A Brief Guide to Influencer Marketing: Whitelisting

Sep 27, 2022


A Brief Guide to Influencer Marketing: Whitelisting

Long gone are the days with no policies put in place for brands wanting to use influencer content for promotional activities. Instead, Meta has now expanded its slew of features that support partnerships between brands and creators which have been picked up by businesses to build more meaningful and fair relationships. One notable process that has emerged is whitelisting. 

In this blog, we will give you the low-down on all you need to know about influencer marketing whitelisting as both a brand and a creator so that you can enter the process armed with all the knowledge for a smooth ride. 

Firstly, what is it?

Whitelisting is the process within which influencers and creators grant brands or partners advertising permissions to use their social media handles, content and audience for the purpose of:

Controlling who sees the influencer’s whitelisted posts 

Having the ability to create small edits to the copy and creative of the influencer’s post

Lengthening the shelf life of an influencer’s post. 

In layman’s terms, the influencer is granting advertiser access to their social media account, allowing brand partners to optimise paid media behind influencer content. 

Benefits for advertisers

As with any marketing initiative, you only want to put the time, resources and money into something if it is going to benefit your brand and if you see the ROI. As organic reach on influencer posts continues to drop, the influencer marketing whitelisting process is necessary to deliver ROI from influencer marketing campaigns. Here are some other benefits:

– Whitelisting gives your brand the opportunity to Dark Post.

(Dark Posting 101: these are paid Instagram and Facebook posts that do not appear on an influencer’s feeds, but do appear as ads for the audience being targeted)

– Whitelisting gives your brand full control over targeting; allowing the opportunity to achieve media objectives, whether that involves a certain amount of reach, brand lift, page views or purchases. 

– Whitelisting gives your brand the ability to test and learn; allowing you to compare influencer performance within audiences and see how well individual influencers are performing against your marketing objectives. These insights can help you understand whether your investment is justified and inform marketing budgets.

Benefits for creators 

For creators heading down the influencer marketing whitelisting path, new doors can be opened and exciting opportunities presented. Here are some of the benefits of whitelisting for creators:

– Extended reach of the creator’s content, giving it new eyes and allowing them to expand their audience.

– They can stick to what they love doing (creating content) and don’t have to deviate from this by creating the ads themselves. 

– Because Dark posts do not appear on their feeds, this allows for influencers to take on more branded work without exhausting their followers with too much sponsored content. 

– Whitelisting opens up the opportunity for influencers to earn more money. And who doesn’t want more money?! 

How is a whitelisted ad different from brand-owned ads?

When you think of influencer marketing, you probably think of the #sponsored posts that appear on your favourite influencer’s profiles. Either this, or posts that have the words “paid partnership with [brand]” written at the top. 

This is brand-owned paid advertising. It is repurposed influencer-generated content which runs under the brand’s handle. 

The influencer marketing whitelisting process takes partnership to a whole new level. 

Whitelisting allows brands the special privilege of running ads through the influencer’s account, meaning the ads are shown under their handle and not the brand’s. In order for this to happen, there must be a certain level of trust between both brand and influencer; hence what we meant when we said ‘taking partnership to a whole new level’. 

Whitelisting also provides a whole host of other opportunities that brand-owned paid ads simply cannot: 

It grants marketers the opportunity to create ads that are slightly different from the original post to deliver higher performance. 

Brands can use influencer audience data to get the whitelisted ad in front of their target customer by utilising tools to customise lookalike audiences. 

Whitelisted ads run through the ads manager and can be fully tracked and measured.


How to get started with influencer marketing whitelisting?

So you want to begin tapping into the influencer marketing whitelisting process?

First thing’s first, you will need to ensure that both you and your creator have business accounts on your chosen social media platform. You will also need to set aside a budget to pay the influencers for access to their account. Typically this is 20-30% of the total collaboration fee. 

Once these initial steps are completed you can begin to dive into the details.

What type of creators should you whitelist?

Ultimately, the goal is to power your ad campaigns with high-performing content and so choosing influencers who create creative and authentic content is key. After all, the best ads are those that don’t look like ads! 

Spend time vetting potential influencers. Look into their followings and pay close attention to those who have followers within your target demographic to aid accurately building lookalike audiences and reaching potential new customers. 

What type of content should you whitelist?

Utilising the influencer marketing whitelisting process does not mean you have to compromise and run with content that differs from what you already use. Influencer marketing whitelisted ads are targeted at similar audiences to those who you already cater to and so something along the lines of your pre-existing content will suffice. 

However, it is always wise to experiment with different content types to see how far out you can push the boat. Try these, for example:

– Influencer niche – certain influencers might resonate with your target audience more than others. For example, they might prefer content from lifestyle influencers over fashion-focused influencers. 

– Aesthetic – experiment with colours, fonts, bold styles, minimalistic styles etc. There are thousands of creators out there all with different styles and collaborating with a diverse range of creators will lead you to what your target audience prefers. 

– Creative type – experiment with various forms of content, such as still, in-feed images, image carousels, stories and videos. 

– CTA – experiment with buttons in your ‘call-to-action’. Does ‘SHOP NOW’ drive more conversions than ‘LEARN MORE’?  

To wrap things up, the influencer marketing whitelisting process is a great way to increase ROI for your influencer content. By gaining access to influencer accounts, you can create a more impactful and authentic experience for potential customers. 


What is whitelisting in influencer marketing?

Whitelisting allows a brand special access to an influencer’s social media account, through which they can run ads and optimise their chances of reaching a new target demographic. 

How do you whitelist an influencer’s content?

After all approvals are signed off, a brand can run ads under an influencer’s handle that slightly differs from the original on their account in a bid to gain exposure from new customers. The ads can be Dark posted so that their followers do not see the ad appear on the influencer’s feed, but will be visible to new customers who are being marketed to.

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blog.

@ Socially Powerful


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James Hacking


Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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