You might have heard the buzz around influencer whitelisting as experts debate the benefits and potential downsides. Although it’s not a new concept, we’ve noticed many brands and influencers alike don’t fully grasp the concept. That’s why we decided to create this resource to answer some of your burning questions so you can decide if it’s right for your team.
What is influencer whitelisting?
Influencer whitelisting is a paid ad strategy technique where influencers provide brands access to the back-end of their social media ads manager (available on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram). From here, they can create ads that run on the influencer’s social media platform with targeted audiences, promotions, and calls to action.
How does influencer whitelisting benefit the brand?
- New audiences: Influencer whitelisting is a great opportunity for the brand to run ads in partnership with a trusted face that will go beyond their channel’s audience. Repetitive, branded ads can easily get lost in the mix. Showing a fresh-faced influencer that the brand’s audience trusts can bring new engagement and reach to their promotions and calls to action.
- Increased reach: Brands will often work with influencers with a large following to increase their large reach. Adding ad dollars behind an already high-reach influencer helps the brand spend go much further. Brands are then able to not only reach the influencer’s audience but extend their message with lookalike audiences as well.
- Extended content shelf life + additional content: Brands can use content an influencer has already made and then extend its use over several months. Additionally, instead of working with a designer to create new assets for each ad, the influencers create beautiful pieces of content ready for the brand to promote.
What are some challenges brands face?
- Technical difficulties: Influencer whitelisting can clearly benefit a brand, but there are a few things to consider. For one, the set up and maintenance of the ads can get tricky. Receiving access to the influencer’s ad manager can be tedious and time consuming, especially if the brand or influencer has not set up influencer whitelisting ad permissions before. In some cases, this can turn out to be a fruitless process.
- Influencer comfort level: Another obstacle some brands face is finding influencers who trust them enough to grant access. If an influencer is unfamiliar with this technique, they tend to stray away from the opportunity completely. That’s why it’s important to develop a relationship with the influencer first.
How does it benefit the influencer?
- Brand reputation: Influencer whitelisting is a great opportunity for an influencer to increase their content reach with reputable brands. Just as the brand benefits from having the new face of an influencer associated with their brand, the influencer benefits from having their name next to a trusted brand.
- Free additional reach: With the brand footing the cost of ads, it’s a great opportunity to benefit from the increased reach and engagement of ads running on their platform. Best of all, it requires little to no additional work from the influencer.
What is a big challenge for influencers?
- Trust: Although most brands would not ask an influencer to whitelist with the intention of breaching their privacy or trust, it’s always a risk when sharing access to any platform with an outside party. Influencers must ensure they only work with brands they trust with their information.