The Impacters – A Video Interview with Nils von Heijne

We are proud to introduce here our new interview series, “The Impacters”, featuring today Nils von Heijne from Pronto, Sweden.

In this series we will be interviewing some of the most innovative marketers both in-house amongst the world’s leading brands and from integrated marketing agencies, asking them to openly share their experience and, sometimes provocative but always enlightening, thoughts on influencer marketing.

In high-density interviews, these marketing leading lights will share their best influencer campaign and address hot topics such as the importance of influencer programs for brands, measurement, costs and required investment or the role of technology.

We are starting today with Nils von Heijne. Nils is Creative Director and a Partner at digital communications agency Pronto, a Stockholm-based full-service digital agency, specialised in analysing and engaging online audiences for clients worldwide.

Pronto was founded in 2003, as one of Europe’s first digital agencies focused on word of mouth and social engagement. In 2004, Pronto became the very first non-US member of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).

Interview transcript:

1) What is your best influencer marketing campaign?

‘There are many, but the best influencer marketing campaign at Pronto would be the work we’ve done for Philips Avent, the Philips baby brand, which has been very successful. It really started with a clear digital strategy where we looked and analysed digital influencers from the get-go, and really tried to get to know them and understand their drivers, their passions and where they were hanging out online in the digital landscape. From that, we built a strategy that contained different campaigns and activities that all involve these influencers in a way where we truly engage. We don’t pay them to share information, but rather create true engagement and strong storytelling.’

2) How did you measure results for the brand?

‘For Philips Avent, we measure a lot of things digitally. We basically set up a full digital ecosystem where we map out all their digital touch points – website, blog, facebook page. Specifically for influencers we actually measure how many influencers are engaged in the activities we do, how many times they post and talk about the activities and the brand and the different parts of the campaign. But then we also look at how this is connected to overall social media sharing and social media presence, which ones of the influencers are generating the most engagement from their audience. And we look all the way through to online sales for Philips Avent.’

3) Why should brand invest in influencer programs?

‘From our perspective, brands should definitely invest in influencer programs, because today modern marketing is really driven by engagement, and we do trust people more than we trust brands. It is key to understand who the opinion leaders are for a target group, not only to use them as sort of activation tools or people that become part of your marketing, but to initially understand your target group and figure out what drives their engagement. Because we know today that online engagement, activation and all of the social part of the internet is crucial for any type of digital marketing, even if you’re focusing on search results.’

4) What generally is the percentage of budget invested in influencer marketing in a program or campaign overall budget?

‘In terms of marketing dollars, putting value on how much money you should put into influencer marketing, that varies a great deal of course from market to market, business to business, project to project and also based on how many influencers you need to identify and interact with. I would say that you need to look at it as a given part of any digital marketing budget today. It is a part of the mix. You need to do influencer marketing, you also need to be able to create and produce content, which is crucial; you need to have a strong presence in all the digital touch points, you need a budget for your social media presence and you may need some budget to do social media advertising and the pay kind of outreach that actually works. In this mix, if I have to give a number, I would say that influencer marketing should at least be around 20% of your online marketing budget and including that is not just analysing who your influencers are but also the time and resources spent on building relationships with them.
It is actually very simple and all comes down to identify who the influencers are and building relationships with them over time, not just campaign by campaign, that’s how you find long term value.’

5) What role does technology play to support influencer programs?

‘Looking at how technology is becoming part of influencer programs is really interesting because there is so much happening right now. I’ve been working with influencer marketing online for 10 years now. In the beginning, there was no technology at all to support us, you may have been able to find a couple of blog lists or top bloggers in certain areas but you had to spend hours and hours online getting to know your target group. So, looking at what is happening now it is evidently clear that technology is bringing value to influencer marketing by the sheer fact that it is helping us identify people, topics, interests and passions much faster, and in a more effective way; it’s also helping us measure things more effectively; it’s also giving us new insights – through data, we find patterns that perhaps we couldn’t see by just looking ourselves at these different influencers and their footprints. The thresholds for building these relationships are being lowered all the time through technology; it’s really a perfect blend of doing strong good communication that speaks to people and their emotions and making use of technology to make that more effective, more cost effective and faster all the time. So it’s a really interesting development that we’re seeing right now.’

We are also very proud to be have Pronto as a key partner in the Nordics and we can’t resist also including here Nils’s response when asked what he thought about Traackr…
We couldn’t really make that up!

For more resources on Influencer Marketing: