A Quick Guide To Influencer Whitelisting On Instagram

influencer whitelisting instagram guide

How To Amplify Campaign Reach Through Influencer Whitelisting On Instagram

If you’re like most brand owners, you already have an influencer marketing campaign in the works. (If not, you’re behind the curve! Get on board.) Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing industries today, and for good reason. Influencers remove much of the cost of creating content, and the content they produce can be easily reused across multiple platforms. Many more marketers are reusing influencer-generated content for social media or other advertising channels, growing from 31% in 2019 to 39% in 2021.

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Because it’s a relatively new strategy, it’s also one of the most rapidly evolving. Each year, social platforms announce new features to help brands and creators more effectively market their products. To make the most of any influencer marketing campaign, it’s crucial to stay current with the latest tools and learn to use them to your advantage.

Advertising on Instagram and Facebook is nothing new. There are several tried and true methods, but a new method called whitelisting has been gaining traction since 2019. With the sponsored posts that most of us are familiar with, the content produced isn’t owned by the brand, but by the influencer who posts it. Even today, this comes as a surprise to many marketers. Influencer marketing agencies can be an invaluable resource to help brands understand the nuances of licensing agreements, but whitelisting eliminates much of the confusion.

What Is Influencer Whitelisting?

In short, influencer whitelisting is an option that puts more control in the hands of the brands themselves. Whitelisting allows brands to use the influencer’s handle for paid Instagram ads, and it’s one of the main ways brands can amplify traditional influencer content, but it’s beneficial for the creators as well.

Re-using influencer-generated content for social media or other advertising channels is an efficient way to stay on top of the various growing content formats and to minimize production costs/creation costs. Brands can then utilize the influencer-content across many different mediums (streaming ads, In-Feed/Video Ads, brand-owned ads, Story Ads, etc.)

How Is An Influencer Sponsored Post Different From A Whitelisted Post?

The main difference between influencer sponsored posts and whitelisted posts is which party controls the content and what audience sees it. Both options come with distinct benefits.

Traditional influencer sponsored post:

  • Traditional influencer marketing campaigns offer brands a hands-off option, where the influencer is responsible for most, if not all, of the content creation
  • Influencer campaigns tend to resonate well with the influencer’s existing audience, capitalizing on the rapport and trust they’ve already built with their viewers. Essentially, this gives brands access to a receptive audience with less effort.
  • In some cases, influencer marketing campaigns are produced in exchange for free products or services rather than a fee.

Whitelisted post:

  • Whitelisting gives brands permission to promote the influencer’s content to a chosen audience through an influencer’s account.
  • Brands have more control over the content itself, editing copy, call-to-action buttons, and even adapting the content itself.
  • Whitelisting enables the option of dark posting. Dark posts are promoted posts that aren’t shown to the influencer’s followers to avoid crowding the influencer’s page or timeline with promotional content. For many influencers, this is an appealing option.
  • Whitelisted ads run through the brand’s Ads Manager, after getting added as a partner to the influencer’s Ads manager.
  • Whitelisting is mutually beneficial, helping both brands and influencers to gain access to new audiences and grow their reach.

Both options minimize in-house production costs, and both capitalize on Gen Z’s preference for unique, influencer generated content over over-produced commercialized ads. Whitelisting simply gives brands more tools to get their ads in front of the right audience, measure the ROI of every influencer campaign, and accomplish their business objectives.

influencer whitelisting instagram

How Much Do Influencers Charge For Whitelisting?

Licensing rights including reuse practices and exclusivity clauses, can increase the price of an influencer collaboration. The price of these additional services is largely dependent on the influencer’s tier, campaign deliverables, production costs, as well as other variable factors. Some influencers charge a percentage of ad spend—typically 4-5%. Others prefer a percentage of sales. Some influencers don’t charge as a perk to working with them over other influencers in crowded categories. Mid-tier influencers may only charge an additional 70% of the campaign cost for extensive usage rights ($1,000-$3,500), while top influencers could charge upwards of $11,000 – $30,000 for exclusivity and distribution rights.

influencer whitelisting guide

5 Steps To Supplement Influencer Campaigns with Whitelisting on Instagram

  1. Choose Which Creators You’d Like to Whitelist
    The best creators to whitelist are ones who already create content that matches the energy and purpose of your brand. Since whitelisted posts will appear on their Instagram page, the more your brand blends with theirs, the better. The most effective ads are almost indistinguishable from the rest of the influencer’s content.
  2. Start the Conversation
    To begin whitelisting ads, you need permission from each influencer you hope to work with. Explain the benefits of whitelisting for creators; whitelisted posts can help influencers connect with viewers who haven’t come across their page before. The longevity of their posts will also be stretched further than before, and the ad analytics will help them to better understand what type of content resonates with their followers.
  3. Get Access
    Once an influencer has agreed to whitelist, they need to give your brand permission to access their account through Facebook Business Manager, which must be linked to their Instagram handle. Marketers can request to add the influencer as a business partner using the influencer’s Business Manager ID. After they accept, you’ll have access to their social accounts for whitelisted ads.
  4. Decide Which Content to Promote
    There’s no need to completely rethink your influencer marketing strategy. Feel free to experiment with different Instagram formats, like videos, still images, and Stories. Many brands choose to whitelist existing high-performing influencer campaign content. Whitelisting allows brands to extend the life of a branded Live, Story, or feed post that performed exceptionally well. Try to select influencers whose existing style already melds with that of your brand so that the aesthetic of your ads only needs minimal adjustments.
  5. Measure Your Success
    One of the biggest benefits of whitelisting is that it affords brands access to detailed post analytics to more accurately track the ROI of their influencer marketing strategy.

That’s all there is to it. Influencer generated content saves marketers time and money, and whitelisting helps brands to gain further insight and control of their campaigns. Whitelisting isn’t a completely new method of influencer marketing, so don’t overthink it. It’s simply another useful trick of the trade that every brand should use to their advantage.