There’s no point in doing influencer marketing unless you do it right. And that’s easier said than done.

As influencer marketing reaches mass popularity, the need to execute is met with more chaos than shopping during Black Friday. Marketers need help in filtering the noise to pinpoint what’s real and what’s a hoax. That’s why we curated the best resources to keep you in-the-know, so you can do influencer marketing the right way.

From knowing what’s real to the dangers of automation, to the need-to-know tips for flawless execution, here are the top 11 resources to own influencer marketing like a boss:

1. Influencer Marketing in Real Life: Unlock Insights from 24 Top Brands

What do Salesforce, Oracle, and Microsoft have in common? Besides being among the major players in tech, these brands also practice influencer marketing—and have a strong opinion about it. That’s why we interviewed 24 top brand marketers and influencers to reveal real-life insights into achieving success, with regards to both sides of the influencer marketing coin.

2. The FTC and Influence Marketing: The Crackdown Begins

Kerry Gorgone, contributing columnist for Mark Schaefer‘s blog {grow}, dives into the world of disguising advertising as organic influencer posts. Kerry walks us through several case studies, which illustrate the consequences of ignoring the FTC guidelines around designating sponsored content. This post is a must read in order to familiarize yourself with the risks around paying influencers in sponsorship format.

3. Influencer Marketing Failure: Why Paid Endorsements are Doomed

Find out what happens when influencer marketing goes terribly wrong. With some of the largest brands increasing their investment in the practice by 10x year-over-year, most marketers still lack the expertise to be effective. This article helps to dispel the myth that paid endorsements and influencer marketing are one in the same. Besides the fact that failure to disclose paid endorsements for influencers is illegal, learn seven reasons why deceitful paid endorsements are doomed for failure.

4. Plan Your Resources to Estimate Your Influencer Marketing ROI

In order to really kill the influencer marketing game, you must define your goals, determine what activities to prioritize and how to scale them throughout the year, and allocate your resources (e.g. staff, technology, and influencer spend). And, most importantly, you need to estimate your return on influencer marketing efforts. That’s why we created a framework to help you account for growth and estimate your potential ROI.

5. Influencer Marketing: Time to Opt-Out of Opt-In Networks

With 84% of influencer research being carried out manually, marketers struggle to effectively scale their efforts to make an impact. But marketers are tempted by shortcuts under the guise of “influencer marketing at the push of a button.” This is an attractive offer for a marketer who is accustomed to buying media–but it won’t yield a lasting impact. Discover what’s an opt-in network, who participates, and how these methods ARE NOT the same as authentic influence.

6. The Danger of Automating Social Influencer Marketing

Mike Shields, a reporter with The Wall Street Journal, dives into the world of influencer marketplaces, i.e. companies promising easy access to social influencers through web-based platforms. But some ad buyers worry that the rise of these networks to connect brands and influencers is resulting in a negative experience for advertisers and big social platforms. Find out why this crowded marketplace is considered a “hot mess” in the ad ecosystem.  

7. Master All-Things Influencer Marketing to Become an Expert

Understand influencer marketing and why it matters. By enrolling in the Academy of Influencer Marketing’s first course, Setting Sail on an Influencer Marketing Program, you’ll learn to plan, build, execute, and measure an effective strategy. You’ll be equipped for total influencer marketing domination.

 8. Seven Pillars of Solid Influencer Marketing Programs

Shonali Burke shares some guidelines on why the way brands structure influencer marketing programs is becoming increasingly critical for success. Shonali’s blog is full of meaty resources to help you become a better marketer, and this post really hits the nail on the head. This content covers how-to’s that address content collaboration, when to compensate influencers, and the basics of influencer communications.

9. Own Influencer Marketing: Don’t Let it Own You

In this Huffington post interview with Nicolas Chabot, VP EMEA of Traackr, you’ll learn how your brand can benefit from influencer marketing. Gain a better understanding of the full potential of influencer marketing, learn to elevate your own expertise with the practice, and know why influencers are the future drivers of consumer behavior.

10. Influencer Marketing: 10 Strategies for Getting it Right

Sujan Patel, Co-founder of and contributor to the Marketing Insider Group blog, wants us to face the facts: influencer marketing is not that easy. Getting the most out of influencer marketing means more than picking a handful of influencers and sending your products to them. Sujan delivers actionable insights to help you set goals, be relevant, be realistic, build a relationship first, and, most importantly, relinquish control.

11. How Influencer Marketing Managers Do it

When one person manages all influencer relationships for a brand, the biggest advantage delivers consistency and relationship building. When ownership to manage influencer relationships is dispersed between multiple team members it results in miscommunication and potentially damaged relationships. Discover what our very own Influencer Marketing Manager learned during her first 30 days on the job, and how you can apply her tips to manage influencer relationships with ease.

So there you have it: 11 of the best influencer marketing resources to keep in your back pocket. Next up, check out some success stories in action. Learn how SAP approaches influencer marketing to reach its audience, and see how Travelocity works with experts to advance the art of travel.

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