Think back to the last time you wanted to learn something new. Perhaps you wanted to learn a few phrases in Spanish or French to prepare for a trip. Or maybe you wanted to earn a certification to give yourself an edge in a competitive field.

What did you? Most likely you signed up for a course or class to teach you the skills you needed.

In recent years, influencer marketing has become an increasingly popular marketing technique, with more than 40 percent of marketers using it in the past year, according to the 2018 State of the Creator Economy study. If you’ve yet to give it a try or if you’re looking for ways to improve your skills as an marketer or using influencer marketing, then it can be worth signing up for an influencer marketing course.

Courses on influencer marketing are available from a range of sources, from workshops created by influencer marketing companies to college-level courses offered by universities. Here’s what you need to know to help you choose the right influencer marketing course and to get the most from your course.

What Can You Get from an Influencer Marketing Course?

Many influencer marketing courses out there focus on teaching the basics. You’ll see lots of courses with titles such as “Influencer Marketing Fundamentals” or “Influencer Marketing Masterclass.”  These courses are an excellent place to start if you’re looking to learn what influencer marketing is and also want for insight into best practices when it comes to influencer marketing.

Since you’re likely to encounter varying levels of quality when it comes to available courses, it’s important to know what to look for in a class. Pay attention to the following so that you can get as much as possible from your program:

  • The instructor’s background. Who’s teaching the class, and what makes them an expert on influencer marketing? In some cases, marketing professors at a university might be offering the course, or it might have been authored by a self-declared expert. It’s always a good idea to vet the instructors to make sure they have the experience and knowledge they claim to have.
  • The course content. What subjects does the class cover? Will you learn how to put together a strategy for influencer marketing and how to incorporate it into your other marketing goals? Or is the focus of the class on how you yourself can become an influencer?
  • The course commitment and requirements. It’s also important to find out what the influencer marketing course expects of its students. How many hours per week does the course meet, and how many weeks is the program scheduled to run? Some programs let you work at your own pace, meaning you can complete each module on your own time, and that due dates are flexible. You also want to understand what assignments, if any, you’ll need to hand in.
  • The course level. Some courses are meant for complete beginners while others are designed for marketers who have some prior experience. If you’ve got the basics down, then a beginner’s course may be redundant. If you’re new to marketing and influencer marketing, then try not to bite off more than you can chew — a class meant for intermediate-level or higher marketers might be too much.
  • The course objectives. It’s also worth looking at what the course aims to do or the goals of the course. Often, the course syllabus lists what students will learn and what they’ll be able to do after successfully completing the program. It’s worth reviewing these objectives before you sign up to confirm that they line up with your own goals.

What Types of Influencer Marketing Courses Are Available?

The great thing about influencer marketing courses is that they come in a variety of formats. If you don’t live close to a university, that’s totally OK, as many programs happen fully online. In fact, many influencer marketing courses come from individuals or marketing companies and not by colleges or universities.

Take a quick look at the course formats and offerings that are generally out there:

  • MOOCs. MOOC stands for massive online open course. Often, MOOCs are free and provide a college-level education in a topic such as influencer marketing. Some MOOCs give you the opportunity to earn a certificate at the end. If you don’t want to pay for the certificate, then you’re usually able to do the coursework for free. One example of an influencer marketing MOOC is Influencer Marketing Strategy, a course from Rutgers University that’s available on Coursera.
  • Lynda courses. You’re also likely to find influencer marketing courses, such as “Marketing Foundations: Influencer Marketing,” on Lynda. Lynda is another reputable MOOC provider. It specializes in technology, marketing, and business topics.
  • In-person Intensives. Although online courses are convenient and let you learn at your own pace, there are benefits to in-person learning. If you don’t have time to devote to attending a class for a few hours every week, then one way to learn is through an intensive. For example, Social Media & Influencer Marketing Training is a two-day program in Singapore that’s meant to serve as a whirlwind introduction to the topic.
  • User-generated courses. You can find plenty of classes created by self-called experts on sites like Udemy. Since anyone can put together a program and sell in on the platform, do some research before you buy a user-created influencer marketing class. Look at the program’s reviews, and read over the syllabus to see if the course offers what you’re looking for. There are plenty of diamonds out there in the user-generated category, but there’s also plenty of coal, so be a smart shopper.
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