DID YOU MISS IT? Ephemeral content in 2020

by | Feb 7, 2020 | Business, Instagram, Media Industry, Social Media

Video content overwhelmingly took its place front and centre on social media platforms as a story telling medium in 2019. This saw ephemeral content in particular drive the growth of video creation by those other than videographers. Ephemeral content can be described as rich media including images and videos that are only available for consumption for a brief period of time. The success of Instagram stories, Facebook stories and its progenitor Snapchat, saw the uptake of this medium by users and creatives giving video a try beyond their normal curated content to great effect.

An in-flux of video snippets from unfinished clips and upcoming projects, spontaneous video capturing the here and now as updates has discernibly upped the ante in “engagement”: The First commandment in Social Media. As such, the importance of video content as the main proponent of ephemeral content tops the list of trends of 2020.

Although not a new trend or development, ephemeral content inserts the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) as its primary dynamic. It is designed to provoke an immediate response from its audience. As a marketing strategy, the temporary lifespan of ephemeral content fires up traffic, engagement and conversation on social platforms. In our contemporary digital environment it is the ultimate “You had to be there”.

So, philosophically are we perpetuating an instant gratification society

and furthering a consumerist agenda?

Possibly, but let’s examine ow it can be good for your business.


Given that behavior governs the use of social media, a strategic amplification of provoking an immediate response in an audience drowning in so much noise is gold. This can be translated into a potential and spontaneous purchasing decision, a push to sign-up or even instigate content going viral by liking and or sharing. It also drives engagement in a natural and organic way. The best example is “user generated content” (UGC). The user effectively inserts the brand into his or her lifestyle and disseminates its contained message via their own network. Hash-tag strategy furthers the reach with algorithms being a partner in punting the content to an even wider audience.

Ephemeral content is not for everyone. But its conduits are here to stay and evolve.  Instagram stories within a year, has become a de facto behavioral process in posting content by being instantly adopted and implemented. It is particularly effective in that uninterrupted content can be posted to stories without impacting a newsfeed, set with its own strategy and narrative. And of course, ephemeral content is exceptionally popular with the millennium market.

 Content in 2020 will definitely be here today and gone tomorrow, so don’t get caught missing out!

 Rob Greeff

  Copywriter Specialist and Creative Writer.

 He has edited and written for international business and luxury travel magazines, as well as produced and presented an international Talk Show.

C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.

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