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Whitelisted, Not Waitlisted: Benefits Of A New Marketing Technique

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What are the benefits of whitelisting influencers?
The benefits of influencer whitelisting include making it more efficient for brands build their reputation, curate influencers whom they find to be fit for their brands, and improve audience reach, and engagement

Marketing has always been a gamble. Brands take the leap every time they pursue branding ideas, in the hopes that the consumers will see the brand in the same perspective as their marketers. Now, for those who are new to influencer marketing, the question, “what does it mean to whitelist content?” might always be thrown around.

If you’re one of those marketers who have yet to wrap your head around whitelisting in influencer marketing, you’re in luck. Here, we’ll provide you with some of the things you need to know about this new marketing method.

With new marketing techniques now popping up, some are taking the stabler roads by accessing techniques like whitelisting. If you are new to the influencer marketing and are still asking “What does it mean to whitelist content?” then this is a good crash course to help you understand if it will work for your brand.

Understanding the Basics

Even among marketers who work with influencers, whitelisting is a fairly new concept. It has become a preferred technique for one main reason: the safety of brand integrity. According to Digiday, whitelists give the power to the brands in choosing and ensuring the places where their brands will appear.

It’s understandable, given how we are already in the age where advertising has started to migrate and evolve online. Users get bombarded with content and advertisement at the same pace. This often makes it hard to tell where one ends, and the other begins. In this space, brands prefer to be in control of where their brand is at a given moment. It also gives brands control over who are the personalities that are tagged by the brand.

What is a whitelist?

There are two kinds of “lists” in influencer marketing. A whitelist pertains to the pre-approved list of influencers that the brand can tap and be associated with. They already established working relationships with these influencers that, in some cases, the latter even provides certain access to their handles and accounts for a more efficient strategy.

Avoiding blacklists

Some marketers turn to whitelists to avoid the so-called blacklists. If whitelists contain influencers that have been pre-approved, blacklists essentially contain influencers who have been tagged as those who may not be the most suited to the brand.

Blacklists may not be the catchall solution. Some influencers may have different approaches to their content and strategy. Resorting to blacklists may effectively shut out certain audiences from your brand. Whitelists may be a way to open your brand to other audiences safely and in a more tempered fashion.

Why Whitelist?

Because influencers have always been associated with Instagram, many people ask, “What is whitelisting on Instagram?” Some assume that the strategy started on the images-based platform. In reality, it first appeared on Twitter back in 2014.

Whitelisting may be considered as a partnership between brands and influencers. The brand creates and funds the ads on the social media of the influencer. Essentially, the content becomes something of a branded influencer ad, which allows the influencer to share the brand or product seamlessly with their followers.

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Whitelisting is a way for brands to truly partner with influencers that they handpicked for the brand.

Think of the strategy as beneficial to both parties, if done correctly. The brand reaches more audiences organically, whereas the influencer creates content that they can give their audience.

Go with the right influencer

Answering the question “how do you whitelist on Instagram?” means you also need to ask what kind of follower base you want to grow. Instagram is notorious for proper curation and image-based content. One may even say that it has less controversial content compared to other platforms.

However, it still pays to make use of whitelisting on Instagram. Brand marketing managers are responsible for ensuring that the brand will not have to take unnecessary risks. A big risk, especially in the age of influencer marketing, is getting the wrong influencer associated with your brand.

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The right influencer can be the difference between a dissonance with the brand and a resonance with the consumers.

To mitigate this, you need to build a trusted base of influencers whom you can entrust your brand to. For most marketers, you need to fulfill two things. First is that they should not have worked with competitor brands. The other is to choose influencers who are less likely to post controversial content. Whitelisting helps manage both of these issues.

Grow the fan base and reach

This practice goes for both brand and influencer. Since there are many different types of influencers, whitelisting’s benefits allow your brand to explore each type.

Some brand managers prefer influencers with a large following because they expect the audience to translate into the brand’s following. With whitelisting, it’s possible to grow your brand alongside your influencers.

This means that you can choose to go with micro and even nano influencers at the start. Using whitelisting and proper influencer management, you can help boost not only the influencer’s own fan base but allow your brand to reach other audiences in a particular specialization.

Another benefit is that whitelisting will help you monitor and see if any of your existing partnerships are ineffective. Sometimes, influencers change their tone and image, and if it is no longer the most effective way to market the brand, then it’s best to know this at the start of the change.

Have better content

Being in charge of the allowed influencers for your brands lets you filter the content that they can post. In some cases, whitelisting involves being given certain access to the influencer’s account.

Additionally, sponsored posts need to meet a brand’s tone and quality. As such, you can expect better content from your influencers, because they need to match the tone of the brand they represent.

So what does it mean to whitelist content? It means mutually benefiting both the brand and the influencer. Instagram’s algorithm gives priority to high-quality content, which boosts your influencer’s post on its own. At the same time, your brand will be associated with good content and a good following from your influencer.

Boost consumer engagement

Most consumers already know when they are faced with a sponsored or paid ad. Even so, whitelisting can help lessen potential exposure saturation for consumers when it comes to branded content.

Whitelisting enables the use of dark posts. Influencers create these posts, but they do not appear on their feed. They become sponsored content, allowing them to weave their narrative into specific content made for the brand, which does not impinge on their followers.

