Dear reader,

Earlier this month Mavrck launched Influence University, an influencer marketing curriculum and certification program. It’s a project we’ve been working on for several months now, but one that’s been a vision of Mavrck’s for much longer. While influencer marketing has been trending and continued to grow rapidly for years now, there are still countless marketers who don’t specialize in this particular area of expertise and have many questions about how to work with influencers. And we’ve got answers.

But let’s take a step back. Let me introduce myself – I’m Rachael Cihlar and I lead Mavrck’s Influencer Marketing Center of Excellence team. I started my career in social media and content marketing and worked my way into influencer marketing nearly 10 years ago. In 2012, I began working at a small startup in Boulder, Colorado that specialized in “blogger” marketing and was building a platform to recruit, communicate and measure campaigns with bloggers. We primarily worked with CPG and food brands who contracted 25 bloggers at a time to create long-form content (often recipes or mom-centric content) with links to purchase or learn more about a product. While Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook were around, they were afterthoughts to the content strategy – a chance for us to ask bloggers to share their content to social media in hopes for a few likes or comments. We would spend hours finding influencers, writing enthusiastic emails explaining what the brands were looking for and offering compensation to many creators who had never even monetized their blog. 

In the early days, there was a lot of trial and error. We worked with influencers repeatedly, looking for standards in performance, in rates, and in outcomes for our brands. We used spreadsheets that evolved to softwares that received metrics directly from influencers or from social network APIs. At Mavrck, we’ve created an industry-leading software that takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process through our intuitive platform. But there’s still a lot to understand about how to select the best influencer, how to communicate with them effectively, and how to scale your influencer marketing efforts. It’s something most marketers don’t want to spend 10 plus years learning, like I have. 

This brings us back to Influence University. I’m thrilled to have been a part of creating a curriculum that catches you up on all things influencer marketing from the last decade while taking into account the latest news, trends, and social networks to master. So far we’ve received positive feedback from seasoned marketers as well as soon-to-be or recent college graduates, looking to break into this industry that they’ve grown up with. We welcome your feedback too and encourage you to please reach out to [email protected] if you have any thoughts you’d like to share! 

There’s a lot more to come, so stay tuned as we continue to build out Influence University. We’re excited for what’s to come, and we hope you are too.

With gratitude,

Rachael Cihlar and Mavrck’s Center of Excellence