What is Influencer Whitelisting and How it Works

whitelisting influencers are
When a brand runs paid advertising through an influencer's social media, it's influencer whitelisting. Both parties have their advantages on this. Read more!

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Influencer whitelisting is not a new technique, but it still doesn’t sound familiar in Indonesia.

Instagram whitelisting is a new intersection between these two worlds of organic and paid media. This technique collects more data than regular advertising.

Curious about what influencer whitelisting is? Read on.

What is Influencer Whitelisting?

what is influencer whitelisting
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Influencer whitelisting is a paid advertising process that is done directly on the influencer‘s social media account.

Thi Influencer whitelisting is a symbiotic mutualism strategy. There are advantages for each party. Both brands and influencers.

The reason is, paid to advertise What you as a brand do on the influencer‘s social media account can target the entire audience of followers. Even target audiences who are “similar” to them. Starting from the interest to the habits of the user.

Meanwhile, the advantage that influencers get is that they can develop a wider audience.

Sounds challenging and interesting, right?

How Influencer Whitelisting Works

how whitelisting influencer marketing techniques work
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The way influencer whitelisting works is to give brands access to paid ads control via Facebook Ads Manager.

Not only Facebook, but the brand can also do the same thing on TikTok and Youtube.

Although it sounds like a golden opportunity and very interesting, this technique is still rarely used in Indonesia. Because it is better for influencers and brands to first understand the meaning of this marketing technique and the applicable provisions.

Because giving access to personal accounts is something that sounds “doubtful” of security.

High trust must be built before doing this marketing technique. So, without trust and good relationships, influencer whitelisting will not succeed.

Both parties must feel safe to enter this type of partnership.

Therefore, you must become more skilled in establishing a good relationship with KOL so that they are more confident to participate in the influencer whitelisting.

Terms in Influencer Whitelisting

Paid Social Media

Paid social media is PPC or paid per click advertising to target a specific audience.

Advertisements that you normally do use Facebook Ads Manager in running your campaigns. The difference is the content used and the account used belongs to the influencer.

Instagram Branded Content Tool

When influencers collaborate with brands on Instagram, the branded content tool grant permission for both parties to manage the upload.

If KOL agrees to run an influencer whitelisting campaign, then the campaign will be carried out through the Facebook Ads Manager.

Facebook Ads Manager To Manage Content

Facebook Ads Manager is a service from Facebook for you to run ads. When KOL agree to do whitelisting, they give you access to manage ads and accounts.

Influencer Whitelisting Ad Permission

Advertising permissions or whitelisting refers to the individual or organization responsible for creating, targeting, and posting advertisements. In influencer whitelisting agreements, the influencer usually gives you permission.

whitelisting influencer marketing technique is
Image via Facebook

For the integrity of the brand-influencer relationship, both parties must fully understand what is meant by granting a license and consult an attorney regarding the details of the contract. Instead, each party abuses the agreement.

Dark Posts Influencer Whitelisting

On social media, dark posts are sponsored posts published in the news feed/explore targeted audience. The post that you are going to advertise will not appear on the personal account of the influencer that you are using.

Lookalike Audience

influencer whitelisting marketing techniques target a lookalike audience
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Influencer whitelisting itself aims to target a similar or similar audience to the organic audience that the influencer has.

UGC (user-generated-content)

Both influencer social posts and paid social ads can generate UGC, or engagement in the form of comments, shares, high-value posts, reviews, etc.

Technically, an influencer‘s post is UGC, even if you’re working with an influencer for a campaign.

ROAS ( Return on Ad Spend)

how to calculate influencer marketing roi
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ROAS is a term that refers to the ROI of paid digital advertising. Profit on advertising can be measured by the revenue earned. Digital marketing often refers to ROAS when incorporating influencer content into a whitelisting strategy.

