In the second in the series of ‘The Power of the Influencer’ we have a chat with Philip van den Braak/Brown, Head of Influencer Marketing & Brand Advocacy at Come Round – an influencer marketing company that uniquely combines online and offline influencer marketing, boasting success with clients such as: Birds Eye, Dyson, LEGO, French Connection, Panasonic & Morphy Richards. Philip is a bilingual influencer marketing enthusiast whose thoughts and case studies have been recently published on PR Week:  New Influencers: Changing the Face of PR and Marketing & New Influencers Showcase: ‘Influencer parties’ a PR hit for Morphy Richards iron brand Atomist.

So let’s catch up with Philip and get his thoughts on Influencer Marketing…

ojawilliams: So, Philip, what unique challenges do you find in combining offline and online influencer marketing/brand advocacy and how do you go stressing the benefits to your clients?

PB: I think the most unique challenge lies in creating more awareness in terms of our unique approach, as well as believing in it and not letting ourselves be distracted by the mass-adoption of influencer marketing. Our unique approach requires educating brands as well as (PR) agencies that influencer marketing & brand advocacy are born to co-exist. Our approach combines existing brand advocates, target consumers as well as online influencers which allow us to create fully integrated on & offline influencer marketing campaigns that go beyond just content creation and engagement. We’re all about generating long-term brand advocacy and our in-home brand advocacy model helps us create bespoke experiences that allow more authentic storytelling. We measure brand advocacy levels, generate UGC, and generate valuable feedback from consumers & influencers alike

As far as I know, I think our clients love our approach – the fact that we offer a combination of brand advocacy and influencer marketing and that we go beyond just content creation is compelling. Over the past 5 years we’ve created and executed bespoke campaigns for the likes of Morphy Richards, LEGO, Panasonic, French Connection, Birds Eye, Philips and Vimto

ojawilliams: How do you see changes in legislation effecting influencer marketing in the future and how do you think the industry can deal with it?

PH: The industry is known for its ability to adjust – and the rise of ad-blockers and the crack-down of the CMA legislation is shaping the future of influencer marketing. It is forcing us to re-think our approach, and is indirectly urging brands to think about implementing integrated- long term influencer/brand ambassador relationships in combination with more genuine, audience focused content. I also believe this opens the door to working with existing brand-advocates, rather than reaching out to influencers.

ojawilliams: Let’s hear a little about your work – can you pick your favourite influencer marketing project so far and tell us a little bit about it?

PB: One of my favourite influencer marketing projects was the #Atomist campaign we ran for Morphy Richards – in which we were tasked to not only generate reviews, but also generate online awareness – content & brand advocacy. The results and the content were amazing –

ojawilliams: Why have you decided to go into the influencer marketing space, how does it fit into your career plans?

PB: During my time at University in the Netherlands studying marketing and after my first internship in NYC, I decided to go international again and find a dissertation in London – I found a very exciting and young company using word-of-mouth marketing and working with some of the biggest brands – after my time at University I asked if I could stay on, and I started working on the digital influencer aspect in 2013, successfully implementing the aspect into our offline word-of-mouth marketing services, I’ve been on the front-line of Influencer Marketing ever since.

Want to keep up to date with all the latest in influencer, word-of-mouth and brand advocacy marketing- Join us on LinkedIn 'Micro-Influencer Marketing'

ojawilliams: Tweet advice – can you give us your top advice for those in influencer marketing in 140 characters or less?

“Ditch the celebrities – focus on the existing brand advocates and micro influencers, they are the real influencers.”

ojawilliams: Outside of those you have been working on which influencer campaign have you found the most interesting and what have you learnt from them?

PB: Calvin Klein recently ran a campaign where 600 influencers worldwide were employed to promote the brand’s line of underwear, and the public responded. In one year, Calvin Klein’s social following increased by the millions and user-generated content reached over 25 million brand interactions globally. Users can post images to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #mycalvins, and the best content is reposted on Calvin Klein’s microsite where visitors can browse thousands of submissions and easily click through to the brand’s ecommerce site to purchase more Calvin merchandise.

This is a perfect example of utilising user-generated-content and amplifying it by utilising their own brand channels – a wonderful integration & collaboration between brand & influencers.

Interviewee Profile

Philip van den Braak, Head of Influencer Marketing & Brand Advocacy, Come Round

Intro to Philip

Bilingual Influencer Marketing enthusiast – head of influencer marketing at Come Round, this means I write strategy, educate our clients when it comes to influencer marketing, as well as oversee our influencer marketing campaigns. In short – a day at the office is never the same!

Intro to Come Round

Since 2009 we have been considered pioneers in the growing field of influencer marketing, bringing together brands and people. We are the only influencer marketing that combines the power of online & offline influencer marketing. Working for some of the world’s biggest brands from our base in central London, we are ever-growing in this dynamic landscape, helping form the world of influencer marketing. We pride ourselves on being the ‘go-to’ agency for influencer marketing solutions. We have unprecedented levels of permission-based access to the nation’s most influential consumers, providing our clients with the tools to get their brand into the hands & homes of the right people, making a real difference to their bottom line.

Clients include: Birds Eye, Dyson, LEGO, French Connection, Panasonic & Morphy Richards.

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