Influencer whitelisting is one of the easiest ways a brand can improve its paid social campaigns by leveraging influencer generated content. If you use a variety of influencers in your campaigns, as you should, you can quickly determine what the most engaging content is among the pool by looking at both clickthrough rates and engagement rates. Once you’ve identified the winners, it’s important to determine how that content can be repurposed and scaled. Influencer whitelisting is a process by which influencers make brands their sponsor partners, allowing them to run ads directly through the influencer’s Instagram account. Given full access and transparency, brands are able to better optimize their social campaigns.
Comparing Whitelisted Ads and Branded Ads
The key difference between whitelisted ads and branded ads is that the whitelisted ads are run directly through the influencer’s Instagram profile using their content, username, and profile picture, yielding an organic appearance to the end viewer. Given the increased transparency and data with whitelisted ads, brands can actually create new lookalike audiences that mirror the existing audience demographics and interests of the influencer they’re partnering with, allowing brands to scale their efforts and reach more people within a target audience, while helping influencers gain targeted followers in the process.
Layering on traditional ads features like calls to action, shop buttons, link tracking, make influencer generated content even more effective. These seemingly small tweaks can make a world of difference when actual engagement is considered.
Instagram really wants digital marketers to use whitelisted ads, just as with any of its newer features. As a result, these ads tend to perform extremely effectively, especially when the influencer generated content is of high quality. Given the lower CPAs, in theory a brand could spend less money to achieve its goals.
Teeing up the whitelisting partnership
When selecting influencers for whitelisting, you don’t want to use just any influencer in your campaign. Be selective by picking your highest performers – either in terms of sales or clickthrough rate, both ultimately leading consumers to your site. Make sure all your influencer contracts include clauses for whitelisting before getting any partnership started, and we would suggest generally getting permission to use their content for your branded ads across platforms in advance too – it’s better to square those off upfront.