Remember, overworking your influencers by putting out too much content in one go can also backfire. Always put yourself in the shoes of your consumers. One post a day may be fine, but oversaturating their feed with content that are outright related to your brand can make them feel exhausted.

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Consumers remain the main concern for both the brand and the influencer with each piece of content made.

Knowing the fees

Whitelisting gives brands a more structured approach, not only for marketing but also in the logistics and expenses. When influencers get looped into campaigns with paid media, brands tend to talk in terms of access and rights.

When you ask how much to charge for whitelisting, fees can also include access to advertising and the rights to content by the influencer. Influencers may charge fees depending on the action that will be taken with the content.

In some cases, influencers may base their fees depending on their follower base. Some may not charge any fees because partnering with the brand alone may allow them to amplify the content and grow their following.

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Fees For Whitelisting: What You Need to Know

Charging for content can be a rather complicated process. Between the different rates and expectations per influencer, there is also the additional step of whitelisting. There are three common ways to go about computing for fees.

Most influencers understand that there’s a need for whitelisting in successful influencer marketing. As such, when you ask then “What does whitelisting mean in social media?” they already know what the partnership will entail. A lot of influencers with higher rates are more likely to already offer whitelisting as part of the package.

For others, they may prefer additional fees whenever their content is used. Experts suggest including a potential extension for the use of the content. This gives you the chance to reuse some content while your partner influencer still earns from said content.

Finally, some influencers may prefer a percentage of ad spend as their fees. This may be the hardest to compute and the most complicated deal to execute, so beware of the costs versus pros of this strategy.

Tactics for Success: How to Make Whitelisting Work For You

Influencer marketing is still an evolving concept by itself. Many techniques, including the use of platforms and channels to better reach audiences, still need some finetuning. Whitelisting belongs to one of these evolving strategies.

Boost your influencer’s testimonial

Whitelisting affects influencer posts in that the brand shapes the overall approach towards content. This means that the influencer is now more focused in terms of how they will tackle the creation aspect. Take advantage of this by working closely with your influencer.

While they may have their own voice, the brand can also have a say in how a sponsored ad is crafted. Your brand’s message and story need to come across, so the influencer needs to streamline the overall content.

Make sure that the content will have a call-to-action that leads back to your brand. This is the clincher in terms of how does whitelisting fare within the whole influencer marketing campaign. Call-to-action drives the audience beyond knowledge about the brand to actual interaction and hopefully, sales in the end.

Get more reach through lookalike audiences

Whitelisting may be defined as the brand’s way of curating the kind of audience that they can reach. Thus, there’s a big likelihood of cross-posting between different platforms.

Sharing content here can mean a lot of things. The most crucial here is leveraging content that can be shared with similar audiences. Since brand partners can use an influencer’s content and share them in their circles, you can now find audiences that the posts cater to. This not only expands your reach through unique content but also helps in boosting influencer posts.

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Influencers may have different markets, but whitelisting allows brands to tap similar audiences to expand their reach.

Know your limits

When it comes to the whitelisting strategy, there seems to be a lot of shared content and sharing between influencer and brand partners.

As a brand, you need to also set limits for your tapped influencer. Understand that they will have to limit what they share with you–and this includes putting their password in the off-limits category. While you can change certain aspects of their work through whitelisting, this does not mean that they will share certain security information for their accounts.

Explore content amplification platforms

In the fast-changing trends of influencer marketing, whitelisting is still in its infancy. Keep an open mind in experimenting with whitelisting. Marketers still discover new ways to do use whitelisting to benefit their brands.

Keep in mind that it will only truly work if you are open to your influencer. Establish that trust between the brand and the influencer, so you can both maximize how you use whitelisting as a technique to boost and benefit both sides.

Temper the access for both sides

Whitelisting is a fairly new concept that entails a lot of trust between the brand and the influencer. As such, brand managers need to ensure that they do not overstep boundaries in asking for what can be shared between the two parties. For instance, some influencers may be hesitant about getting into whitelisting because it means sharing certain information with brands.

Collaboration has to be seamless but also equally beneficial to both parties. To do this, it pays to have a good platform that provides two-way transparency in the access and use of certain information and content. This way, both parties can create good content and expand each other’s reach, making the partnership even more purposeful and meaningful for more long-term relationships.

Understanding possible issue points

Just like any other strategy, there are some points where brands should also be considerate about potential points where issues may arise. For starters, influencers are human, too. They have their preferences, and they respond to various stimuli. Sometimes, certain relevant issues may arise that are related to the brand’s industry. They may take stands when they feel that their voice needs to be heard.

While there are agreements on both sides, there may be times when their principles and beliefs will rise above all else. Thus, having contingency plans for these issues helps.

It also pays to remember that consumers can be sensitive to the same issues that influencers respond to. It boils down to the trust that is established between brand and influencer as well as brand and audience. If your influencer trusts in your brand’s vision, chances are their beliefs will resonate with their content. Make sure you find influencers who have this kind of mindset.

Want to know more about influencer marketing and insider tips in managing influencers? Read our guide, Teching Up Influence: How Technology Boosts Your Influencer Marketing to know more about leveraging technology to uplift your branding techniques.

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