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Whether you're working in marketing, social media, comms or PR chances are you’ve been questioned on your influencer marketing strategy. This marketing strand has been steadily changing the way brands interact with their customers, informing the way they do business and impacting on consumer behaviour and expectations.

The impact of influencer marketing is clear, and ‘Influencer’ has even become a lucrative and coveted job title, as the industry is set to reach $10 billion by 2020. This wave is powered by the savvy people that have created their own direct to consumer marketing conversations, largely executed through their own social channels, driving deeply engaged brand awareness. There are staggering examples of success that have come from influencers creating their own competing product lines, like Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty fame (with an estimated net worth of $610 million, springboarded from her immensely popular blog and YouTube channel. 

Brands have been flocking to people of influence to promote and endorse products and services on their behalf, as they have effectively become another way of marketing and delivering PR messages to consumers. Influencers can be used to gain staggering reach, drive brand awareness and fulfil referral traffic requirements. They’re also key in reaching an increasingly sharp youth demographic in a way that feels trusted, with recent studies showing that 70% of teens trust influencers. 

It’s not all roses though. An understanding of influencer marketing stops more naive brands from being entangled in controversy. Brands tied to activity that is seen and inauthentic or duplicitous can go so far as to find influencers are doing damage to their reputation. Fashionambitionist’s ‘surprise’ proposal is a good example of this, as she offered a blow by blow media plan outlining ways in which brands could buy into being a part of the most extravagant wedding proposal possible. The only hitch was that her followers were being led to believe the entire thing was a surprise orchestrated by her partner. 

With the prominence of the high profile glossy agreements, there is also a misconception that working with influencers is only successful if direct partnerships are made with a person of substantial fame, agreed with a hefty price tag.  While these do create lucrative opportunities for those brands in a position to seek them out, there are many other types of influencer relationships that deliver results, with achievable budgets. Take West Coast Waters for example, a campaign for raising the profile of Scotland’s west coast, working with a number of niche influencers, to raise the profile of the beauty of water regions for tourism purposes. By working with content creators that have intimate knowledge and access they have created a pocket of conversation around their mission. 

So, perhaps previously you’ve skimmed the headlines and thought it was too hard, or too expensive to pursue, or you’ve faced the plethora of information online and felt overwhelmed. To help demystify this marketing discipline we’ve created a detailed duo of lessons that will give you the history, the current ways in which you can apply it to your role, how to avoid pitfalls and examples to inspire, leaving you confident and ready to apply a successful influencer marketing stream to your next project. 

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