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Influencer Marketing Course by Siim Säinas Review

Updated: Jan 9

This review is only for 1 course in CXL's growth marketing minidegree. For all the others please head over to the index here.

As you can tell, I’m pretty happy with the course. It gradually picks up the pace. The first few lessons are set the ground and cover the basics. But the course picks up as Siim navigates us through how to use influencers.

He shares dozens of templates with us whether they be about the contract agreements with influencers or the templates to measure influencer performance. The slides are also wildly helpful. It’s designed in a way that you don’t need to watch the entire course to recall the content. Very clean and modern.

Siim is also super helpful. It’s been some time since the course was recorded (~2 years) and while the majority portion of the course content is evergreen, I still wanted to validate certain things. I reached out to him and he replied within minutes.

The course is for those who are just starting out. As mentioned, it isn’t for those who are deep in the trenches.

With that being said, here’s a summary of what you’ll find in the course. If you know an influencer (micro/nano), then send them this article so they know exactly what marketers look for while choosing influencers. They should know the amount of data we have on our fingertips and then identify the brands.

Summary of my learnings in the influencer marketing course at CXL Institute

This article is by no means an exhaustive list and shouldn’t be substituted by the actual CXL course but it’s a start :)

The Basics —

  1. What do influencers want?

  2. What do marketers want out of the influencers?

  3. What are the industry statistics.

  4. Some good examples and why are they good.

  5. How to budget?

  6. What are some of the tools that are available?

  7. How to use those tools?

  8. But before we use those tools, what questions should marketers start with?

  9. How to scale influencer marketing efforts? How to build better/stronger relationships?

What do influencers want?

A few things, they want creative freedom and competitive compensation the most. But, if we were to list down the things they wanted, it would look like this:

Secondly, let us take a look at what INFLUENCERS want from a brand relationship to achieve their objectives.

  1. Audience growth

  2. $$$

  3. Great content

  4. Access

  5. Exclusivity

  6. Recognition

  7. Commitment

Notice that many influencers also seek commitment and are not keen to work on a short-term basis, provided the relationship works two-way. Influencers also want creative freedom, but that’s not an objective in itself and closely tied to Great content.

What do you as a marketer want?

  1. Access to a relevant audience

  2. Engagement

  3. Reach/traffic/sales

  4. Creativity & assets

  5. Product feedback

  6. Authenticity & Trust

  7. Product testimonials

  8. Commitment

This list is not exhaustive, but goes from the most basic objectives to the hardest to achieve — commitment.

What are the industry statistics.

  • Only 29% of influencers are asked for their opinion on the content direction. And more than half (55%) of brands admit that by the time they engage influencers, the campaign direction is set.

  • Influencers > Creative Freedom = Engagement Usually influencer marketing shows a poor CPM vs Paid Social. Creativity is rewarded in Social because that’s what the audiences crave. Entertainment, something to talk about and share is valued. And in turn, higher engagement makes your marketing investment work harder. Sometimes up to 14x.

Some good examples and why are they good.

Redbull — great at generated User Generated Content. Has a strong brand voice and has a story to tell.

Addidas — with their tango campaign. They handpicked young soccer influencers and gave them exclusive access to their role models. They then used the tango network to feed in the merch.

Strive to have these features:

  1. Consistency — in your messaging

  2. Entertainment Value — engagement, tonality, opinionated.

  3. Social Proof — is your influencer credible. Do people want to share their branded content?

  4. Likeability — are the influencers likeable?

  5. Kindness

  6. Authority — do they have authority in the domain.

A bad example would be Lele Pons promoting KFC or something. She simply put up their advertisement as an image. No creativity, whatsoever. It’s no surprise that there was a huge difference between her usual engagement rate vs branded engagement rate.

Zoe is following the guidelines by using the ‘Paid Partnership tag’

Credits: Influencer Marketing Guidelines: Rules Marketers & Brands Need to Follow

This other guy isn’t. He just uses the #Spon

If your influencer doesn’t use the Paid Partnership tag, then the legal liability falls on the brand.

How to budget?

There’s a lot to say on this topic but I’ll just say one thing. Save a part of the budget to amplify influencers’ posts. Organic reach is almost dead as social media sites don’t show all posts to every follower. As a growth marketer, your job is to leverage the existing assets to increase ROI. Give FB Ad manager a shot.

What are some of the tools that are available?

  1. Hypeauditor


  3. Coschedule

  4. Buffer

  5. Buzzsumo

The rest of the tools can be found on after a couple of months. I’m building a collection of every single tool recommended by CXL instructors and a way to use those tools. You can drop me a note on twitter for early access. Just leave your email address and a message “tools database”. I’ll send it to you when it’s ready.

How to use those tools?

Like I mentioned above, all of this will be included in the database. Just drop me a note on Twitter

But before we use those tools, what questions should marketers start with?

#1: What’s my brand’s role in Social?

#2: How creative is the influencer?

#3: Has the influencer worked with competitors? (You can get archived sponsored posts of almost every influencer using Hypeauditor)

#4: How is the influencer’s tone of voice/style? Logan Paul may not be suitable for your brand.

#5: What’s the influencer’s platform focus? — Use Social Blade to do this at scale.

How to scale influencer marketing efforts? How to build better/stronger relationships?

This is called building value on both ends.

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