Ephemeral marketing, you might not recognize the name, but you’ve definitely seen it before. Instagram stories, LinkedIn Lives, and much more, it seems like every social medium is introducing or expanding its capabilities for content with a 24 hour shelf life.
From our newly released data report How Today’s CMO Can Leverage ROI to Prove Growth, we found that 60.2% of marketers focused on expanding their customer experience during the pandemic and 62.2% sought to increase brand awareness.
Ephemeral marketing was the perfect tactic for B2C marketers, providing both an inclusive customer experience and an opportunity to bring humanity to your brand. Can B2B marketers take advantage of ephemeral marketing tactics to drive ROI?
Ephemeral content is the future of marketing. And B2B marketers need to get in now the fastest-growing form of social media marketing.
What is Ephemeral Marketing?
Put simply, it’s content that is ‘ephemeral’ or expires after a short period of time, usually 24 hours. The appeal of the content is the fact that it’s only live for a small window. While ephemeral marketing may seem tailored towards TikTok, it’s actually a compelling medium that utilizes temporary content to build an audience instead of a hit-list.
Content can range from live Q&As to broken-up, educational segments. The time frame is quick, sometimes as short as 10 seconds for a quick survey question or work tip.
The best content is authentic. No long interviews that are heavily scripted; focus on creating content that is snappy, easy to digest, and holds the viewer or readers interest the whole time. An effective piece of ephemeral content is as close to a real interaction as possible. The ultimate goal of an ephemeral marketer is to have an Instagram notification work like Pavlov’s bell, bringing the customers to them eager to learn more.
The other aspect of ephemeral marketing that’s essential for effective content is capitalizing on its temporary nature. The very fact that the content will be gone forever will generate some interest, but the rest is on you. Are you up to the challenge? Can you create value or interest in a 6 second video clip?
A common tactic is serialized content. Breaking up longer form ideas into bite-sized pieces to maintain interest and keep customers coming back. Making content that is easily digestible is a current staple of B2C marketing, but it’s the future for B2B marketing. Making a complicated topic easy to grasp and fun to learn about won’t be easy. But it will bring results.
What’s ROI from Ephemeral Marketing Tactics?
Like all marketing tactics, the investment should never be more than the expected return. In the case of ephemeral marketing, bandwidth will be your biggest resource investment.
It takes a significant amount of content and time to support a full ephemeral marketing strategy that yields ROI. Luckily, the finite nature of ephemeral marketing lends itself to cheaper, faster production times.
An incredible benefit of ephemeral marketing is the potential for you to join the journey with the customer. If enough content is produced, then you can become an everyday aspect of your customers’ social check-in. Weekly serialized content becomes a resource to customers and builds connections subconsciously.
The flip side of an ephemeral marketing strategy is that you must be willing to watch your content disappear.
Ephemeral marketing is a game of tradeoffs, a sacrifice of marketer time and effort in order to build a connection to potential customers and open your organization to new types of interaction.
Is Ephemeral Marketing Worth it for B2B?
At first glance ephemeral marketing doesn’t seem to hold much value for B2B companies. Complex solutions and long-form articles don’t lend themselves to an Instagram story. These are obstacles to the traditional use of ephemeral marketing, but other less traditional values can be found.
Here are some use cases for B2B implementation:
A constant struggle for B2B companies is connecting with the customers, and being seen as a group of people instead of a corporate entity. Ephemeral marketing allows you to bring authenticity to your marketing tactics. It lets B2B marketers provide peeks into the daily life of employees through quick videos and photos that sell the people instead of the product.
Providing customers with a view of the people behind the product can build trust as well as a personal connection. You can quite literally embody your brand through snippets of videos, connecting you to the customer.
2. Educational Content
B2B companies are notorious for white papers and long-form eBooks (we can’t help it, we just love them) but there’s an opportunity for snappy educational content that can create interest and establish yourself as a thought leader in the space.
Quick displays of expertise or insight can pique audience interest and drive them towards existing long-form content.
Live Q&As also provide an amazing environment for potential customers as they can ask questions and consider your product without the pressure of a sales call. Instead, they’re simply a member of an audience learning from and connecting with you.
3. Brand Awareness
Unlike many B2C purchases, a B2B customer is making a significant investment. And committing to the price tag requires trust.
Ephemeral content also gives companies an opportunity to connect and show what the corporate culture is like from the inside. A video of a company outing or day-to-day office life can bring humanity to potential customers wondering who they’re placing their trust in. The best vendor relationships are partnerships.
So is it worth it?
Yes – ephemeral marketing has the fastest growing marketing medium. According to TechCrunch, it’s increased in consumption by 842% since 2016 and has no signs of slowing down. Creating and supporting a social personality brings your business from a faceless product to a human resource that interacts and entertains potential customers.
The question then is how you will utilize ephemeral marketing, stirring customers into a fervor with disappearing insights, live peaks into company culture, or something even more creative that hasn’t been done yet. Ephemeral content is a starting point for your own marketing goals.
With commitment and proper execution, you can turn short-term content into a long-term source of marketing ROI.