The phenomenon of ephemeral content has invaded the daily lives of Internet users. For individuals, it is a means like any other to be entertained online. But for companies, marketers see it as a powerful vector for converting prospects into customers and building loyalty. Just last year, it was said that ephemeral content could well become “the” content of tomorrow. A year later, this has already been proven. Why and how has ephemeral content made such a successful entry into user practices? This article takes stock of the issue.

WHAT EXACTLY IS EPHEMERAL CONTENT?

Ephemeral content is any visual content, be it videos or images, that has a short lifespan. The content is automatically erased after its publication (often within 24 hours maximum). For those who are used to social networks, this is the concept of the “story”. This name is appropriate because the ephemeral images published by users can follow one another and be viewed as an album that tells a little story (hence the name “story”). The ephemeral content creates what is known as the “FOMO effect” (Fear Of Missing Out). This can be translated as the “fear of missing something”. It is a phenomenon characterized by the fear of missing out on important and interesting publications, thus provoking a deep desire to interact socially.

WHY IS THIS TREND SPREADING SO QUICKLY?

Ephemeral content has invaded the digital marketing field so much that a new type of marketing in its own right has emerged: ephemeral marketing. It has become an obligation in almost every company. What justifies the rapid expansion of this practice? Firstly, ephemeral content is seen as authentic content. It provokes a certain sense of engagement among Internet users. And engagement is one of the things that companies want most in customers or prospects. The brevity of the content creates a bond that feels more intimate with the customer. It’s a way to show the hidden side of a company in a way. Indeed, some contents are simply not appropriate in the usual publications. These types of contents that we don’t dare to show in official publications, we can perfectly display them in stories. This is why stories contain content that gives the impression of being more authentic, closer to the customers. In the eyes of the latter, it is as if the company were a friend who shares secrets that he would not want to share in his usual publications.

THE AUDIENCE FOR EPHEMERAL CONTENT IS STILL GROWING

It has become an essential marketing tool. Social networks are the power of ephemeral content. For example, Instagram now has over 400 million users. Every day, these users post stories. This social network has surpassed Snapchat. Yet it is the latter that has popularized ephemeral content. And, as expected, Facebook has done the same! So companies around the world have an interest not only in promoting their products, but also in promoting the concept of ephemeral content itself. In other words, companies agree on one thing: we must do everything we can to make ephemeral content even more popular. Non-ephemeral content is now called “traditional content”. They need to be well structured, organized and a lot of attention needs to be paid to them. But ephemeral content enjoys a less serious, less official, spontaneous, informal and above all natural status. It is for these reasons that today’s companies have little difficulty in popularising ephemeral content. Users are naturally attracted to this kind of content. The inevitable result is that every day a little more users become addicted to stories!

WHAT EPHEMERAL CONTENT BRINGS TO MARKETERS

For those who are not used to the term, the marketer or marketer is a person who studies consumer behaviour and then proposes offers that meet their expectations. Thanks to ephemeral content, marketers can reach a more targeted audience. Today’s businesses have a vested interest in addressing the new phenomenon of ephemeral content. Social networks are an integral part of the lives of millions of people around the world today. Today, almost all young people use their smartphones to view a succession of instant photos. The concept behind taking pictures has changed. It’s no longer about keeping good memories to show later. Young people now want to show that they were there at an event. So these photos are meant to be consumed in the moment. So the marketers have found an easy target. When the product to be marketed concerns young people, there is no longer any hesitation; ephemeral content will be preferred.