A great thing to be a young Gen X’er: During my junior high and high school years, there was no social media.
Young millennials were not so lucky. They have recorded their youth on Myspace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter down to the smallest detail, with every half-hearted thought and every stunt eating detergent being preserved forever.
So it's no wonder that the youngest social media users jumped on Snapchat when they launched. Snapchat stories conveyed the feeling of togetherness in which social media is good without the potential to embarrass your future self.
Other platforms quickly decided on the idea of short-lived content – content that expires and is deleted after a set period of time, usually 24 hours. Instagram's creatively named offering, Instagram Stories, has 500 million users a day. This is more daily users for a single function on Instagram than for the entire Twitter function.
But don't count Twitter yet – they're testing their own short-lived content, which is unfortunately referred to as "fleets". Even the level-headed people at LinkedIn * test LinkedIn stories with a handful of users.
For B2B content marketers, short-lived content appears to be the opposite of everything we try. EINWEG content? No SEO value, no conversion potential … what is it about?
Should B2B marketers become short-lived? It depends on whether you need to know the following:
Ephemeral content for B2B marketers
Before we go into details, you should first consider short-lived content just like any other content. I would recommend asking the following four questions:
Four Questions B2B Marketers Should Ask About Short-Term Content
Of course, these questions do not only refer to short-lived content. These questions are worth asking about a new marketing channel or tactic. You are:
Is my audience on this channel?
Does my audience use content on this channel?
Can we produce high quality content for this channel?
Does this channel offer a logical next step for our audience?
For most B2b marketers, the answer to all of these questions is "yes". If your audience includes millennials or young Gen Xers, they're probably at least on Instagram Stories. They are used to the format and will likely be open to short-lived content on LinkedIn and Twitter at launch.
Can your brand produce high quality short-lived content? This is one of the main selling points of stories – they are easy and cheap to produce. There are robust build tools built into the platforms on which they are hosted. And the audience can expect a more informal, less-produced content experience.
When it comes to the next steps, Instagram Stories are actually more marketable than Instagram posts. Users can swipe up in a story to go directly to other content, a lead gene form, or another hyperlink. There is no "Please visit the link in our biography" for stories – it is an instant pass.
If your offer is more geared towards boomer demographics or if you woo people who are too hip or hostile to technology to be on social media, you can hold back. However, one can say with certainty that the majority of B2B marketers can gain some juice from short-lived content.
How to get the most out of the short-lived content for B2B
You are unable to create a content library with short-lived content. It should naturally serve a different purpose than blog posts or eBooks. Remember to build an audience and involve them on a regular basis instead of creating a library that people immigrate to.
Concentrate on your employees, not on your product
There are many outlets where you can find product information and sales brochures. Ephemeral content is better suited to highlight the people who work for your company. Concentrate on what makes them unique, what makes them assignable and what makes them outstanding for the care of your customers.
Mailchimp is great in this kind of story. Her series “Day in Life” illuminates and celebrates individual employees.
“Ephemeral content works better to highlight the people who work for your company. Concentrate on what makes them unique, what makes them assignable and what makes them serve your customers excellently. “@NiteWrites Click to Tweet
Be passionate about the purpose
For a growing majority of consumers, what a brand sells is less important than what the brand stands for. We want to shop at companies that share our values, and B2B buyers are no exception. Ephemeral content is a great way to spread the word about the greater purpose of your brand in the world and to highlight your vision for the future and your progress towards these goals.
Lush is great at combining their purpose with their more product-centric, short-lived content. Only a few Instagram stories are required to see exactly where they stand and what they value.
Show your personality
If your organization is still looking for permission to loosen up a bit, short-term content is your permit. It is a format with lower audience expectations that focuses on short, entertaining content that will not haunt you until the end of time.
So it's worth experimenting with the voice and personality of your brand. You may find that B2B buyers are as hungry for entertainment as the rest of us.
Cisco is just killing it with their stories. The playful, energetic tone isn't what you'd expect from a solid industrial titan, but it's enjoyable to see.
"If your organization is still looking for permission to loosen up a bit, short-term content is your permit." @NiteWrites Click to Tweet
Serialize your content
Short-lived content is about building an audience that shows your feed appointment. Serialized content can help establish this habit. There are some simple ways to serialize:
Set up regular features like Mantra Monday, Pensive Thursday, or Whiskey Wednesday (okay, maybe not the last one).
Break a long-form video into segments and send them out one after the other.
Focus on a different department each week to explore your organization.
For serialized content in a longer form, it is worthwhile to create an IGTV series . The series includes tools that you can use to create and promote new episodes to attract subscribers. Check out General Electric for inspiration.
Let us fade away!
Ephemeral content is one of the main ways that people use social media. This means that they are relevant to any B2B company with an audience on social platforms. Adding short-lived content to your content marketing strategy works different muscles than your regular content creation, but it's a form that rewards continued experimentation.
Do you need help with short-lived or evergreen content? Our content marketing team is ready.
* Note: LinkedIn is a TopRank marketing customer.