Influencer campaigns within education: how it works and how to do it

Photo of a classroom showing the backs of children, looking at the teacher in front of them

We know that working with influencers isn’t new, but the kind of influencer marketing we engage with our clients on is a hybrid of the old and the new. It takes the traditional celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern-day content-driven marketing landscape. We don’t really work with celebrities. Instead, we work with people who may not be famous offline, but who have built huge, engaged online audiences.

The best influencers in the current landscape are authentic. They share their experiences, their views, their ups and their downs. They make you feel connected to their lives, and over time you start to trust them. I expect that everyone reading this has someone who isn’t necessarily famous, but who you look up to and follow online, someone you might never meet – but you would trust their recommendation.

Education influencers tend to be different to those in beauty, fashion or food. Like many in education they tend to be highly mission-driven. Rather than taking selfies highlighting their appearance, they are more likely to be focussing on how they can make other teachers’ lives better. They are looking for ways to make things easier in the class, for the benefit of students.

All influencers have spent time developing their own brand and cultivating an audience; they will be naturally protective of their reputation and their followers who trust them. They’re people who have the patience and focus to succeed in social media, one organic follower at a time – I don’t think influencers do this solely for the money. It’s usually part of a passion project, which can evolve into a profitable venture over time.

If you’re wondering what education influencer campaigns look like in action, head over to Kit Brown’s TikTok channel here. Kit is the biggest teacher influencer on social media that we have identified. He is a year 4 primary teacher from Hertfordshire and showcases the ubiquitous UK classroom to an audience of over 905,000. He has developed a paid partnership with Ryman, in which over 400,000 of his followers have seen him showcasing their products.

If you are reading this and thinking about launching your own influencer campaigns, here are my recommended steps to take:

  • Set SMART goals. Make sure you are really specific about what you want to achieve, and that it is attainable.
  • Identify your audience and again, be specific. If you try to talk to everyone, you won’t reach anyone.
  • Pick your platform. Just because everyone is talking about TikTok, it doesn’t mean you have to be there. Where are your audience? Which platform do they use most?
  • Research specific influencers on that platform.
  • Write a campaign brief which should be succinct but give your influencer enough information to make an informed decision.
  • Reach out to your creators (be patient and human in your approach).
  • Nurture your relationships as you go.
  • During the campaign you need to track your results, and then analyse and share your results internally.

If you would like to talk to the BookMachine Creative Agency about running your influencer campaigns for you, then please get in touch. We have worked with Bonnier Books, EasyRead Time Teacher, Rebellion Publishing and Thames & Hudson on their influencer campaigns, and would be interested in working with you on yours too.

Laura Summers is Director and Co-Founder of BookMachine, the fast-growing community and creative agency specialising in book publishing. Our mission is to provide every publishing professional with the knowledge, ideas and connections to help them to progress in their careers.
Follow Laura on Twitter @LauraSummersNow.
Connect with Laura on LinkedIn.

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