Right to Use Content Forever

The legal phrase “forever” usually means “indefinitely.” In an influencer whitelisting agreement, you may claim the “right to use the content forever,” meaning you want to own the rights to some of the influencer‘s content even after the campaign ends.

While the phrase “forever” is common and generally accepted in influencer whitelisting agreements, influencer attorneys or business managers should ensure as much specificity as possible.

What are the Benefits of Influencer Whitelisting?

The advantages of the whitelisting influencer marketing technique are
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As LEMON discussed above, influencer whitelisting has advantages for both parties. What are the advantages?

Benefits for Brands

In the digital world, your pain point is how to create interesting content.

Influencer content offers engaging audience engagement. By signing an influencer whitelisting agreement, you can lower their overall ad spend while increasing results. Other benefits of whitelisting are:

  • Better choice of content
  • More audience segmentation data
  • Deeper relationships with top-performing influencers
  • Increase authentic engagement from consumers
  • Greater potential for positive UGC across multiple social channels

Benefits for Influencers

To date, most of the published benefits of influencer whitelisting seem to benefit the marketer or advertiser. However, that assumption is far from accurate.

Influencers stand to get a substantial boost in engagement and follower count after successful content whitelisting. In addition, influencers enjoy:

  • More creative freedom on social posts in the future (as most brands recycle old posts)
  • Higher compensation per campaign
  • Deeper connection with favorite brands
  • Wider insight into their audience

Challenges Faced

The challenge of the whitelisting influencer marketing technique is
Photo by @olav_ahrens

Lots of advantages don’t mean no challenges. Influencer whitelisting can be successful if you and the influencer have an agreement.

Influencer Whitelisting Challenges that Brands Face

Without a complete contract with an influencer, you run the risk of violating copyright laws when running an influencer whitelisting campaign. Thus, among the main challenges for you when choosing influencers are:

  • Select willing influencers and approve their account being managed by your side
  • Gaining permission to influencer ad accounts
  • Maintaining influencer relationships on an ongoing basis

Whitelisting Challenges that Influencers Face

Often, influencers struggle to give you this level of control in whitelisting settings. That’s not to say that most influencers are against this strategy. In contrast, an influencer‘s social posts are privately owned, and contracts in whitelisting waive some of those ownership rights.

Thus, among the challenges of influencer whitelisting are:

  • Improved contract guidelines with specificity for which posting brands own advertising rights
  • Build autonomy as an influencer while maintaining whitelisted relationships
  • Paid advertising license transition to brand or agency
  • Ensure that whitelist agreements do not negatively impact relationships with other brands

Tips for Running Influencer Whitelisting

When it comes to best practices allowed by influencers, sustainability should be a major concern. Neither party should try to take advantage of the other. Having said that, here are some tips to ensure the success of your influencer whitelisting campaign:

Build Trust

You and KOL must earn and demand trust from one another. This does not mean that each side should believe blindly. On the other hand, gaining trust often looks like each party remains reliable and offers clear guidelines/suggestions for more effective cooperation.


Communication is important. Communicate what you need. And the influencer should also communicate what he can’t or wants to do.

Written Contract:

The legality of content rights and influencer contracts is critical to ongoing collaboration.

Make a written and complete agreement so that there are no misunderstandings and naughty elements who abuse this cooperation.

Track Results

When investing resources into any marketing approach, your team must set goals and measure results. In many ways, influencer whitelisting allows you to track more revenue because the PPC platform automatically calculates ROAS for you.

Conclusion Influencer Whitelisting Marketing Techniques

The most important advantage of influencer whitelisting is that it unlocks higher ROI. You can also increase the effect of influencer marketing to be more attractive and impactful than the usual strategy.

If you are looking for influencer marketing techniques that are new and different from the others, maybe you can consider this influencer whitelisting marketing technique.

What do you think? Would you like to work with this technique?

Are you looking for nano-micro influencers for your campaigns? Consult your brand with the FREE LEMON campaign advisor!

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