Mayfly Content, or temporary content with an extremely brief lifespan, is a growing and compelling approach to digital content creation. In foregoing content’s longevity, platforms like Snapchat instead drive immediacy in consumption and response. Content that creates an immediate connection with its audience before expiring – and disappearing – drives significantly more immediate responses than content that can live online in obscurity for years at a time. As advertisers embrace these mediums, they are increasingly focused on connecting with customers to build relationships instead of aggressively selling products.
Snapchat began as a tool for millennial users to share content with friends that would live briefly, without leaving a digital footprint that could affect them for years to come, unlike other established social-media platforms. Newer generations have a greater understanding and appreciation of their digital legacy and digital privacy; this has drawn them away from platforms such as Facebook and Twitter where their content lives online forever. Snapchat is now tied with Facebook at 4 billion video views per day and out ranks Facebook as the social media platform of choice for millennials**. And – as always – where the kids go, brands are quick to follow. And the results are impressive.
Mashable’s unique visitors grew by 24% in the month following the launch of their Snapchat Discover channel***.
Cosmopolitan is receiving an average of 3 million views per day**.
And despite being just shy of their 1 year anniversary, Periscope’s 10 million users has inspired companies such as Spotify and GE to share exclusive interviews and behind the scenes content with their followers.*
Snapchat, Periscope, AMAs, and other live-stream platforms enable a brand to interact with their customers the way friends interact with their friends; directly in the moment. This direct and immediate dialogue creates opportunities for the audience to participate and connect with the brands they follow. The audience can see the brands they love as more than impersonal icons, but instead as the people who make up those companies and craft products. The resulting content is less about abstract ideas and marketing taglines, and more about tangible topics: as the people who make up the company, creative or inspiring product use-cases, and insight into product development and manufacturing.
Changing the Conversation
There is still a place for content with longer lifespans … it’s just that we as marketers have been given entirely new ways to approach the content we create. Now we also have an opportunity to talk directly to our customers about who we are as people; what matters to us; what matters to us as a company, as well as the social issues that drive our lifestyle and decision-making. People bond with their friends over these shared values and people bond with companies over these same shared values. It is precisely these bonds which strengthen brand loyalty, bringing customers back over and over for years.
So get your brand out there and make a few new friends, and do it quickly!