Influencer Whitelisting: Here’s What You Need to Know

Whitelisting Influencer Content & Top Tips for Targeted Advertising | Babbleboxx

The biggest perk to using influencers as part of an online marketing strategy? Gaining a wide variety of product-focused, relatable, organic content. In addition to curating content that is already styled, edited and ready to be used for advertising purposes the brand can also gain access to a wider audience using a technique known as whitelisting.

An influencer adding a brand or their representative to social media allows that brand to boost the content provided by the influencer, effectively giving the advertising a more organic reach making those tiresome algorithms happier and more likely to show the content on user feeds.

For brands, whitelisting is the best way to target advertising in a more controlled way. If done correctly, it can give a nice, steady boost to end marketing results.

Because many influencers are not used to working with partners/advertisers in this capacity, the key to successful whitelisting is to clearly communicate before the campaign kicks off. Brian Hack of HackLab, LLC wants brands to know they should first “explain carefully what you are proposing to do and what they (the influencer) will need to do in order for you to advertise on their behalf, e.g. on Facebook and Instagram, granting page level advertiser access.”

Hack also stresses the importance of working with the influencer(s) in advance to clearly identify any essential messaging points (brand name, availability, product specs, etc) and to make sure they’re within the first two lines of copy. “Be sure any creative ideas and brand requirements are discussed with the influencer in advance so you do not need to republish content.” He continues, “At the same time, make sure the post feels authentic allowing the influencer’s voice to come through.”

When influencers whitelist brands for advertising purposes the brand is then able to boost the provided content in order to increase reach, monitor performance of the post (both paid and organic), track results and gain more exposure to a new audience. All of this results in an increase in visibility as well as a higher conversion. Long term, the brand can also learn what works and what doesn’t, allowing them to better target their advertising in future campaigns and boosting.

Influencers benefit from whitelisting in that their content could be seen by an entirely new audience, effectively helping them with exposure and potential new followers.

The biggest potential roadblock a brand may run into when requesting whitelisting from an influencer is learning that not all of them are going to be on board or even comfortable with giving brands access to accounts. With this access brands are able to edit/change captions and add call to actions, which doesn’t always have the best outcome. The influencer’s review and name are attached to the edited captions which may take away from their unique style, voice and brand.

Whitelisting Influencer Content & Top Tips for Targeted Advertising | Babbleboxx

Influencer Chelsea Pearl shares a cautionary tale where a brand boosted a post on Facebook without her knowing. A post that she didn’t create herself and one that was off-brand, garnering a sea a of negative comments that she wasn’t prepared to handle. Yet, even after her negative experience Chelsea still feels that whitelisting content goes smoothly 90% of the time but urges brands to keep in mind who they’re targeting when they boost. “Sometimes my posts are boosted to too broad of an audience.” She gives the example, “Another brand boosted my post on Instagram once and it seemed to go mostly to a male audience. This was a skincare video, and I had to go in every hour or so to remove the sexist, misogynistic, and horrible comments men were leaving. People were speculating my gender, saying transphobic and other inappropriate things, and overall just roasting my appearance. The ad may of performed poorly because I had to remove so many comments and block the harassers.”

Cara from Kindly Unspoken insists that whitelisting is only beneficial when the targeting is done correctly. “If the targeted demographics are on point with my current audience it can be extremely beneficial in growing and improving my engagement and attracting new followers to my page. On the other side of things, if the whitelisting is for a generic audience or not my intended audience (i.e. males) it can result in the wrong kind of followers and vulgar comments. I did encounter this once last year when working with a national brand and although the campaign was overall hugely successful, it resulted in the wrong kind of attention that had to be moderated.”

Brian Hack offers some resourceful ideas for brands to use while whitelisting in order to keep the influencers as well as the audience happy. “Create unique targeting for the campaign that targets not only the influencers following but also unique audiences that may be interested in your product.” According to Hack, it’s important to “utilize retargeting in campaigns both ways to send influencer posts to site visitors and direct response ads to individuals who interacted with influencer posts”. He says that “depending on your level of advertising, influencer boosts allow you to increase your overall presence in a target consumer’s news feed without serving the same ad.” He continues, “Be sure to utilize your tracking tools, such as UTM codes, to track campaign performance.”

When done correctly whitelisting benefits everyone. Brands and influencers garner more visibility and traffic while giving the targeted audience something they’ll likely be interested in seeing.

Learn more about influencer marketing by checking out our article on How Influencer Marketing is Effective for ROI.

*photo credit: Kelly Towart & Kate from BeyondFitMom