Get Your Sales In The Black With Whitelisting
Influencer marketing is now a crucial strategy for most brands to incorporate into their digital marketing efforts. Yielding wildly successful results, it's a medium that will drive your brand awareness and with advanced targeting techniques, you can effectively reach the exact demographic in your consumer base.
Whitelisting is now one of the newest approaches to influencer marketing and many brands have found it to be a gamechanger! In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines how whitelisting works and why you should consider it in your influencer marketing strategy.
What Whitelisting Is And Why It Works
You've probably seen a lot of digital marketers talking about whitelisting lately and might be wondering - what exactly is it and how does it work? We've got you covered!
As influencer marketing continues to grow and expand so too does the way that it functions. Of course influencer marketing is only one component of digital marketing. It's just as important to run paid digital ads as well. The problem with that is that brand marketers consistently find that paid digital ads don't perform as well as influencer content. The reason for this issue is authenticity - ad content never performs as well because younger demographics like millennials and Gen Z don't respond positively to traditional advertisements. Put simply, we don't like to feel like we're being sold to every time Instagram inserts ad space in our feed (which has become increasingly often as the platform has grown over time).
How then does a brand create advertising content that performs well knowing that the majority of Instagram users don't like ad content? The solution is whitelisting! Whitelisting is when a brand collaborates with an influencer to create content for the brand but unlike regular influencer marketing, instead of the influencer posting the content on their own feed, their content is posted by the brand as ad content. This way, the content shows up in your feed looking like organic content that users are more likely to respond well to and engage with on a more impactful level.
It's important to note that unlike traditional influencer marketing, these posts do not live in the content feed of either the brand or the influencer. Instead, they are published as ad content, which shows up in your feed. Part of the very reason that whitelisting is successful is because influencer content is more likely to blend in with the rest of the feed and garner more engagement than traditional ad content.
Terminology To Know
Here are a few terms that you need to know that you will hear people use often when discussing whitelisting:
- Whitelisting = When the brand receives contractual permission from influencers to run paid ads with their likeness and identity.
- Advertising access = Another term that is used interchangeably with “whitelisting”.
- Dark posts = Dark posts are targeted ads that can be shown to specific audiences. They do not show up on the news feed and profile of the influencers running ads.
A Win For Both Brands & Creators
Whitelisting is a mutually beneficial deal for both brands and creators alike! In traditional influencer marketing, the biggest incentive for the influencer is the payment or trade agreement they receive in exchange for creating and posting content. However in whitelisting, the influencer benefits in two other significant ways. Firstly there is the exposure they receive. As the content they create will be published through the brand's channel, they have the opportunity to reach up to hundred of thousands of new audiences that can help improve the size of their following. Naturally, the more followers they receive, the more their price tag increases as well. Secondly, the content will not be published on their own feed, thus reducing the amount of paid ad content in their own timeline. This can be important due to the fact that as mentioned previously, it's important for influencers to maintain a sense of strong branding on their own page. Otherwise they run the risk of their page turning into a series of advertisements, which can reduce their engagements and even cost them followers.
Similarly, whitelisting is a win for the brand because it helps maintain a more organic approach to content creation that resonates more with users. And since these ads don't live in either party's feed, the brand is able to maintain a consistent aesthetic in their own content, while the influencer maintains the ability create content consistent with their own style as well.
Another perk for brands is the fact that they can target ads specifically at people who already follow the influencer. Thus when people see the ad appear in their timeline, they will first assume its content posted by the influencer and will be drawn in immediately.
Whitelisting can also be a little more expensive than traditional advertising for traditional influencer marketing for a few reasons. It's important to note that since these posts will run as ad content, you'll need to dedicate the usual budgeting you would dedicate to traditional social media ads. In addition you'll have to pay the influencer and in this case, they will typically be charging you both for the content and also for their likeness. But as we all know - with marketing, the more you invest in the campaign, the better the results it yields.
Want To Learn More?
Want to learn more about the power of influencer marketing and how your brand can seize its power? Check out these other blog posts our team has written on the subject!
- Creating Content With Influencer Marketing
- Marketing From An Influencer's Perspective
- 7 Ways To Work With Celebrity Influencers
- 5 Examples Of Influencer Marketing Gone Wrong
- Successful Influencer Marketing On A Small Budget
If you haven't worked with influencers before, it can be tricky determining what you should be paying them and realistically what your budget should be. We've made it easy for you with this influencer marketing calculator! Check it out! It's free!