Ephemeral content for law firm marketing may seem like an unusual choice of strategy, but when done right, using platforms like Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories can work wonders for your company’s online image and reputation.
Because ephemeral content is a relatively new way of sharing messages and stories on social media, many law firms see it as being irrelevant to their target audience and services. It doesn’t help that these features tend to be associated with younger social media users.
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This is especially true for Snapchat, which has long had a predominantly young audience. But according to the company itself, this is fast changing, as more than 50% of daily new Snapchatters in the US are 25 or older. What’s more, nearly one-third of adult Snapchatters are parents. (1)
Feeling lost? Let’s go over what ephemeral content really is.
What is Ephemeral Content and Why Does It Matter?
“What is ephemeral content?” It’s probably the biggest question on many legal marketers’ minds whenever they hear about the amazing engagement features brands get from Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories.
Ephemeral content is content that lasts a short time before it disappears forever. It’s rich media, primarily images and videos, that are only accessible for a brief period. (2)
Basically, you take a video, post in your profile or send it to a friend, and after a certain period of time (usually 24 hours) it disappears on its own.
Led by the popularity of Snapchat, this self-destructing content model was soon adopted by other social networks like Instagram and Facebook. Live streaming video is another example of ephemeral content.
Understanding the Popularity of Ephemeral Content
The popularity of ephemeral content can be attributed to several things. For starters, it’s fleeting and in-the-now nature makes it a novel way to share stories with audiences. As one report explains, because posts disappear for good, there’s an exclusivity to viewing them, and users are more keen to keep up to date lest they miss some good content. (3) In turn, this fear of missing out creates a sense of urgency to see your content before it disappears.
Regardless of whether or not legal marketers buy into the logic behind ephemeral content, one thing is certain: ephemeral content gets amazing engagement—Snapchat Stories alone fuels 10 billion daily video views. (4)
But how exactly do you use ephemeral content for legal marketing? Listed below are few ideas to help you get started.
Ephemeral Content Strategy #1 – Tell Compelling Stories
If you think this ephemeral content strategy doesn’t apply to your firm, think again. Any company, regardless of size and industry, will always have unique and compelling stories to share.
The real challenge is figuring out which moments can be most valuable when shared as ephemeral content.
The answer, however, could be simpler than you think. For example. “If you are a personal injury law firm, you can run Geofilters on Snapchat during a motorsports event where racing enthusiasts, racers, and riders are present. If you’re an immigration attorney, you can use live streaming sessions to share your commentary on the latest updates to federal and state immigration policy, says lawyer marketing expert Qamar Zaman of KISSPR.com, an attorney website design and marketing firm.
Your firm just has to be creative and think in terms of branding your law firm in the context of moments and being in the now.
Ephemeral Content Strategy #2 – Show Your Corporate Culture and Values
All organizations have corporate values guiding their efforts and goals. These values, in turn, are at the heart of the company’s beliefs and culture. Ephemeral content is a great way to share these values and culture with your audience.
For law firms, this content can touch on your corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs (perhaps working pro bono for the less fortunate), the life experiences of your attorneys, or even your success stories with clients. You can also host live streams and turn them into question and answer sessions with your potential clients, who may have pressing questions about your services, expertise, and advocacies.
Ephemeral Content Strategy #4 – Show What You Do
This ephemeral content strategy is about showing your audience that you’re not just faceless company—you’re an organization made up of real people with real personalities and real interests.
GE is an example of a major company that pulls this off flawlessly, using Snapchat Stories to share quirky videos and photos of science experiments (the kind the company actually works on behind the scenes) and teaming up with influencers like Bill Nye the Science Guy. Not surprisingly, the collaboration was a hit with Snapchat users.
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Your law firm can do the same thing by streaming videos of your attorneys participating in events and conferences, dealing with a busy day in court, or strategizing with other partners in the conference room. What this does is humanize your brand and make you look more authentic and relatable.
Final Thoughts on Ephemeral Content for Law Firm Marketing
If your law firm is serious about leveraging the marketing opportunities of using ephemeral content for marketing and public relations, then platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Live will definitely be worth your time and effort. And if you think the legal services industry is not a contextual fit with the nature of ephemeral content, just remember how a multinational conglomerate like General Electric was able to reap its rewards to massive effect. If you’re not sure where and how to start, talk to a legal marketer about creating a strategy for your firm’s needs.