Ugetgoal blog

Time-Limited Content: Effective for Existing Audiences

Strategy Content
Two days ago, a new article by Lane Wakefield was published, and its description says:

“Consumers are more likely to use messages with high ephemerality to impress with narrowly relevant content, regulate emotions, build social relationships, persuade others through peripheral cues, and protect privacy. However, messages with high ephemerality are less likely to help consumers manage their impression, acquire or share useful information, or present strong arguments. It is also proposed that messages with high ephemerality can help marketers increase interest through frequent peripheral cues, including fun and friendly content, drive sales by creating a sense of urgency, and increase loyalty. But they are less likely to increase awareness, build interest through flattering or informative content, or drive sales through transactional messages.”

I think it's very important and quite simple for defining a content strategy. Let’s break this down.

Ephemerality in online communication refers to content that has a limited availability period. This includes stories, messages that disappear after being read, and messages that auto-delete after a fixed period of time.

So, we can separate all content into two big groups: content with an expiration date and content without one.

The first type could be used to:
  • Increase interest
  • Drive sales by creating a sense of urgency
  • Increase loyalty

As we can see, all these processes target the existing audience. This approach engages people who already know you, encouraging them to pay a bit more attention and maybe start a conversation. It's more about quick emotional contact, not deep and not requiring a long time to process.

But to convey something to new people or provide complex information to the existing audience, it's better to use the second type of content (which doesn't have a limited time to process).

If you contact a person who doesn't know you and then disappear, they would just forget about you and not continue any communication. But if you do the same for someone who knows you, they can identify and remember you, possibly starting a conversation.

So, the short summary:
  • If you need to attract a new audience, use content that doesn't disappear.
  • If you need to give existing audience important information, use content that doesn't disappear.
  • If you need to build an emotional connection with the existing audience, you can use time-limited content.

(2024). Conceptualizing ephemerality in online marketing communication for consumers and firms. European Journal of Marketing. 10.1108/EJM-05-2022-0366.