Digital marketing is a waste of time

Ephemeral Marketing: New Supreme Discipline or a Pure Waste of Time?

Ephe ... what? Yes, ephemeral marketing. A complicated term, the meaning of which is not explained in one word. If it starts out so complicated, does it even make sense to deal with it? We think so. On the one hand to find out what is behind it and on the other hand, what is so exciting about it for online marketers.

Snapchat & Co .: Short-lived communication is on the rise

The word "Ephemeros" comes from the Greek and means "for a day". The English equivalent "ephemeral" means "short-lived, one-day, ephemeral". It is therefore not surprising that ephemeral marketing takes place on media, the content of which disappears after a short time. Many start-ups such as Snapchat, Yo, Wickr or Blink cavort on this marketplace, whereby Snapchat is certainly “primus inter pares”. In 2016 alone, Snapchat gained 20 million new users. With a total of 220 million users, the company is one of the top 10 most valuable start-ups worldwide.

The Ephemeral Media concept is particularly popular with 16- to 24-year-olds. They offer users a media space in which they can be among themselves and share personal content exclusively with friends, away from family or stalkers and without the problem of “The network never forgets!”. Depending on the settings of the sender, snaps are visible for a maximum of 10 seconds. So-called stories, which consist of several images, have a lifespan of 24 hours. This short existence of the posts and the closed follower structures allow more spontaneity, courage and authenticity. Photos and videos are posted without make-up, everyone is more like they are. That makes the communication personal and authentic. Real people are in demand and that fits into the zeitgeist, especially among Generation Z.

Marketing measures in transition: Adaptation is the order of the day!

If, as an advertiser, you are now restlessly sliding back and forth in your chair, that's understandable. To be able to reach the young, not very enthusiastic target group is and remains the crowning achievement. New marketing access is a welcome opportunity. But how can you take advantage of the ephemeral media's ephemerality?

German Snapchat users are particularly interested in the content of friends and celebrities. Companies usually have only a few followers. This was recently determined by the University of Düsseldorf in a survey of 1,610 users between the ages of 14 and 19. What matters to users is having fun. They want to be part of the life of others, to be entertained and entertained. If you want to use Snapchat or other ephemeral media for advertising purposes, you need to adapt. Adapting to the demands and rules of the community, to their habits and customs. Companies have to re-stage their brands and products and use ephemerality to generate curiosity, excitement and the desire to have and be there with the first generation who grew up with the Internet.

Red Bull, McDonalds or Mango: creativity instead of high costs

There are already good examples: Red Bull loaned its account to a snowboarder, McDonald's publicized a burger on Snapchat and Mango gave its followers live insights into their fashion show, including model posts, backstage views and after-show Party snaps. There are many possibilities if you go to work creatively, whether reporting on events, discount campaigns or exclusive competitions.

Another advantage: Marketing on Snapchat is not expensive. Media costs are zero and production costs are low. So let's go ... right ?!

Stop, not so fast. As mentioned earlier, a corporate channel on Snapchat brings few followers. Here, too, content is king. You need a brilliant idea of ​​how you can make your brand or product tangible for your target group in a media-friendly manner. A precise staging is more important than a permanent sprinkling. Whether you work with geo-filters or pack exciting stories in Stories or Snaps, it has to be creative in “3V” (“Vertical, Video & Views”).

Snapchat caters for businesses too in-house advertising opportunities, for example sponsored “lenses” and on-demand filters, in-app ads, sponsored content in the Discover Channels or your own ads API that can be used to buy advertising space from third-party providers. According to the company, a direct booking of ads is being set up.

Measurement nil: the contra of the new communities

The disadvantage of any ephemeral marketing campaigns is the reporting. Analysis and target group definition are rather nonsense. You have no real control over your campaign and can make guesses as to whether it will succeed or fail. Users have no profiles, communication is largely one-sided and there are no numbers about followers or communities. You can only see how many followers a single snap has. In addition, training is necessary in order to be able to use the medium correctly and successfully - that means working hours and personnel costs.



Ephemeral marketing is suitable for companies with a pioneering spirit that sometimes risk a shot in the dark to reach a young target group. With Snapchat, campaigns for young people can be supported in all phases of customer acquisition. However, the requirements are high, because the communication has to penetrate the natural ad blocker of Generation Z. It's a tough test. But take courage! The costs are manageable, the content is deleted after a short time and some viral hits only take 10 seconds to write history. So it's worth a try.

Would you like to get the pulse of your target group via social networks? comwrap will be happy to support you in social media marketing.

Image source: Chonlachai / Shutterstock, Inc.