Is the digital revolution making us all individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)? Thanks to the effect of the social and mobile revolution on the brain, human attention span has shrunk to eight seconds – lower than that of even Goldfish (9 seconds)!It’s not surprising then that ‘attention’ has become the new currency for marketers. If you can get your users to pay attention and hold that attention even for a few seconds, its job half done. How do marketers evolve and adapt to this short user attention span? Enter Ephemeral Marketing - marketing that comes with an ultra short lifecycle - think content, video, images, and messages that disappear after a limited time period, usually a few seconds. Conversations on ephemeral media are meant to be live, unrecorded, and fleeting – much like face-to-face interactions. Good bye permanent comments and unseemly embarrassments. As a marketer, if you are struggling to keep visitors hooked to your site, you are not alone. While marketing to the Goldfish generation is no child’s play, here are five proven best practices that can help you nail the challenge.
Enter Ephemeral Marketing - marketing that comes with an ultra short lifecycle - think content, video, images, and messages that disappear after a limited time period, usually a few seconds. Conversations on ephemeral media are meant to be live, unrecorded, and fleeting – much like face-to-face interactions. Good bye permanent comments and unseemly embarrassments.
As a marketer, if you are struggling to keep visitors hooked to your site, you are not alone. While marketing to the Goldfish generation is no child’s play, here are five proven best practices that can help you nail the challenge.
#1 Look to the leader (Snapchat)and leverage it to your advantage: If your brand is not on Snapchat yet, you are likely missing 150 million prospective daily users. Yes, that’s the strength of one of the world’s fastest growing social networks. Using Snapchat, you can create compelling brand stories by stringing a series of snaps together to make a video narrative, conduct live events to launch products, give private sneak peeks of upcoming merchandise to selected audience, customize promotions and offers to reward active users, and do plenty more.
This year, iconic fast food chain McDonald’s became the first brand to leverage Snapchat’s latest feature – location based stickers. The stickers work as geo-filters that allow users to decorate their Snapchat posts with fries and burgers, besides flagging the ‘Look-at-me-I’m-here’ tag based on their location.
#2 Get intimate and authentic with your content: Just because ephemeral content is here today and gone tomorrow, it doesn’t give you the leeway to publish anything that’s plagiarized, irrelevant, or simply boring. And precisely because the content appears only for a limited time period, it needs to be intimate, free of clutter, and downright simple, while still being ‘share worthy’.
To capitalize on the surge in on-demand real time content, Fox Sports used Periscope – a live streaming application, similar to Snapchat, to stream live coverage of the NFL Draft for football enthusiasts. In doing this, Fox Sports managed to trump ESPN – the official broadcaster of NFL draft - by innovatively engaging with users.
#3 Drive a specific call to action: Ambiguity has no place in the content marketing world – including ephemeral marketing. As with other social platforms, marketers should use an effective call to action. The temporary nature of the content drives urgency and fosters a feeling of exclusivity.
New York based yogurt shop16 Handles leveraged Snapchat to distribute discount coupons to users, and in return, asked them to send a picture of themselves eating one of their company’s products. The campaign helped 16 Handles acquire 1400 new users.
#4 Launch innovative campaigns: Whether you are launching a new product/service or looking to generate buzz for a live event/webinar/trade show, ephemeral platforms are an excellent way to spark interest and conversations around it. Fleeting photos, videos, and stories can give your audience a sneak peek into the upcoming event and make them feel like an ‘insider’ who knows your behind-the-scenes story, resulting in strong long term following.
Acura, a renowned Japanese automaker, released a six-second video of its new NSX vehicledriving around a track, to the first 100 individuals who added ‘Acura Insider’- the company’s Twitter handle- to their account.The strategy made Acura a finalist at the 8th Annual Shorty Awards for being a thought leader in leveraging social media technology.
#5 Take influencer marketing to the next level: Influencers make for great brand partners on all social platforms, and ephemeral platforms are no exception. But marketers must hit the target on delivering exceptional entertainment to their users, or it could result in wasted effort.
Energy drink brand Red Bull, known for promoting an adventurous lifestyle, does a great job of this. The brand partnered with Canadian snowboarder and X Games champion Mark McMorris (on Snapchat), to allow users to experience his sports lifestyle firsthand and see him trekking live in the Big Bear Mountain in San Diego.‘Short-lived’ Marketing Deserves Your ‘Full’ Attention
That ephemeral marketing is a game changer is well established by now. Going forward, it’s up to marketers to decide which ephemeral platform best fits their requirements and how to fine-tune their strategy to grab the right mindshare. If you still have doubts on whether it makes sense to invest precious dollars in something that’s going to vanish soon, we say get ‘snappy’ and get your game on!