet ephemeral marketing — content that is here today, gone tomorrow. It might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s an effective way to connect with younger audiences.
What Is Ephemeral Marketing?
Ephemeral marketing is content that disappears after a short time, usually 24 hours or less. Think about Snapchat and Instagram stories and how they differ from traditional social media posts. Traditional posts live on forever. That Facebook post you made in 2009 saying LeBron is never going to win a title? It’s still there.
Stories, on the other hand, stay up for 24 hours and then disappear into the ether. This is how younger users — with their privacy concerns and fast-paced lifestyles — do social media.
Think younger social media users don’t matter to your business? Think again. Generation Z — people born after 1996 — now makes up a quarter of the population. Add in Millennials, and you’re up to half. Ephemeral marketing lets you reach these people where they’re most engaged.
How and Why Ephemeral Marketing Works
Ephemeral marketing works because it capitalizes on FOMO. If you’re not up to speed on the ever-growing list of Gen Z acronyms, that means Fear of Missing Out.
Social media has made attention spans shorter than ever and reduced the shelf life of a traditional marketing message. People want to know what’s happening right now, not a week ago or even yesterday. And they want to be a part of it. A successful ephemeral marketing campaign announces that your business has something exciting happening at this very moment that the person watching shouldn’t miss.
How to Implement an Ephemeral Marketing Campaign
The first step is learning about the different platforms and coming up with a plan. Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat all offer a story feature. They do not all work the same way, though, nor are their audiences composed of the same people. With some market research, you can determine where your customers are most engaged.
From there, it’s all about engagement. Also, tracking your results. This is critical. One great thing about ephemeral marketing is if you put out a dud campaign, you’re not stuck with it for weeks on end. You can tweak it, adjust it, or scrap it in minutes. But doing so requires you to be constantly measuring results.
QuickBooks and similar apps can help you with tracking. You can measure key performance indicators in real time, such as where your clicks and sales are coming from.
Making Ephemeral Marketing Part of Your Customer Engagement Strategy
Ephemeral marketing is not a panacea, nor is it the be-all-end-all of 21st-century advertising. No one is recommending that you forget about traditional marketing and go all-in with Snapchat or Instagram.
But if you have a specific and timely message you want to get out, there aren’t many better ways to do so. Offering a one-day-only special? Post a story for your Snapchat followers. Finishing up a community service project and want to show it off? Do it on Instagram.
With ephemeral marketing, you can reach customers, particularly younger ones, when they are most engaged. Perfecting this strategy can give you a leg up on the competition.