With 71% of consumers saying they prefer seeing personalised ads to generic branded ads, it's never been more important to tailor your ads for your audience. A popular way to do this is by using influencer whitelisting.
In this post, you'll learn everything you need to know about influencer whitelisting and how to use it effectively. You'll also get an understanding of the pros and cons of influencer whitelisting for both brands and influencers.
Prefer a video? Here you go!
What is influencer whitelisting?
If you are an influencer and whitelist a brand, you grant the brand access to your Facebook profile, Instagram handle, TikTok account or any other social media for advertising. The brand can then advertise to their audience and your audience using your account. In essence whitelisting is a brand using an influencer's profile to run paid ads using something known as dark posting.
Don't confuse influencer whitelisting with paid partnerships
The conventional way influencers work with brands is by running paid partnerships or putting sponsored posts on their profiles. They may also share products gifted to them by brands.
When influencers post content they've been paid for, they have to declare the paid partnership or use the #sponsored or #gifted hashtags.
Some countries require by law that paid social media posts are declared. You can learn more about Facebook and Instagram's branded content policies here.
With traditional sponsored influencer content, typically you'll notice at the top of the post, the influencers tags the partnership, like this:
This ISN'T influencer whitelisting.
Whitelisting isn't running a paid partnership or using influencer generated content to run branded ads.
Here's an example of a brand using an influencer for their branded sponsored content (this also ISN'T whitelisting):
With whitelisting, the brand posts as the influencer which looks like this:
As you can see, this is a brand sponsored post for a tablet which uses the influencer's Instagram handle. It only appears on the Instagram user's timeline and not on the influencer's profile :
Which brings us to our next question…
What is dark posting?
Dark posting refers to the ads run by a brand using an influencer's handle. These posts don't show up on the influencer's feed. They only show up on the news feed of people specifically targeted.
All the influencer's followers won't see a dark post. Followers will only see it if they're in the target audience segment.
The great thing about dark posts is that a brand can try multiple post variations without filling up the influencer's feed. They can target different versions of the post to different audiences.
Dark posting is an excellent way for brands to use an influencer's credibility without relying on organic posts with a sponsored hashtag.
Organic content only ever reaches the feed of about 5.5% of someone's followers. Putting money behind dark posts guarantees more people will see them.
Why should brands use influencer whitelisting?
Nearly 50% of consumers have made a purchase based on an influencer's recommendation.
More than 60% of social media users engage with sponsored posts. Don't underestimate influencers' power to persuade their audience into buying something.
With 62% of social media users saying that they trust social media influencers more than celebrities, micro and nano influencers (influencers with a following up to 50k) have become the voice of authority among social media users with purchasing power.
Brands can use influencer whitelisting for three primary purposes:
- To get in front of a wider, customisable audience
- To A/B test different post types and use lookalike audiences
- Scale their influencer ads with full access to metrics
What are the pros and cons of whitelisting for a brand?
Influencer whitelisting is one of the best ways for brands to maximise their ROI on ad spend and scale influencer marketing campaigns.
When you work with the right influencers you can amplify your brand voice and get far more engagement and conversions than you would with a sponsored brand post.
Here are some of the reasons you should be leveraging influencer whitelisting:
Pros of influencer whitelisting for a brand
- You can reach and advertise directly to an influencer's audience
- People trust posts from influencer handles more than from brand handles
- You can easily measure and calculate ROI using Facebook Business Manager/ Meta Business Suite (it's tough to track ROI with paid partnerships and sponsored posts)
- Get full funnel visibility
- You can create new audiences for advertising based on the data from the influencer's audience
- Whitelisted content has a much longer lifespan than sponsored content that appears on an influencer's organic feed
- You can continuously A/B test whitelisted content (make tweaks to CTAs, change the copy, images or even target an entirely new audience)
- Increase engagement on your sponsored content and your ad spend ROI
Cons of influencer whitelisting for a brand
- Influencers may not be reliable partners and can stop your ads at any point
- Coming to a mutual agreement about content to post can be tedious
- Approval flows, and access requirements can make the process more complicated than running sponsored ads from your brand account
- Influencers charge more for whitelisting than they do for generic sponsored posts
What are the pros and cons of whitelisting for an influencer?
If you're an influencer, there are many pros to allowing a brand to whitelist your profile, as well as a few cons:
Pros of whitelisting for an influencer
- You can capitalise on a brands ad spend and capture a wider audience
- The brand will advertise to your audience AND their audience, which means your profile will be put in front of more people
- You’ll experience growth in followers and page/profile likes
- It's another revenue channel for you - you can charge a flat fee or percentage per post
- You don’t have to do anything except create the content - the brand does all the work (creating, running and optimising the ads)
Cons of whitelisting for an influencer
- If you allow a brand to take control of your advertising, you lose some control over what's shared under your handle
- You share your audience you've spent a long time building (and getting trust from) with the brand
How can influencers work effectively with brands for whitelisting?
As an influencer, be aware of a few things before you let a brand loose with your social media handles! Use these tips to avoid any whitelisting mistakes:
- Get clear outlines of the type of content the brand wants to share
- Create a contract before giving the brand ad permissions
- Provide brand guidelines for your account (tone of voice, visual guidelines)
- Set up clear rules in advance so they don't violate your community guidelines
- Put approval flows in place, so posts can only go live if you're happy
How do you access an influencer's Facebook or Instagram profile for whitelisting?
In order to create whitelisted posts on Facebook and Instagram, a brand needs access to the influencer's Facebook Business Manager or Meta Business Suite.
First, you need to make sure the influencer's Facebook and Instagram accounts are linked. Before the brand can start pushing out ads under the influencer's handle, the influencer needs to grant advertising permissions for Facebook and Instagram
Via Facebook, this can be a highly complex process, especially if the influencer isn't well versed with Business Manager.
You can learn the step-by-step process to request access to Facebook and Instagram ads in this post.
How can brands get access to an influencer's TikTok profile for whitelisting?
For TikTok, getting access to influencer profiles for whitelisting is a little easier. Creators can provide whitelisting access to brands directly from the TikTok app.
They need to ensure the post is authorised for promotion and then need to provide the brand with an authorisation code.
On TikTok, brands can put money behind influencers' content, and it won't even seem like an ad. Sponsored content that appears organic performs exceptionally well on TikTok.
Is there an easier way to get access to influencers' accounts for whitelisting?
Yes! Luckily for you, Leadsie has made it easier than ever for influencers to give whitelisting rights to brands.
If you're a brand or agency, you can use your Leadsie account to generate an access request link if. You send the link to the influencer; they sign into their Business Manager account and choose which assets they want to give you access to.
It's as simple as that! You get access to the influencer's account in no more than 2 clicks:
Want to simplify getting access to influencer accounts and start whitelisting asap? Sign up for a free 14-day trial by entering your email below!