If you were to pull me aside on the street and ask me what the big marketing buzz term has been this year my answer would be instant: influencer marketing.
The concept's been around for awhile, of course, but you could almost throw a dart at this year's batch of marketing articles and get a 50/50 chance of finding one that mentions this term somewhere.
But if you've barely thought of it before now, or are still baffled about how to make it happen, you're still not really alone. Until recently it was pretty heavily confined to the fashion, beauty, and high-end food industries.
If you're not into any of these things you could be forgiven for having a moment of, "What the heck is this thing everyone's talking about?"
Good news? There are plenty of folks out there who are on top of this this year, and you can learn from them.
The Best Influencer Marketing Blogs of 2018
Visit this blog to find in-depth posts on everything influencer marketing. You'll learn about influencers you've never even heard of, campaigns which are working, and more.
I found this to be a great blog for demystifying the entire influencer process and making it easy to understand.
Need to learn the identities of the top influencers in your niche? You might want to stop by NeoReach, as they regularly publish "Top 10" influencer lists.
Plenty of outstanding insights to be found here, including ones which will help you start shaping your influencer campaigns.
The Best Influencer Marketing Articles of 2018
You don't have to go to a blog devoted to influencer marketing to get some great insights.
Why Brands Should Rely on Influencer Marketing in 2018 and Beyond - Makes a good case for jumping on board the influence train.
What is Influencer Marketing and Why Does it Matter? A Brand's Guide - Takes you through everything you'll need to know.
10 Influencer Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You and Get You Started on Your Own - I love case studies, and this article, from HubSpot, offers a nice collection of them.
The Year in Influencer Marketing: from CGI and Nano-Influencers to Fake Reviews and Fraud - A nice round up of stories touching on some of the major issues in influencer marketing.
How Brands Can Improve Influencer Marketing to Remain in Touch with Consumers - There's always a risk consumers will tune out this form of marketing like they try to tune out virtually every other kind. Here are some steps to take so they don't stop listening to you.
2019 Will Be The Year Influencer Marketing Shifts from Who to How - As advertised on the tin. This article was extremely insightful.
Confessions of an Instagram Influencer - A marketer did an experiment into "black hat" influencing, and this is what happened. Bonus: how to avoid getting screwed by black hat influencing.
The Best Influencer Marketing Tools of 2018
Some types of marketing allow you to get by without using too many tools. Not influencer marketing: there's just too much noise out here. Use these to help you sort through it all.
Upfluence - Allows you to find top influencers using complex search criteria. Get their contact details fast. This tool also includes methods for managing your campaigns.
Pitchboard - Gain valuable insights into influencer's audiences. A powerful AI platform also predicts the engagement you'll actually receive. You can even screen for content which might negatively impact your brand. Influencers can use the platform to pitch you.
Hype Auditor - This one's almost a must-have. This platform will tell you how many of that hotshot influencer's followers are fake, and what kind of real influence you'll be paying for. Use it before you sign any deals.
Ninja Outreach - Allows you to find top influencers on both Twitter and Instagram. This program includes a couple of neat link building and outreach tools, too.
Traackr.com - This program lets you manage relationships with influencers around the world. It also contains some powerful analytical tools.
Influencers on Influencing
You can't become an expert without listening to experts. So listen to these folks.
Dear Mishu Dad - A little quirky, a little fun, a whole lot of info about influencer marketing. Teaches an Udemy course about it. His twitter feed is nearly 100% all influencer marketing, all the time. Check it out at @DearMishuDad.
Holly Pavlika - This frequent contributor to Forbes and AdWeek has plenty to say about influencer marketing, and shares it regularly on her Twitter feed, which you'll find at @HollyPavlika.
Worth noting that several of the other experts I've covered in past posts could also be considered influence marketing experts, such as Shane Barker and Jeff Bullas. I just try not to repeat the same people twice in these resource posts. Nevertheless, if you didn't follow them on my other posts, take the opportunity now.
The Best Influencer Marketing Webinars, eBooks, and Other Resources
Time to take a deeper dive? Start here.
The Content Marketer's Guide to Influencer Marketing - Only 3% of influencers actually produce results. This ebook will tell you how to link up with those guys.
Shane Barker's Influencer Marketing Blueprint - Learn how to find influencers, pitch influencers, and choose the right tools by downloading this blueprint.
The Ultimate Influencer Marketing Playbook of 2018 - Learn from 26 experts in the field.
How to Write Your First Influencer Marketing Strategy - Ready to hit the ground running? Time to do this thing? Stop long enough to read this, then have at!
Did I miss anything or anyone? Please let us know in the comments below!