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What is Influencer Marketing? The Essential Guide Into Influencer Marketing and Careers

To understand influencer marketing, one must first be familiar with influencers. Influencers are individuals that hold authority among a particular audience. They have the ability to influence others’ behaviors or ways of thinking. 

In this digital age, influencers’ opinions hold significant value in their niche. It’s estimated that 70% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations comparably to their real-life friends. But what exactly makes influencer marketing so effective? Let’s dive into the fundamentals of influencer marketing and industry opportunities.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a sect of social media marketing that leverages influencers to shape consumer behavior and reach new audiences. Similar to celebrity endorsements, influencer promotions are an effective way to promote a company’s products or services, while boosting brand awareness and reinforcing a brand’s legitimacy. 

Influencers cultivate long-term trust within their audience. It’s no secret that people value relatability and transparency. However, building this trust takes time. 

Utilizing influencer campaigns as a promotional tool taps into an influencer’s pre-existing authority in their niche, allowing companies to position the influencer’s product recommendation organically.

Careers in Influencer Marketing

Because influencers amass and connect with their audience on social media platforms, the bulk of influencer campaigns will be executed through social media. As a result, influencer marketing is considered a specialized branch of social media marketing.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in influencer marketing, you’ll likely find that influencer-specific opportunities are often categorized as mid and upper-level positions. Don’t be discouraged by this! Influencer marketing and management is a specialized career path. Entry-level roles in social media and digital marketing can help build a strong foundation for successful influencer campaigns and are a fantastic introduction to the creator space. 

Common roles in influencer marketing are:

Social Media & Influencer Marketing Specialist

Because social media and influencer marketing are heavily intertwined, it’s common for these duties to be delegated in one position. People in this role may be responsible for social media strategy, content creation, influencer outreach, facilitating influencer partnerships, executing influencer campaigns, and analyzing performance metrics.  

Social media and influencer marketing specialists generally have 2–4 years of industry experience in social media, brand partnerships, or digital marketing positions.

Influencer Manager

Influencer managers oversee influencer campaigns from start to finish. Common duties associated with this position include executing an influencer marketing strategy, identifying ideal influencers, conducting outreach, securing partnerships, and managing campaigns. As with any marketing role, analyzing metrics and making data-driven adjustments is crucial to improving campaign performance. 

Influencer managers often have 2–4 years experience in brand partnerships, account management, or digital marketing.

Career prospects and upward mobility opportunities for influencer marketing professionals continue to expand every day. As a growing number of companies seek to incorporate and scale influencer partnerships, demand for social media savvy, influencer marketers is at an all-time high. 

Day-to-day responsibilities 

So what does a typical day for an influencer marketer look like? 

When working in a rapidly evolving space like influencer marketing, navigating spontaneous changes and a variety of day-to-day responsibilities are to be expected. Although your priorities and everyday tasks shift at different stages of influencer campaigns, it’s important to keep your overarching marketing goals in mind throughout the process. 

First and foremost: strategy. Detailing your goals, campaign type, target audience, means of measuring performance, as well as primary platforms, content, and audience size are among the most vital aspects to optimizing your approach and campaign execution. This is also the time to prepare a creative brief for your influencers. This brief should include any relevant information about the campaign and brand guidelines, such as content deliverables, sponsorship endorsements, call-to-action, talking points, etc.

After developing your influencer strategy, your primary focus will shift to outreach and research. Having a thorough understanding of your niche and target audience will expedite this stage as you work to identify ideal candidates and begin the outreach process. Depending on the size of the influencers, outreach can be done through direct messages on social media (particularly for micro-influencers) or contacting them via email or business manager (commonly for larger influencers). 

Securing partnerships involves directly engaging with individuals to discuss campaign details, expectations, compensation, and contracts. Once your partnership has been confirmed, it’s time to manage the campaign details. You’ll coordinate delivery timelines, organize promotional packages/discounts (if applicable), and act as a go-to resource for influencers as they fulfill their deliverables. 

Allowing influencers to maintain their creative autonomy over their content, while ensuring their content is compliant with brand guidelines, is a key element to producing authentic, engaging content that resonates with your target audience.

After content goes live, monitoring results and analyzing performance will help you make data-informed adjustments to your influencer marketing strategy and campaigns. 

Skills and qualifications 

If you’re looking to pursue a career in influencer marketing, organizational skills are an invaluable asset. Depending on the size of your team and campaign budget, you may be collaboratively managing influencers, running multiple campaigns, or spearheading influencer marketing efforts on your own. Whatever the case, organizational skills will help you manage priorities and problem-solve while concurrently managing influencers at varying stages of involvement.

Strong communication skills naturally lend themselves to influencer marketing. You’ll likely engage with large numbers of people – content creators, managers, and agencies are often involved in the campaign process. Effective written and verbal communication can ease outreach efforts and lessen the need for hands-on involvement by conveying expectations from the start.

Similar to other marketing roles, your ability to analyze data is indispensable when considering optimization. Consistent reporting and data analysis can help you identify areas for improvement and reinforce the strengths in your strategy.

Previous experience with digital marketing and brand partnerships will expose you to a variety of foundational skills that can support your career in influencer marketing. However, dedication and willingness to learn can help bridge potential skill gaps. Regardless of your background, with practice and hands-on experience, anyone can acquire the skills to be successful as an influencer marketer. 

Is influencer marketing right for you?

If you’re intrigued by the idea of leveraging community to impact consumer behavior and exploring a booming landscape like the creator economy, influencer marketing may be a great fit for you! As greater numbers of small businesses and large corporations seek to effectively connect with their target audience, influencer marketing opportunities are growing every day.


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