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A relatively recent feature of social media is ephemeral content. Ephemeral content is any content that’s available only for a brief time before it disappears. Think Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories. Ephemeral content disappears within a certain period of time, usually a day, after it’s been posted.

The word ephemeral describes something that lasts only for a short time. In the case of ephemeral content, the name could come from either the short duration of the content or the short attention spans of users.

Why Ephemeral Content?

It’s been gaining in popularity with users and therefore was one of the trends social media marketers should watch out for in 2020. A lot of companies are incorporating ephemeral content into their social media marketing strategies.

But what makes ephemeral content an effective marketing strategy?


One of the major factors that drive users towards ephemeral content is the fear of missing out. Users don’t want to miss out on something they know will only be there for a day. Ephemeral content thus encourages engagement with each post, since it will only last for a brief time. You’re likely to get more engagement on ephemeral posts because of this.

Reach More People

Ephemeral content can have a wider reach than more permanent content. Social media platforms make it very easy to share. Social media platforms that can host ephemeral content also have a separate feed for ephemeral content, which is often right at the top of the platform’s page.

There’s a separate, eye-catching place for Facebook Stories at the top of the page, even above the newsfeed. Instagram Stories also post to a separate feed at the top of the page. Sharing permanent content is still a good idea, but it’s the ephemeral content that will appear at the top of your audience’s social media feeds. Plus, there are millions of users for the ephemeral content feeds alone.

How Do I Use Ephemeral Content?

You can post still images, video content, or even memes on Facebook or Instagram Stories. You can post whatever content you want, but it won’t necessarily help your social media marketing strategy unless you post the right kind of content.

What are the best practices for posting ephemeral content?

Tell Stories

Because each post lasts for so little time, a good strategy is to tie them together to create an overall cohesive story. Each post can build on the one before it to tell a story to your audience. This means that your ephemeral content should be planned out in advance so you know where each story is going before you begin posting. Don’t forget to make sure that you have a beginning, a middle, and an ending, just like with any written story.

Plan for Each Platform

It’s best to create content specifically for each platform you want to use. You want to target an Instagram audience with Instagram content, since that will resonate most with them, rather than content adapted from Facebook that is meant to target Facebook users. Decide which platforms you want to use to reach your audience and make a plan specific to each one.