Agencies & Micro-Influencers - a match?

Ad Agencies Representing Micro-Influencers? This unlikely match is made in heaven (and so win-win-win)!

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For ad agencies to stay relevant, and for the sake of a super interesting new economy, they’ll need to start working with #MicroInfluencers”

Let’s talk sincerely about the dire state of the advertising world these days:

1. Worrisome stats

  • Only 1% of people find online ads compelling.
  • The average click-through rate (CTR) of ads is now only 0.05%.  This is just 5 clicks per 10000 impressions.
  • 74% of consumers currently use ad blockers or proactively opt out of ads in other ways, according to a recent study by Edelman.
  • Millennial shoppers ignore advertising and by 2020 they will account for half of U.S. working adults.
  • 38% of consumers pay for access to premium streaming services like Spotify or Google Music to avoid ads.
  • And one more:

[bctt tweet=”We check our phones an average of 57 times a day, and 40% of us check them within 5 minutes of waking up. No one checks ads, except maybe during the Super Bowl, right? #WordOfMouth #MicroInfluencers” prompt=”If you found this useful, share this”]

2. Ignorable world

In addition to the above worrisome stats, look at the example of a typical ad below:

Digital ads are interruption
Today’s ads are a negative form of INTERRUPTION, don’t you think…?

This is so…WTF?? It’s so unsuitable for our “online life” and our culture anymore. It’s intrusive, pushy, disruptive…

(A lot of things are disruptive in a positive way, especially in tech. For example, Uber and Lyft are said to have disrupted the taxi business and now the car industry. But this is different.)

So it should come as no surprise to learn that people don’t want to see ads as they currently appear anymore. Bye-bye ads as we know them… any day now!

Advertisements today are – almost all agree – a negative disruption, unwelcome, and they are interrupting the hell out of our days. Most marketers by now admit that the goal is not disruption, or even to be found. Instead, it is to be talked about.

A brand that is forward thinking and plans to survive the changes in the advertising landscape will recognize that ads as they are today are not a helpful tool to get people talk about what they do. That era is over, the messaging is getting lost and causing damage. They are now looking for alternatives.

What’s the alternative…?

3. Micro-Infs!

Micro-Infs to the rescue! (That’s short for “Micro-Influencers“) the best fit Influencers who have a small following (under 100k) but a closer relationships with them). These are the people who can help brands reach customers and get around Ad blockers because they speak DIRECTLY to the people who follow them, and in a natural, genuine, native, non-intrusive way. They do this by presenting new points of view, which is perfectly suited for today’s culture. They also create great content that brands can reuse if they make sure to include that in their contract).

In other words, through that direct communication the Micro-Infs cut through the advertising blindness! Their followers are CRAZY about what the Micro-Infs have to say, and that’s why they are there.

Thank you, Maggie, the pumpkin micro-influencer!
Followers of Maggie come daily to hear why she is crazy about pumpkins… because she is..and her followers are too!

How do they do it? Every day (some at night too) Micro-Infs make sure to communicate, to engage, DIRECTLY in NON-intrusive way, with their community of followers.

aeropress coffee lovers are build a community - social media communities - an example
aeropress coffee lovers are building a community – social media communities – an example

They do this so much that their followers feel like family, almost like IRL. Here are some examples:

MicroInfluencers works many hours a day, engaging engaging engaging

In a recent survey by Edelman, 58% of consumers indicated that they had bought a new product in the last 6 months because of an influencer. Further, 40% of consumers said that they gained trust for a brand and 38% talked about a brand because of an influencer.

As such, the Micro-Infs can influence consumers to and can therefore get the brands around ad blockers and ad blindness:

In addition to reaching ALL followers, without blocking or skipping, Micro-Infs are much more cost effective than traditional advertising.

People spend minutes, not seconds with #Microinfluencers’ content, and for a reason. So…what will the advertising industry do about that? #InfluencerMarketing

Micro-Infs can replace Ads to carry your message to customers in a more natural way.

Influencer content can be...
Real Influencer content is very different than an ad, and ad executives have difficulties processing that, as they don’t see themselves as reps of content providers.

4. Good Influencers don’t do a hard sell (and that’s a good thing).

It is important to stress that good Micro-Infs – when they endorse your brand/products – do not sell. They inspire, they excite, they bring you to their communities in a wonderful, pleasant way. Here is one example, and if you need to see more examples you can go here:

Sophia Roe - Long Form social media posting

5. Start by acknowledging Micro-Infs.

It’s super hard for ad executives to acknowledge the importance of Micro-Infs. If you know anything about influencer marketing, you’ll have to laugh at the results of a recent survey from Frank Strong. Here are some of the biggest mistaken ideas about influencer marketing, and my advice for doing it right:

Agency Misconceptions about Micro-InfluencersHow to Avoid the Issue
“Influencer marketing is risky”Choose only Influencers who are super relevant to what you do.
Work with several Micro-Infs to test what works. They’re inexpensive compared to ads.
“Influencers aren’t reporters. Most of them expect to be paid by us. There are more of them than there are reporters. And, they’re even less accountable if you’re not paying them.”Influencers are indeed not reporters. They are professionals who will:
1. Create original, non-intrusive, interesting content for the brands you work with. More often than not, the value they bring is the unique content they create.
2. Bring trust to the brands you work with. They’ve built a community that trusts them and looks for their advice daily.

Therefore — pay them. Hire them. They work hard and take what they do seriously and you should do the same.
“Let’s not Kardashian this, too”Micro-Infs are not celebs. Working with them is almost the opposite of working with celebrity influencers. What they bring is credibility and originality.

Since we – social media marketers – are at the mercy of software algorithm engineers, why not borrow one of their mottos: if you find the problem, you’ve solved the problem! So, let’s face it, ads as we know them are the problem.

Once ad industry executives acknowledge the failure of current ads to achieve their clients’ goals, once they recognize that Micro-Infs are right on it already, that will open the path to solving the problem.

But just a path. Ad executives will need to adapt a little bit.

6. The ad industry & Micro-Infs are a not match made of heaven (now)

Micro-Infs are students, or moms and pops… people (or dogs), like us. They live inside their favorite social media platform, whether it is Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter. What do they know about things like CPM?! They are simple people who build relationships, and respond well when you approach them directly. They’re also usually underpaid for the amount of work they put in.

Ad people usually have a very different mindset. They think business and know business jargon and have a decent budget.

Currently ad agencies/executives do business with big celebs. With Micro-Infs the relationship is a little bit like oil and water. But, I see a future for a match made in heaven. It goes like this:

Micro-Infs will bring the content and influence.

Ad execs will do the marketing and bring business to Micro-Infs.

Ad people can commercialize the Micro-Infs, creating a win-win-win relationship (agency, influencer, and brand all win).

This will spur competition and invigorate not only the advertising and digital industries but will elevate these small businesses with a result that our moms, our students, and our single parents will have reliable sources of income.

The potential relationship between ad agencies and micro-influencers is like that between inventors and agencies that help commercialize a patent…

My vision is that matching ad execs and micro-infs will birth a huge number of new small businesses and revitalize this segment of the economy.

Let it be, and soon. Amen!


If It Can’t Be Transactional, Then What Am I Getting from Influencer Marketing at All?

Sincerely yours,

Dear Mishu's Dad

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SMI* = Social Media Influencers